The Miami Dolphins have been patiently building a contender for the past few years. And it seemed that this year, they’d finally taken the necessary steps to become a true Super Bowl threat for the first time since the 1990s. This is especially the case considering that they signed star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a giant contract in the offseason. But here we are entering the fourth weekend of the 2015 NFL season and the Dolphins are 1-2, coming off three straight lackluster performances, and facing a must-win game in London tomorrow.
Miami is a mess right now and head coach Joe Philbin is on the hot seat already. According to a recent report, Philbin or another prominent coach on the staff could lose their job if Miami doesn’t win against the New York Jets. Last year this might not have been such a difficult game, but the Jets are off to a 2-1 start and sporting a very tough defense. And it’s not exactly like the Dolphins are looking like a juggernaut, with a narrow win over Washington in Week 1, followed by losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills since.
NFL.com’s Randy Getlin reports a source saying, “If the team loses three in a row, don’t be shocked if someone on that coaching staff gets fired.”
Another source told Getlin that “everybody understands” the coaches are the issue and aren’t putting this team in a position to win.
As if the coaches’ jobs being on the line three games into the season isn’t enough, even the players are ready to quit on the team if they begin the season 1-3.
“We’ve been going out there, and practicing our (tails) off every day, but as players, we’re tired of being embarrassed,” said an unnamed Dolphins player. “If we get beat in Europe, (players) are going to throw in the towel. It isn’t the players. We have all the talent in the world.”
The Dolphins have improved in recent years, going 8-8 the past two seasons and playing very competitively in most games. However, the stakes have been raised after owner Stephen Ross went out and spent big in free agency, paying $114 million to Suh over 6 years. They also drafted Jordan Philips (second round) to bolster their defensive line, and signed Davante Parker, Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron to free-agent contracts – all three of whom were supposed to bolster the receiving corp.
Ross added an extra year to Philbin’s contract after he guided less-talented teams to a 24-27 record over three seasons. But after the extension, Ross did add, “There has to be improvement.”
The Dolphins owner is noted as a “remarkably loyal person.” But if Miami can’t take the next step this season and actually make the playoffs, then it seems like there won’t be much loyalty behind Philbin any longer.