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Friday, January 3, 2014

Defending The Fins Brass


Just like Steven Ross wanted to wait and think about everything before making decisions, I wanted to wait a couple days before posting. I knew the first reaction from the fans would be to “clean house” and “start again.”  (Realize fan is short for fanatic.)  I understand being disappointed, again, but turning over your coaching staff and or your scouting department every 2 years is a recipe for disaster. And it is one that the Dolphins have continued since Don Shula retired. The NFL is pretty simple. A Coach and a General manager need a franchise QB, and then you build from there. That is what the Dolphins are doing. Good or bad, The QB, the coach and the GM are tied together.

Joe Philbin had a tough second season as a Head Coach. Nobody knows how the Martin / Incognito saga will turn out, but there is no training for that and he kept the team together. Not an easy task.  His 2-year record as Head Coach is 15-17. And 2 weeks ago, people were talking about him as Coach of the Year material. Philbin’s record compares favorably to other coaches that were hired in 2012. Jeff Fisher, the coach that many Dolfans wanted and the media claimed rejected the Fins, is 14-17-1 with the Rams. Fisher has also had three 1st round picks and four 2nd round picks during his tenure. (Why isn’t he on the hot seat?) Dennis Allen of the Oakland Raiders is 8-24 over those 2 seasons, and he has yet to be fired. Only Chuck Pagano of the Colts has a better record over those 2 seasons, 14-7. Now I could bore you with crazy facts like Seattle’s Pete Carroll was 14-18 after 2 seasons with the Seahawks, or how Ron Rivera was given a 3rd season coaching the Panthers after going 13-19 his first 2 seasons. Both coaches have now have first round bye’s in the playoffs, forget those facts. If you fire Philbin, then who is available that would “excite” the local media and fan base. Seahawks DC Dan Quinn? Recently fired Mike Shanahan? Josh McDaniel? Lovie Smith and Bill O’ Brien are already off the board. I can’t think of too many candidates that excite me. What about keeping Philbin but getting rid of General Manager Jeff Ireland?

I have a confession to make; I am a Jeff Ireland supporter.  I base this on believing that he took over as General Manager in September of 2010 when Bill Parcells stepped down. I think Ireland has done a decent job at assembling talent since then, either through the draft – Ryan Tannehill, Mike Pouncey, Charles Clay, Olivier Vernon, or through free agency - Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, and Brent Grimes. Just like all General Managers, not all of his moves have worked, but the team is young, has talent, is improving and still has a nice amount of cap space. And just like with Philbin, what name out there excites you as a probable GM? Scott Pioli? He was fired for failing to get a franchise QB or a good coach while at Kansas City.  His excuse was there were too many non-football distractions. Bill Polian? He is 71. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald floated the name Eric Mangini, does that excite anyone? Usually if you get rid of the GM, you get rid of the coach, and in a lot of cases you get rid of the quarterback. And I am not ready to do that.
 
Changes can and should be made. Offensive Mike Sherman should be let go on his play calling alone.
Offensive line coach Jim Turner should go as well.  However, the constant turnover at the top needs to stop. The Fins are moving in the right direction, albeit slower than any fan would like. I believe that bringing the wrecking ball to the upper brass now would do more harm than good.  I know it is not the popular with the fan base or the local media but I think you need to give Philbin & Ireland more time, at least one more season.

Carl C. Crowley
@carlccrowley

5 comments:

  1. Carl, I think just about everyone would be OK with Sherman being shown the door, but the problem with that is Philbin has the final say on his coaching staff and according to what is being said, he can't be forced to fire Sherman. So what do you do? Give Philbin an ultimatum? And what decent OC would come in knowing that 2014 is a make or break season? This isn't going to be a pretty offseason.

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    1. Ken, I don't know if Philbin is willing to fall on the sword for Sherman. Then the ball is in Ross's court if he is. Maybe Philbin could and should take over play calling duties. Mike McCarthy has always called plays in Green Bay. Personally, I disagree that nobody would take the job if Sherman is canned. What decent OC would take a lateral move, none. Which means you either get an out of work coach, or someone moving up the ranks. The NFL is all about taking the opportunity when it presents itself. Either as a player, coach or personnel guy. Maybe Philbin could steal someone like Edgar Bennett from Green Bay's staff and promote him to OC.

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  2. Someone moving up the ranks would probably be the best bet, in my opinion. I've seen arguments for and against firing Sherman. Some say it will stunt Tannehill's growth. From what I've been reading lately, Tannehill has lost confidence in Sherman. If that is so, I don't think firing Sherman would set him back. Tannehill is a smart kid. I think he would do just fine under a new OC.

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  3. I don't think changing offensive coordinators would stunt Tannehill's growth, I think changing the offense completely may though. Under the right coordinator he may flourish. Especially under someone who is know for QB development.

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  4. Well we are about to find out. Seems as though Mr. Sherman was given his pink slip today. And I agree on Tannehill. He'll do just fine under a new OC.

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