The Miami Dolphins are 1-3, they’ve fired their head coach, they’ve fired their defensive coordinator, they’re 30th in the league in scoring offense (16.3 points per game), and they rank dead last in rushing defense – by a lot.
Other than that, things are going swimmingly.
“Okay, here’s the problem with the Dolphins,” Bleacher Report NFL insider Mike Freeman said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence, trying to boil it down in a nutshell. “It really is all about the quarterback. And I was a big-time (Ryan) Tannehill guy for a while. I thought, ‘This guy’s going to be great. You just put some weapons around him and you do a couple of other things, and he’s going to be right there.’ And it just never happens. So I think you start there.”
Tannehill, 27, has just seven touchdowns on the season and has thrown five interceptions in his last two games. The Dolphins lost both of those games – to the Bills and Jets – by a combined 40 points.
Miami’s top skill position players this year? Lamar Miller, Jonas Gray, Rishard Matthews and Jarvis Landry. Are those bad players? No, not at all. But are they players who will necessarily keep defensive coordinators up at night?
“Look, they need to put more around (Tannehill),” Freeman said. “He hasn’t had great receivers. He hasn’t had a great offensive line. He hasn’t had a great defense – I get that. But neither has Cam Newton. Neither has a lot of guys. So you really start with him – and his play has been, I think, just very average.”
Then you look at the front office. Freeman does not like what the Dolphins have done from a personnel standpoint – and that includes signing Ndamukong Suh to a $114 million deal.
“They haven’t done great things with that roster,” Freeman said. “I was against the Suh signing from the beginning. I thought it was way too much to pay for an interior lineman. It’s starting to really show that. Maybe this coaching change can change that. The way football is now, even really great, top-notch pass rushers like J.J. Watt, as great as he is – and he’ll go in the Hall of Fame one day – the sport now, the way it’s played, the defense line just doesn’t have as much of an impact as it once did because quarterbacks are getting rid of the ball faster. They’re more athletic.
“So the Dolphins are just a mess,” Freeman continued. “Maybe this coaching change will help, but that also rarely helps. I saw (Dan Campbell has his players) running Oklahoma drills yesterday, which just drove me crazy. It’s the pros. Oklahoma drills in the pros? We’re going to see how this goes, but I think really everything kind of starts with the quarterback – like almost anything in the NFL.”
Miami, which has lost three straight, plays the Titans (1-2) in Tennessee this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.