Miami Dolphins At 50: Coaches

7 of 9

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3 – Dave Wannstedt

For a man who seemed to be actively sabotaging the organization from within, he seems rather high on this list. Well, they did win football games under Dave Wannstedt and at this point winning 11 games would be a burden Dolphins fans would gladly endure.

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  • Wannstedt did guide the team to their first back-to-back double-digit win seasons since Don Shula won 12, 14, and 12 games in three straight seasons in the 80s.

    He went 42-31 as Miami’s head coach which included that 1-8 start that forced his resignation in 2004.

    However, the tandem of Wannstedt and GM Rick Spielman would hurl the franchise into an age of darkness that has yet to end.

    The duo sacrificed the team’s future by acquiring Ricky Williams. A great move at first, but was ruined when Wannstedt ran Williams into the ground and scared the franchise player away.

    They ignored an obvious need at quarterback in the 2001 NFL Draft. With confidence in Jay Fiedler dwindling, Wannstedt chose CB Jamar Fletcher with his first round pick, despite having two guys named Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain on the roster, instead of Drew Brees. That decision led to a decade long quarterback carousel that didn’t end until the 2012 draft. Meanwhile, Brees went on to be a great quarterback in San Diego and more so in New Orleans.

    Speaking of the draft, they were usually outright disasters for Wannstedt and Co. While some really good players were selected under his watch, they were counterbalanced by too many picks being wasted on players who rarely or flat-out never played a game.

    Wannstedt achieved some success on the field and that deserves to be recognized, but it doesn’t even come close to outweighing the mismanagement that his regime is responsible for. Yes, he’s the third best coach in franchise history but that’s only because everyone else has somehow been more awful.