- Per Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins could build a training facility that will allow them to practice where they play. Miami is considering building a $75MM complex on team-owned land adjacent to Hard Rock Stadium, which would be a considerable upgrade from the facility at Nova Southeastern University that the team has trained in since 1993. Although that facility has been improved over the years, it is still a far cry from the first-class complexes that are becoming more commonplace around the league. Other locations remain in consideration, but an upgrade is coming, and it could come as soon as 2020.
- Frank Gore turned 35 years old in May, but he’s hoping the move to a grass field with the Dolphins could help prolong his career, as he tells Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Turf is tough on your body and it’ll have you swollen,” said Gore, who played on turf for the past three seasons with Indianapolis. “Playing on turf, I wouldn’t get my body back until that Friday. But when I’m playing on grass, I’m good after the game. I’m happy that I’m on grass.” Gore isn’t expected to be the lead back in Miami, as he’ll compete with Kenyan Drake and rookie Kalen Ballage for carries. But he’ll conceivably serve as something of a mentor to both of those young players, each of whom is under the age of 25. Gore managed 3.7 yards per carry on 261 totes for the Colts in 2017.
After earning a fortune in the NFL and looking less-than-stellar with the Dolphins last year, we’re inclined to believe Cutler when he says he’s probably done with football. Still, you can expect his name to pop up if a starting quarterback suffers a serious injury in training camp.
- The Dolphins did a lot of revamping this offseason, and one of the moves they made was trading for defensive end Robert Quinn. With fellow pass-rusher Cameron Wake now 36, the Dolphins are hoping Quinn can “anchor the defensive line for the foreseeable future” according to Mike Rodak of ESPN. The Dolphins gave up a fourth round pick to get him, and it sounds like he’ll be playing a big role in 2018.
- With Ryan Tannehill entering a crucial year regarding his future in Miami, the Dolphins may need to be doing some advanced scouting. The 2019 quarterback class is not viewed as spectacular by any means, but Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes Drew Lock and Justin Herbert figure to be on the Dolphins’ radar if Tannehill falters or fails to stay healthy this season. ESPN.com’s Todd McShay has the Missouri and Oregon signal-callers as his Nos. 1-2 QBs for next year’s draft but places neither in his top-15 prospects, which is consistent with what we’ve heard thus far about the prospective ’19 crop.
In 2013, the Dolphins made defensive end Dion Jordan the highest selected University of Oregon product since Joey Harrington in 2002. Like Harrington, the selection of Jordan did not prove to be a good one.
Jordan, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, was only a part-time player as a rookie and his sophomore campaign did not get off to a promising start. On this date in 2014, Jordan was banned for the first four games of the season after a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
For his part, Jordan claimed that he tested “positive for stimulants that are banned under the NFL policy.” In September, his suspension was lifted as a part of the league’s overhaul of its drug policy, but he was immediately hit with another four-game suspension for a separate infraction. Jordan wound up missing the first six games of the 2014 season and underwhelmed in the ten games he did play.
In 2015, Jordan lost his entire season after the NFL found that he diluted one of his test samples. He was conditionally reinstated in 2016, but the Dolphins were forced to place him on the NFI list as he was recovering from a knee surgery that he did not inform the team about. After a second knee surgery in the fall, the Dolphins were fed up, and they opted against activating Jordan for the home stretch of the season.
The good news here is that Jordan may finally be on the right track. Last year, he hooked on with the Seahawks and showed promise in a small five-game sample as he tallied four sacks. This offseason, the Seahawks retained Jordan on a one-year, $1.9MM deal. He underwent a minor knee procedure in June, but Seattle expects to have him back in time for the preseason.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
It’s a new year for every coach in the NFL, but not every coach will survive the year. Already, there’s speculation about which coaches could be on the hot seat in 2018. Some coaches with shaky job security may include:
- Hue Jackson, Browns: Jackson is the oddsmaker’s favorite to lose his job first. After compiling a 1-31 record in his two seasons at the helm in Cleveland, it’s hard to argue with the professionals. Jackson certainly has more talent to work with thanks to the arrivals of running back Carlos Hyde, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and a vastly improved secondary, but along with that comes raised expectations. When also considering that Jackson is a holdover from the previous regime and not necessarily the preferred choice of new GM John Dorsey, it’s quite possible that Jackson could be ousted with another bad start.
