With the NFL season now completed, any team who isn't the New York Giants must now reevaluate their current rosters. The Miami Dolphins, who missed the playoffs for the third straight year and have one division championship in the last decade, are in a desperate search for relevance once again.
A proud franchise that once reigned South Beach now seems overshadowed by all the media hype that surrounds the Miami Heat and the newly revamped Miami Marlins. The days of Don Shula and Dan Marino are long gone. The Dolphins have to learn from their past offseason mistakes in order to move on and return to being a prominent franchise.
In the search for the Dolphins' new head coach, owner Stephen Ross pledged to find the next young Don Shula. After being spurned by Jeff Fisher, the team chose the offensive-minded Joe Philbin, who recently held the position of offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. Philbin has worked with Brett Favre and most recently, the 2011 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.
Unlike many of the recent "sexy" hires the Dolphins have made such as Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban and Bill Parcells, the Dolphins may have actually found someone who can withstand the temptations of the Miami spotlight. With his experience of working with extremely talented QB's and high-powered offenses, the team may have found the next Shula they have been looking for.
Since Dan Marino retired in 1999, the Dolphins have been through 16 different QB's. In that time, the team has never selected a QB in the first round. Instead, they take chances on free agents and lower-round draft picks. The 2006 offseason proved to be the year of one of the biggest mistakes the Dolphins have made thus far when they chose to sign Daunte Culpepper instead of Drew Brees.
The Dolphins organization has made it public that they are looking to address the need for a franchise QB this offseason. Luckily for them, there are a few possibilities that may fill their void. Depending on what the Indianapolis Colts decide to do with Peyton Manning, the Dolphins may have a shot at signing the future Hall of Famer. Matt Flynn, who worked with Philbin in Green Bay and who is on the brink of becoming a free agent, may also be an option. If the team can't make a splash in free agency, the Dolphins should do whatever it takes to trade up and land Heisman winner Robert Griffin III.
With every other team in the AFC East having their starting QB's locked up with long-term contracts, it's time for the Miami Dolphins to step up. They may never find their next Shula or Marino, but the Dolphins need to turn it around and prove not only to the rest of the league that they can contend once again but to their own fanbase as well.