Simmering, Sizzling, or Scalding
There are few seats hotter than those occupied by Joe Philbin and Al Golden. Miami fans have been spoiled by the distraction provided by the Miami Heat and their historic run. It eased the pain of reality that is mediocrity on the gridiron. Both clubs managed by the aforementioned gentlemen underwhelmed to say the least.
Lets start with Philbin. His rear end must be nice and seared by now. Some how he’s still employed after 3 seasons of poor results. If posting a bleak 23-25 record as the Dolphins skipper wasn’t enough, there’s the Dolphins “Bullygate” scandal that heard round the world. Yet somehow he mustered a vote of confidence from Owner Stephen Ross for at least one more season. With a new Head of Football operations and a relatively new General Manager this is the cliché sink or swim year for Philbin. Miami has made a bevy of personnel moves this offseason to position themselves for a run at the division. The most notable move was the signing of Ndamukong Suh. In a division dominated by Tom Brady and the Patriots for so long, the Dolphins finally smartened up. What effects Brady the most? Quick pressure up the middle. What does Suh provide? Destruction up the middle. Teams will now at the very least have to double-team Suh and that should leave one-on-one matchups on the outside for Cam Wake and Olivier Vernon. In a pass happy league, Miami should garner one of the fiercest defensive lines in the league. The Dolphins also purged the likes of Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline. The Wallace experiment was a failure. The experiment exposed quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s glaring inability to throw the deep ball accurately. Instead of throwing money at a high-priced free agent again, the Dolphins brought in guys that will compliment Tannehille and play to his strengths. Returning slot receiver Jarvis Landry was a favorite target a year ago. They also added Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings, tight end Jordan Cameron, and first-round pick Devante Parker. Tannehill’s new weapons suit him better than his old ones. Bottom line Philbin has to win about 10 games next season and earn a postseason birth to keep his job. Anything short of winning the wild card will certainly cost him his job. My prediction: 9-7, no playoffs.
If Philbin is searing, then Golden is burning. Since arriving on campus in Coral Gables, Golden has essentially been above reproach. The NCAA scandal the riveted the college football world and paralyzed Miami has been an excuse for too long. A 6-7 record at “The U” all but guarantees the boot. Not this year and not for Golden. Al gets the benefit of the doubt because of what he’s had to endure. Enough is enough. Golden had more players taken in the NFL draft (7) than he did wins (6). Two of which were taken in the first round. Talent deficiency is obviously not the problem. How can a team with that many players drafted possibly go 6-7? That was the question draft experts couldn’t figure out. Things have to change if Mr. Golden hopes to stay in Coral Gables. Miami returns the best quarterback in the ACC last year in Brad Kaaya. The true-sophomore will have a better understanding of the playbook, be more familiar with his teammates, and have a year of experience under his belt. Miami gets back one of their best pass rushers in Al-Quadin Muhammad. Muhammad was suspended all season for an off the field issue last year. He provides a service of dire need. Its time for Miami to stop making excuses and break through. A successful season would be a minimum of 9 win, a win against Florida State, and an ACC Coastal Championship. My prediction: 9-6. Win against FSU in regular season. Coastal Championship. Loss to FSU in ACC Championship Game. Loss in Bowl Game.