Tony Sparano’s days in Miami are numbered, we all know this. Some think he’ll be lucky to finish out the season in South Beach. Some thought he was lucky to make it past the BYE week.
The same can be said for general manager Jeff Ireland. Both Ireland and Sparano are connected together as long as they stay in Miami. So if one goes this year, the other will likely follow.
But with recent reports from ProFootballWeekly stating that the Dolphins have been contacting former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, Miami owner Stephen Ross obviously is looking to get a head start on the coaching race. He also may just be barking up the wrong tree.
Ross is interested in filling the seats in Sun-Life Stadium, every owner wants that. But Ross has been having trouble during his whole stay as the Fins owner, and has been desperately looking for creative ways to bring the fans out in droves.
His team isn’t doing him any favors though, as the Dolphins have yet to win a game, and have lost in amazingly disappointing fashion every time out on the field.
Whatever Sparano is doing, whatever the coordinators are doing, it’s just not working. The players do not seem to be responding. Sure, they say they do, but that doesn’t mean that they follow through with that on the field. The true test to see whether Sparano has lost his team or not will be this Monday night when the Dolphins play their rival, the New York Jets, after coming off of their BYE week. Sparano had the extra week to get his team prepared, and if they fail to impress against the reeling Jets, Ross might kick his coaching search into high gear.
That brings me back to the Cowher and Dolphins link.
All along, Ross has wanted to make a splash with his team. Hence looking to hire a high profile head coach, someone that the fans can have confidence in to get them a solid product onto the field, something the fans can take pride in. While Cowher holds the possibility, and has his own blueprint on building a contender, he also is from the same type of mold as Sparano, and mentor Bill Parcells. They all believe that pounding the ball on the ground will get you wins, and in this modern day and age, the NFL is all about the aerial attack, and the high octane offenses.
If you take a look at some of the more successful teams in the league, the up and coming teams that were once the bottomfeeders, I’m talking about the Detroit Lions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints. They all made their head coaching hire a young, up and coming coordinator that can motivate his players, and can relate to them and the constant changes of the league better than some of their older coaching counterparts.
The league has changed from one that encourages the hires of older, experienced coaches, into the more intense, excitable younger coaches, from either the coordinator or college ranks.
But, the Dolphins will go after the glitzy hire everytime, and at this point in time, Jon Gruden and Cowher are the hottest free agent coaches on the market.
If the Dolphins truly want to make a splash this year when they inevitably switch regimes, they will need to bring in multiple coaches, and start from scratch. I’m looking at a guy like Will Muschamp from Florida, Urban Meyer, Chris Peterson, anyone that can come in and light a fire under the players, and most of all, produce a quarterback. Chad Henne will likely be gone next year, which only adds to the list of vacancies the team will need to fill before the start of next season.
The Dolphins will be looking to draft a quarterback in the first round of the draft next year, which means someone will need to come in and produce a quarterback as well, guide him along and show him the ropes of the NFL. Jim Harbaugh has elevated the game of Alex Smith, rejuvenated the kids career because he is a QB guru. The Fins have been lacking a true “guru” at any positional spot for a long time.
To my plea to Mr. Stephen Ross is to bring in someone that instills confidence in his team, can produce a quarterback, light a fire under his coaching staff and fanbase, and most of all, be disappointed instead of fired up when his team has to settle for field goal after field goal when they have the ball in the red-zone.