As our lede would suggest, we are really wondering at this point, if the Dolphins are smart or if they have outsmarted themselves. Or, even worse for their fans, do they not really have a solid plan at all, especially when it comes to what to do with the most important position on the field, quarterback.
We already know that coach Adam Gase has publicly backed Ryan Tannehill to come off his ACL surgery and be installed as the starter for training camp and this fall. Gase said so at the NFL scouting combine in late February.
However, with the 11th overall pick and by giving every outward indication that they are strongly interested in drafting a quarterback, the Dolphins are at best, sending mixed signals.
Earlier this week they met with Heisman Trophy winning Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and worked him out, individually. As we wrote, there is strong belief in the Miami market and elsewhere that the Dolphins will look to take Mayfield and may even decide to trade up from #11 to grab him.
If that is in fact your plan, and you already have Tannehill under contract and in the fold who you are backing, then why are you worried about having a significant veteran QB come visit and maybe sign with you?
Well, that’s what the Dolphins are doing by hosting and talking to former Broncos, Texans, and Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler at their facility on Friday.
Brock Osweiler has now arrived at Dolphins camp.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) March 23, 2018
Osweiler was supposed to be the “Heir Apparent” to Peyton Manning in Denver, when he retired after winning the Super Bowl three years ago. However, he jumped after one season as the Broncos starter on a huge four year $72 million free agent offer to go to the Houston Texans.
The Texans watched him struggle in 2016, eventually benched him, and then traded him and his massive contract to Cleveland with a draft pick before last April’s draft.
The Browns made no secret that they only wanted the draft pick from Houston and they didn’t really want Osweiler. He was released by Cleveland on the final cuts last September and actually, Osweiler ended up back with the Broncos as a backup during their miserable 2017 season.
Got all that?
Now he’s a free agent again and the 6-7 former Arizona State quarterback is looking for a home.
And on Friday afternoon, he found that home agreeing to a one year deal with the Dolphins:
QB Brock Osweiler is signing with the Miami Dolphins, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2018
The interesting part is he was with Gase in Denver, when Gase was the offensive coordinator there four seasons ago. However, none of this flirtation now, makes any sense with the Dolphins.
How can you have commitment to Tannehill, be thinking about drafting a future quarterback early, and also signing Osweiler and not confuse everyone in your own building about the plan?
Well, the Dolphins have gone and done it.
So that’s part of the current plan, if there truly is a plan?
Or, just like the Jarvis Landry situation, are the Dolphins almost “making it up as they go along” by putting the franchise tag on their best player, and then ending up giving him to Cleveland for a third round draft pick this year.
Maybe, the Dolphins don’t intend to draft a quarterback and are only signing Osweiler, so that if they need him for down the road because of injury poor play or whatever, he will be on the roster.
That would be prudent and very forward-thinking.
However, it looks more like the Fins are flying by the seat of their pants. Publicly showing that they don’t really know what they’re going to do and then expecting the fans to cheer on whatever it is that eventually do.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill on track to be back Sunday?
It’s an encouraging Monday in South Florida, as it relates to the injury rehab for Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Now, the real question is: will we see the veteran back on the field Sunday against Indianapolis?
Coach Adam Gase met with the media Monday with the Dolphins coming off their bye week, and shared encouragement that Tannehill looks on track to be able to play soon. In fact, he’s back throwing a football for the first time since being shut down the week after the loss to the Bengals:
Dolphins Live: Coach Gase meets with the media. https://t.co/WJdtPu7WcS
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 19, 2018
In that game in October, Tannehill took a couple of significant hits in the fourth quarter meltdown and suffered what was eventually revealed to be an injury to the shoulder capsule. He did try to practice on the following Wednesday, and apparently the throws got worse and more painful, as the workout went along.
Tannehill ended up not taking any of the throwing reps in the Thursday or Friday practices, the Dolphins ended up hiding that point and were eventually fined by the NFL for listing him as “questionable,” when they knew he was not going to be able to play in the game with the Bears.
Veteran backup Brock Osweiler quarterbacked the team to the dramatic overtime win over Chicago that weekend, but there’s been little success since. In fact as Miami dropped two of their last three games, they had a nine quarter stretch without scoring an offensive touchdown.
