Some people are fans of the Miami Dolphins. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Miami Dolphins. This 2021 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Miami Dolphins.
Your 2020 record: 10-6, and they only needed a win in Buffalo in Week 17—against a Bills team that sat its starters in the second half—to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Let’s see what happened!
In many ways, the 2020 Dolphins got so many things right. They improved dramatically from their head coach’s rookie campaign in 2019. They became a top-10 team in points allowed. This was a team that, just a couple of years prior, executed a teardown job that would have made Jack Easterby masturbate onto a Bible. And it fucking WORKED. Then they fucked it all up by getting pasted in Buffalo and by, prior to that, executing a switch job at quarterback that left their incumbent passer quietly enraged and their offensive coordinator flabbergasted.
“I have a ton of respect for (Flores), and we have a very good relationship,” Fitzpatrick said. “But I thought it was a joke at first. We’re putting Tua [Tagovailoa] in? I was floored.”
[Chan] Gailey, who had been hired as the team’s offensive coordinator before the season, learned about the move only a few hours before his longtime quarterback. “I was in total shock,” Gailey said. “We didn’t even have a preseason. It was a totally new offense (for Tua). We were just starting to hit our stride. We’d won two in a row and scored a bunch of points and moved the ball well. It came as a shock to me.”
“That was my team,” [Ryan] Fitzpatrick said. “… I fought through the shit with those guys. I get the way that the NFL works. I get it. But to have it happen the way it did …”
Even when they get things right, the Dolphins still handle critical moments about as well as the U.S. handles ending wars.
Your coach: Brian Flores, who apparently enjoys benching his quarterback without warning anyone else on his coaching staff before doing so. Former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is now resting comfortably at a local bingo parlor after leaving the team right after last season. In his place now are two co-offensive coordinators, which means there is no offensive coordinator. If you don’t believe me, please refer to these answers Flores gave when asked who exactly is calling plays on this team:
“We’ve talked about this. We’ve got a system in place. We know how we’re handling that situation. I thought it went well yesterday. We’ll just continue to handle it the way we’ve talked about handling it internally. I thought it went well yesterday and we’ll continue to go the way we’ve planned to do it really since George (Godsey) and Eric (Studesville) became the co-OCs.”
(Just to be clear, you do not want to reveal if one, two or three people are calling the plays on game day?)
“No, I don’t want to reveal. It could be six people. (laughter)”
HAHAHAHA! LOL! Getting called for delay of game 15 times a game is so funny! G/O Media is run more efficiently than this offense.
Do they have a Guy on the coaching staff? Charlie Frye, who’s one of the cogs in the fuck factory outlined by Flores up above.
Your quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa, who’s currently on the Bad Ryan Tannehill career trajectory and whose game log reads like the win probability chart for every Chargers fourth quarter. And yet, I have NEVER seen so many bullshit preseason hype articles for one player as I have this season with him.
No one will ever learn. A reminder here that, when Tagovailoa was gifted the starting job last year in place of a competent (for him) Ryan Fitzpatrick, then-starting linebacker Kyle Van Noy got shitfaced on red wine with Fitzpatrick to mourn the occasion. Tagovailoa was also benched for Fitzpatrick after that switch was made, with Flores waving it all off as a teaching moment for his young idiot quarterback. This offense hasn’t been good since Marino retired. I see absolutely no reason why Tagovailoa is the man to change that.
Your backup is former Colts QB Jacoby Brissett. Watch Tagovailoa get benched and re-benched for him 76 times. All part of the maturation process for any horrible Miami quarterback.
What’s new that sucks: Will Fuller signed with the Dolphins and, in a brilliant strategy to keep himself from getting hurt again, won’t start Week 1 because he’s still suspended for PEDs. Center Matt Skura arrives from Baltimore after blowing out his knee two years ago and turning into a scrub the year afterward. We call this the Pat Elflein Plan For Excellence. Shaquem Griffin is here from Seattle in an attempt to match Tampa’s achievement of winning a Super Bowl with fewer than 30 total fingers among its linebacking corps. Former Rams RB Malcolm Brown is already a Guy, but signed with this team to split carries with the hilariously named Miles Gaskin. Finally, the Dolphins drafted wideout Jaylen Waddle to trick Tagovailoa into thinking he was back at Alabama playing Shit Ranch Tech every week.
