It was only a short time ago those of us that follow the Fins were affectionately calling them the Miami Cowboys, and for good reason. Parcells, who came from Dallas, brought an entire new coaching staff and several players with him. Many of us, me included, could not help but wonder if they were getting the best personnel available. After all, how many Superbowls had the Cowboys been to or won in recent years? Uh, that would be none. What made these choices so attractive, besides perhaps familiarity? Why such a narrow scope of vision? I even jokingly wrote in one thread on the Phinphanatic forum questioning if Ireland and Parcells had the phone numbers of the other thirty teams. Well, apparently Ireland does.
Is the same thing happening with the hiring of coaches that have graduated or at least attended the N.E. Patriots Bill Bellichick School of coaching? I hope so. The Fins acquired Brian Daboll from the Browns and made him the new OC. Most of us thought “how could they possibly hire a coach who was at least statistically, worse than the OC that just left?” However, if we look a little deeper, we will see that Daboll had limited talent on a rebuilding team under Eric Mangini, another Bellichick disciple, but still managed to give the Pats a good drubbing in week nine (34-14) and was competitive in most every game. The only two games they were blown out were against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat them 28-10 and 41-9 during the regular season.
Most recently, the Dolphins announced the hiring of former Fins MLB Bryan Cox into the newly created position of “pass rushing specialist”. If you think like I do, you believe this move made perfect sense and it effectively brings back a feeling of optimism that has been waning as of late considering some “head scratching” personnel decisions. Bryan will bring enthusiasm and spirit to the team that has been so sorely missed in the past. It is a crime most fans remember him, not for his three pro bowl appearances, 746 tackles, 22 forced fumbles and 51 ½ sacks, but rather his dual one finger salute at Orchard Park . That is just wrong and in my opinion rivals Pete Rose being remembered for gambling rather than being baseballs all time hit leader.
What do these two men have in common? They are both a product of at least some exposure to the way Bill Bellichick grooms his coaches and runs perhaps the most efficient organization in the NFL. Maybe the front office has a plan and vision after all. I now look at the hiring of Daboll in an entirely different light and look forward to seeing Bryan again. Being from the east side of St. Louis, I always thought of Cox as Missouri’s version of Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. Welcome back Bryan!
Finally, there is no denying that for Miami, the AFC title and a Super Bowl appearance runs through New England, and they may finally have the personnel needed to dethrone the Pats. We have seen teams pick up discarded players from other teams within their division in what is considered to be an effort to discover key secrets and strategies and then eventually cut them. Perhaps the same thing is happening on a coaching level on a more permanent basis. On to the draft!!
Joe Farley, aka Fins4ever1