Once the parade in downtown Miami for the 2013 champions Miami Heat is completed, the focus will return to the Miami Dolphins. With the Florida Marlins working hard not to have a historically terrible season, the Miami Dolphins upcoming season will be the talk in South Florida. South Florida generally follows winners. The Dolphins off-season and the history as the longest running professional sports team in the area will have the focus on them. The Miami Dolphins should take in that downtown parade with their local counterparts in basketball and reflect on what made them a champion and what can they take from their experience.
As I watched the Heat this season, I listed a couple of learning points that would benefit the Miami Dolphins.
You always need a Superstar to win, regardless of the sport: Now the Heat had 3, so the more the better. But you at least need one. In today’s football that is the quarterback position. The Dolphins spent money to get Mike Wallace to help Ryan Tannehill stretch the field and make the Dolphins offense more dynamic. This is a big year for Tannehill. It was a blessing for Tannehil to play right away and dazzle fans with his raw ability (strong arm, ability to make plays on the run) and also allowed him to amke mistakes early (13 interceptions to 12 touchdowns). So the Dolphins will go as he goes.
Depth and role players are important: The Heat used mixed and matched their bench around the big 3. Mike Miller caught fire and forced San Antonio to play small, then Shane Battier finished the series on a roll, while Ray Allen kept the season alive. They also were able to use the likes of Chalmers, Cole, and the Birdman on the title run. The Dolphins will need that from the options at the running back position, there defensive front seven depth will be key to their defense and in a west coast offense – Dustin Keller, Lamar Miller, and Brain Hartline will need to make plays.
Always look to improve the team in good personnel decisions: The Heat signed Shane Battier on the first run for a championship and then were able to add Ray Allen on the second title run. Late this year they took a shot on Chris “Birdman” Anderson that helped them with their frontline. The Dolphins were major players in free agency this offseason, with key acquisitions at Mike Wallace at wide receiver, Danelle Ellerby and Phillip Wheeler at linebacker, Dustin Keller at tight end, and Brent Grimes at cornerback. Dolphins GM, Jeff Ireland was aggressive in the draft and did something unconventional and traded up to the third pick overall for DE Dion Jordan. Although, in-season trades and pickups are not frequent in the NFL, Ireland needs to work with coach Philbin through the preseason and be willing to make moves in the season to make sure the Dolphins stay on track.
Chemistry and trust is just as important as talent: The right people in the right place. The NFL is littered with free agent spending sprees that end up in with coaches fired and teams cutting their losses at the end of the year. There has to be cohesion in a locker room, that then is reflected on Sundays.
A game is never over attitude: Use game 6 as an example for creating a culture that has an attitude and has built chemistry that is willing to not give up and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves.
- Miami Dolphins News You May Have Missed – 6/21/13 (thephinsider.com)