Miami Dolphins' Turnaround Will Start by Cleaning House

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Miami Dolphins' Turnaround Will Start by Cleaning House
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It was Albert Einstein who once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

If Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross keeps his front office intact after a fourth straight non-winning season, it may be time to get him committed.

It's been a week since the Dolphins finished off a collapse of epic proportions, losing 20-7 to the New York Jets at home with a playoff spot on the line in the regular-season finale. 

As of this writing, no firings have been made, and with each passing day Dolphins fans grow more restless.

I don't know what Ross is waiting for, but the fans have certainly seen enough.

Enough of general manager Jeff Ireland's draft busts and free-agent failures, enough of offensive coordinator Mike Sherman's horrendous play-calling and enough of head coach Joe Philbin's inability to make in-game adjustments and get his team ready to play on Sunday.

There has been debate as to who should stay and who should go, but the simple fact is that for the Dolphins to become a legitimate threat in the AFC East, everyone needs to go.

Here's a look at the three people who have the hottest seats in Miami.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Ireland

Ireland is certainly enemy No. 1 in Miami, simply because he has done very little to deserve job security but yet continues to remain employed.  

Even if you want to give him an extremely generous free pass on all of his mistakes over the last few years, there is certainly enough reason to fire him based off this year alone.

For starters, he dumped Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett, two critical linebackers and leaders on the defense and paid big money to "upgrade" with Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe. 

Both players were huge disappointments all year and were big reasons for the Dolphins' 24th-ranked run defense. 

At running back, he allowed Reggie Bush to walk in free agency at an extremely affordable price and gave the keys of the running game to an unproven Lamar Miller and a mediocre at best Daniel Thomas.

He also had a surplus of draft picks and turned that into a rookie class that totaled the lowest amount of playing time out of any class in the entire league.

In fact, the Dolphins' draft class totaled just 866 snaps among nine players this year and was the only team in the league that didn't get at least 1,000 snaps from its rookies.

Whether or not that is on him or the coaches is up for debate, but he clearly didn't draft any players who were good enough to demand playing time.

Then you get to the offensive line. 

The offensive line allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks this year and has seemingly got worse with each passing year under Ireland's tenure as GM.

With most of the players entering free agency, there is no logical reason to give Ireland a fifth crack at remaking the line.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Sherman

In the case of Sherman, the answer is pretty cut and dry. The important number here is 26, which is where the Dolphins offense ranked in points per game this season.

Miami averaged just 19.8 points per game this year, scoring at least 25 points in a game just two different times this year. In comparison, 11 different teams in the league averaged at least 25 points per game this season.

The Houston Texans, the team with the worst record in the NFL, scored over 30 points three different times, a number the Dolphins reached just once all year.

In the final two games, playing against the 19th- and 20th-ranked scoring defenses in the league, the Dolphins scored a total of seven points.

The Miami offense was far too conservative for its own good all season long. Ryan Tannehill, a player who has thrived in a no-huddle offense, was chained down in an offense that refused to consistently play uptempo.

Sherman and Tannehill have a long history together as Sherman was his coach at Texas A&M. But even Tannehill is reported to have lost confidence in his offensive coordinator, as reported by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.

If your franchise quarterback doesn't believe in the play-calling, there is really no other option than to send him on his way.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Philbin

Unlike with Ireland and Sherman, Philbin has many different layers to his job security. 

On one hand, he led his team through a major scandal involving two offensive linemen where it rebounded to win four of five games.

But on the other hand, and more importantly, his team didn't show up in its two biggest games of the year.

So the question then becomes what did he do to deserve to keep his job?

What specific qualities make him the right man to lead the Dolphins?

He isn't a strong play-caller. He isn't a quarterback guru. He isn't a great defensive mind, and anyone who has watched the Dolphins play in the second half of a game would know he is terrible at making halftime adjustments.

Just the same, anyone who has seen a video of him giving a locker-room speech can clearly see he lacks any motivational techniques that a guy like Rex Ryan has.

The video above is after an overtime victory against the Cincinnati Bengals where Cameron Wake sacked Andy Dalton in the end zone to win the game.

I don't know about you, but that isn't a coach I want to rally around and go to battle with.

Not to mention, he also has proven he doesn't have a good feel for his locker room, as the Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito fiasco showed.

This Dolphins team does have talent. It has more talent than a lot of teams in the league and certainly more talent than the final two teams it lost to in the final two games of the season.

The problem, as NFL agent David Canter points out, is that the Dolphins didn't get the most out of their talent, and that is something attributed to the coaching staff. 

Joe Philbin, Mike Sherman and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle all need to walk out the door right after Jeff Ireland.

Who should be fired in Miami?

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The problem is that they all need to go. If Ross keeps the coaching staff and fires Ireland, or vice versa, the Dolphins will be stuck in a middle ground where whoever comes in will be inheriting a coach or GM that isn't "their guy."

The Dolphins need a new general manager to come in and bring in his new coaching staff so they can work together to fix what is wrong with this team.

Until that happens, the Miami Dolphins will be in the worst position you could possibly be ina team that bounces back and forth between six and eight winsnever competing for a championship and never fully rebuilding. 

In other words, the Dolphins will be in National Football League hell, continuously repeating history until everyone goes insane.

 

Andrew Tornetta is a correspondent for Bleacher Report. You can find his B/R archive and follow him on Twitter @AndrewTornetta.

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