The defense is gonna be insane while the offense won’t be able to do a fucking thing. If you’re a Giants fan who relocated to Coral Gables, everything is about to feel much, much homier.
Xavien Howard got a reworked contract but TOTALLY still wants to leave. They have 59 first-round picks coming in the next two years and they’ll draft injury-prone scatbacks with all of them.
What has always sucked: Last year was the second winning season the Dolphins have had since Stephen Ross—who owns Equinox and has definitely never worked out in one—bought the team back in 2009. Since his acquisition, the Dolphins have evolved into an organization that makes everyone affiliated with it dumber. We’re talking about a team that, in its best incarnation, is hoping to be the Titans one day, and they can’t even pull THAT off. I live in D.C. so I consider the WFT the exemplar for any NFL franchise using its faded history to scrounge for affection. But the truth is that the WFT are still a big fucking deal around these parts. Many of the efforts Dan Snyder has expended to render local fans indifferent has, against all odds, failed. (NOTE: I will contradict myself on this when I post the WFT preview on Monday.)
Stephen Ross, by contrast, has proven far more effective in successfully spreading apathy across his team’s hometown. This is a Heat town now. Mention Dwyane Wade to any Miami sports fan and you have to immediately dodge the flying rope of semen headed your way. The Dolphins, by contrast, have culturally evaporated. It’s a very, very tired gag to say NO ONE CARES! about any NFL franchise, because it’s lame and because it’s almost always fundamentally untrue. But brother, I can’t find a single Dolphins fan alive who gives a fuck right now, if I can find a Dolphins fan at all. How can you break your city’s heart when your city has no heart for you? That fucking Hootie song was 29 years ago, man. That’s how far removed we are from South Florida giving up on these fucking losers. The New Browns have more cachet.
Florida is a waste of earth right now. Vaccinated people in this state have fewer rights than minority voters do. Fuck Ron DeSantis with a bottlenose.
Ratto says: Apropos of nothing to do with the Dolphins, who remain in witness protection, Mike Florio did a thousand words on mob/gambling ties to the NFL since 1946. How does this league not have its own prison? BEST NAME TO HEAR ON TV: Tua, of course, which is why everyone avoids trying to pronounce his surname as though it was Puppy Abattoir Jr.
What might not suck: You guys remember when Rob Konrad got lost at sea? That was pretty fucking crazy.
HEAR IT FROM DOLPHINS FANS!
God this state sucks.
It’ll snow here again before this team actually fucking does anything right.
I don’t root for this team so much as passively witness their failure while nodding glumly.
This shit-soaked assrag of a franchise has made the first 20 years of this century hell, and there’s no reason why the next 80 should be any different.
The most interesting thing to ever happen to them was the wildcat.
We must talk about The Tomorrow War. In it, Chris Pratt returns from fighting a war in the future and is asked by his dad if the Dolphins still suck in the future.
Chris Pratt doesn’t answer. He just kind of ignores it and goes back to talking about the aliens that are systematically eating every human on Earth. Now, this may be because he knew his dad meant it as a joke, but I think Chris Pratt doesn’t answer because the Dolphins still do suck. He knows his dad is right. He has no comeback.
Just when I thought the Pats decline would open the path to the top, we get lapped by the Buffalo fucking Bills.
Everyone always shits on the Lions and Browns and Jaguars, but are we really that much better? No, we are not.
Last year I bought a Ryan Fitzpatrick jersey instead of a Tua jersey because it is easier to embrace the suck than hope for the future.
