My major problem with the Dolphins
Saban has never had a losing season as a head coach. The guy doesn't like losing and that is commendable, for the most part. But it's a character flaw when you're trying to rebuild an NFL team.
And that has been Saban's mistake.
He hasn't realized that in the NFL, you have to be pretty bad before you get to be pretty good. You have to build through the draft and take those rookies and take your lumps so next year you get another draft class of players picked high in the draft, and in the third year you have three draft classes of players picked really high, and, if you drafted wisely, you also have a roster of some pretty experienced young players that came to you early in the draft.
Then, that's when you fill in some vets to blow other teams away.
That's not how these Dolphins have done it. The Dolphins were bad in 2004, but Saban brought in a bunch of veterans last season and this season -- Kevin Carter, Keith Traylor, Dan Wilkinson, L.J. Shelton, Donnie Spragan, Renaldo Hill, Will Allen -- in order to make his team as good as it could be right away.
The problem is those players are playing OK, but not well enough actually make the Dolphins a playoff team. See the problem? Saban committed to veterans with the idea of rebuilding and winning at the same time.
He wanted to do two things at the same time and has really done neither.
Meanwhile, look at the Jets. Did they bring in a bunch of vets in Eric Mangini's first year? No way. They drafted a bunch of guys, stuck them in the lineup and took their lumps early in the season. Those players are coming into their own now and in the next couple of years.
Those youngsters -- Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson -- will be playing in Pro Bowls long after the vets Saban brought in are retired. And that's the problem the Dolphins now face longterm.