Last week, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross gave his vote of confidence to head coach Tony Sparano. The consensus has been that Sparano would keep his job, despite the team's second consecutive losing season. Mainly because the players love and respect him. And even though Sunday's game against the New England Patriots was meaningless in the grand scheme of things, the players were going to go out and win one for their coach.
Then they went out and fell face-first into a giant pile of moose shit. Solidarity in suck! So, where does this leave the Miami Dolphins now? Pretty much the same place they've been for the past decade.
No need to further get into yesterday's 38-7 anal-throttling of a loss to the Patriots. Instead, we look ahead. That's always fun!
What Went Wrong: Bill Parcells was brought here by then-owner Wayne Huizenga to fix things. At the time, Parcells used the Atlanta Falcons as leverage, threatening to take their offer to run things there. Huizenga swooped in and gave the Big Tuna what he wanted -- full and total control. Parcells told Atlanta he was coming to Miami. Haha! Suck on that, Atlanta! With his first ever draft pick, Parcells went with what he loves -- a giant human -- and drafted tackle Jake Long. It's not a bad pick when you consider how hard it is to find a left tackle of Long's talents. But the problem was quarterback Matt Ryan was also there for the taking. Parcells went with the tackle, and Ryan ended up with Atlanta. Haha! Suck on that, Atlanta!
No matter how many ways you slice it, the Bill Parcells era was a total failure. He was brought in here (as was Jimmy Johnson, and Nick Saban before him) to be the franchise savior. He's the Tuna for crapsake! He wins everywhere he goes!* (*not really)
Parcells left when he realized Chad Henne wasn't going to play like he did in that one game against the Gators every Sunday, and jumped ship. As a result, the Dolphins remain a putrid, rotting, fetid franchise. Realizing Parcells' unparalleled genius, the NFL Network made a documentary about him the same month he announced he was abandoning ship.
What Now: Another losing season, another year of missing the playoffs. The glass-half full Dolphins fans out there will point out that the defense has a lot of potential, and that all this team needs is a decent quarterback. Those fans need to be smacked in the face with Brett Favre's flaccid penis. Sure, the defense was outstanding, and featured a breakout season for Cameron Wake. But everyone needs to realize that the 2000 Ravens were an anomaly and not the norm. Super Bowls are won with ass-wrecking offenses built on great quarterbacking and speed, with a solid (not necessarily amazing) defense mixed in for good measure. The key, however, is the great quarterbacking. Trent Dilfer and the 2000 Ravens should not be the template for success. Because that defense was a once-in-a-lifetime squad. But mainly because Trent Dilfer blows.
When the Dolphins had the opportunity to take wide receiver Dez Bryant in last year's draft, they instead went with a dude with chronic leg injuries who ended up playing a whopping one play all this season. It's the same mentality that got us Chad Henne over Matt Ryan in 2008. Drafting large, slow, statues over speedy, game-breaking, franchise-saving players is a dumb fucking idea. But it'll get you a documentary made by the NFL Network!
So now owner Stephen Ross has some decisions to make. And it might start as soon as this week if yesterday's loss is any indication. As much of a nice guy as he is, Tony Sparano needs to go. A fan can only endure so many fist-pump celebrations after field goals. When a team is this bad with no real solutions in sight, a change needs to be made. Of course, Parcells has already gone to bat for Sparano, telling Ross to give him another chance. Apparently, Bill Parcells is not quite done crapping into our collective mouths. Stop meddling with our team, Mantits!
The Options: Should Ross opt for change, he does have his work cut out for him. The Dolphins need a quarterback above all else. Miami will be picking 15th overall in April's Draft. There are at least ten teams picking ahead of them that need a quarterback and about three potential franchise QBs entering the draft. If the Dolphins want to draft a franchise quarterback in the first round, they're going to have to trade down for him. And that could determine who ends up coaching the Fins. A coach is only as good as his quarterback.
So far, Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden and Jim Harbaugh are on the list of possible head coaching candidates for the Dolphins should Sparano get the boot.
Harbaugh seems to make the most sense as far as what the Dolphins need in a coach. He's young, offensive-minded, and is a Michigan guy like Stephen Ross.
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Harbaugh also currently coaches quarterback Andrew Luck at Stanford. Luck is considered to be the cream of the QB crop coming out of college this season. Wherever Harbaugh ends up, he just might be daring enough to trade whatever chips he has to draft Luck. And that's the kind of leadership this team needs right now. No more old dudes who build teams based on running the ball 800 times a game and rely on their defense to win in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins need a young coach with the balls to take risks and play dangerously. The era of eking out wins via the field goal needs to stop now.
At the end of the day, whoever coaches the Dolphins next season is going to have to find himself a quarterback and some fast weapons for said quarterback. The odds of landing one of the elite QBs in this year's draft are remote. So it looks like they might have to dip into the lower rounds. Or trade for a guy like, say, Philadelphia's Kevin Kolb.
In other words, Dolphins fans, we're fucked.