There’s humiliating and then, there’s being down 45 – 3 in the first half of your first ever game as a head coach. And, for new Dolphins Boss Brian Flores, it was as humbling a debut on a hot Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock stadium in Miami Gardens, as you could possibly imagine.
From a defense that couldn’t stay in front of or tackle any guy in purple, to an offense that did nothing to assist until it was way too late, a nightmare unfolded in half #1.
Look. It’s not as if the fan base hasn’t been prepared for the last few weeks by the media and observers everywhere, including us at F.F.I., that when you rid yourself of all of your veteran, experienced talent, you’re asking for big trouble.
And the Dolphins not only asked for big trouble, they got married to it against the Ravens and their star quarterback, Lamar Jackson.
By the time the first quarter was over it was already 21-3 on its way to becoming 42 – 3 before half-time. The former Heisman winning first round pick a year ago, Jackson (above), had roasted Flores’ his defense, or what remains of it, for nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone.
If this had been a boxing match, the towel would have been thrown in to stop it. Unfortunately, it’s the NFL, and there were still 30 more minutes of anguish to play, as the Ravens continued to pound Miami into submission in one of their worst home defeats ever, 59 – 10.
Flores was left trying to explain things early Sunday evening, but it’s almost like a trial, where the overwhelming evidence has convicted the defendant in less than hour of jury deliberation. What can the defense lawyer (Flores, in this case) really say except, “we’re guilty.”
Coach Flores meets with the media. https://t.co/YvFwAhV0KA
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 8, 2019
“We talked about playing penalty free, having a clean operation, alignments, assignments…Trying to play turnover free. We didn’t accomplish anything. We talked about starting fast. We didn’t accomplish that.”
When asked later on what he told the team at halftime of the meltdown loss? “There’s a lot we could’ve done better in the first half. My message was, ‘let’s play better. Let’s not have as many penalties, let’s get aligned, let’s tackle, let’s not turn the ball over’….I just wanted us to stick together, play together and fight.”
Little consolation. And it’s predictably what the former Patriots defensive play was left with trying to explain about a 49 point opening day beating.
So, that’s the situation right now in Miami, they’re guilty.
Guilty of not having enough experienced talent to give any fan hope that this will be anything other than what it has appeared to be for the last few months: a “lose at all costs” scenario to have better draft position and massive free agency dollars to spend next off-season.
Guilty of having an inexperienced head coach and staff trying to prepare them, too.
Oh, and did we mention that next week that Flores’ former employer, the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, who won 33-3 on opening night over Pittsburgh, will be coming to town?
Talk about another “easy conviction” that appears to be heading their way.
Dolphins reverse course- will start Josh Rosen Sunday
In a move that fits the pattern of seemingly having no true plan of how to get better and, further being willing to change or get rid of personnel on any whim, coach Brian Flores and the Dolphins have done “a 180 turn,” and will now start second-year quarterback Josh Rosen in Dallas Sunday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 19, 2019
After being adamant for the last three days the team would continue to start veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, even after two dismal games where the Dolphins lost by a combined score of 102 – 10, Flores and the organization have obviously decided that now is the time to see what Rosen can do.
We at F.F.I. called for this move on Monday, as Miami’s offense could be truly no worse than what it has looked like in the losses to Baltimore and the Patriots at home.
And sooner or later you have to give Rosen an extended look to find out, if he has some promise to be a quarterback of the future or at least, part of the mix as a backup etc., for 2020 and 2021.
Clearly, Miami is doing everything they can to lose every possible game they can and get their best draft position in 2020.
To that end, the Dolphins traded 2018 first round pick defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday acquiring their number one pick. This added on to the blockbuster trade of left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills where the Dolphins acquired the Texans number one and number two picks this year and their first round pick next year.
The Dolphins stuck Rosen in Sunday’s disaster with New England with nine minutes to go and trailing 43-0 and he threw 18 passes, completing only seven and also had an INT while being sacked three times. Rosen even managed to roll his ankle, but kept playing, but only in worthless garbage time.
Rosen, who was acquired in an April draft night trade with Arizona, was 3-10 last year as a starter with only a 55% completion percentage and 11 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions with the Cards.
Now, considerably handicapped on offense without Tunsil and Stills, etc., we will see what the former UCLA first round pick can do against the formidable Cowboys.
Dolphins trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to Steelers
The Dolphins remained true to their “lose at all costs” mentality for 2019, as they dealt last season’s #1 pick, DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers on Monday night.
TRADE: Steelers are trading a 2020 first-round pick to the Dolphins for DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2019
As we wrote earlier Monday night, Fitzpatrick has been disgruntled in Miami just two horrible games into their season and was given permission to seek a trade last week. Apparently, Pittsburgh came up with the best offer, first, to get the former Alabama All American.
Fitzpatrick, who the Dolphins took with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 draft, is disgruntled in part, because of the Dolphins “veteran purge” that has gone all in all offseason, stripping them of experienced talent everywhere. He further has been unhappy with new head coach Brian Flores and defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, moving him to different positions all over the defensive secondary in the preseason and the first two games of the year.
Fitzpatrick started and played significantly in most of Fins Sunday blowout loss to the Patriots 43-0 that dropped them to a dismal looking 0-2. And Pro Football Focus gave him a decent grade for Sunday:
Minkah Fitzpatrick was the highest-graded #Dolphins player in Week 2
— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) September 16, 2019
GM Chris Grier continues to stock pile draft picks for the “named players” on his roster. This included the huge deal trading of starting LT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills on the eve of the season to the Houston Texans. Miami got the Texans next two #1 picks and their second rounder in 2021 in that deal.
The acquiring of the Steelers first rounder gives Miami three opening round picks now in next April’s draft.
Reportedly, the teams are also swapping fourth (Miami’s) and fifth round picks in 2020 and sixth (Pittsburgh’s) and seventh rounders in 2021, as part of the deal.
Grier had been busy getting rid of other veterans in the off season. This also included dealing players like QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Robert Quinn in March, veteran WR Danny Amendola being cut after just one season in Miami and Pro Bowl DE Cam Wake being allowed to walk away in free agency.
In addition to trading Tunsil and Stills, Grier dealt his most productive tackler the last three years, Kiko Alonso, to the Saints at the end of preseason, too.
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