Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor is still enjoying a final respite before the Dolphins open training camp and practice Aug. 2. It will be the first camp for Taylor under the current triumvirate of Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano.
But according to collegue David Quinones, Taylor already recognizes the current hierarchy is better than previous ones he's played for.
``Obviously," Taylor said during a break at Zo's Summer Groove Classic golf outing Thursday, "[Bill] Parcells and [GM Jeff] Ireland and their front office is a big step up from what was here in the past."
The current Dolphins management team, headed by Parcells, is the sixth Taylor will play under while with the Dolphins.
Taylor was drafted by Jimmy Johnson, then survived played years during which the team's personnel side was headed by Dave Wannstedt, Rick Spielman, Nick Saban, and Randy Mueller.
All of those previous personnel regimes had their good moments (plural) and bad, except of course, for Wannstedt who had perhaps one good personnel moment (Adewale Ogunleye) but probably not two.
But if Taylor ranks Parcells already atop those six regimes, where do the others rank?
I would say Jimmy Johnson was second, Randy Mueller was third, Nick Saban was fourth, Wannstedt was fifth and Spielman was sixth.
Well, Johnson couldn't find offensive help to save his life (or his career), but he remade the Dolphins defense into a unit that represented the organization well for much of a decade with players such as Patrick Surtain, Taylor, Zach Thomas, Sam Madison, and others.
Mueller got one shot in 2007 and seemingly fired blanks as the team went 1-15. But was it his fault Joey Porter was terrible that year or was the OLB used poorly? You saw what Porter did last year under the right system. Porter was Mueller's signing.
A lot of folks, including me, ripped Mueller for not drafting Brady Quinn and going with Ted Ginn Jr. Except neither player has exactly turned into a star and Ginn seems closer to making an NFL mark than Quinn. The jury is still out on that as well as the John Beck selection. No, Beck couldn't make it in Miami, but what if he turns it around in Baltimore or somewhere else?
Saban blew it on Jason Allen and Manny Wright and took seemingly forever to insert Yeremiah Bell into the starting lineup. He also blew it by trading for Daunte Culpepper instead of signing Drew Brees. That last failure set the franchise back at least two seasons. It's the reason the Dolphins had to draft multiple corners this year and spent 2006, 2007 and the offseason of 2008 looking for a QB.
But Saban connected on Ronnie Brown and Will Allen and Renaldo Hill and Andre' Goodman and Matt Roth and others.
Wannstedt? He drafted Todd Wade so that worked out initially. And he signed Ogunleye as an undrafted free agent. Of course, he had some dismal decisions with Jamar Fletcher and Eddie Moore and a ton of others.
Wannstedt's personnel failures were so great that owner Wayne Huizenga stripped the coach of final say over those decisions and handed them to Spielman. And Spielman repaid the promotion by demonstrating terrible judgment.
He gave up a second-round pick for A.J. Feeley. He traded away a third-round pick for Lamar Gordon, who was injured in his first game with Miami and was placed on injured reserve, never to play for the Dolphins again. He traded Ogunleye, a blue-chip defensive end, for Marty Booker, a possession wide receiver. And don't even get me started on the draft day fiasco in which Spielman traded away a fourth-round draft pick to Minnesota to move up one spot and then bypassed Vince Wilfork to pick Vernon Carey.
Yes, Carey is a good player. But Wilfork is Pro Bowl quality.
Trying to remember a wise move that Spielman made on the Dolphins' behalf ... The Rex Hadnot draft choice is best I can come up with, which ain't saying much.
Anyway, you give me your rankings of the six personnel departments. Let me guess, Parcells will be the consensus No. 1. So give me the rest.
And give me the best and worst moves by each regime.
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