I have a new hero in the NFL. His name is Jack Mula and he worked as general counsel-player personnel for the New England Patriots for almost a decade. He currently is a co-founder of Cornerstone Consulting which advises college programs on how to deal with the agents and boosters on campus.
But why is this man, a man I never heard of until today, my new hero in the NFL? He lays out what he calls a "Winner’s Mentality" (in the process smacking down Jimmy Johnson, that’s never a bad thing because Jimmy Johnson is a tool, IMO) and completely agrees with me (which is also a way to get on my good side!).
I have had many discussion / debates with fellow contributors on this site on "rebuilding" an NFL franchise. For those of you who don’t know, I think "rebuilding" is a built in excuse for losing. "Rebuilding" is a built in excuse for poor coaching and front office decisions. "Rebuilding" assumes that time is needed to win, that losing is justifiable. I call it Bullshit and so does Jack Mula.
Jack Mula was the focus of this column by Mike Berardino (see link below) about establishing a "Dolphin Way" using the model of Robert Kraft did with the Patriots.
Berardino suggests that Steven Ross needs to become more active in his involvement with the team, just like Kraft is with the Patriots. Jack Mula says the following when it comes to making the offseason moves that will be necessary for the Miami Dolphins:
Ross, Mula suggests, should hang up immediately on any football "gurus" insisting on patience and offering a five-year plan to return the Dolphins to respectability.
"Unfortunately, there hasn't been a whole lot of winning, so people are going to expect it's going to take a while to rebuild that program," Mula says. "And I'm telling you that is not the way a championship organization builds itself and acts. A championship organization expects to win from the very first game."
He is exactly right. How much did we hear about "Rebuilding" when Parcells and company were hired? How much did we hear about "Rebuilding" was needed even after the Miami Dolphins won the division in ’08? It never stopped and it continues to this day because of this year’s performance.
Here is another quote from Mula:
"If Mr. Ross makes changes, the attitude down there should not be, 'We're going to rebuild this thing and it's going to take a few years,' " Mula says. "That is a loser's mentality. A winner's mentality is, 'Let's get the right people. Let's get the right parts. Let's put the right organizational structure in place. Let's get our plan. Let's win from the very first game."
"That has to be your mindset," Mula says. "Anything else is a loser's mentality. You will never get to the championship level."
(I told you I love this guy.)
Since Jimmy Johnson took over, taking over a playoff team by the way, this franchise has been in a constant "Rebuilding" mode. We have told to be patient, that it takes time to build a championship. But this entire time, with all the people that have been hired since Don Shula, this franchise has had a "Loser’s Mentality".
It is time to put "Rebuilding" where it belongs, in the trash. "Rebuilding" is for losers. It is time for the Miami Dolphins to become winners and that means expecting to win next year and the year after that, and every year going forward.
I have said in the past that I want the Miami Dolphins to be like the Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Packers, etc. I want this team to be in the Super Bowl conversation every year. To get to that point, this team must develop a "Winning Mentality". It begins with Ross and his decisions that he will make this offseason. Jack Mula lays it out on how to do it in the article. If Ross is smart, and I think he is, he will follow this advice.