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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ok, now what happens to the hapless Dolphins

The little guy was a big mistake. And so he joins the list of coaching flops that have followed Don Shula.

He is right there with Jimmy Johnson, who loved picking players more than he liked coaching them. He is right there with Dave Wannstedt, who will be remembered from butchering drafts and the English language. And then Saban who was a good preparation coach, a good teacher, but a poor talent evaluator.

So what now?

The Dolphins go out and try to find another coach ready to take the reins of an entire franchise? They try to hire a man who puts the football and personnel side of the franchise on his shoulders and doesn't fall flat on his face from the burden?

I hope not. Today's NFL is too big for one man to handle.

Look at this weekend's playoff teams. Not one, not a single one, has a coach running the football and personnel side

Bill Belichick has Scott Pioli. Bill Parcells has Jerry Jones. Mike Holmgren didn't go to the Super Bowl until he gave up control of player personnel in Seattle.

I believe the best way to run an NFL team is to have a general manager and coach running the football side as partners. I believe Wayne Huizenga agrees.

"As a CEO of companies, I want the right to hire my own people," Huizenga said Wednesday. "There is something that’s close to that [in the NFL] where a general manager has complete control of the personnel department, runs the whole show and picks the players, but he has to make that one last final stop to the president of the team or the head coach before he can pull the trigger.”

The Dolphins sort of tried this formula in 2004 -- but they had Rick Spielman and Wannstedt in the roles of GM and coach. Abbott and Costello would have been better suited.

I think having two good, like-minded men picking players is the right way to go, as long as they are of one accord.

The Dolphins already have one such good man on board -- with Randy Mueller being an able GM. The Dolphins should hire a coach to work with him, to collaborate with him, to pick the players that will raise the team from the AFC East cellar.

I know some of you out there believe anything with two heads is a monster. That is probably true everywhere except in the NFL, where it's the formula for success.


Blogger Brett Nelson said...

Right. Cheers Armando for putting the next business to order. I completely agree with you...not sure about the Jerry Jones thing, though. Is his role in the process seen as enviable? Anyway, your point is taken.

In retrospect, a big ego in any part of the franchise harms the process. The big ego of Saban meant total control of the process...(ironically there are reports now of Saban not having conviction in decisions and waffling with staff on past decisions).
So, my vote is for a coach who has staying power, integrity, accountability, to some degree openess, and above all......a great coach. Cowher or Chow for me....

GM - I don't know much about Mueller....why is he great again? He was with New Orleans before, correct?

But yes....seperation of the two seems crucial - i.e. church and state, sports and politics (see previous blogs here)

Wierd...I'm still shocked Saban left. I look at the guy's face now, and the charisma of a hard nosed football coach has turned to something like....a used motor home salesman.

4:13 AM  
Blogger DwinkinAle said...

Yeah, I'm still a bit suprised by Saban's departure as well. I was a big Saban, supporter, yet I can't really say I'm very dissapointed that he is gone. Unfortunately he did little to improve this team and now we need to find someone who has the staying power and commitment to take the positives of this team and build on it. The Fin's definately have many areas to address, but this team is far from hopeless. There is still a good chance Daunte returns next year. Ricky may be back to help out Ronnie. Hagan with more playing time may develop into a solid #2 WR. The O line needs retooling and we have seemingly been working on taht for years. The defense is aging, yet still top flight. The new coach will have a solid foundation to work with and try to inject younger talent on both sides of the ball.
So who will be the next coach? Some hot young assistant from somewhere? Why not look internally at Capers? He'd no doubt create the smoothest transition. Mullarkey is definately not the answer in any facet. What about recently fired Jim Mora (Jr)?
With the right 'team' and not a 1 man show like he had in Atlanta, I think he'd be a great fit.
What do you think Armando?

5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:54 AM  
Anonymous lacesoutdan said...

I'm praying this old team doesn't give up any picks for a coach, even if it is Cowher. Mullarkey is a complete piece of garbage, and is anyone really excited about Dom Capers as the head coach? I think the most promising choice at this point is Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

9:08 AM  
Blogger driv said...

