I am a lifelong Dolphin fan and this is my 1st fan post. I grew up in Oregon and signed into SB Nation as a Trailblazers fan hence the handle.
I’ll say up front that I have been against the conservative, predictable, run 1st Sparano approach from the start.Yet each year I hold out hope for some change and despite the ‘look in the mirror moment this summer’ where Sparano realized 4 years in that his team needs to be aggressive offensively and score TD’s , he remains a problem at HC for the Dolphins.
Mental discipline and even endurance is inadequate and obvious. Every year we see clock mismanagement and the Dolphins call odd timeouts due to confusion or waiting for plays. Worst of all though, he is clearly over his head from a strategy standpoint. Half time adjustments? Who believes he can strategically hang with the hoodie? Nobody, because he can’t.
Sparano refuses to play for TD’s and that speaks toward the fatal flaw with Tony, his conservative, predictable coaching approach. I could write at length about all the run plays on 2nd and long, the fear of throwing down field and the constant positioning for FG’s. The Dolphins could not be more predictable and the conservative approach has cost the Dolphins numerous games.
The bumbling occurs with Ireland too.
It takes 3 years for Ireland/Sparano to realize the team needs speed. Say what you will about Ginn, but the guy could knock the top off a defense and BM was certainly limited by not having a speed WR last year. I would think a speed TE to stretch the field would be a great help to the young QB but Ireland apparently disagrees. The 2nd WR is still weak in my opinion. The bifecta start out talking interior line yet neither the offensive line nor the defensive front 7 protect or pressure the QB well and that is directly the result of talent evaluation and coaching.
The offensive is line is far from set yet Ireland continues to use early draft picks to acquire skill position players like White and Thomas. After overpaying for R Bush, Thomas and arguably BM they have some skill players yet the offensive line is not pass protecting or run blocking well enough to use them. Odrick was a luxury pick with so many needs.
Sparano and Ireland are coming up short for the franchise and both are not adequate for a long term winning organization. The big questions are; Where is Ross going to find that top tier talent evaluator GM and then who to coach the team? I find the Peterson Ross connection troubling because the Dolphins need a higher caliber GM than what Peterson did with the Chiefs.
Everything comes down to what Ross does and the GM is really the key. Dominant players up front win games and the Dolphins simply do not have enough of them. Who is that GM and how is Ross going to see past Peterson to get him to Miami? An established defensive HC like Cower, Chucky or Fisher would be OK IF, I repeat IF they will allow a young innovative offensive coordinator to take total control of the offense to install a spread, aggressive offense. Shula was a young hungry coach with something to prove. Everyone loves Cowher but I think he is too old and lacks the fire.
I stated outright that I never believed the 2 yards and a cloud of dust Parcells/Sparano approach was the right fit for the Dolphin franchise. South Florida seems far more in line with an aggressive passing oriented offense, the type of offenses that are winning championships in the NFL these days in GB and NE. A pass to set up the run approach would put more people in those empty orange seats too.
From my standpoint the Dolphins offensive needs to move into the modern age: spread out, attacking, no huddle, playing with pace and aggressiveness. I wonder who is the coach that can bring that? If that guy needs to be the HC and GM then fine. Ideally a higher caliber GM than Ireland can arrive soon in Miami and be open to changing the offensive philosophy.
I believe an increasingly aggressive approach is the evolution of the game. I posted about N Saben this weekend running a fake punt 1st drive against Arkansas. I would love to see the Dolphins truly become an aggressive team by play calling like that and viewing inside the opponents 40-35 as 4 down territory. TD’s win games.
This is long enough and thanks for reading.