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Chris Perkins

Chris Perkins: Here’s my offseason wish list for the Dolphins ... in four words

Here’s a novel idea for the Miami Dolphins in the offseason: build a complete team.

Stop wringing your hands over the quarterback position, stop pouring enormous resources into the offensive line, quit trying to construct the highest-scoring offense in the NFL.

Take a page out of San Francisco’s book.

I bring up the 49ers because that’s where Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel spent the previous five seasons, so he knows their secret sauce, and here it is:

The 49ers aren’t winning because their seventh-round rookie quarterback, Brock Purdy, is playing well; the 49ers are winning because they don’t need a so-called franchise quarterback to win.

The 49ers are winning because they had the foresight to acquire a good running back (Christian McCaffrey), a good tight end (George Kittle), a good wide receiver (Deebo Samuel), a good left tackle (Trent Williams), a good edge rusher (Nick Bosa), a good safety (Talanoa Hufanga), a good special teams player (George Odum), a good coach (Kyle Shanahan), a good defensive coordinator (DeMeco Ryans) and so on.

Get the picture?

They’re a team, not a quarterback.

Already this season the 49ers went from quarterback Trey Lance to Jimmy Garoppolo to Purdy.

And you know what?

The 49ers could win with Tua Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater or Skylar Thompson.

I’ve alluded to this many times — teams can win with backup quarterbacks in the NFL, and many do so because they’re complete, well-rounded teams.

The 2015 Denver Broncos used starting quarterback Peyton Manning and backup Brock Osweiler, and won a Super Bowl with their quarterbacks combining to throw 19 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, who used starting quarterback Carson Wentz and backup Nick Foles, won a Super Bowl after losing Wentz, who had thrown for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions through 13 games.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins (remember them?) used backup quarterback Earl Morrall for a stretch of games when their Hall of Fame quarterback, Bob Griese, was sidelined, and they went on to famously win a Super Bowl.

There are more success stories, but you get the point.

McDaniel and general manager Chris Grier can try to build a team that relies on its quarterback to win, or they can try to build a team that wins because it’s a complete team.

Building a team that’s bigger than Tagovailoa would have two benefits:

— You’d have a complete team (again, see San Francisco);

— Your complete team could still win even if Tagovailoa was sidelined with a concussion.

A large number of Dolphins fans proudly pointed out the team’s record would have been better if Tagovailoa wasn’t sidelined.

Saying you can’t win because your quarterback is sidelined is neither an achievement nor an accomplishment, rather it’s a weakness, a flaw, a foundational error.

Your quarterback should be a leader, but not the sole reason you win.

The reason you win should be because you can’t be stopped, because your team is so versatile and well-built it can beat its opponent in a variety of ways.

The 49ers, who lost to Kansas City in Super Bowl 54 at Hard Rock Stadium in 2020, might not advance to the Super Bowl this year.

That’s not the point here.

The point is the 49ers are a well-constructed team that provide a blueprint for the Dolphins.

Your takeaway after watching San Francisco shouldn’t be that Purdy, their seventh-round pick, is leading them to victory.

You takeaway should be the 49ers are winning because it doesn’t matter who is playing quarterback.

The 49ers built a team that’s bigger than one player or one position.

My offseason fear is the Dolphins will work more toward building a high-scoring offensive juggernaut that does nothing but throw the ball.

My offseason hope is the Dolphins will work more toward building a complete team.

My hope is McDaniel, who was there when the 49ers were laying their current foundation, brings that line of thinking to the Dolphins this offseason.

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