So I just realized I haven't written a post in a long-ass time, and I have some free time at the moment. For anyone who knows me, you know I'm a Positive Outlook, Big Picture kinda guy, and this post will focus on our entire roster, along with multiple players from around the league, and the upcoming draft. Basically, I'm gonna take a snapshot of our team right now, at 5-6, and try to figure out exactly what we need, where we can find it, and how we can get it here.
First up, we'll take a look at the so-called "Generals" of our Phins-Army..
The Coaching Staff
I'll focus on the Head Coach and Coordinators for this, because I don't have the inside knowledge to decide whether individual position coaches should leave or stay, and I think as a whole our position coaches do a nice job, because we see improvement from players week to week (outside of a few "lost causes").
Head Coach - Tony Sparano
I don't think this one needs much discussing, Sparano seems to be going through some coach growing pains this season after rarely pushing wrong buttons last year. But I love his energy, his fire, and his attitude. He's definitely a keeper in my opinion.
Offensive Coordinator - Dan Henning
Many, many people want him out, especially after some confusing (and game-altering) calls this past week. I don't think he has a good read on this team, and sometimes tries to do too much when the situation calls for something simple (wildcat pass, Pat White randomness, etc etc). I think his time is up, and I think a change needs to made here. I don't expect too much argument on this one.
Defensive Coordinator - Paul Pasqualoni
I'm none too happy with the vanilla defense we've played this year, but I chalk it up to having 3 new pieces in the secondary, including two rookies, and not being able to mix and match coverages as well as he'd like. I would LOVE to see more blitzing, especially some of the exotic zone schemes we see around the league (blitz a DB, drop a LB/DL etc). I do believe that the reason we don't see them is because of limitations in personnel (rookie CB's, LB's that suck in coverage, Safeties that struggle with RB's and TE's), not so much crappy play calling. I would give him another year.
Special Teams Coordinator - John Bonamego
I always hear irate radio show callers cursing his name, and I tend to agree with them, even though our coverage teams have been better this year. My beef is with the return teams. There never seems to be any lanes open on punts or kickoffs, and even though we don't have a good return man for either, we should be able to get decent field position just with design and blocking alone. I don't know any other special teams coordinators, but there's got to be plenty of guys better at this job, and I think we need to go get one of them.
So, in my personal opinion, we are looking for 2 new coordinators for next season, offensive and special teams. However, I don't believe we need to go far to find a new guy for either position. A lot of people are gonna swoon over the thought of the recently fired Charlie Weis calling plays, or trying to snatch Mark Whipple and his traditional-yet-creative offense from the Hurricanes, but I would like to see a promotion from within, which I think makes the transition for players much easier, seeing as how the overall scheme and terminology will remain the same..
New Offensive Coordinator - David Lee
The brain behind the Wildcat offense, and the architect of the explosive Arkansas offense that featured Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, should be our next offensive coordinator. He brings creative schemes along with the experience of knowing how and when to use them. He would also find ways to use Pat White that would justify drafting him over other, seemingly more pressing needs.
Also, something that can't be overlooked, is the familiarity he has with Henne, and vice versa. Nothing is worse for the development of a young QB than switching coaches and schemes, and by promoting David Lee, we would be getting our new OC, while keeping the continuity between coach and QB intact.
New Special Teams Coordinator - Darren Rizzi
Rizzi is currently our Assistant Special Teams Coordinator, which will scare some people away thinking he's a carbon-copy of Coach Bonamego, but he coached under Tony Sparano at the University of New Haven, and I hope that he would take on that attitude and attention to detail as a coordinator. And, since I really don't know of any "hot names" in the Special Teams Coordinator hat, or obscure college coaches looking to upgrade into the position, I suggest sticking with an in-house guy who is familiar with the Head Coach and has worked under him before. Once again, continuity wins in my book.
With the Coaching Staff now complete, and some young blood infused into the offense and special teams, I think we're ready to move on to the "Phins-Army" itself, the players. Later this week, we'll have the offense and defense, with a few surprises for you guys to ponder/blast/shake your head at :-)
You know the drill, questions, comments, rants, all that good stuff goes below, and don't be shy, opinions (and the people that shout them) make this site fun. Let it rip, Phinsiders