Breaking Down Dennis Green's Comments About the Miami Dolphins

Thomas GaliciaContributor IIAugust 7, 2013

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 4:  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins throws away a pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Fawcett Stadium on August 4, 2013 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

You knew that the 2013 Miami Dolphins would have their critics.

One wouldn't expect former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green to be one of those critics.

However, on Tuesday's episode of NFL Network's "Inside Training Camp Live" there was a lot for Dennis Green to criticize with the Dolphins.

Now, I'm all for fair criticism, and if there's anyone that has deserved it, it has been Jeff Ireland and the Miami Dolphins in the last few years. 

Green, however, seems to be speaking only with the knowledge of what he saw during Sunday Night's Hall of Fame game along with just looking at who the Dolphins lost during the offseason when he levied some of his harshest criticisms against the Dolphins.

In case you haven't seen it, here is what Green had to say about the Dolphins.

Let's take a look at some of Green's comments and critique them as he critiqued the team.

"I don't think Ryan's (Tannehill) a great quarterback."

That certainly is Green's opinion, and he is entitled to that. He's not the only one with that opinion, for I don't think Tannehill is a great quarterback either.

There's a difference though: I'm not ready to close the book on Tannehill being great. You simply can't do that after one year. Keep in mind that since college, Tannehill has only started 35 games. That's 19 starts in college, 16 games in the NFL.

For comparison, Jets quarterback Geno Smith started 39 games in college alone at West Virginia, while Russell Wilson started 49 games while at NC State and Wisconsin and Andrew Luck had 38 starts at Stanford.

Tannehill is still developing and could become great. I won't guarantee it, but considering how he has improved every season since he took over as starter at Texas A&M, I wouldn't be surprised.

I do have high expectations for him, which means I'm not writing him off at all.

"So, the key is going to be, how can they overcome losing two great players."

Now this one is halfway true. It will be tough to overcome Jake Long's loss, however the Dolphins can do it. Martin started off training camp poorly and hasn't exactly impressed me, but if you go back and watch the Hall of Fame game, his performance wasn't quite as bad as I had originally stated.

It's also worth mentioning that Long wasn't exactly the elite left tackle in 2012 that he was in the years before, and in fact had this written about him last season by Nathaniel Peters-Kroll of Pro Football Focus:

After being a dominant performer for the first four years of his career, after he was drafted with the first overall pick in 2008, Long has looked very ordinary so far this season. Playing every single offensive snap, Long has an overall grade of -2.0, including a putrid -5.5 performance this past week against the Colts. Further hurting his value, the Dolphins have signaled that they likely intend to let him go, especially after drafting Jonathan Martin, who primarily played left tackle at Stanford. Long wants to get paid like Joe Thomas, and will likely get a nice contract after his fine play for the past four years. The big question is will teams hesitate if he continues to underperform down the stretch?

This was written after Miami's loss to Indianapolis in Week 9. The following game would see Long (and the rest of the Dolphins) play one of their worst games of the season. Long would underwhelm until getting hurt against New England in Week 13, missing the rest of the season.

So will replacing Long be tough? It's proven to be already, however when looking at his play last year, it hasn't been as tough as one would think.

As for the other player Green is referring to in Reggie Bush, I'll admit that I'm a Reggie fan that wanted to see him back with the Dolphins, however I can understand why Miami let him go.

Plus there's more Reggie Bush comments to be made after another quote made by Green, but before we get to that quote, here's one of his other gems.

"If you wanted your quarterback to be a good player and have a great year, then you should have signed the best players on your offense, and when you don't do that, you're going to have problems."

So it's up to the players around the quarterback to ensure that he's a good quarterback?

I always thought that the quarterback was supposed to make those around him better. If he's trying to say that Tannehill doesn't make those around him better, it would make some sense seeing that Tannehill so far hasn't shown that ability (it pains me to say that but for now, I haven't seen it yet).

Miami did sign some great offensive players though, like Mike Wallace and Dustin Keller. This was even mentioned by host Andrew Siciliano.

But what did Green have to say about said signings, specifically Mike Wallace?

"I like Mike Wallace if he's here to play, but Mike Wallace is no Reggie Bush. Mike Wallace is a great guy with great speed. He's made a lot of plays down the field, but Reggie Bush has scored a lot of touchdowns. And Mike Wallace is no Jake Long, either."

Let's first start with the statistical comparison since Green likes to mention that Reggie Bush has scored a lot of touchdowns.

Since Wallace's rookie season in 2009, he's scored 32 touchdowns.

During that same time span, Bush scored 24 touchdowns.

It's also worth noting that Wallace is a wide receiver, and Bush is a running back. Two completely different positions. Usually though you would expect the running back to have more touchdowns.

Now both Wallace and Bush are playmakers, so that comparison at least makes a little sense. 

But as for Mike Wallace being no Jake Long, of course he isn't! Jake Long is a left tackle, the only similarity left tackle has with wide receiver is they are both on offense! That would be like saying that Norris Cole is no Alonzo Mourning, or that Giancarlo Stanton is no Josh Beckett!

It's a dumb comparison to be made, and I have to close this on that, or at least, I wish I could, but Coach Green added this at the end about Wallace: 

"I like him, I think he's a fast player. He can make plays down the field, but I think you always start with keeping your own good players, because they don't have that physiological negative effect when you lose one of your better players. ... I'm just saying why I think they're going to struggle offensively."

This feels like a double standard; didn't the New England Patriots also fail to keep one of their own good players in Wes Welker? What did Green have to say about them?

Click here to watch what he said, then come back to me.

If you're trying to say the difference is the coach and the quarterback, then I would agree with you, and in fairness Green does touch upon Tom Brady's greatness when he talks about the New England Patriots.

But that still doesn't take away from the fact that New England lost a lot on offense during the offseason, in fact, they lost a lot more than the Dolphins did offensively when you look at both teams objectively.

Wouldn't those losses affect the Patriots as well? Wouldn't there at least be a transition period?

Coach Green does sell the Dolphins short, which makes me wonder if he did any real homework or research on the team before he said anything.

My guess would be he did: he watched the first half of the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday.

Then he probably had a cookie and a glass of milk and went to bed, not thinking about the Dolphins again until asked.

Just remember Dolphins fans: do not start panicking about this team just because a coach known more for his Coors Light commercial-ready soundbite says he doesn't like how they look.

Wait until they disappoint you themselves once the games start to count.

Statistics courtesy of

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