Saturday, January 20, 2007

Organization

Cam Cameron Cameron becomes Miami's 7th head coach.  Dom Capers ultimately agreed to remain the defensive coordinator.  And Cameron will be making decisions on the rest of the coaching staff in the coming days.  He openly said he is willing to consider Mike Shula for a position on the staff, and will talk with him.
 
But, most importantly, in my mind, H Wayne made the concious decision to give Randy Mueller the regins as the General Manager, in order to keep someone focused on players while the coach focuses on coaching (so to paraphrase the lying sack of crap "fans need to be fans, players need to be players, coaches need to be coaches, and personnel guys need to be personnel guys.")
 
As I anticipated, Mueller interviewed each candidate, and saw how their philosophy fit in with his.  When it came to Cameron he said it "was like I was looking in the mirror."
 
Okay, looking at the pictures, I can't say its like a mirror, exactly.  But whatever.

selecting a coach

Its interesting to note that George Wilson was hired because Joe Robbie and Danny Kaye knew little (if anything) about football and the guy came recommended.
 
Then, Robbie hired Shula away from the Colts.  Undoubtedly, it was a coup, but he just went after Shula believing him to be the right guy.
 
Wayne hired JJ because he thought he was the right guy.
 
Then Wayne hired Dave because JJ recommended him.
 
Jim Bates simply took over.
 
Wayne hired Saban without a second thought.
 
So, what did these guys have in common?  They were all hired without considering anyone else for the position.
 
And JJ, Dave, and Saban also have one other common thread: they all quit the Phins. (Wilson, Shula, and Bates all were "forced out" in some way).
 
So, kudos to H Wayne and the organizational staff for taking the time to do this right.

Finally!

H Wayne was quoted as saying "I learned a lot on this trip... A coach is busy coaching. He doesn't have time to be an evaluator all the time."
 
Geez, isn't that what we've been saying in this space for years??!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Overheard

So, I'm listening to Cam Cameron's press conference and I hear him saying 'we gotta score points.'  And though I didn't hear this specifically, he was saying 'if we don't score more points than the other team, we don't deserve to win!'

New coach?

There's a report from Dolphins camp that Cam Cameron is the next Dolphins head coach.
 
We'll know more in a little while, as soon as the press conference is scheduled.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Previous comments

Here's what I had to say on my very own website back when Nick was hired:
 
(the week before)
The buzz all week was around Nick Saban. He and H Wayne did talk early in the week. There are plenty of rumors and "reports" about this deal. Most think this is a done deal and anything else is just window dressing.

I'm still of the opinion that they need a president, a GM, and then a coach. And here's why: When Joe Robbie founded the team, he knew a little about football, but was shrewd in business. After his initial "experiment" with Dave Wannstedt, I mean George Wilson, he went out and got the guy who was not only an experienced coach, but a guy who knew football - Don Shula. Yes, the game was different then, but it was still important to have someone run the football team and at the time one person could handle it. Later, he hired a few business people to run the business side, and ultimately that led to Eddie Jones. When H bought the team, he took over as it was. He ultimately made a decision to leave the format the same and cast aside Shula for JJ. The major difference was that Shoes really believed in the team, and had little ego. JJ believed in himself and had a huge ego. The combination didn't work because JJ wasn't interested in the "franchise" only in winning. Later, JJ "forced" Dave on Wayne, again with little change. And that was setting the team up for failure. Putting in another coach without an organization in place is unlikely to lead to success.

But what do I know? The team has interviewed three candidates: Nick Saban, Art Shell, and Jim Bates. There will reportedly be an offer to Saban this week, which has everyone talking. The players don't like his opposite-of-Dave style. This group interested in seeing minorities hired has expressed their concerns, and plans to file a grievance of sorts against the Phins if they hire Saban. And its not clear if Saban would even accept an offer.

Another thing that's bugging me is the whole hiring process. Its wrong. The NFL has established the Rooney Rule to ensure that minority candidates get interviews. And while that sounds nice, it doesn't really help. The goal is to ultimately hire minorities, but there's a window between the end of the college football season and the end of the year when college football coaches are "available" and a different window at the end of the NFL season when assistant coaches are "available." So, if there is a college coach you want, you have to hire him before any NFL assistants can even be interviewed. And if you want an NFL assistant, you have to wait. There probably is an answer that would make all of this work, and it probably includes allowing for interviews for clear promotions at any time. But, no offers can be made until after the season is over. Or something.