I don’t know why I root for them. I’ve never even been to Miami, which at this point I’m not even sure is a real city. It might just be a CIA project.
Only the Dolphins could decide to go in the tank for the number one pick and then win five of their last nine to end up with a QB whose hip may or may not be as brittle as Glass Joe’s chin.
They’ve left me with nothing to be angry about and now I miss that anger. The Dolphins are still owned by a man who gargles Trump’s balls and smiles while he does it.
Our extremely fair weather fans are forever stuck in the past and still only have three talking points whenever you speak to one:
-The perfect season (1972)
-Dan Marino (retired 1999)
-How much better the old logo was (changed 2012)
I am one of those fans.
The team’s most recent logo design removed the helmet from the dolphin. A dolphin without a helmet frightens no one, and does not produce the minimum weekly recommended level of nostalgia for a fanbase whose team’s famously annoying glory days happened when the goal posts were on the goal line.
This organization is the living embodiment of the “It’s a personal choice” crowd and I regret every second I ever spent rooting for them.
There’s literally nothing to celebrate. In a season in which they finished 11th in point differential, 12th in Football Outsiders total DVOA, the Patriots finally combusted, the Jets were a legit 0-16 threat, and the NFL added a seventh playoff team just so we could rotate also-rans like Miami into a Wild Card Saturday slot every year, it still required benching our quarterback-of-the-future (with 94 yards passing through three quarters) for a miracle win against the Raiders to stay in contention, only to reinstall him the next week and face-plant 56-26 at Buffalo in a Week 17 win-and-in scenario that even the Browns didn’t manage to fuck up.
You ever fuck something up horribly, and then try and talk yourself into thinking it’s not that bad? That’s this fanbase with Tua.
Our receiving corps sounds like the fake names Michael Schur uses in his shows.
I’m so tired of our yearly win against New England being our fucking Super Bowl.
“We’re just worried about today, that’s where my mind is: our performance today. It’s not on anything other than that.
“It wasn’t good enough. Right now, I’m disappointed we didn’t play well today.”
First quote was from Brian Flores last season when all these fuckers needed to do was beat a Bills team with nothing to play for and they were in the playoffs. They lost.
Second quote was from Ryan Tannehill in 2013 when all these fuckers needed to do was beat a Bills team with literally nothing to play for and they were in the playoffs. They lost.
When you’re a Dolphins fan, life is an endless treadmill of mediocrity. A series of humiliations, not interesting enough to merit sympathy yet not painful enough to ever truly jump ship. An increasingly indistinguishable blur of failure. Which incidentally seems to be the same way Tua perceives the world anytime he needs to throw more than eight yards downfield.
Stephen Ross is a wet towel of a human.
Having an all-time great quarterback just doesn’t seem worth it. Sometimes you get lucky but mostly the league is full of star quarterbacks who still manage to lose to a bloodless psychopath who thinks strawberries are for the weak-willed.
If Dan Marino never existed we’d probably have Jay Fielder’s grandson under center, look happily on an 8-8 season as a real sign of improvement, and we’d all be fat, happy, and die with that look of contentment on our faces that only a lifetime of unassuming mediocrity can provide.
Literal decades of failure have finally, finally, led somewhere. They’ve built a young roster into one that looks like a contender, they have a good head coach who seems cool and likable, they got the QB of their dreams without even having to tank to the bottom of the standings for him (and despite the narrative, he was perfectly fine last year despite being a rookie coming off of a devastating injury), and as a pleasant bonus they are one of the most vaccinated teams in the league. This Dolphins team is fun, promising, and likable, and I am excited about them for the first time since Marino retired.
So naturally, sometime before training camp they are going to absolutely annihilate all of that goodwill by trading their cool, young QB and 87 draft picks to Houston for a fucking serial predator piece of shit who would immediately make Richie Incognito the second worst person to have ever donned the aqua and orange. Or maybe they won’t, and Tua will just be terrible.
Submissions for the Defector NFL previews are closed. Next up: Washington Football Team.