I was very shocked when I heard that Saban was leaving. I supported him and felt that what he was doing was going to work. Nobody could fix the mess that Dave and Rick made in just two years. I would have fired the offensive coordinator midway through the season. The next coach needs to be somebody young and hungry. Some body that the GM can work with. I do like Scott Pioli for the GM job, just look what he has done for the Pats. Let him hire the new coach. And for all you out there that say your Dolphin fans and all you can do is rip this team when there down, are probably the ones that made Saban want to go. First it was get ridd of Colpeper and lets give Joey a chance well Joey did his best, then he sucked and you wanted Lemon. Well the hole season turned out to be a Lemon. The guy needed a longer shot at turning this around and the fans and the media didn't give him a chance. Hell the media wanted him here as bad as we did, after what Dave and Rick did to this team. Well all I can say is good luck Nick and I hope that the Gators kick your butts every year. Go Gators

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, this comes straight from the Alabama athletic department's website:

"During two seasons at the helm of the Miami Dolphins, Saban’s teams showed marked improvement over the unit he inherited. Taking over a team that finished 4-12 in 2004, Saban led the 2005 Dolphins to a 9-7 record, the third biggest turnaround in the NFL that season and the second highest victory turnaround for a Dolphins team in any non-strike season. Most impressively, the Dolphins finished 2005 on a six-game winning streak, the longest streak in the NFL that season."


10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hire Jimmy Johnson as the GM

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Kurt in Tampa said...

I just watched Saban on ESPN throwing Ricky, Ronnie and Daunte under the bus as explanation for his bad record. I thought he was honorable, I was wrong. What a scumbag.

12:41 PM  
Blogger The Dude said...

Absoultely, Armando. When Mike Holmgren gave up his personnel duties and let someone else do that in Seattle, they became Super Bowl contenders. The Patriots have Scott Pioli and Belichick -- it's amazing to me why more teams don't adppt this formula!

And I agree with Laces Out ... no coach is worth giving up draft picks. Not even Cowher. We already wasted a couple on Daunte and Joey.

Shameless Plug: If anyone is interested, I wrote a column on possible coaching candidates on my blog.

NYDolphin Fan and Bloodlust, I'd like to hear what you think over there.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 words: Scott Pioli.

He's the man behind the curtain in New England that makes Bill Belichick look like the wizard.

End of story.

Hey Wayne- Throw a pile of money at Pioli and you'll be rewarded with great talent to parlay into winning teams. Go get 'em!!!

1:33 PM  
Blogger ATL-Scott said...

Armando nails another one. Kudos, bro - and here's to Huizenga getting the message... :) !!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Bloodlust said...

Dude... I agree 100% with you. Most guys who try to do it all fail, and most do it for their own personal glory. It doesn ot matter if you are a GM/Headcoach, or a GM with a headcoach, if you win you win.

Football is a working machine, as in dealing with machines you have an operater, and a maintanance person to keep it running efficiently. That is the job the GM and Head coach plays. Together these two men should be able to work a plan into action that will give us the team we desire.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Bloodlust said...

Dude.. I read your blog... very insightful, interesting. I like your reasoning for your choices, and I have to believe you are correct in my book. My only change would be in the college choice, but you already know who I would pick, and we know he is not going anywhere.

I myself have a hard time trusting some of these headcoaches. I know some fall out of grace with the owners. The owners want one thing and the headcoaches need or want another to make things happen. It might be a problem between the GM & headcoach. Either way, it brings questions of compatability to the team, GM, and CEO's when new blood is brought in at headcoach.

I live in MI, and though I am not a lions fan I do pay attention to their happenings. They have made so many mistakes because Ford (the owner) wants a winnier. They lost focus on the real problem, and that was working together. Either they blamed the coaching staff, or players, never looking at the whole picture. They lacked only specific players compared to us, but they kept changing the coaching staff every 3 years. Creating a mess in unity between caoch and players, or ability to know each others strengths and weaknesses. That is why Harrington got a shit deal. He had no one to prepare him, and it still shows.

If we are to get some where, we need someone here that will put 100% of himself into this team and players. Someone who is not a glory hound to busy trying to prove his ability, but someone who's efforts will shine through his players, and play schemes.

