Yes - it was Super Bowl weekend. But there is some Dolphin news to talk about. So let's get to it and talk about some of the weekend's news.
SUPER BOWL THOUGHTS
I have to start here. This game was very entertaining. The 4th quarter was right up there with the Super Bowl game played by the Panthers and Patriots. That game saw 37 4th quarter points. There were only 23 in this 4th quarter. But all 23 came in the final 8 minutes of the game. Can't ask for much more out of a Super Bowl game than what we saw in this one.
Obviously, the big play, though, was James Harrison's 100 yard interception return to close out the first half. It was a great call by the Steelers, confusing Kurt Warner by using a classic zone blitz, dropping Harrison into coverage - right into Anquan Boldin's area. Warner shouldn't have ever taken the risk and made that throw. But then it was a remarkable effort by Harrison to take that interception 100 yards. You have to applaud Warner, though. He tried his best to get in the way of Harrison's return. Some QBs wouldn't have done that.
If you're a Cardinals' fan, though, you have got to be taking this loss hard. Could you imagine if the Dolphins lost a Super Bowl the way Arizona did? You can't help but think "what if." What if Harrison doesn't make that interception? What if Santonio Holmes doesn't get both feet in on that ridiculous catch? If I was a Cards fan, I'd be hurting tonight - even though, in the grand scheme of things, this was an amazing season for Arizona.
Congrats to both the Steelers and Cardinals. They did their fans proud.
PARCELLS GIVING HINTS?
On Friday, Bill Parcells was all over the place doing the media thing. He re-affirmed that he will be in Miami for at least 2009 when he visited the set of ESPN. He also did a live chat with NFL.com, answering submitted questions. And while many of the questions were rather pointless, two of his responses caught my attention.
When asked what attributes he looks for in NFL players, Bill responded, "Big, smart, and fast." After having a few days for that answer to sink in, I had a revelation while watching the Super Bowl. Karlos Dansby is exactly the kind of player Parcells likes. He's big, standing at 6'4, 250. He's fast, as shown by the number of times Dansby is asked to drop into coverage. And he has a high "football IQ." Like impending free agent Channing Crowder, Dansby called the defensive signals for the NFC Champion Cardinals. So my theory? The Dolphins will indeed make a strong play for Dansby's services. But whether or not he comes to Miami depends on how much other teams offer him. We do know, though, that Karlos respects Parcells and would like to come to South Beach. He said so himself this past week.
The other response that interested me was when Parcells was asked about Miami's weaknesses. Bill responded by saying, "I think we need a little more firepower on offense." To me, that means the wide receiver position. But, really, Bill isn't saying something we all don't already know. The question will be how this front office goes about obtaining that "fire power." Will they make a trade? Will they go after a free agent? Or will they address this need in the draft? For those answers, we'll continue to wait.
SPARANO TALKS DOWN IN TAMPA
While picking up an award from Don Shula, Tony Sparano spent some time speaking with the media. Among other things, he disclosed that he's as "healthy as a cow," and that he will be taking a few days off next week for vacation. But he'll be getting right back to work. And my favorite quote from his media availability was how he felt about being down in Tampa for the Super Bowl. Said Sparano:
“I don’t like visiting this thing. It’s heck of an event it was tremendous to be a small part of this event this weekend.
“But next time I come back I hope it’s for a different reason.”
Don't we all, coach.
Sparano also disclosed that the off-season is going well. He said players are actually "itching to get back in the weight room" and that players are actually trying to get in contact with him instead of the other way around. Indeed, there's a new culture in Miami.
Sparano was also asked about his close relationship with Channing Crowder and if that relationship might affect his future in Miami. Sparano said:
“My relationship with my players is one thing. The business end of this thing is the business end of it. I don’t get involved in the business end of it. My job is to coach the players on the field when we get there.
“Right now, Channing Crowder played for me and did a helluva job for me. I respect what Channing did for me.”
I don't think you can read too much into this. Tony probably didn't want to step on the front office's toes at all - so he gave the "company line" response.
But look for talks with the free agents the Dolphins want back to heat up soon. They need to get these deals wrapped up so they can better prepare for free agency and the draft.
One other note, Sparano did say that Donald Thomas should be ready for the start of the offseason training program - which is terrific news.