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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
Update to yesterday's post: the Dolphins have just given an unspecified contract extension to General Manger Jeff Ireland. Ireland is being credited with finding such Pro-Bowl talent as Jake Long and Cameron Wake. Never mind that Long was the obvious first choice in the 2008 NFL Draft by whichever team was (un)lucky enough to have it, or that Wake chose Miami after interest from half the league. And Ireland was also among the team decision makers who forced out Jason Taylor. The Dolphins may look talented on paper, but that hasn't translated to success on the field.
This isn't really a case of "what have you done for us lately," but "what have you done for us, period?" Is the right approach really to keep throwing money at people who haven't ever really produced? After two years of 7-9 finishes and one post-season appearance in 9 years, maybe it's time to let the staff start getting a little uncomfortable. There is no shortage of other guys waiting for the job who are willing to work harder and take less money for the opportunity to prove themselves better.