Showing 11 - 14 of 14 posts found matching keyword: coaches
Wednesday 2 November 2011
Alright, Randy. You want it, you got it.
The Miami Dolphins are currently 0-7, staring down the barrel of a potentially win-less season. The remaining schedule is, in a single word, difficult. Some say the silver lining of the second-worst season in franchise history is the opportunity to draft first in the 2012 NFL Draft. The media calls this phenomenon "Suck 4 Luck" in honor of apparent first-overall pick Andrew Luck.
The Dolphins were terrible in 2007, too. That year the team narrowly avoided becoming the worst team in NFL history in their third-from-last game of the season by beating the hapless 4-9 Baltimore Ravens. The team had the first pick in the following year's draft and used it to select Offensive Tackle Jake Long. Long is pretty good, but is hardly a single-handed game-changer. In 2007, no one said the Dolphins should "Suck 4 Long," but certainly the team did (and still does).
Just for the record, Andrew Luck isn't a senior. He was projected as the number one overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, should he have chosen to leave college, but he didn't. Another year later, and he's still the best quarterback in college sports. Will he go pro? Maybe. But why would he want to play for the Miami Dolphins? I wouldn't.
There are currently 7 players on the 2011 Miami Dolphins roster who were on the 2007 Miami Dolphins team that finished the season 1-15. One of those players is Jason Taylor. Said Taylor to the Miami Sun-Sentinel:
"You do your best to ignore it, but sure, there's an elephant in the room, and you have to realize you have nothing to do with it. You can't control it. The only thing you can do to control it is play well and win games. It's something that's hanging out there, and people are going to talk about it because people love to talk."
I understand and share your frustration, Jason, but we would rather win than talk. We be talking about "it" at all if you would actually win a few games. Or even a game. If you want us, the fans, to stop calling for the head of the coach, try winning for a change.
The Miami Dolphins have 20 individuals listed as coaches on the official team website, and none of them appear to be doing a very good job. One of those 20 coaches is the Head Coach's son, Tony Sparano, Jr. There can't be any nepotism involved in his position: unlike the other coaches, Jr. seems to be living up to his job title, "Offensive Quality Control," because the team is very offensive right now.
The problem here is that either the team doesn't have players good enough to compete or the team doesn't have coaches good enough to prepare the players to compete. The solution to both of those problems lies in the front office, which holds the purse strings and makes the tough decisions. Since buying the team in 2008 from a desperate-to-sell Wayne Huizenga, the Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross has demonstrated a management style of paying ridiculous salaries to players and coaches for which the adjective "mediocre" is too kind. I'm sure that style is what made him the billionaire he is today.
It's past time for someone to do something to fix this season. Like the 2007 season, this one is already in the tank. But it sure would be nice if we could look forward to something next year other than the prospect of letting our career-destroying coaches get their hands on another potentially franchise-defining player. That just plain sucks.
Comments (1)| Leave a Comment | Tags: 2011 sucks andrew luck coaches dolphins jake long jason taylor nfl rant stephen ross tony sparano wayne huizenga
Saturday 22 January 2011
Have I mentioned that I am pulling for a lockout in the NFL next season?
After failing to recruit another head coach, Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross re-signed coach Tony Sparano -- who is responsible for 2 consecutive 7-9 seasons -- to a 2-year contract extension. Both of the Dolphins' starting running backs are free agents, and at least one will not return. The Dolphins' first string quarterback was among the worst in the NFL in all statistical categories in 2010. Despite being snapped like a twig on his first play in 2010, "Noodle-Arm" Chad Pennington is promising to make a comeback next season, stealing a roster spot from a potentially useful player. And now our departing Offensive Coordinator who thought it would be a good idea to throw on a majority of our plays despite producing the worst team passer rating in our conference, has been replaced with some shmuck named Brian Daboll.
