Much talk has been going around Miami Dolphin land about whether or not Tony Sparano should be fired at the end of the season. This has sparked many a debate amongst us Dolphin Fans, is it Sparano? Is it Henning? Is it both of them? Who is it? Who is to blame for the product on the field?
As we all know, Bill Parcells was hired after the 2007 season to completely take over the football operations of the Miami Dolphins. He came in and cleaned house, bringing in a new general manager, and new coaching staff. No one else would have done any different, the Miami Dolphins were 1-15 the season before Parcells was hired, the roster was no good, and there was no signs the team would be any better moving forward.
Parcells brought in Jeff Ireland to be the GM, and Tony Sparano to be the head coach. It’s said that in order for a football team to be successful, the Owner or President, the GM, and the Head Coach must all have the same philosophy as to what will make their team successful, how they are going to win games. I agree with that, it’s been proven to work time and time again. Successful franchises year in and year out have this belief. The Patriots, Steelers, and Colts come to mind when you think of a good front office and a coaching staff. They draft players to fit the way they want to play football. Something this regime in Miami has yet to do.
What identity does this team have? Is it a running team? Well if it was, they sure haven’t drafted like it. Is it a passing team? Again, same answer to that question too. Is it going to win with defense? Not if they waited until draft #3 to get the bulk of their defensive players. The problem with the Miami Dolphins is the front office hasn’t put players on the field to match the way they want to play, mainly because I really don’t think they know how they want to play, and they have proved that during each of their drafts.
It’s easy to go back an analyze who Miami should have taken in each draft, but with this current regime, have you really taken the time to do that? Have all of you been caught up in the whole, ‘Parcells will make us a winner, just wait and see, the drought of not winning a championship will soon come to an end,’ mentality like I have been in since 2008. Let’s take a look at that draft and see what Miami could have done differently. In the first 2 rounds, Miami had 3 picks. They chose Jake Long, who is no doubt one of the best left tackles in the game, Phillip Merling, and Chad Henne. They passed on Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, at the QB position and waited to get Henne. Don’t you think Ryan would have been ok had Miami taken him and traded back into the first round to get a tackle? The Merling pick is the one that really gets me, he was the first pick in the second round. Notable picks after Merling and before Henne include Desean Jackson, Matt Forte, and Ray Rice.
Take a look at the 2009 draft. It’s hard to argue that Vontae Davis wasn’t a good 1st round pick that year. He is developing into one of the best corners in the AFC. What you can argue is who Miami took with their 2nd pick in that draft, Pat White. Miami took a guy to run the wildcat offense because it took the NFL by storm and this offense was the future of the league. Pat White paired up with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on the same field is going to be unstoppable. What a waste! They took White ahead of running backs LeSean McCoy and Shonn Greene. Wait, Miami is a passing team, that’s why in the 3rd round they took Patrick Turner and in the 4th round Brian Hartline. I guess Brandon Tate and Mike Wallace weren’t good or fast enough, wait, neither was Pro-Bowler Johnny Knox, who was taken in the 5th round.
Taking a look at the 2010 draft would not be fair, especially since this season is far from over. Miami did seem to do better in this draft, with defensive players that have shown a ton of potential. Most experts say it takes 3-4 years to grade a draft class, I personally think you can tell how good a class is going to be in a year or two. This group of defensive players Miami took in 2010 is going to be pretty good. But why did it take this regime 3 drafts before they got it right?
Was Parcells calling the shots? Was it Ireland? Who the heck still wants Henning around, and if they do why in the hell haven’t they drafted players that can execute his scheme? That’s the excuse isn’t it? The players aren’t executing. Well after 3 years you would think the players that can execute would be in uniform playing on Sundays. Instead we are left with 3 drafts that have us questioning what kind of team the Miami Dolphins are. No identity on offense, none on defense, and special teams that got a coach fired earlier this season. Oh yeah, Miami might also be the slowest team in the league. Big, powerful, and slow may have worked backed in the early 90’s, but speed is what is winning now in the NFL. Hopefully this regime will figure that out sometime soon, if not I hope Mr. Ross will bring in a front office that does realize that.
Tags: Bill Parcells Brandon Tate Brian Hartline Chad Henne Dan Henning DeSean Jackson Indianapolis Colts Jake Long Jeff Ireland Joe Flacco Johnny Knox LeSean McCoy Matt Forte Matt Ryan Miami Dolphins Mike Wallace New England Patriots Pat White Patrick Turner Phillip Merling Pittsburgh Steelers Ray Rice Ricky Williams Ronnie Brown Shonn Greene Stephen Ross Tony Sparano Vontae Davis