One huge offseason move the Dolphins made was hiring of new head coach Brian Flores. Flores has been a coach in the Patriots’ system since 2004, and he was most recently the linebackers coach from 2016-2018. Although he won’t be calling plays on defense, his defensive-minded approach will make a huge difference for the Dolphins this season. He did call defensive plays for the Patriots last year, and we all know what happened there.
In the first round of the draft, the Dolphins took Christian Wilkins, a defensive lineman out of Clemson. He will bring a new edge to the pass-rush this year. They traded their second round pick to the Cardinals for Rosen (along with a 5th round pick in 2020). In the third round, they took Michael Dieter, an offensive lineman out of Wisconsin. Slightly unusual for a third round pick, Dieter will likely start right out of the gate. It’s not so much a tribute to his abilities as much as it is a commentary on just how bad the Dolphins offensive line was last year.
The Dolphins also made some nice free agency pickups. For starters, they were able to sign Ryan Fitzpatrick. Whether or not they planned on getting another QB at the time of this signing is irrelevant, as it is simply now a classic QB battle. The fins also nabbed Eric Rowe at CB. A former Patriot moving with Flores, the Dolphins will hope to see some of the Patriots’ defensive juju come along with this acquisition. Another former-Patriot the Dolphins signed is their new starting TE Dwyane Allen. He’s one of the NFL’s best blocking TEs. Despite injury concerns, the Dolphins went ahead and resigned WR DeVante Parker to a 2 year deal. They haven’t lost hope in him yet, even though he hasn’t played a full 16 games in any of his first four seasons with the team.
While still in an obvious rebuilding phase, the Dolphins and their fans certainly have some things to look forward to. Brian Flores is a great addition to the team. I truly think he’ll be able to help the Dolphins pull their defense that has raw talent but couldn’t execute in 2018 together. Despite Rosen having a tough 2018 in Arizona, I still think he has a better shot than Fitzpatrick at the starting spot. Rosen is viewed in an unfair way, in my opinion, as he was simply a rookie quarterback with a terrible offensive line. The bad news, though, is that Miami’s offensive line isn’t much better and that he’ll probably run into many of the same problems this season. In terms of defense, Flores as head coach and new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will undoubtedly help sort things out by implementing new schemes, and, hopefully, a new culture. Will the Dolphins be contenders this year? Absolutely not. But they’re making some solid moves to help them get to that place within a few years.