The Miami Dolphins have been steeped in mediocrity for the past two decades, no matter who was running the franchise (seven different executives and general managers), coaching the team (eight non-interim head coaches), or quarterbacks. (10 who have started 10 or more games) during that stretch.
At some point we wonder what lies at the root of Miami’s struggles, which is why this once-proud franchise hasn’t qualified for the playoffs more than twice in 20 years, or won a playoff game since 2001. .
Are the dolphins working together this year?
This is the second part of a two-part series examining potential issues. The first explains why the Dolphins should make the playoffs in 2022.
It breaks down 10 things that could prevent the Dolphins from qualifying for the postseason in 2022:
Tua Tagovailoa returned as a starting quarterback.
The Dolphins need Tagovailoa to become one of the league’s top-10 quarterbacks this season to justify the investment he has made in the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. To get there, Tagovailoa must remain healthy, improve his yards-per-attempt average (6.8), which placed him 24th last season, and become more efficient in the third down and red zone as These are the moments where elite quarterbacks thrive. If Tagovailoa struggles in them, it could be a sign that this franchise is being built on a faulty foundation.
The Dolphins learn that Tyreek Hill was the beneficiary of Andy Reid’s play-calling and the talent around him in Kansas City.
Hill has been one of the NFL’s most dynamic playwrights for the past six seasons, but he continues to play for future Hall of Fame coach in Andy Reid, and two potential Hall of Famer appearances in Chief quarterback Patrick Mahomes. has benefited. Tight end Travis Kelsey while emerging as an NFL elite. Dolphins fans better hope Reid’s play-calling doesn’t lead to any major downfalls from rookie coach Mike McDaniel, Mahomes to Tagovailoa and Kells to Mike Gesicki.
Miami’s second-year players, just like the 2020 draft did last season.
Young players usually make the most progress in their second season, but sometimes they stumble upon stumbling blocks that stunt their development. Let’s hope receiver Jaylen Waddle, pass rusher Jaylen Phillips, safety Jevon Holland, offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg and the rest of the 2021 draft class don’t experience Tagovailoa, Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt, Solomon Kindley and Noah Igbinoghi in their year What happened. 2.
Injuries decimated the Dolphins in 2022.
Imagine playing the bulk of this upcoming season without some of Miami’s key players, talents like cornerback Javine Howard, pass rusher Emmanuel Ogba, Hill, Gesicki, linebacker Jerome Baker and aggressive Taron Armstead. Losing any of those players can lead to an immediate conflict because the backups won’t be able to provide the level of productivity they bring. This is why Miami should be mindful of training camp, and practice the workloads of its top-shelf players.
Miami’s offensive line remains mediocre.
Last year the Dolphins led the NFL under pressure of permission. Miami’s quarterback was constantly harassed and skipped in games, and this significantly affected the passing game, limiting play-calling. If the addition of Armstead and Conor Williams to Miami, and the team’s new coach isn’t able to fix the problem, we could be looking at another year of disastrous offensive line play, leaving the entire team for another season. May be heavy. The development of Jackson, Eichenberg, Hunt and Michael Deiter would either fuel, or drown, Miami’s crime.
McDaniel struggles to lead the NFL locker room.
McDaniel has only one reason to shop for head coach in last offseason interviews. Most organizations didn’t realize that the 39-year-old, who served as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator for one season, was ready to become head coach. McDaniel is respected for his intelligence, but he’s got a quirky personality. This can be beneficial, or hindering their success, when it comes to relating to their players. The only way to tell is to see how he reacts to a losing streak, which is almost inevitable in the NFL. When that happens, will McDaniel have the ability to problem-solve and calm the troubled waters? Will his players buy into his approach in the face of adversity?
Dolphins’ new crime experiences growing pains.
Adjusting to change is often difficult, so expecting the Dolphins’ offense to click on all cylinders early in the season, while establishing an entirely new offense is unrealistic because of all the variables. The coaching staff usually needs time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of their players. But what if it takes half a season for Miami crime to find its identity in this play-action-based crime? Or even longer to find a groove? This can lead to some early conflicts that can apply unwanted pressure to other areas of the team.
Josh Boyer is unable to make Miami’s blazing defense work properly.
Only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (40.8 percent) had a higher blitz percentage than the Dolphins (39.6) last year, and that led to league-leading 77 quarterback knockdowns and 48 sacks, which tied Miami in fifth place in 2022. The year before, the Dolphins ranked second in blitz percentage (40.8), 17th in knockdown (54) and 10th in sack (41). It will be interesting to see what level of proficiency Bauer’s unit brings to his third year of leadership, which will be his first without former head coach Brian Flores, who has been recognized league-wide as an innovator of the amoeba-blitz approach. goes.
Miami’s run game remains inconsistent.
The Dolphins run game last season was so incredible that the team had to lean on two players – Duke Johnson and Philip Lindsay – claiming strings of exemptions at the end of last season to make it through the second half of the year. And yet, the Miami Rushing ranks 30th in yards per game (92.2) and 31st in yards per carry (3.55). If McDaniel doesn’t bring this unit into the top half of the league’s fast-growing figures in 2022, it’s a bad sign of what’s to come as building an effective running game is supposed to be this head coach’s specialty.
Miami’s linebackers get exposed for their shortcomings.
Baker, Phillips, Alandon Roberts, Duke Riley, and Andrew Van Ginkel collectively form a solid linebacker unit because their unique strengths complement Miami’s hybrid defense, fueled by its versatility. But there isn’t a single player in this linebacker unit who can do everything at an above-average level, and because of this a good offensive coordinator may be able to attack his personal weaknesses, such as running on Baker, on Roberts. Throwing away or forcing Phillips to go back to coverage.