Friday, December 16, 2011

Parcells is a wanker

Well, we knew that.


But I heard another story today that frosted me: last season (ie 2010, while Bill was still technically here) he called Sean Peyton and urged Sean to draft Jimmy Graham, and told him that if Peyton didn't, Miami would grab in their next at-bat.  My first reaction was WTF?  Sure, it was supposedly Irelands, draft, but who does something like that?

I love it


Fans hire banner plane

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A couple of notes

I've heard several players say they want to "win out for Sparano" -- look, I know there's loyalty to coaches, and players loved Sparano.  But really?  Really?


Next is the topic of Carl Peterson.  He may be the next VP, or maybe not.  And I hear talk about him "maybe coming to the Dolphins."  My issue here is slightly semantics.  He ALREADY WORKS FOR THE DOLPHINS.  He is on the "business side" (I'll get back to that in a minute), helping with stadium usage and operations and he is the guy who "sells" FanVision.  So....in a sense him denying whether he might come is nonsense because he is already here, and it would be a role change for him.


Now as to business and football - this is soooo weird. Football is the Parcells world, with Ireland, Sparano, coaching, training, and players.  Business is anything else.  Mike Dee runs most of the business side - except for where the niche is for Peterson.  And the twain shall never meet.  And apparently don't talk much either. I heard about some flap where business wanted to do some holiday videos with players, as a promotional tool.  Football said no and that was that.  How can you run an operation like that?


And finally I heard Todd "I have no nickname yet, but players say they've never heard me say two words" Bowles say that Matt Moore is being tested, but they are classifying his injury as a neck/head injury.  WTF?  Why isn't it a concussion?  And why is the league so afraid of concussions?  A week or so ago, Colt McCoy suffered a blow to the head in a game, and wasn't tested and continued to play that game and another game - and it turns out he had a concussion, and should not have been cleared to play under the new rules.  I suspect that Moore has a concussion, but in the macho world of football, you can't say that!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What the future holds

I've been reading the articles (like most of you have):

  • This is not the glamorous job it once was
  • The presence of Ireland may deter some coaches from coming here
  • The uncertainty about Peterson (and who would be the boss) might hinder some coaches
  • There are other (possibly better) jobs that will become available
  • Some teams will have a more settled QB situation, which is key.
  • The chemistry between Ross and whoever is hired has to be right 
And while all of these things are generally true, for Stevie, there's no easy answers.  Even so, he should step away from the focus, and hire someone to run the football operation.  Trust them to get it done for you.

Plus, he will have to have patience.  This team is a few years away from being outstanding.  It will take that long to find a suitable answer at QB and groom them - or let them grow into the role.  After all, Cam Newton's team has the same record.  And he's damn good.

Shame on the Dolphins for not finding a replacement for Marino while Marino was still here - and then in any of the dozen years since.  H Wayne was presented with what sounded like a reasonable plan by several coaches, but they all failed.  Because, essentially, each coach had a philosophy that didn't really care about the QB play.  Run first, and play good defense and fill in a capable guy at QB.  And pass on above-average talent when its available.  That's not an answer. 

And one other thing that I've heard:  Ross would like to keep most of the staff intact.  Could that be for real?  Would any coach accept that?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Prediction: QB

Here's the thing.  If Jeff Ireland remains the GM, the Dolphins will NOT.  I repeat will NOT, draft a QB in the spring in the first round.

Clearly Ross has decided that he wants to win now, and will set his expectations high - I would expect they will try and get a vet of some kind to compete with Matt Moore.  So, maybe a later-round selection.  But not one of the "sexy" picks.

My short list of coaches

Cap'n Izzy Firepants wants 3 things: (1) a big name that will put butts in seats, (b) a guy who can work with Jeff Ireland, and (iii) someone with experience.

