Barring a highly unlikely five game winning streak to end the 2015-2016 season, the Miami Dolphins will have to start over (again) in 2016. This may be the final straw for some fans, as the Dolphins have been in constant limbo dating back all the way to the early 2000's sans their one positive season in the last 10 years when they won the AFC East in 2008 after Tom Brady suffered an injury and missed the entire season.
Basically, the Joe Philbin experiment will cost this team yet another 3-4 years to rebuild with a new coaching staff, possibly a new GM, and a new offensive and defensive playbook.
The Dolphins began this shift to rebuilding mode after firing Bill Lazor yesterday. Lazor was hand selected by Philbin when he entered in 2012, and managed to outlast his employer by just a few games. Following him will be current interim head coach Dan Campbell, who I believe could be a successful head coach down the road in this league. Campbell managed to do something no Dolphins coach has done in a long time, which was motivate his players and get them to play together. Granted, that appears to have gone away these past few weeks, but I think a lot of that had to do with Bill Lazor and the absolute despicable Dolphins offense. That being said, Campbell will be gone at the end of this season, barring some sort of miracle.
That leaves Dennis Hickey as the last piece of the current disastrous puzzle that is still a question mark. I like Hickey, and I would like to see what he can do without someone controlling him. That likely won't happen, as Mike Tannenbaum will likely have his grips on this upcoming draft. This spells disaster for the Dolphins, as Tannenbaum all but ruined the NY Jets and got Rex Ryan fired when he brought a circus of players to New York.
All hope may not be lost in Miami. I am not saying they will be a playoff team next year, or even the year after that, but they do have some pieces to work with. DeVante Parker has shown in his short time on the field that he can become a true number one receiver, and Jarvis Landry is quickly becoming a superstar in this league. The absolute key part of the Dolphins future lies with Ryan Tannehill. Will Tannehill unchained prove to be the franchise QB that the team believes he is? Will releasing the shackles that were Bill Lazor, Joe Philbin (and after this season Zac Taylor) be the spark he needs to emerge as a leader?
Or will Ryan Tannehill continue to be average and only average? These are the questions the Dolphins must address heading into this offseason. Not to mention the ghastly offensive line, the absolute liabilities that are our starting cornerbacks, and the holes at linebackers. These can be solved through a good draft and a smart free agency, one not defined by how much money spent but by the quality and the hunger of the players purchased.
My message to owner Stephen Ross is this: it is clear you love this team very much, evident by your willingness to devote money and time to get this team whatever it needs. But there in lies the essential problem of the decade of mediocrity that this organization has produced. Please let someone (other than Tannenbaum preferrably) come in and decide what is best for this team in terms of football moving forward. The business side of things will follow suit once this team gets back to being respectable and winning games. But in order to do that, you need to turn over a new leaf and let somebody control the football operations of this team.
The entire future of the Miami Dolphins might depend on it.