Billionaire Fan, chemistry, and team work key to Dolphins future
I have watched the Dolphins since 1970. While I never played, I sure have watched a ton of games. Mostly I watch for flow. Team flow to the ball, give and take between OLs trying to establish turf, but also chemistry.
Chemistry seems to be the most elusive thing to create in an organization. Fans can see the lack of it on the field, but front offices have their saccharine sound bites about respecting each other and working in unity. Honestly, It is mostly PR and lies.
[dropcap][/dropcap]Ross inherited Parcells and his merry band, and didn’t know enough as an owner yet to make moves. What have we learned since those days are gone? The answer is simple, Ross figured out there were warring parties who lacked competence.
Ireland disagreed with Parcells, and despite coming over from Dallas with him, they are not on speaking terms today. Parcells using his HOF interview to bash Ireland, shows what a self-righteous ass he was. Trying to build another powerhouse team reminiscent of the mid 80’s. Then we hear Ross call Sparano a poison and a saboteur. Nice teamwork gents, shouldn’t be a problem.
Somehow, Ross decided to consult with Peterson and get things straight. The real decision came down to Fisher versus Ireland for GM, or Fisher as HC/GM versus Ireland and Philbin. I think the decision came down to styles. Fisher, and his 8.45 wins per season, was archaic. Fisher played and learned his dirty tricks from Buddy Ryan. Yeah, he with the 0-3 playoff record. Philbin had just orchestrated one of the greatest QB years in history in Green Bay.
The decision was made, Ross wanted a modern team to compete with, that could possibly be another dynasty, much like the Griese games he had watched when he was younger. Fisher couldn’t do anything but make Miami respectable again, yet 8-9 win seasons wasn’t what Ross wanted, despite the clamor and empty seats.
A modern team like the Patriots who don’t dominate at every position, but are far less effected by injuries, was what Ross was looking for. Unlike Fisher who likes dirty players, Philbin had the 3rd least penalized team last year and produced only the 6th penalty-free game in Dolphins history against the Colts. Fisher likes bruisers, Philbin likes complexity, flexibility and speed. Fisher’s coaching style turned air-McNair into a running team that could never include the WRs, very Tuna-esque.
The huge change when Parcells left was mot noticed by many. I noticed because I felt it, you ask how? When listening to the front office speak, I realized that for the first time in a long while, I believed them. Ross gets on the phone with fans. Parcells, would never waste his time with the concerns of little people. Mostly what I believed, was that they all like each other. Ross and Ireland get along and want a modern team. Philbin kept up with Sherman and the other coaches through the years. When he started talking about the “Bucket List” of coaches, I knew it was coming together. (Coaches like Coyle, Sherman, Philbin who have said this is their last job.)
What does liking each other count for? It counts for a lot when it includes the respect of competency. Suddenly, the Parcells cap mess has been so deftly handled (sure, last year sucked) that Ireland’s two assistants, Gaine and Aponte, are frequently mentioned as bright young stars. Ireland is young too, give him the credit.So now Ross, Ireland, and Philbin are of one mind. Every front office says it. so what, do the players believe it?
Ireland has loaded the team with scrappy, hard-working, self-effacing guys, that like each other and encourage each others efforts. No special trips needed, the players were all organized during the offseason by other players. Look at the types of characters. Hartline busting it at a 9-5 job, Tanny, who has visited more hospitals than nightclubs, Cam Wake proving everyone wrong. Jimmy Wilson grateful for a chance.
Chemistry is often overlooked because everyone hides behind being a professional. What if you don’t believe in the guy next to you, your coach or GM, do you think it wont show? Chemistry is why teams get hot and go on runs. It comes from little things like respect. Matt Moore talked about being shocked that Philbin was so honest with him about bringing in competition. It made him happy and loyal. Look at the chemistry between he and Tanny, it is genuine. Moore also talked about wanting to play for coaches like that. Isn’t it odd that players WANT to be in Miami now, what do they see? Many of them have mentioned wanting to be a part of something, Miami in the early 70’s.
Ross gets the credit. He wants to win consistently and the right way. He has pledged half his fortune to charity, and wants another Dolphins dynasty. Only his good character allowed him, with Carl Peterson’s help, to sort through the mess. In doing so, he has found his man, who was already there in Ireland. Ross was smart enough to see the difference in philosophies between Ireland and Parcells/Sparano. With that support, Ireland hired guys he got along with 100%. Cant have individual egos in a synergy.
Think about the advantage to Tannehill to have his prior Head Coach, Offensive Line coach, and Quarterback coach from college. Quite the coup if it works. I can’t tell you how it will all end up, but it is the best way to try. It is a weird thing to talk about soft virtues in a bloody thankless game of the NFL. It is the difference between hiring a mercenary band for a few years of victories, or building the Dolphins into being the pride of South Florida again. Who would care about the difference, a billionaire who is a fan.