Still, at 5 – 5, the Dolphins are on the verge of the AFC playoff picture and Gase has a decision to make about how soon he brings Tannehill back, as opposed to going with a healthier Osweiler at least for this week at the Colts.
Tannehill helped the Dolphins get off to a 3 – 0 start to the season, but that was with a more talented and healthy receiving corps than what they currently have. Free agent acquisition Albert Wilson has been put on injured reserve with a hip injury and the Dolphins, will also put Jakeem Grant on injured reserve with an Achilles injury suffered in their loss to the Packers eight days ago.
Veteran deep threat Kenny Stills has been bothered by a groin injury, but the hopes are that the extra week of rest with the bar I will help him for the stretch run of the season. Also, former number 1 pick DeVante Parker, who has seen his role increase with all of the injuries, had his left arm in a sling after the Packer game and his status is not known.
Back to Tannehill, as you probably know, he missed all of 2017 after ACL surgery and now, with having missed another five games to this point, there are question marks about his long-term future with the Fins?
So Gase has to weigh all of that in the decision-making of when to bring Tannehill back in a season that could still be salvaged down the stretch
Dolphins beaten up every way possible after latest loss in Green Bay
Make no mistake, the Dolphins season is not officially over at 5 – 5 headed in the bye week.
It just looks and feels that way.
Mostly, it does, because the Dolphins are banged up, not only physically, but also it appears emotionally and psychologically. So, much so, they don’t appear to have a whole lot left for the stretch run.
Let’s start with the actual physical injuries and that began Sunday with the inactives. The Fins starting offensive line was minus Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James, which were not unexpected. However, after being able to practice some this week, former number 1 pick defensive end Charles Harris was not able to play against Green Bay today, either.
Then, as the game wore on, it was one Dolphin leaving after another. Whether it was Kenyan Drake with a shoulder injury in the first half or Bobby McCain with a concussion in the third quarter or when receivers Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker both had to leave on the same Drive, it was tough to watch the Dolphins walking wounded.
The biggest fear is for the smaller but explosive Grant, who may have torn his Achilles in the third quarter. Grant was already suffering from Achilles tendonitis and came up hobbling right away on a slant pass and could not put weight on the foot. He was then carted shortly thereafter to the Dolphins locker room.
Coach Adam Gase offered no real update on Grant’s status other than that it’s a wait-and-see. As for Parker, same thing is being hoped, even though, the media reported him walking around in the locker room after the game with his left arm in a sling. You combine those injuries with Kenny Stills being slowed by a groin injury and Albert Wilson already out for the year having hurt his hip a few weeks ago, and the Dolphins may be looking for Mark Duper or Nat Moore to come out of retirement at this point.
Bigger than just the physical injuries, the Dolphins appear spent in the figurative sense as well. The frustration mounted as Aaron Rodgers continued to carve them up throwing darts all over the football field Sunday night in the Lambeau cold. He finished with only 195 yards passing, but did have two TDs. And, they marched on the Dolphins defense, whenever he wanted.
It was almost as if Miami was just helpless to do anything against him, and they are watching their season wind down.
Consider that backup quarterback Brock Osweiler was not able to spark the team for the third consecutive game. So poor is the offensive output, that Miami has not scored a touchdown in their last nine quarters dating back to the Thursday night loss in Houston.
The Dolphins aren’t playing with any confidence, at least from the guys that are replacing the injured players. Remember, with Miami at full strength early in the year they got off to a 3 – 0 start.
So, the bye week comes now and perhaps, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill shoulder will be healed enough that he can practice in 10 days and maybe play at Indianapolis. It’s anybody’s guess as to who, out of the names above, will actually be healthy enough to help Tannehill and the Dolphins for the final six games.
Finally, even though Miami would appear by record to be very much in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot, they don’t look like a playoff team.
No. They’re banged up and look like a team that will be watching the postseason like everybody else.
Gameday- Dolphins travel to chilly Lambeau Field
Who: Dolphins (5-4) at Packers (3-4-1)
When: Sunday 4:25 p.m.
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Spread: Packers by 10 points (Courtesy of VegasInsider.com)
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