I think Cameron, will be the best fit. He is well liked and right now he has to prove nothing. Which is good, for one reason, he doesn't have to build on his ego any further. he might come here clear and opened minded, and that is what we need. That's my opinion.

Good job Dude.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saban's gone... no more ... I can't believe he's gone!!!!! We need a GM and headcoach that want to build a winning team, not their name or ego.

pioli... NE is not going to give him up.... all we need are people who desire the same dream, ot people who have something to prove to the world.
In NE they have the players talk to the new drafts, telling them that they will not get rich quick there, this is the kind of thinking player we need here. Not like Ronnie Brown sticking it out to get more money without proving himself. A rookie running back should not make more than an experienced one, or any other player.

tell me how easy it would be to fill the shoes of JT and ZT? It is not easy finding equals to players as these two. The biggest factor of these two being the best they can, is their heart. They love the game, not the money. Find guys like them, and we will have a winner.

3:58 PM  
Blogger The Dude said...

Thanks Bloodlust. Much appreciated. And you know what? ... You were always right about Saban all along. You saw the snake while we all saw the savior.

Armando, since Wayne asked for media input, please make your suggestion NICE AND LOUD!!! We need a Pioli/Belichick type duo down here.

5:08 PM  
Blogger nelson914 said...

First off, they tell Don Shula to shut his bloody mouth, where does this guy come thinking he is god. A good coach, is definitely a big name associated with the dolphins, but everytime an issue comes up where he wasn't coach he just blabs like a child, "the team is horrible, Jimmy didn't do this, Saban is a liar." Someone please put this old man back in his seat in the press box and tell him to keep sippin on his Tom Collins, this guy's professionalism is pathetic. He has no respect for fellow coaches or the current dolphins.

Saban shocked a lot of people including me, he was in a situation like thousands of other people, he had an offer for something he much rather enjoyed than his current job. Big deal if he lied to the media, who doesn't!!!!!! The guy wasn't going to say yep I'm leaving before the season was over. I'm sure Wayne didn't hear those same things from Saban in their talks. What was everyone thinking, he was going to stay forever, lets remember Huiezinga forked over tons of money just to get him out of college, something other teams couldn't. He took him out of college when he never really wanted to leave.

So stop with the talk that the team sucked because of him and hes leaving because we went 6-10. Face it our team is rebuilding and in a lot of our games we sucked.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. Did you guys notice that Saban has already hired two assistants and has another two on the line?

And he STILL has the gall to deny he had nothing to do with Alabama until the season ended?

It is clear that one of the reasons we lost a couple of the late games is Saban's energy being directed elsewhere.

I know the ilk of Huizenga- even knowing this, he will still want to focus only on the future, which is the right thing. But Wayne, baby, a lot of us out here share that thought in the back of our heads- the guy should be sued for his fraudulent actions.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miami needs a great take charge personnel, general manager to put this team on the right course. The best guy for the job, although he is a baseball talent, is Dave Dombrowski. Dave is a winner and will make this team great again. He has South Florida roots and can produce....Peter F.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Bloodlust said...

nelson914... you are your biggest mistake. Shula might have not been coaching over the last 10-15 years with the dolphins, but when he did he was loved and revered by all Dolphin fans. Now because he makes a remark, people like you act like babies trying to make Shula, and kooches remarks lame.

These two men played professional football while your ass sat at home watching the boob tube sweltering drunk making your play calls. They may not be in the game today, but I am sure they follow and understand better than you and I.

They will make mistakes, but know more of what goes on behind the scenes that no one witnesses or reads about.

That would be like telling an attorney because he retired, he could not give good legal advice. Shula and his GM, had the ability to find talent, especially in QBs. So let go of your whinning about guys who do have a right to open their mouths to how their own team is now playing.

Wasting time pointing fingers, and squaking on who has the right to say something is not the problem. The problem a head is finding the right personnel to replace the idiots we had... aka Saban.

We need ideas and our voices sent to Huzeinga, that we are tired of waiting for his loyalty to his supporters, and the changes must be met now. That does not mean we have to be in playoffs by the end of next year, but the showing of a team, a machine, coming to life, instead of sputtering on the field.