- Adam Gase, Dolphins: When Gase was hired in 2016, he was the league’s youngest head coach at the age of 38. He earned a playoff appearance in his first year on the sidelines, but last year turned ugly after quarterback Ryan Tannehill was lost for the season and replaced by Jay Cutler. Tannehill’s return should help matters, but it’s fair to wonder whether this team has improved much at all after losing Ndamukong Suh on the other side of the ball. The Dolphins’ early schedule may also hurt Gase as they open against the Titans, Jets, Raiders, and Patriots. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dolphins split those games, like they did in 2017, but it’s also conceivable that they could open the year 0-4. As you can probably guess, an 0-4 start is historically difficult to climb out from. Of the 117 teams that have started 0-4 in the 16-game era, the ’92 Chargers are the ones to have reached the postseason with with an 11-win campaign. The 2004 Bills and the 2017 Chargers both rallied to win nine games, but neither club reached the playoffs.
- Marvin Lewis, Bengals: The Lewis saga took some weird twists and turns last season. In the midst of a second-straight season without a playoff appearance, there was speculation about Lewis’ job security. Then, in December, we started hearing rumblings that Lewis might leave the Bengals to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Ultimately, Lewis was signed to a two-year extension to, theoretically, keep him under contract for his 16th and 17th seasons in Cincinnati. Lewis has avoided lame duck status for 2018, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll survive the year if the Bengals falter.
- Vance Joseph, Broncos: Joseph was nearly axed after the 2017 season before John Elway ultimately decided to retain him. The Broncos’ defense is still jam-packed with talent and they have a capable quarterback in Case Keenum, so anything short of a playoff appearance will be a disappointment in Denver. This will be Joseph’s second season at the helm in Denver, but it’s clear that he is under pressure it win.
- Dirk Koetter, Buccaneers: Koetter was already believed to be on the hot seat but he was placed squarely behind the 8-ball last week when quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for the first three games of the season. Even if the Bucs come out of September unscathed, they’ll be up against an overall schedule that is the fourth-toughest in the NFL, based on the combined win percentage of opponents in 2017.
The list goes on from there. Jay Gruden (Redskins), Todd Bowles (Jets), Bill O’Brien (Texans), Jason Garrett (Cowboys), John Harbaugh (Ravens), and Ron Rivera (Panthers) could also be in varying degrees of jeopardy with disappointing seasons. We’d be surprised to see a quick hook for Garrett, Harbaugh, or Rivera no matter what happens, but you may feel differently.
Click below to make your pick for who will be the first to get the axe. Then, you can head to the comment section to back up your choice.
- Though he is 36 years old, Dolphins DE Cameron Wake is still a highly-productive pass rusher, having posted 10.5 sacks last season. Despite that, and despite the fact that he is entering a contract year, Wake has no issues with the team’s decision to use a rotation that it hopes will keep him fresh in 2018. Per Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post, Wake said, “I want to do whatever is going to help the entirety of the team, the entirety of the defense. So, if it means me being a third-down guy, let’s do it. If it means I have to start and play every down, I’ll take that role on, too.”
- 2017 second-round pick Raekwon McMillan was pegged to become the Dolphins‘ starting middle linebacker in his rookie campaign, but a torn ACL ended his first NFL season before it began. Still, Miami brass — including defensive coordinator Matt Burke — still views McMillan as an important part of the club’s defense going forward, as Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post writes. “We had high hopes for him last year,” Burke said. “Nothing he’s done since then has discouraged that. … He’s been really in-tune, been really sharp. He’s got all the leadership skills and things that we look for, especially at that position. He’s worked his ass off to get better. He’s rehabbed. He’s in here every day. He hasn’t shown any limitations so far, which has been encouraging. Hopefully he’s a big piece for us.” The Dolphins cut veteran ‘backer Lawrence Timmons earlier this year, so McMillan appears set to play as an every-down linebacker alongside Kiko Alonso. McMillan, an Ohio State product, participated in Miami’s organized team activity sessions in May, a good sign of his progress.