Stephen Ross admits that it’s a process to become a contender

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The first rule of Tank Club is not talk about Tank Club. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who has privately on multiple occasions acknowledged to others that his team must take some short-term lumps in order to reach its long-term goals, publicly has come fairly close to admitting that, indeed, the Dolphins are taking a step back in the hopes of eventually taking multiple steps forward.

The goal isn’t to try to patch some holes to go 9-7 and make the playoffs,” Ross told David Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel via email. “I want to compete for and win Super Bowls. We took an objective look at our situation at the end of last year and realized that we were a long way away from where we need to be. Our roster, salary-cap situation, everything. We’ve won 72 games in 10 years and that’s just not good enough. I take responsibility for that, and as I said back in March, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. The moves that have been made were all made in the best interest in trying to build a championship organization.”

But not this year. This year, like every year since 2009 (with the exception of 2016), the Dolphins won’t be competing for or winning a Super Bowl. So they want to help position themselves to have a better team in 2020 and beyond. If they’re willing to concede that they won’t make it to February in September, why not sink as low as possible now — and then rise as high as possible as they can in April and land their first franchise quarterback since birthday-boy Dan Marino retired 20 years ago?

The complication, as the Dolphins are learning the hard way, is that plenty of the current players aren’t willing to sign on to an NBA-style “trust the process” tank job. The good news is that, as the season unfolds, there will be far fewer fans in the stands to boo as the Dolphins pursue their big-picture goals.

24 responses to “Stephen Ross admits that it’s a process to become a contender

  1. Yeah so let’s trades our best young players since that helps. Although they couldn’t say no to Houston but do not trade fritzpatrick unless you are getting at least a first

  2. Just because you have a ton of draft picks is no guarantee of success. They passed on Brees so their history of player selection ain’t so good…

  3. For new draft picks to have success, especially QBs, they need to come into a stable environment. Any half decent QB is going to get ruined behind that O-line – you think they are going to hot on 2 or 3 OL in the SAME draft?

    This is a nonsense, a desperation move.

  4. In the NBA you can rely on that one player, or two, who can make a huge difference. In the NFL you can’t. There has been one player drafted in the last twenty years who has made that material of a difference to his team – Tom Brady.

    The Steelers had the Killer Bs and have nothing to show for it. The Colts got a few playoff appearances with Luck. The Redskins got a couple of scintillating seasons from RGIII, and nothing else. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones teamed up to choke away a SB. The Seahawks’ Legion of Doom got them two SB appearances, and one win. The Browns have yet to secure a winning season and aren’t a sure bet to even win their division, never mind make the playoffs and do something special.

    Nothing is given in this league. Tanking is a high risk strategy.

  5. The problem is that whomever you carry on the roster now, gets beat up and degraded and will be a lesser player when it comes time to actually compete. The only way to do it is to build the lines first, then worry about the rest. Trading away a solid OT was probably the worst thing to do.

  6. This is a terribly wrongheaded strategy! It might make sense to tank in the NBA where having 1 or 2 superstars is enough to get you to the finals. In the NFL. even if you have the singly best player, say best QB, if you can’t protect him from rushers and if you don’t have receivers that can get open, and don’t have a defense that can preserve the lead, you are going to lose. Just ask the Colts and Andrew Luck!
    The teams that are in it year in and year out, like the Patriots, Steelers, and Seattle certainly have superstars, particularly at QB. But they also have deep rosters with capable players all over the field. They have also been capable of winning games when Brady, Roehtslisberger or Wilson have been out.
    What is the point of getting the top pick for QB if you are setting him up to get killed by the pass rush? Again, see Colts and Luck.
    Advice to Dolfans: trade for the Cleveland dog pound. You are going to need it more than the Browns, cuz your Dolphins are going to be dogs for a long time.

  7. As a 60 yr fan of the NFL & not a Miami fan it’s funny to watch this process. No Miami had zero chance this year of even making the playoffs with Fitzmagic and Rosen. There is no magic to winning in the NFL as most have pointed out. But in order to have not only the money to sign players, but a whole team you need a ground up approach. But just like in Boston (Red Sox) or NE you also need a good front office who can identify those players.

  8. Ummmm.. Newsflash to Ross, you REBUILD by hanging onto what young talent you have. This guy is clueless and I vowed last year not to watch another Miami game until he sells the team. As a lifelong Miami fan, this is so disgusting. Wish the NFL would force him to sell. He cares more about raising money for his clown buddy than he does about winning. Waht will really set this team back.. Again, will be that Flores will be gone within 2-3 years time, then they will start the “process” all over again.

  9. And in typical Dolphin tradition, they will tank, draft Tua and the guy will be the bust that anyone who knows football realizes he will be. Flores is the “Fredo” of the recent BB coaching tree.

  10. Just sell the team Ross, you are a terrible owner your record speaks for itself 1 winning season since you have been a part of this once great franchise. Tell me why this is acceptable, if I was intentionally trying to screw up my job on a daily basis I would be fired, so do us all a favor and resign before you are forced out. You suck, I will not support..

  11. Being an older Seahawks fan I actually remember well how a mediocre team feels.

    The Seahawks fortune changed when Paul Allen(RIP) bought the team and then the culture changed when Pete Carroll was hired.

    It all changed for the better when the ownership changed to a guy who cared and knew what he was doing.

  12. Tanking is a shoddy way to go about it and it’s doubtful how well it works in the NFL because it takes so many quality players to win an SB, as compared to the NBA. Look around and examine history to see what it takes. A good owner, GM and HC, and continuity. Yes, it’s a process to build a contender but tanking is despicable, even in the NBA where it may work.

  13. What about the season ticket holders. We’re the process for them. You have to surely make it up to them. I know they weren’t expecting a Ferrari probably more like a (no disrespect) Yaris but potentially they could end up with a Yaris without any wheels.

  14. Fan since 1970 here. I don’t know what our fans expected this year. It’s been pretty obvious what is going on all offseason and I for one feel it’s long overdue to blow it up and start over. We’ve been irrelevant since Marino retired. I have heard people talking about all their draft picks but not too many talking about the $125 million minimum they’ll have next year in cap space. If they get the right qb in the draft they can buy him an offensive line if necessary, and don’t worry, they will have no problem getting free agents to play there with all their cap space. They will also have great flexibility in trades to take on salaries. This can turn around around quickly with the right quarterback. Now, fire away haters!

  15. Fan since 1970 here. I don’t know what our fans expected this year. It’s been pretty obvious what is going on all offseason and I for one feel it’s long overdue to blow it up and start over. We’ve been irrelevant since Marino retired. I have heard people talking about all their draft picks but not too many talking about the $125 million minimum they’ll have next year in cap space. If they get the right qb in the draft they can buy him an offensive line if necessary, and don’t worry, they will have no problem getting free agents to play there with all their cap space. They will also have great flexibility in trades to take on salaries. This can turn around around quickly with the right quarterback. Now, fire away hay8ers.

  16. Before you comment look at the available free agent money 126 million next year and draft picks IN 2020 they can get some linemen for a QB. FINS UP…..

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