Anger towards explayers, and everyone in the Dolphins is a waste of energy now. As fans we should pull together, let them know how we feel, and then give the support that is now necessary to change the momentum of the way we all felt this past year or two.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Bloodlust said...

Nelson914... by the way Huezinga did not pick up out of college. He got him for NE. Get your facts rights.

11:39 AM  
Blogger NYdolfan84 said...

Not to step on your toes Bloodlust, but Saban came from LSU (college), not New England. He was Belichek's defensive coordinator when Bill head coached the Browns in the 90s. Saban was never with NE.

12:09 PM  
Blogger nelson914 said...

Ohk bloodlust, we got Saban from New England, thats really funny. Did you just take a quick glance at Espn lately and just assume Saban and Belichick were teammates recently. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!

As NYDOLFAN84 said, Saban came from LSU.

And now to your remarks....

I loved Don Shula and I think he was one of the greatest coaches in the NFL. However, I'm not acting like a baby, Mr Shula is. Actually not a baby, more like the old cantankerous fast he has become. The guy will get into an argument with reporters saying Jimmy Johnson wasn't even a coach for the Dolphins and argue over winning percentages. And now his son gets dissed by a college and Saban gets to take over Alabama, cry me a river, this isn't high school anymore.

Mr bloodlust, I don't care what kind of records Don Shula made coaching the Dolphins. Your integrity and respect for fellow players and coaches goes hand in hand. I never saw Jimmy Johnson say hey Don, guess who won more Super Bowls then you???? Yeah thats right, how bout them Cowboys!!!!

Everytime Don Shula makes one of his belittling comments it makes me lose respect for him. But hey that doesn't mean squat to you so I guess we will agreee to disagree.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Woodstrocked! said...

These coaching hijinx are really tough to swallow for us older Dolphin fans who remember when this was the kind of nonsense that "other" teams had to deal with, not us. Bravo to Coach Shula for expressing my sentiments towards Mr. Saban so eloquently. Now let us never speak Saban's name again. It shouldn't be too difficult to erase such a forgettable coaching tenure from our collective minds.

I totally agree re: coach/GM duties, it's obvious that it's the system that works in today's NFL, provided you find that combo capable of maintaining a singular plan of action. I realize that's easier said than done, of course.

My feeling is that it's time to veer away from the familiar "name" coaches available and look for someone who'd relish the opportunity to make his name with the Dolphins. They've already tried the "biggest name available", the "NFL re-tread with dated playbook", and the "collegiate whiz-kid" approaches. The Dolphins need someone to come in and put their own stamp on this team instead of coming in with an approach that worked someplace else. What is there to lose?

When I heard the Cowher rumors I swear my blood ran cold. Until 05, Cowher's teams were mainly notable for underachieving, especially in the playoffs. His 2005 team barely backed into the playoffs and rode a hot streak and some great luck to the title. Then they nosedived right back to underachiever status in 06. I can't believe that anyone who has watched Dolphins football for the past, oh, let's say 20 years would think Cowher & the Dolphins would be an ideal fit. I think that given recent Dolphins history, old ideas plus system from somewhere else equals continued mediocrity.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

I think the best thing for this team would be to hire an offensive minded coach and somehow talk Dom Capers into sticking around. The defense was playing very well and Capers has been very good as a defensive cooridnator in the past (look at his record before Houston) and it would be a shame to lose him. I have said it before but I truly believe the key to winning in the NFL is consistancy. Look at the teams playing this weekend.
1. Dungy (5+) years v new Edwards
2. Parcells (4) v Holmgren (5+)
3. Magini (new) v Billechek (5+)
4. Coulghin (3 i think) v Reid (5+)
Teams on a bye - Schottenhimer (3+), Billick (5+) Smith (3+) and Peyton (new). Of the 12 playoff teams, 75% have coaches that are entrenched in the system.

The point is, the Dolphins have had zero consistancy since Johnson left. If memory serves me, there have been 4 different OCs in the last 4 years and Saban completely changed the defense (for the better I would add).

