No matter what happens this Sunday, Steve Ross should keep one phrase in his mind, “Franchise stability.” Every franchise that has been winning consistently throughout the decade has had it, as it is the key to long-term success in the NFL.
For Ross, that means giving Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland another season, and while their Miami Dolphins team choked away an opportunity to control their own path into the AFC playoffs, they still have a chance to sneak in with some help.
This team also has clear talent that can’t be given up on. The Dolphins need to patch a few key holes, the main being the guard spots and possibly the tackle spots, as well as linebacker and running back. If they can successfully fill those spots this offseason, as well as retain key free agents like Brent Grimes, then the team will likely have a successful 2014 season, building off of the team’s, and more specifically Ryan Tannehill’s, progress from 2013.
The Tannehill to Mike Wallace connection will also improve in 2014, with a full offseason to home their timing and hopefully their deep ball. The duos’ inability to hook up on those passes has caused many fans to pull their hair out. Even many of the deep balls that were caught were not thrown on target and forced Wallace to adjust, which keeps him from running into the end zone. But a full offseason should greatly help that connection.
It’s no secret that fans are tired of the Dolphins’ decade long motto of, “Just wait ’til next year” (I know I am), but this time, it’s actually true. No matter what happens Sunday against the New York Jets, Ross needs to keep this team together. They have big things coming, but if I’m wrong and 2014 is a failure, it would then be time for Ross to try again.