The Miami Dolphins want Peyton Manning. Well, Stephen Ross wants Peyton Manning and no one knows what Jeff Ireland wants. High ranking officials, according to whoever you listen to in the mainstream media, are saying that the Dolphins are so in love with Manning that Matt Flynn is nothing more than a fall back option. Of course the tricky part of all this is that no one knows if Manning is healthy or when he may be healthy. For now though, that is besides the point.
The real question is whether or not Peyton Manning is right for the Dolphins. Specifically, new head coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
The Dolphins were supposed to transition from the boring ball control offense to a west coast style that the Packer ran and that Philbin is comfortable with as well as Sherman. They were supposed to be looking at a Matt Flynn type who could come in and run the offense that Philbin and company are installing. Or perhaps look at a guy like Ryan Tannehill who played under Sherman at Texas A&M. It’s safe to say that is not the offense that Miami will run if Manning comes on board.
Manning is not a mobile QB and is a pure pocket guy. Have you ever seen him roll out like Aaron Rodgers? Not unless he is under pressure. To me, this is an issue that should really be at the heart of the Manning debate. Manning has maybe 3 years left in him four at the most if he recovers from his injury. The Dolphins brass want to win now, the coaches want to win and build their team and compete. Jeff Ireland wants to keep his job.
Stephen Ross appears to have succeeded with his head coaching search. Many in NFL circles believe that Philbin has assembled a solid coaching staff and is poised to take the next step in his career to success. He needs to do it his way though and Manning is frankly too old and set in his own ways to change his offensive play. A system he has run since he was a rookie.
There is talk that signing Manning may mean bringing in Reggie Wayne as well, as a package deal. Again setting back what Philbin and Sherman likely had planned for their offense when they were hired. Not a lot of coaches would say they wouldn’t want Manning and to be a rookie HC in the league suddenly finding that your QB is Peyton Manning is not a bad thing, but what happens in two to four years when Manning retires? You likely are not going to have a Manning type QB on your roster to continue that style so you are changing your offense to the west coast like you had planned before. Sooner if Manning has future shoulder issues.
The point is that while we all ask whether or not Manning is healthy the real question should be is he the right fit for Joe Philbin? Philbin is the guy who’s job will be on the line, who’s career will be associated with the success or failures or setbacks to the offense or the team. Is it reasonable for him to be asked to put aside his style of coaching or his style of offense to cater to the Peyton Manning style? As pointed out by Ben Volin in the Palm Beach Post, would it be Joe Philbin’s team or Peyton Mannings’?
The first step in obtaining Manning and at the very least the interest the Dolphins will show officially will come in about 7 days when the Colts are scheduled to pay Manning a 26 million dollar roster bonus on the 8th.