Keeping Capers and bringing in someone to stabilize the offense would really help this organization.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous finndolphan said...

have to agree with you armando,this team needs a real GM!not one "appointed" by the new head coach either!if mueller is indeed the man(his credentials are very good)let him hire the next f$$$ing coach!whoever gets the job obviously has his work cut out for him!every successfull team in ALL sports has a GM on top looking down,not some yes-man the coach hires!have to say i agree with getting rid of daunte and joey and starting over!chambers and mcmichael should go to as well as wil allen and travis daniels!

4:53 PM  
Blogger Bloodlust said...

nelson914... again I made a mistake somehow thinking he was still with Saban in NE. That has been most of the talk I have heard from the beginning. Oh... well. I knew he was the defense coordinator in Cleveland, for I lived there and shared season tickets with my cousin. Saban then did not impress me.

During those years Belichik and Modell were trying to break the fans, so they could move the team, as they so under handedly did. I have always felt Belichik should be band from football as Pete Rose was because Bill's contempt to the citizens of the city of Cleveland. What and how would you feel if Huzeinga pulled this stunt on us with his new headcoach.

Regardless, saban has never and never will possess the skills to run an NFL team.

Shula has every right ti make any comment he chooses. Jimmy Johnson walks around flashing his rings, broadcasting how great of a coach he was, but the media kept keeping him in his place. Letting him know that he would never accumulate enough wins to ever beat Don's record. Shit, if it was not for the three or four sgit seasons Dallas had, he'd never would have gotten the drafts he did. So that makes him the greatest coach. Bullshit.

Don has more right to say anything before you and I. He spent his career making them who they were known for. If you do not like it, tough. You can point out dumb shit like saban came from LSU, and things I will not necessarily will look up myself, but you only know what you think you see and know. If he feels like trashing someone for a reason, then let him. Why can we sit here and air our thoughts and bullshit, and think he or other past Dolphins have not the right.

If you need me to, I will check every little thing that is meaningless to make you happy. I will not hold my opinions, as I was correct on that bum Saban, and Culpepper. It was easy to make the mistake that Saban was still with Belichik, when everyone was out recruiting guys who coached for him. Look at the bum Cleveland got. He was with Belichik as well. You naturally assume he was picked from Bill's current team. Most coaches are picked that way.

Bill Cowher was the best special teams coach ever, especially in the Browns. He moved up to Defensive coordinator, and then moved to Pittsburgs after the opportunity to be headcoach. Same reasoning I had with Saban. I also lost track of Belichik and saban because i was in the hospital recovering from a spianl injury to my neck, so until around 99 i did not pay attention to what happened to these idiots until I heard Belichik was with NE. So, of coarse I assumed asshole Saban went with him.

There is my reasoning. Like it or not. I however, knew what all you were saying and claiming about Saban was wrong. Apparently, I know something you do not.

Armando has not even made comments that made sense, or realistic to the outcome of the Dolphans future. Yeah... Saban's a man of interity, and he won't leave he gave us his word. Again, his word is exactly what it is.. a word. No credibility, no accountability, and we are stuck in worse shape than we were two years ago.

Wrong or right on that he came here from NE, I was right on the numbers on everything else I told you.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuckin lsu, ne, whats the difference. Both of you are right to eachs point. Shula is the only one who has the right to open his mouth because this is his team, retired or not. it must be painful to sit by and get ribbed about a team you made great, to only be a frickin joke today. no one will ever do what shula did for the dolphins. just like couple a week ago farve finally threw more passes than Marino. big deal... farve was to be the next marino, and it never happened, just like bledshoe. now everyone says they are to be like asshole in ne. take away the talent on his team and he is nothing, jut like bradshaw. the fricken loser. without swan and the gang he would not have done nothing.

quit crying about that bum saban and get on with thinking of things that may work than badgering people here. I also do not sit here and crap football all night long like some of you seem to, but i know when i hear bullshit. i like some of the things i hear from the dude, bloodlust, hankinthe400, and once in awhile that nydolfan84 and joseph. too much crap being slew around here. i hear this same shit by the drunken fuckin idiots in the bar and office. stop the valdictorian act. your not all that smart you big mouth babies... who originally loved sabannie boy the faggot master..

7:03 PM  

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