(the day after)

Yes, a mere 12 hours after interviewing interim coach Bates, H made an offer to Nick Saban to take over starting next year. He offered a combination of cash, control, and a coupon for half off of a happy meal. But, Nick made everyone wait. And wait. And wait some more. He had to wrestle with this important decision: be a god in Baton Rouge or become the savior of the Dolphins. For a while I thought he might just forgo the offer and make the franchise look even dumber than it has for the past year. But, he eventually came through. Rumor has it that the final touch was when H suggested that he could meet all of the webmasters, and he was looking forward to finally meeting Bitchin' Dave.

I personally am still not sold. I thought the organization would be better served to have a president first. And I don't think a guy can make the jump from college to the pros with personnel responsibilities. No matter how good he's touted to be. But, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

For his part, Nick was pretty cool about everything. He doesn't want to distract from what's left of this season. He even suggested moving the press conference to accomodate Bates' day-after press conference.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Shula to coach

Okay, so it turns out its not Mike Shula (not yet, anyway).
 
Its Don Shula returning to the sidelines for college football's East-West game.  He agreed to coach the college kids on the East's side.
''I wanted to see if I forgot how to coach.  It's fun being with the young guys. The players have been great.''

coaches

The list of 12 candidates was never confirmed in its entirety.  In fact, there is some speculation that (a) its incomplete and (2) that some of the people were never actually candidates.
 
In any event, we independently confirmed that H Wayne's 737 travelled to all the locations stated (8 cities in all), and most of the 12 did say they spoke with the Phins.  Several candidates shortly thereafter said they weren't interested (young Schottenheimer and Caroll being most notable).
 
There was some speculation about who the "final" candidates would be, and H's Gulfstream made several trips back and forth to Atlanta.  We heard that Chan Gailey and Jim Mora, Jr were brought in for interviews.  Then, there was a flight plan filed for another trip to Atlanta.  Speculation was rampant that one of these two was going to be offered the job.  BUT, whoever initially suggested this miscounted the number of trips, and it turned out that Jim Mora, Jr was still here, and this was his return trip home.
 
But, then, Wayne got smart and restricted access to all flight plans for his aircraft, so it became a bit of a secret.
 
And then Bryan Weidemer came out and said that Gailey, Mora, Dom Capers (who was just offered a lucrative contract to stay on as defensive coordinator), and Cam Cameron (who will be visiting this week sometime) were the main candidates.  But then came the shocker: Mike Shula has also intereviewed and is considered a strong candidate to have in the mix.
 
Bryan wants to leave it at 5 unless and until someone else who is interesting becomes available.  There's no rush, because there's little competition for these 5 coaches.  But, we likely will know who the next coach will be in a week or so.
 
...hey Bryan, I'm available, and I'd be happy to be a head coach for a year or so while you continue searching for the right guy.  I can teach the guys how to be fans, and not players.  And I promise to rely heavily on those around me to succeed.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The first round of interviews


H Wayne took his private jet to a bunch of cities to conduct interviews with a total of 12 candidates.  The MO was that he would fly into the nearest airport to wherever the candidate was, and the candidate would meet the plane at the airport.  They would then conduct the interview on board the airplane.  Seems that H has a very large wood conference table on board his 737, and they'd sit around it and talk football.
 
And this was true for each of the interviews except for in Chicago, where the closest airport was too small to land a 737, so it had to land at O'Hare, where they couldn't "hang out" on the tarmac.  So, they met a local hotel.
 

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dolphins will lose a home game

The NFL will announce in a few days that there will be a game played in Wembley Stadium, outside of London.  The teams that will square off are the Miami Dolphins and NY Giants.  It will be a "home" game for Miami, meaning one less game at Dolphin Stadium next year.
 
Let's review this decision: Miami was 6-10, and will have a new head coach.  Why not go ahead and further handicap them by having them play overseas?  And take away a sure-fire sellout (the Giants are *huge* in south Florida).
 
Whatever!