It’s been said before, “You have to score points to win games”. Dave Wannstedt said that many years ago on the heels of this lovely quote “You run the ball to win games, you throw the ball to score points. You have to score points to win games”. This in defense of running the ball as much as he did. So should the recent comments by Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano elicit some kind of “WhooHoo!” from me?
Yes. Yes it should.
Sparano stated that his team has simply forged ahead season after season based on the thoughts of the “bosses” at that time. A finger pointed jab towards Bill Parcells perhaps. He said “The people that I worked for before, low-risk play-calling is, how they approached it.” Evident by the Chad Pennington methodical approach under Dan Henning. Evident more so by any play called by Dan Henning.
I maintained last year that Sparano had no authority to over rule or can the former OC. Henning was Bill Parcells‘ hire and a close friend. Despite the resignation of Parcells a week before last season, Parcells still held his shadow over the team. It was completely out of Sparano’s control. Now with both Henning and Parcells gone, Jeff Ireland is now free to hand over players to Tony Sparano and let him run his team. Brian Daboll is charged with running the offense and you can bet that Sparano will get involved when he needs to.
The assertion that this team needs to score points is the first step to allowing this offense to play to win instead of playing not to lose.
In two pre-season games thus far, the offense has not been afraid to throw the ball down field. In fact, Chad Henne is actually using his check down options the way they are intended…as last options. While this will not necessarily translate to a grand winning season, it should ignite some excitement in an otherwise dull offense from the last few years. Sorry folks, but while the Wild Cat was fun to watch three years ago, it was not exciting the last two.
The fact that the Tony Sparano is making the move to open up the offense will surely stir a little of the debate soup as to whether he is simply trying to save his job and placate Stephen Ross or making the change because for the first time as an HC he has the freedom to do it.
Tomorrow Phins fans will get another look at the Brian Daboll offense as they will then pack up most of the starters for week 4 and head towards the regular season. For now, the excitement of seeing a Dolphins offense pro-active instead of re-active is enough to get the “WhooHoo”!
Here is more from Sparano’s interview with Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports.
"“I spent a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror, knowing that I need to make the change,” Sparano said. “Obviously, three-quarters of my staff on offense is new. That’s something that I felt we had to do. I feel like Brian’s style is more aggressive. . . . [But] it started with me with big plays and how hard we had to work to advance the ball down field in the past. That’s where I had to look at myself and say, ‘I’m the CEO of the football part of it. If I see it broke, I have to fix it and it has to start with me.’ We couldn’t crawl down the field anymore.”"