I've heard some names batted around, so let's see what the dealie-o is:

Bill Cowher: If Jeff Ireland remains in place, I have trouble believing Cowher would want to come here.  He would want control over at least some aspect of the team.  Besides with other openings likely, he'll have his pick of some "good situations."  [So, no based on B]

John Gruden: He's a bit of a big ego, and like Cowher would want some say on the team.  I have my doubts about how well he'd get along.  [possibly]

Jeff Fisher: this might be the smartest hire among bigger names.  I suspect he would cede personnel control to Ireland.  He's a solid coach. [likely]

Brian Billick: the guy was an offensive minded coach who assembled what might be the greatest defense in NFL history.  I generally like the guy, but I'm not sold on his ability to coach - look at why he was fired...he wasn't keeping the team motivated. [No, based on 1]

Andy Reid (if he gets fired): this guy is over rated, and clearly his 9 playoff years are behind him.   Plus his demeanor is like Tony's.  While the name might put butts in seats, I think the performance will be lacking [possibly]

Les Miles (if Ross wants to go the college route): if Ross were to go after a very successful LSU coach, I would think people would say WTF?  Is this deja vue?  He's talented, and may win a championship, but has limited pro experience. [no based on iii]

Rob Ryan: As I've said before, this is the smart choice.  The guy is an up-and-comer, is brash, and would likely put fans in seats - if only to see his reaction to the world.  And it would tweak his brother in NY, which isn't a bad thing. [probably not, based on iii]

And I've heard talk about David Shula.  While the name is inspiring and he is kind of "the next Don Shula," Dave had his turn at coaching and now runs a successful business.  Don't rule him out, but don't count him in either. [dark horse?]

There may be others, but they generally don't fit the first one - big name.

So it seems to me that Jeff Fisher is the guy who most fits what Ross wants.

Oh and lest I forget, here's an article Jason Cole did a few weeks ago on coaching: http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=jc-cole_2012_nfl_coaching_candidates_111011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Time will tell

We are hearing conflicting reports: Carl Peterson has denied he is the
VP of football operations. The Dolphins are saying Ireland is still
the GM - and nothing other than the firing of Sparano has changed.


Weird (also).

The big question

Dan Lebatard posed the question this afternoon: why now?


And I've been thinking about it a lot. There are 3 weeks left. You
almost fired the guy in January. You could have fired him at 0-7, or
after the loss to the Cowboys.


There must be some significance to the timing. But why not?


Why not wait for the final gun to sound against the Jets.


You told us earlier there was nothing to gain by firing in-season.


So why did you do it now?


Its weird, isn't it?

Interesting

I don't know if anyone is aware of this, but Todd Bowles, in addition
to being a former Cowboy coach (shocker, I know) is an african
american gentleman. Not that changes anything, or really means
anything.


But, it does occur to me that by hiring him and presumably
interviewing him to retain the job, Ross does meet the requirement for
the Rooney Rule. He can go out and hire whoever he wants without
having to go through more than one interview.


In a way, that's kind of smart.

Send a message

I heard a local commentator earlier this afternoon suggesting that
fans could express their displeasure with Stephen Ross by not going to
the last home game against the Jets - just give your tickets away to
Jets fans. That would certainly show Stevie what you think.


I'd go one further. Call the Dolphins. Email the Dolphins. Tell
them what you think. Then, don't buy their merchandise. Don't renew
your tickets. That sends a message. And if you really do feel like
throwing some money their way, at least include a note with your
ticket payment that you're a fan but you don't agree with things.

And the next coach will be?

Cap'n Izzy Firepants wants a big name. Someone splashy. Someone who
has a previous history. And someone who will fill his stadium.


To which I say phhhhhtttt.


As I have noted in the past, previous success is not an indicator of
future success. Coaches don't move from one team to another and find
that same level of success with their new charges.


So I'll be curious to see who he ultimately hires.

Jeff Ireland

We hear that Ireland has accepted a demotion of sorts and is no longer the GM.

We'll see if that's true

Vp of football operations

We hear that Carl Peterson is assuming the role. And fans are showing their lack of support for the move; citing his body of work in KC.

But I see it thusly: could it be any worse than the guy he's replacing. After all parcells did nothing at all.

And the 9th head coach in dolphins history is...

Todd Bowles. Sparano is gone (buh bye bootin bull!) and we are moving on.

Apparently Carl Peterson who "will not touch football operations" is now the head of football operations.