Daboll was the Offensive Coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. He lost his job because every coach in Cleveland is getting fired following their second consecutive 5-11 season. But that's not the whole story. To give you an idea how good Daboll must be at his job, take a look at the Brown's stats compared to the other 31 NFL teams from 2010:
- 20th in rushing yards per game. The Dolphins were 21st.
- 29th in passing yards per game. The Dolphins were 16th.
- 29th in total yards per game. The Dolphins were 21st.
- 31st in total points per game. The Dolphins were 30th.
Of all the coaches in the League, we hired not only one who was worse than we were, but one of the worst in the entire League? Of course all of those numbers do rank as improvements over the Brown's success in 2009, Daboll's first year with the team. In 2009 the Browns ranked 32nd of 32 teams in passing yards and total yards. I suspect that we could have hired a ball boy with better coaching skills.
The only thing that can make this all make sense is if Ross is planning on positioning the team to draft Andrew Luck of Stanford. Luck is projected to be the number one pick in the NFL Draft when he graduates from college next season. I sure hope that kid looks good in aqua and orange.
Comments (2)| Leave a Comment | Tags: 2011 sucks andrew luck brain daboll chad pennington coaches dolphins football nfl stephen ross tony sparano
Saturday 27 October 2007
If you've been paying attention this week, you've gotten the message: the Dolphins suck. The lingering question is "why?" Dolphins' owner Wayne Huizenga has been on the offensive this week, meeting with the Miami Herald and making a few interesting statements:
''Is Cam [Cameron, Dolphins Head Coach] a mistake? I don't think so, but it's too soon to tell. I don't think you can blame everything that's happening now on Cam.''
''It's tough because Randy's been here two years and when Randy [Mueller, Dolphins General Manager] was here, Nick [Saban, previous Dolphins Head Coach] made all the decisions.''
Looks like we're going to blame Nick Saban for our current mess. Sure, Saban was a piece-of-shit who lied about a few things and broke his undeserved megabucks-contract to flee the NFL for the comfy confines of a megabucks-contract Alabama. Sure, Saban's personnel decisions were questionable. (And that's a generous evaluation.) And worst of all, Saban was a lousy coach, unable to motivate or game-plan on an NFL level.
But should we be crucifying Saban, who has had nothing to do with the team since January for our winless record this year? Is it Saban's fault that we drafted a wide-out with a history of injury when that was far from our weakest position? Is it Saban's fault that returning Defensive Coordinator Dom Caper's defense (YPG) has fallen from 4th last year to 27th this year? Is it Saban's fault that the Dolphins have started going through coaches (Johnson, Wannastadt, Bates, Saban, Cameron) like some teams go through tear-away jerseys?
Don't get me wrong. I don't like Saban. That guy started to piss me off during his first month on the job. But the Dolphins have been on the wrong road for awhile now. Hmmm. Since about 1993, when the Dolphins loaded up on expensive free agent talent in a season that was bound to prove only that you can't win by loading up only on expensive free agent talent. The team also renamed Joe Robbie Stadium (named for the late Dolphins owner) Pro Player Park in an effort to generate more cash. Really, nothing much but downhill from there. What else happened that year? Oh, that's right: Wayne Huizenga took full ownership of the team. Coincidence? Or was that Nick Saban's fault as well?
Friday 5 January 2007
You know that I'm a fan of the Miami Dolphins. I have been since I first took an interest in the game of football back in the late 1980s. My favorite wide receiver of all time is a relative unknown named Orande Gadsden who played only 4 years exclusively for the Dolphins (and who, by the way, was the last man to catch a pass in the NFL by Dan Marino). I can tell you every quarterback who has started for the team since Marino retired. (Hmm, let's see; there's Huard, Fiedler, Griese, Lucas, Rosenfels, Feeley, Frerotte, Culpepper, Harrington, and now Lemon. Get ready, Packers fans, it will be worse than you think, trust me.) And we've been slightly above mediocre for most of that time. Hell, we've only had 4 losing seasons since joining the NFL! But if there's one aspect of the game that we've totally failed to grasp in the past two decades, it's coaching.
