Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Dolphins Watch: Bill Parcells And The Art Of Team Building
I hate the taste of leftover Tuna. Here’s why.
This winless debacle of a season is mostly Bill Parcells’ fault. You know, Bill Parcells. The Tuna. Step aside Jim Halpert, he’s the original Big Tuna. He’s also a Big Fraud. You can see him these days on your television screen, talking to you about how to build a franchise. What needs to be done to build a successful football team. As if he would have any clue about that.
See, no one on ESPN really wants to challenge him on his recent track record. I can’t blame them. It’s been deplorable. For all his bluster, with his ever expanding waist line and his ever expanding ego and his urine colored hair, he was nothing short of a complete failure during his three years in Miami. Before I get too far ahead of myself, I’m just going to list the draft picks he was responsible for here. The number ahead of the name represents what round the player was drafted in.
1. T Jake Long, Michigan
2. DE Phillip Merling, Clemson
2. QB Chad Henne, Michigan
3. DE Kendall Langford, Hampton
4. T Shawn Murphy, Utah State
6. RB Jalen Parmele, Toledo
6. G Donald Thomas, Connecticut
6. RB Lex Hilliard, Montana
7. DE Lionel Dotson, Arizona
1. CB Vontae Davis, Illinois
2. QB Pat White, West Virginia
2. CB Sean Smith, Utah
3. WR Patrick Turner, USC
4. WR Brian Hartline, Ohio State
5. TE John Nalbone, Monmouth
5. S Chris Clemons, Clemson
6. T Andrew Gardner, Georgia Tech
7. LB JD Folsom, Weber State
1. DT Jared Odrick, Penn State
2. DE Koa Misi, Utah
3. T John Jerry, Ole Miss
4. LB AJ Edds, Iowa
5. CB Nolan Carroll, Maryland
5. S Reshad Jones, Georgia
7. LB Chris McCoy, Middle Tennessee
7. LB Austin Spitler, Ohio State
So, let’s see here. How many superstar players are there in that bunch? I count just Jake Long in that bunch. And then there are serviceable to good players like Henne, Langford, Vontae and Misi, and roster filler like Hartline, Hilliard and Carroll. Odrick has been a colossal atrocity so far. Pat White is already out of the league. I think a lot of these people are no longer in the league. I’ve never heard of Nalbone, but that’s a great name, and I actually live on Monmouth Street, so that’s a bonus for me.
In any event, Parcells beat it out of town sometime during the 2010 season, making this past draft the first one that Jeff Ireland was primarily responsible for. (As a quick aside, Ireland is in a great political position with this team. He can claim to Stephen Ross that he had nothing to do with the failures during the three aforementioned drafts; those were Tuna’s mistakes, since he had final say on them. And anyone struggling from the 2011 draft, well, those players simply need more time to blossom. And their struggles can be blamed on Tony Sparano’s coaching, anyway. It’s a cushy little spot Ireland has created for himself here. I’m telling you.)
Point is, while the Lions were busy drafting guys like Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew and Ndamukong Suh, this heap of not much is what the Dolphins have to show for their “efforts” in the draft. Those three years should have been the building of a foundation that would lift the Phins to the playoffs for years to come. Instead, like I said, the only player that every team in the NFL would want to have is probably Jake Long. This was supposed to be the year Chad Henne really breaks out and establishes himself as a top ten NFL quarterback, but he struggled for four games and then got injured for the season. The whole thing is a mess, and Tuna made it. And then he skipped town, leaving it to others to clean things up.
As I mentioned in my first post on here, Parcells left because of a personality conflict with Ireland and Sparano. It was your basic power struggle that Parcells handled like your basic five year old, taking his urine colored ball and heading to ESPN. So he can observe things from afar, telling you what all the teams need to do to be successful. And you’re supposed to forget that he drafted Jake Long over Matt Ryan when Ryan would have represented some kind of actual hope for Miami fans. Granted Long turned out alright, but quarterback is the biggest difference maker position in football, and he totally failed. Henne ended up being only okay, and Pat White was one of the worst draft picks in the history of ever. (My next post is going to be about the Dolphins’ quarterback history, so this is a little preview for you.)
Somewhere along the way he forgot. He forgot that in 1993, his first year with the New England Patriots, he drafted Drew Bledsoe, and Drew Bledsoe was the reason he was able to rejuvenate the team as well as he did. He didn’t draft Willie Roaf or Lincoln Kennedy, even though they were highly considered offensive line prospects. He drafted the bleeping quarterback and built around him. *That* is how you build a successful NFL team.
So Dolphins fans open up their refrigerator, and what do they see? A three week old container of sour cream, some casserole thing their mom made for them that they’re probably not going to touch, and some leftover Tuna. And it all stinks.