Wanker of the week

Given the mood I'm in, and the comments I posted earlier, here he is:
 
Back in 2007, H Wayne flirted with the idea of selling the team.  In 2008, he sold 45% of the team to real estate developer Stephen Ross.  Then, in 2009, he sold another 50% to Ross, leaving Ross as the majority owner.

Ross was a local guy, having attended Miami Beach High, and says he always like the Dolphins and always wanted to own an NFL team. But the story is that he went to school at Michigan, and has been a big supporter and donor to the university (we always wondered if he was an athletic supporter...), and his company HQ is in Manhattan.

So his ties to Miami are not that strong.  Still, he seems like he wants to be an owner, and his style is somewhat hands-off.

He decides to bring the "glitz and glamor of south beach" to the Dolphins.  He brings in a bunch of celebrities as minority owners.  He has this orange carpet arrival at games.  He puts a night club in one endzone.  Its all about hype off the field.  And that's fine as long as you're winning on it.

He tells fans he wants to have more night games early in the season because its hot.  Looking back on that comment, we came to realize that the facts say you're more likely to sell out a night game, plus you get more national exposure.  Hmmmm.  Maybe it isn't about the fans, then?

In 2010, he also instructs the grounds crew to fill in the dirt infield for games played while baseball season is still ongoing.  This was something we had been told previously could not be done.  And yet here was Ross doing it.  But was it for the team or the visual on these night games?

He re-did Parcells' contract to guarantee him $12mil in total to run the team - or not.  And on his watch, we had Parcells dance with JT, consult with the Jets, and look for other offers to make more money.  There is something kinda wrong with the owner letting his key football person do whatever he wants without any ramifications, isn't there?

Then, Ross turns around and asks the state to fund upgrades to his stadium - otherwise its unlikely the SuperBowl may not return to South Florida.  He asks the same of Dade County.  And of Broward County.  The guy wants someone else to pay for upgrades to his private property, while throwing money away on Parcells.  He's a real estate mogul; you would think he'd understand how to do this cost-effectively and get a good return on his investment.  But, I suppose not.  Or maybe he understands it better than I do - it costs a whole lot less of your money if you get someone else to foot the bill.

The team underperforms for two years, going 7-9 twice, and losing 3 straight to end both seasons.  With no football leadership since Parcells has checked out.  Ross decides he needs to evaluate his staff, and does so, then flirts with hiring another coach, while leaving his current coach dangling.

Okay, we can't fault him for wanting to improve the team.  But it was handled poorly as he himself said.  And then he says that he didn't realize that the fans and media cared so much.  You're one of 32 owners in a league that represents the most popular sport.  In Miami, there is no other sport, is there?  And you didn't think anyone would care?

Ultimately, you decide to keep the guy you almost fired.  
The behavior that we've seen so far is not especially great for football.  It seems to be all about dollars and cents, rather than wins and losses.  

At the outset of the season, he told us that he wants to regain the "heat advantage" and play 1pm games early in the season.  Riiiight.
 
I just don't get it, and for all of these reasons, he's our wanker of the week.

Time to reflect - and speak my mind

During the offseason embarrassment, I made a lot of comments. I made
fun of it all, and made up nicknames for all of the major players.
(http://dolphinblog.bitchindave.com/2011/01/they-all-need-nicknames.html),
and in another comment, I made reference to them being the three
stooges (http://dolphinblog.bitchindave.com/2011/01/im-more-skeptical-than-ever.html,
oh and by the way, see the picture I posted before Bill left here:
http://miamidolphins.bitchindave.com/pics/3phins.jpg).

I went on to say that Sparano was a "lame duck"
(http://dolphinblog.bitchindave.com/2011/01/say-what.html) this
season, owing to the sham and his signing a contract extension. I
fully expected he would be fired, and the dolphins would underperform.

I called them a joke and said they had to earn my respect
(http://dolphinblog.bitchindave.com/2011/01/couple-of-followup-observations.html),
and then finally I said they had to win 11 games - and laid out my
expectations (http://dolphinblog.bitchindave.com/2011/01/youve-thrown-down-gauntlet.html).

