Let me begin this fanpost by saying that I was a major proponent of Manning coming here to play for our Dolphins. I was star-struck. I neglected the fact that he was coming off of major surgery and that he had not played for a full year. We can see just how well taking a lot of time off like that can go by looking at how Carson Palmer played for Oakland last season. But I digress. Cheer up, my fellow Fins fans. This could be a very good thing. There could be a silver lining to this cloud and we could be in a VERY good position because of it. In fact, this may be the second bullet we have inadvertently dodged this offseason. First off we become favorites to land Fisher, which I believe would have been a complete and utter failure and mistake. He is a respected coach and has a ton of experience, but he's old-school minded and hasn't had a lot of success. To say we dodged a bullet here can be seen by solely looking at the coaching staff he's assembled. Brian Schottenheimer as an offensive coordinator? That's about as good of an idea as picking up Sparano as a OC (haha Jets). Not only that but he's already got trouble with his DC Williams and the whole bounty program. That's going to be trouble for the continuity and progress of his defense. Like I said, bullet dodged. Now here comes Peyton. I am not happy that Peyton has spurned my team. In fact I am down-right infuriated by it. But is it really as bad as all of the Fins fans are making it out to be? No. In fact it is a great thing for this team moving forward and here's why:
1. Peyton Manning may not have it anymore. If this is the case then we definitely dodged a bullet here. Think about it. Peyton will command a ton of money and if he doesn't work out, we would be screwed for several years. You think it's bad with what the media says about us not getting him? Imagine what it would be like if we got him and he was terrible. They'd say that we had made another terrible decision or that we were the reason that he failed at living up to his come-back hype. That's not all that could happen either. What if he got hurt from a solid hit? They'd be all over us saying that we were the team that was to blame for ending Manning's career and they'd blame our O-Line and coaches. That's not worth a year or two of possible success.
2. Peyton Manning does not want to be here. There is nothing worse that I can think of than to sign a big name free agent that is in it only for the money and who's heart is not with the organization he's playing for. You don't want to play for us? Fine, we don't want you to play for us. Peyton Manning is not the be all or end all of football. And to that point I have to question his competitive nature. A lot of people speculate that he wants to go to Denver or Arizona (I know they're out of the running now after paying Kolb) just for the sole fact that they play in an extremely easy division and that he'll have the chance to skate by to the playoffs. That doesn't sound like the Peyton Manning I know. That Peyton Manning was the epitome of competitive nature. He was a beast. He wouldn't have backed away from playing for a team just because they had to play a solid defense twice a year in the Jets (I can't believe I said something nice about them) or face a rising defense in Mario Williams and the Bills twice or face his ever present rival Tom Brady twice a year. That Peyton Manning would never take the easy road. This new Peyton Manning, if this did play a role in his decision, is not the Peyton Manning I would want being the leader of my team.
3. Our coaching staff would be damaged. Having Peyton Manning, who is notorious for taking over and controlling the offense the way he wants, would cripple the development of our coaching staff. You can not honestly tell me that chasing Manning was Philbin's idea. Ross was even quoted as saying he played a major part in the pursuit of Manning this past week or two. Ross does not know football the way that Philbin does. Granted Manning would have sold seats and I'm sure Ross was worried about that just as much as he was about winning, it would not be good for the team in the long run. Having a few years of success under Manning (if he did have success) would not be worth sacrificing our coaching staff. Philbin more than likely has always had plans to get Flynn and make him our franchise guy, but was forced by the boss to chase Manning. That's not good. Does anyone remember what happened to the coaching staff in Minnesota because of Favre and the way he forced his own control of the offense? Not a good situation in the least.
4. We can get Matt Flynn. Without Marshall to ruin his confidence, Flynn could be the real deal in Miami. He has all of the intangibles and is a winner. The one knock that I can see on him is his arm strength and underthrown passes, but that's not a problem. We will be shifting over to a Green Bay-like west coast offense if we sign Flynn that would limit the need for the deep ball. Of all the different characteristics of a quarterback, arm strength is the least important. It can be developed. Just look at Aaron Rodgers. When he was first coming into the NFL his arm strength wasn't all that. Now he's throwing bombs like there's no tomorrow. Flynn's accuracy and intelligence are what make him so dangerous. He is a natural born leader and has already had success in the offense we will be implementing. Not only does he fit the WCO better than Moore or Manning, but he's younger than both and has sat behind Aaron Rodgers learning how to succeed. He is a winner, plain and simple. He was overshadowed by JaMarcus Russell at LSU for several years and then, when he got his chance his senior year, he led them to a championship. And don't say that he can't win because he was a 7th round draft pick. He was undervalued in that draft and then he beat out Brohm for the back-up role who was selected in the second round of the draft. He will come much cheaper than Manning and we can build a true contender around him with the money we would save from not getting Manning. Plus seeing as Marshall WILL be suspended (it is looking more and more likely), that frees up the rest of his cap hit and we can REALLY pick up some impact players. My one suggestion is that we pick up a Jordy Nelson-like receiver very early in the draft. Getting Matt Flynn who is still young limits our need for a drafted QB this year and allows us to look into drafting a QB to develop next year or maybe even the year after that if Flynn is as good as he potentially can be. That gives us ample opportunity to fill the holes in our team. We won't have to waste our draft picks needlessly trading up.
The best thing about Matt Flynn though? He WANTS to be here. He wants to play on our team and succeed for us. He wants to be a Dolphin. That is good enough for me, my fellow Fin fans.