Saturday, January 14, 2012

Coaching carousel

What's up fans?  Thanks for letting me post, Dave!

I'd like to talk about coaching the Dolphins.  I've always heard that coaching accounts for 10% of what happens on the field.  So in a way, why all the talk about who's "right" to coach the Fins?  What's important is that he can motivate the team and that he has a rapport with his boss.  So, if Mr. Ross finds someone he's comfortable with, that's really all that matters.

But the problem here is the way this franchise is perceived.  Ross made an overture to Harbaugh last offseason, and then kept Sparano saying "he's our guy."  Then with 3 games left, he said "he's not our guy" and "we want to have time to get the right guy.  We'll start today"  Later he said he wanted "a big name" and later it was that he wanted "a young Don Shula."  And at still another point he said after the season he'd be making a big splash to get the fans excited.  Most of these statements clash with one another, so maybe he didn't have a direction?

5 coaches got fired, including all 3 in Florida.  Then, a 6th was let go, and its still possible that others might, too.  Two coaches have been hired.  And in Miami?  Its just weird.  Ross kept Jeff Ireland, and then started two coaching searches - one that included Ireland and one that didn't. 

By most accounts, there were 4 big-name coaches.  They reached out to Cowher, and he declined to be interviewed.  Carl Peterson had dinner with John Gruden and asked what it would take for him to coach, and he likewise spurned Miami.  And then there was this little thing over a 10-day span with Jeff Fisher. 

I think it was obvious Fisher was not coming to Miami.  I have no idea why he took so long to say anything, but ultimately he said no because he wanted personnel control.  So, Jeff Ireland squashed that one.  In many ways, its fine.  He only had 6 winning seasons, and if all Ross did was pile money in front of him then he might come here for the wrong reasons, and be the next Nick or Parcells.

And the 4th is Brian Billick.  Armando at the Herald wrote a story about why Billick was never talked to, and in a nutshell Ross was trying to buy the fins in '07 when the Dolphins were winless.  Billick played it safe and went to OT, and the Fins won.  H Wayne told Ross that the price just went up $40 million because the Fins won.  Ross walked away at that point (later to be talked back into it).  And when Billick and Ross met after the ownership changed hands, Ross said to Billick "you owe me $40 million" which Billick thought was funny.  Only Ross appears to have held a grudge. this point, I really hope they find a young up-and-comer.  Someone who's hungry and wants to win.  There are some intriguing names on the market, but the fins haven't talked with any of them - at least yet.  And for the most part, the guys they've talked with haven't had many other interviews, so they're not the "hot names"...

And meanwhile, you see that Nick is probably the best coach in college, and many of the guys Miami interviewed the last two times they had openings are having success elsewhere. 

So here's to hoping they find the right guy.  The next Shula.  Someone who can put together some victories and get along with Ireland, because like it or not, he's here to stay.  I just hope that the success he had last year was actually success and not a mirage....
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