After the Dolphins were annihilated at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, 59-10, it became clear that winning wasn’t something that was going to happen a lot in 2019. Lack of execution. Lack of apparent talent. It’s hard to imagine 2019 being successful in any capacity after a loss like that.
Unless, of course, a team is tanking to secure the #1 overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Miami removed almost all of their premier talent in the offseason. They traded Laremy Tunsil for a slew of top draft picks. They released their top preseason pass rusher. No aspect of those moves indicate winning is even a secondary goal for this season. Additionally, coach Brian Flores decided to make the only other tackle besides Jesse Davis who had any experience in the offense inactive on Sunday. One could argue that Isaiah Prince isn’t as good as Julién Davenport or J’Marcus Webb. But when players have to introduce themselves in the huddle, that’s an indicator that it’s best to just go with what little chemistry is there.
Not only that, there are reports circulating that several players on the team want out. In light of that, it’s hard to conclude tanking isn’t the unspoken goal. However, in spite of everything that’s been seen so far, players insist they aren’t trying tanking. Linebacker Jerome Baker took to social media to express his desire to keep fighting, as did DT Davon Godchaux.
We will be back💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/fTaxK3bO5Y
— Davon Godchaux (@ChauxDown) September 8, 2019
Center Daniel Kilgore also spoke of his frustration over the allegations on Monday.
“It’s a terrible thing to say, honestly.” He said. “For you guys to say that and you’re here every day, you see the amount of work that we put in and I think these fans deserve more. I know the game has always treated me well and I would never do that on a personal level, nor will I expect my teammates to do that. It’s aggravating but it’s something that we’ve got to block out. Outside of this building, we’ve got to block those things out.”
LB Raekwon McMillan echoed similar sentiments. “I’m not going out there to put my body on the line, put my future on the line just to lose games. I’m going out there to win, put my best effort out there on film and give my everything for my teammates.”
These questions are expected, and the team answered accordingly. Of course they will deny these things. Publicly admitting they feel their team isn’t trying to win would be disastrous. But it’s easy to imagine that tempers will boil over sooner rather than later if things don’t improve in a hurry. The Dolphins need to play better, and soon. Otherwise, things might get even uglier. For now though, they’re going to accept that the loss happened and try to move past it.
“We’re going to let it sink in. Let that (expletive) hurt.” safety Bobby McCain said. “Let it hurt, let it hurt, because it does. Going out, we gave up 60 points today, essentially. So just going out and coming to work tomorrow. Like I told the guys, we’ve got to come to work tomorrow, put your head down and just work on it. At some point in the game, you have to play for each other and that’s just what it is.”
Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung