So five days before the Miami Dolphins travel to Buffalo to kick off the 2010 NFL campaign Bill Parcells decides to take a step back in his role as VP of Football Operations and let Jeff Ireland start shopping for the groceries without him. While we all knew that this move was inevitable and actually was part of the plan, one might ask why now? Why this close to the season? Why not wait until the end of the season?
I am going to play the devils advocate here and let the conspiracy theorist in me come out and make a suggestion that Parcells realized that the NFL today is not the same game it was as recent as 2006 when he was last the Head Coach/GM of the Dallas Cowboys. Even then it’s been since 1996 that a team Bill Parcells has been associated with made an appearance in the Super Bowl and we have to go back to 1990 for his last Super Bowl victory. Don’t get me wrong, being a lifelong Dolphin fan I know as well as anyone that getting back to the Super Bowl is the hardest thing to do so I don’t expect any coach or GM to have his team there every year, but it has been a while since he has put a team in there, or even won a playoff game.
The NFL is changing. Wide receivers are allowed to run free without being touched. You can’t get within three yards of a QB once the ball has left their hands, unless your last name is Manning, Brady or Favre, then you can’t get within 6 yards of them unless you play for the Saints, then you can do what you want and the whistle is just an option for the defense to stop hitting, but that’s another conspiracy. Anyway, like I was saying, the game is no longer about a big strong dominating defense and a grind it out ball control offense that uses seven, eight and nine minute drives to eat up the clock and keep your defense and your opponents offense off the field. Today’s NFL is about scoring points and speed. The Saints, Colts and Patriots have shown in recent years that the name of the game is to score more points than the other team. So what if the other team scores 24 points as long as you score more. Do you think Danny would have loved to play with today’s rules, just imagine what kind of numbers he could have put up? Hell Favre would have to play till he’s 50 to reach those numbers.
Sorry, side tracked once again…Back to my point. The equation to winning in the NFL now is an explosive throw first quick strike offense and a fast defense that doesn’t have to be spectacular, but just good enough to stop the other team a handful of times a game. Parcells still believes in bigger stronger players, but as we have seen those bigger stronger players can’t always keep up with the smaller faster players. Sure once they get their hands on them they can wear them down, but it took Peyton Manning less then 15 minutes to beat Miami last year and what killed them was SPEED. Even teams that used this theory of a strong defense and a power rushing game have changed directions. The Baltimore Ravens are a prime example. The defense is getting old and nowhere what they used to be, but they are still a favorite in the AFC because they may have one of the most explosive offenses in the AFC. They already added Boldin in the off-season but didn’t sit on that, they went an added recently released TJ Whoseyourmomma, and we all know he equals championship.
So my thought is the Trifecta although the have built a talented roster and where the roster is now to where it was when they took over is night and day, but in order to consistently compete in the NFL today you have to be a quick strike offense and Miami is not built that way so once again they have to rebuild this roster in a different light and Parcells doesn’t want to do it again. That’s fine, he’s 69 and that’s his choice, I wish him the best and hold no ill will towards him. My Miami Dolphins are a better team than they were three years ago. I may be way over thinking this and it may be nothing more than he decided this was time to turn it over to Ireland but all the recent roster moves and releasing aging vets to younger more athletic unproven players makes me wonder. For those you are going to say it, no I do not think the sky is falling but I am also not sure it’s as high as we would like it to be as well.
So let me hear your thoughts, I am sure many of you will think I am an idiot, but to each their own, just throwing some thoughts out there for discussion, not sure we will ever know the real reason, but I will say this. I have no doubt that Carl Peterson will be the VP in charge of Football Operations before the 2011 season starts.