MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When the NFL season began back in early September, expectations weren’t very high for the Miami Dolphins.
A month later, it was widely believed that the 2016 was a throw-away season that was the beginning of a new regime’s rebuilding process after Miami began with four losses in five games.
Then suddenly the wins started coming. Two in a row. Three in a row.
The streak went all the way to six before the Dolphins finally lost again, and when all was said and done they would win a ridiculous nine out of ten games.
After a 1-4 start, the Dolphins were a Wild Card Playoff team, playing in the postseason for the first time since 2008.
Unfortunately, a severely injury-depleted defense finally caught up with Miami and they were pounded out of the playoffs by Pittsburgh on Sunday.
There are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Dolphins future, and those thoughts were emphasized by owner Stephen Ross.
“I think we’ve come a long way from where we started,” Ross said. “Certainly unhappy right now. But I’m happy with the direction we’re going. I think we have the right coach, the right people in place and I have the basis for something. Everybody is smelling it. They want it more and that gives you optimism for next year.”
It’s rare for a team to come stumbling out of the gate the way Miami did and bounce back to claim a playoff spot.
Now it will be up to Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum, General Manager Chris Grier and Head Coach Adam Gase to keep the team on the right track and continue building towards being a championship contender.
“I think how the organization has come together, you saw a team that was 1-4. Everybody was ready to write it off at that point and how they fought back and came together as a team, that’s great to see,” Ross said. “The way we ended up was pretty good; not today. Certainly, everybody in this room is disappointed. But I think the basis is here to really create something and hopefully we’re in the right direction. I believe it.”