And here we are. They will finish no better than 7-9, and
realistically will probably lose at least 2 of their last 3. The
Bootin' Bull will almost certainly be gone. The furious enigma, who
knows? Schmoe Montana already has both feet out the door. And Cap'n
Izzy remains here.

And that means its open season. Here goes - Cap'n Izzy, your team is
a fraud. All that crap in January did nothing but prolong the
inevitable. It wasted an entire season, and drove fans away (they
wanted the team to succeed - look at how they clung to the absurd
belief that after 0-7 they could make the playoffs, then finish 8-8;
they were still fans). In the end, though, a lockout would have been
a better alternative. You couldn't possibly be considering
"tinkering" with your team, could you? This team is a joke, a joke
perpetrated by you, and in turn on you.

Tony managed to keep the otherwise forgettable players together, and
they were playing hard and saying the right things because they're
paid professionals. They always want to win - and meet any incentives
in their contract. But Sunday, much like week 1 against the Pats,
showed just how far away this team is. In week 1, the Pats toyed with
the Fins. Yesterday, the talent on the Eagles was too much. Its
crazy - there's not enough coaching, and there isn't enough talent or
depth.

You still haven't earned any respect from me - and its going to be
harder to get it now. Thing is, when it comes to football, I am a
passionate fan with a long memory. I despise Nick Saban and Bill
Parcells. I didn't like what JJ did here, and Dave letting Welker get
away - to the Patriots for the love of Pete! - is still something to
be annoyed about. Its going to take A LOT to reel me back in. And
telling me "we're close on personnel" isn't going to cut it with me.

Nope its time for wholesale changes. Shake everything up. You *need*
a coach who is brash and not afraid to speak up once in a while (I
don't want anymore of "well, we believed in ourselves, and when it was
26-7, and we got that field goal wow did we think we were on our way
to a comeback." That's crap.) You need to let players speak their
minds. You need to stop shutting fans down. Make the team feel
accessible. And you need a little star power ON THE FIELD. Get a QB
with charisma, whoever that is. Please let me hear about a prima dona
receiver who says "throw me the damn ball" - at least I'll know he
cares.

This is utter nonsense - and I'm so glad I stayed true to what I said
- I bought no merchandise, no tickets, nothing. But I consumed the
product when I felt like it, and continued to speak my mind.

What an embarrassment this franchise has become.

The future of the team

Armando at the herald reports that Sparano will be gone and Ireland likely will be staying because Ross thinks the personnel are good, but underachieving.

My sources tell a slightly different tale. Ross is leaning to firing Sparano, but still hasn't decided about Ireland. At least in part it depends on what coaches are available (and how many have been fired), and how well he perceives they would work with Jeff/how much personnel control the new guy would get.

It's also possible that Jeff may be essentially demoted from his current role.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

That's a wrap

Much like the season itself, the fins had a much better 2nd half than first one. Heck, they even out scored the eagles 3-2 after the break.

But. They showed how much difference there is in talent level between themselves and what is pretty much considered to be one of the most talented teams (player for player) in the league.

And speaking of that, the fins also showed how little depth they have. Jp Losman is no Matt Moore. And losing two linemen didn't help.

I heard Sam madison say that the injuries are the reason the team lost. I don't think so. They are just not quite good enough.

On JTs two sacks: kudos to him on moving up the list with two sacks on the day. Still, I have to temper that with the simple fact that on sack one, Vick slipped and JT was the recipient of relative good fortune. And on the second one, it was about generally good position. He had no shot at Vick, but one of his teammates (Odrick?) forced Vick up into JT. A sack is a sack of course and they're never "easy" but overall his play was in the neighborhood of average. Hey just my two cents.

Its halftime

[sarcasm=high]
 Oh the Dolphins are so good. Sooooo talented. Their offensive line is playing really well. Matt Moore is the answer at QB. Their defense is outstanding.
[sarcasm=off]

Ummm, yeah, how does 24-7 look, sucker?

Tony is doing his utmost to ensure he and Jeff will be out of a job in about 3 weeks...