Wayne Huizenga should step in now
An NFL team is not a hobby. It cannot merely be a fanciful expenditure that gains amazing equity every year. It is hard work for everybody -- players, coaches, staff, and yes, the owner.
That is why I look at the Dolphins and am shocked Mr. H isn't more involved. As I have reported the last few days -- including in today's column seen here http://www.miamiherald.com/1190/story/338638.html -- the Dolphins are broken from within.
Yes, they have MAJOR talent issues galore. And yes, the coaching of rookie coach Cam Cameron is rife with, well, rookie mistakes. But one of those very serious mistakes -- his alienating of veterans, specifically Jason Taylor -- could be addressed before the season ends if Huizenga were involved.
And maybe that might salvage a victory. Maybe that might derail Miami from its tracks to winless.
Here are the facts: Cameron, a Bobby Knight disciple resolute in thinking he knows the right way to do things, wants everyone to fall in lock step with his program. Except players are people, not robots. And some guys need nurturing and extra attention. Jason Taylor happens to be one of those guys.
And because Cameron hasn't seen fit to defer to Taylor, to embrace Taylor, to make an exception for an exceptional player, his relationship with Taylor has suffered a divide so significant, I've been told Taylor probably wouldn't want to play for Cameron next season.
So where does Huizenga figure in this ugly picture? Well, if the owner had an office in the team facility like Jerry Jones has in Dallas and even Robert Kraft has in New England, he would have caught wind of the friction by now.
My goodness, I'm on the outside looking in and I've gotten wind of the friction. So how could folks inside the organization not? How could Huizenga not if he were rubbing elbows with his employees everyday?
Anyway, if the owner were in position to know what's going on, he'd be in position to make peace between the parties. He could tell Cameron, "Coach, I respect your approach, but sometimes you have to do the uncomfortable thing, the irregular thing, to make a team work. Taylor is a leader and a pretty good player. Defer to him a little if you must. Just make it work for him so he makes it work for you."
Huizenga could also address Taylor and tell him he sees the divide and is working toward bridging it. That would make Taylor feel all cuddled up and better. And that would lead the player to lead in a positive way, rather than leading an insurrection of discontent. Maybe having someone with as much juice as Huizenga coming between the parties would alleviate, if not eliminate, the problem before the season ends.
But the owner cannot do this because unless he hears of the problem from people like me, I doubt people in the organization are telling him what is really going on for fear of being the bearers of bad news -- which most folks don't want to be with their boss.
It sounds like a simplistic answer to a complex situation. But sometimes right-thinking people who have the same goals -- as in winning at least one football game -- can smooth over significant differences and work together toward a common good.
Unfortunately Huizenga is not really in position to mediate now. He might do it after the season when he actually has long conversations with the parties involved. But by then it might be too late to avoid 0-16.
And that's too bad for the Dolphins.