The lockout is over and football is beginning now! Every team will be playing by the same rules. Every team will be under the same stresses. Every team will be under the same timelines (see the front page article from Mosul for reported timeline http://www.thephinsider.com/2011/7/25/2292113/nflpa-agrees-to-cba-nfl-updates-offseason-timeline#storyjump). That means every team will be on equal ground, there are no advantages or disadvantages.
Jeff Ireland is about to have the most important week of his professional life. This upcoming Free Agency and Trade period is going to be nuts. Ireland’s relationships with players agents to sign free agents, his understanding of his own roster, and knowing other teams needs (and your teams needs) for trades is going to be put to the test in the next couple of days.
I, for one, have questioned Ireland’s preparedness in past events, especially when it came to the draft trades. Prior to the ‘11 draft, he had months to prepare and seemed surprised, in my opinion, by some of the trades that occurred. He seemed reactive instead of proactive. In this situation coming up he has had months to prepare, the same as every other GM in the league. He has time to prepare for this extremely tight window to set this roster. This is his time to shine.
Tony Sparano and Brian Daboll are about to have the most important training camp of their professional lives. They have to install a new offense to prepare for an opening night game against the best team in the AFC from last year. They are going to have to adjust to new players on offense and fit them into their scheme with limited work. All of this with the burden of the fan base that knows that this team has a history of starting slowly under your regime and coming off of a 1-7 record at home in ‘10.
Every coach dreams of this situation. This is where you earn your money and prove how good a coach you are. You are given so many practices (the same for every team) with new players to prepare for the best team in the conference on national TV week #1! That is a challenge that every coach relishes!
For Jeff Ireland, this week could make or break the season. The Miami Dolphins roster needs improvement and it is Ireland’s job to improve that roster. Every GM is working on the same compressed schedule. There are no advantages or disadvantages from one team or another. No excuses for failing this week are acceptable. If Ireland fails this week, he should start looking for another job.
For Sparano, this is a make or break season. This is year four of your regime. You have a new OC and one of the leagues best defenses. This is now your team to lead. Failure to make the playoffs and contend for the conference championship is on you. There are no advantages or disadvantages from one team or another. No excuses for failing this year are acceptable. If Sparano fails this year, he should have one eye toward a future that doesn’t include the Miami Dolphins.
No Advantages! No Disadvantages! No Excuses!