In the last parts of the '06 season (really, in January of '07), little Nicky texted the coaching staff to say "see ya, suckers!" and thus began the Cam "Cam" Cameron error.
At the end of that season, H. Wayne decided to change directions, and went after Bill Parcells to run his football operation.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, owner Arthur Blank was dealing with his own issues. In '07 - with a few games left to play - coach Bobby Petrino quit to take another job, thus out-weasling little Nicky.
Blank decided to change directions, and just who do you suppose Mr. Blank sought to run his football operation? You guessed it. Bill Parcells.
Parcells talked with both owners, but in the end decided to come to Miami because of the situation (the team had been 1-15, and turning that around would make him look great!) and he had a relationship with Huzienga.
We all know how it turned out here. Parcells, Ireland, Sparano.
But in Atlanta, Blank turned to Rich McKay, who was already on his staff as GM and President. McKay was a lesser-known, but he helped build up the great Bucs teams of the late 90s and early 00s. And he was already assembling a decent team in Atlanta. Then, they went after Thomas Dimitroff, who was Scott Piloli's top scout in New England. Not surprisingly, the Patriots are not the same without those two in charge. And finally, they found Mike Smith to be their coach.
So, both teams changed their hierarchy, and put people in place to run the football operation. In 2008, both teams went 11-5 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Sparano and Smith split the coach of the year honors.
Then last year, the Falcons went 9-7, and the Dolphins 7-9. This year, the Falcons are 4-1, and the Dolphins 2-2.
But if you get a chance, watch a Falcons game. The team they have there is seriously good. They've got talent everywhere, and have depth. Their special teams plays as well as anyone's, they have a good running game, and a very good third-year QB in Matt Ryan. There's no quit in them, and I suspect they'll go far this year. 11 wins is probably well within their reach.
Would I say they're "better" than the Dolphins? Its hard to say, but probably. I'll be interested to see how they both net out at the end of the year...