When current owner Wayne Huizenga bought the team in the early 90s, Don Shula was our coach. Shula was, in all regards, a great coach, one of the best in history. However, when Shula decided to retire 10 years ago, Huizenga chose to go with a proven wash-out at couch, replaced Shula with Jimmy Johnson, a Floridian who had great success with the Dallas Cowboys. Expectations were high. I thought we'd be great again, perhaps even Super Bowl bound. But the team went nowhere. This was likely because of a conflict between Marino, our aging superstar who naturally preferred the passing game, and Johnson, who would have preferred to restart the team from scratch with a focus on the run. In any event, after 3 years of exhausting turmoil, both Johnson and Marino were out.
In comes Dave Wannstedt, Johnson's protege who is fresh off several mediocre seasons with the Bears. Again I had high hopes. Wannstedt looked pretty good at times with the Bears, getting by with a team with less-than-stellar talent. Turns out that the talent problems were probably Wannstedt's fault. In Miami, he always looked lost, like a babysitter who doesn't know what to do when the tweens he's supervising get into the coffee ice cream and start bouncing off the walls. Wannstedt championed an ivy league quarterback with extremely limited passing skills, and he brought in Ricky Williams, who was the player voted "Most Likely To Destroy His Own Team" before the rise of Terrell Owens. We tanked. Wannstedt was fired in the middle of his fourth season, less than a year after receiving a contract extension from Huizenga as a reward for consistent under-performance.
Though I pulled for Wannstedt's temporary replacement, Jim Bates, to be the new coach, no one listened to me. Wannstedt's players had come together for Jim Bates, winning out at the end of the season. Instead of rewarding Bates, Huizenga traded competency for a "name" coach, LSU's head coach Nick Saban. Like a fool, I jumped on the bandwagon and agreed that he'd take us to the heights of the NFL again. But like Wannstedt, Saban soon proved that he couldn't control professional athletes or evaluate talent. Sure, he ditched Fiedler, but he replaced him with Culpepper. (True story: at Dan Marino's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, my brother and I noticed that Culpepper's numbers were comparable to some of the all-time greats. I remember my brother commenting that someone was going to look at those numbers and mistakenly think that he was actually good. Apparently, that someone was Nick Saban.) At least Saban fooled more than just me. He tricked professional sportswriters into thinking we'd reach the Super Bowl in 2007. Instead we had a 6-10 record, the third worst in the AFC. And then, like a kick in the crotch after a punch in the gut, Saban jumped ship earlier this week to head back to the relative safety (and economic goldmine) of college coaching.
Now it's back to the drawing board to select a new coach. I've lost my faith. I'd hope that Huizenga could find someone qualified, but I know now that he's just going to grab a big name. In fact, I heard today that he's already planning to interview other washed-out ex-NFL coaches, including Dom Capers (a confused mess who couldn't manage a winning season in 5 years with the Houston Texans), Mike Mularkey (purportedly an "offensive genius," though he couldn't settle a quarterback controversy between the clueless J.P. Losman and mediocre Kelly Holcolmb for two years with the Buffalo Bills), Chan Gailey (an Dallas Cowboys head coach who fled criticism to Georgia Tech, where he can't get his students to play a complete 4 quarters or manage a game clock), and Jim Mora, Jr. (known to Atlanta Falcons' fans as "the man who ruined Michael Vick," he's every bit as bad as his father but without the entertaining press conferences).
So now the Dolphins have 2 or 3 more rebuilding years ahead, where the sputtering offense will have an ineffective overhaul as the aging defense falls apart under it's own weight. I'm starting to understand how Raiders fans feel.
Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: coaches dan marino daunte culpepper dave wannstedt dolphins don shula football jim bates jimmy johnson nfl nick saban orande gadsden rant ricky williams the greatest quarterback ever to play the game of football trivia wayne huizenga