Time to fix the foundation
I learned this in my first year covering the team from Don Shula. He sat with me after the 1990 draft and explained that no matter how many talented playmakers a team has, it cannot win without a solid offensive and defensive line.
That was the year, by the way, the Dolphins picked Richmond Webb in the first round of the draft and plucked Keith Sims out of the second round. Shula was the guy who put lines together that included Hall of Famers Larry Little, Jim Langer, and probable Hall of Famer Bob Kuechenberg.
He also won a game or two in the NFL. So if Don Shula was saying it, I bought into it.
The trouble is, since Shula's departure, no other Miami coach has bought in.
Sure the Jimmy Johnson through Nick Saban era have been marked by upgrades to the defensive line, but the offensive line is the orphan of the team. No high round draft picks, no quality free agents, nothing.
Now the Dolphins are paying the price for their mistakes -- 21 sacks this year. Yikes!
Consider for a moment the decisions involving offensive line the team made this year:
They waived Damion McIntosh and didn't re-sign Stockar McDougle because they didn't think either was worth the money on the salary cap.
They ignored Seth McKinney the early part of free agency because they had no intention of signing him.
They brought in perennial Pro Bowl center Kevin Mawae who wanted to sign here but decided he was too expensive.
They brought in castoff tackle L.J. Shelton and signed him because he wasn't too expensive. Except they gave Shelton about the same money the Titans gave Mawae.
Then they decided the free agent market had dried up at OL and went begging to re-sign McKinney.
Then they re-signed McIntosh at minimum salary.
Then they turned McKinney into a guard. Now they've turned McIntosh into a guard. And all that moving around still gives the Dolphins a humongous hole.
You guessed it ... at right guard.
Let's face it, there seems to be no plan. This team needs a major league left tackle and an outstanding right guard. Jeno James and Rex Hadnot are passable but not stars, while Vernon Carey has been really pretty solid.
The bottom line is the Dolphins are getting what they deserve now along the line of scrimmage. They're getting what they paid for on the cheap.
And they're not a very good team because their foundation on offense -- the line -- is not solid.