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The odd ties between the Falcons, Dolphins

Merry Christmas and Happy Holy Days, everyone!

I want to wish you and yours the best, brightest and most prosperous days as we celebrate today, tomorrow and heading into the New Year.

Can I share some football thoughts with you?

It is about this time three years ago that the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons, two franchises in similar terrible states, made a bold and hopeful reach for finding credibility and excellence and a new dawn to what had been a very dark night in their histories.

They both made a play for Bill Parcells in late 2007.

Before I get to that ... a little history.

These two teams seemed strangely similar for a couple of years before December of 2007. The Falcons were 7-9 in 2006. The Dolphins finished 6-10. The Falcons fired Jim Mora. Nick Saban fired the Dolphins.

The Dolphins hired Cam Cameron and the Falcons hired Bobby Petrino to coach in 2007. Neither was NFL head coach material. Both seemed overmatched. Both lost their locker rooms as the season progressed.

Neither team had a quarterback to speak of. The Dolphins cut a one-legged Daunte Culpepper and signed a diminished Trent Green. Culpepper had been a terrible mistake because Saban asked him to play despite the fact his knee would never allow him to play at a Pro Bowl level again. Green was a mistake because his concussion while with Kansas City the year before had made him a candidate for more concussions in the future.

The Falcons were dealing with their own quarterback issues and, in most respects, their issues were more serious.

Michael Vick, talented but troubled, was suspended by the NFL after he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his now infamous dog fighting ring in Virginia. The Falcons were sunk.

Their quarterback situation was so terrible to begin the 2007 season, Petrino handed the starting job to Joey Harrington, who the Dolphins had discarded after he failed with them in 2006.

 And so as the 2007 season got underway, both teams then set off on what could be optimistically described as disasters. Neither won with any regularity and, in Miami’s case, regularity was defined as all but once.

Players on both teams quit well before the failed seasons ended. But the Falcons had the special added bonus of having Petrino quit on the players three games before the season ended so he could take the job coaching Arkansas.

Petrino left his playes a note in the locker room telling them he was cruising.


Well, let's put it kindly. It is Christmas. Cam Cameron was a mistake.

By December, Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga and Falcons owner Arthur Blank were shopping for help to fix their broken franchises. Both focused on Parcells.

Huizenga talked to Parcells first, actually, but couldn't land him because he planned to sell the team and Parcells wanted stability in ownership. So Blank swooped and had Parcells all but signed to come to Atlanta. Blank actually went to Parcells' home in Saratoga, New York expecting to get a deal signed with Parcells after the football man had told him he was ready to return to football.

But Huizenga came back and offered Parcells everything Atlanta could, plus an opportunity to be closer to his Jupiter home, plus a longer-standing relationship than the one Parcells had with Blank. Let me be clear: Parcells preferred to come to Miami the entire time. But he had initially rebuffed Huizenga when the Miami owner told him of his intention to sell the club.

It wasn't until Huizenga changed his tune and told Parcells he would keep the team that Parcells refocused his interest on Miami.

The Dolphins got Parcells and by December 20 when they announced he was hired, they were enjoying instant credibility again. The Falcons, seemingly cast aside and beaten to the punch, settled on former New England director of college scouting Thomas Dimitroff as their general manager.

Sure, everyone knew Parcells wasn’t going to be around very long because his history guaranteed as much. But no one gave the relatively unknown Dimitroff any advantage in the pairing against Miami’s new football boss.

That didn’t last.

Dimitroff signed running back Michael Turner and traded for tight end Tony Gonzalez. And when Parcells, owning the first overall pick of the 2008 draft, selected future Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long, Dimitroff did him one better by drafting future Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan.

Yes, that is hindsight. At the time, the Long pick was the more logical, safer selection. And Long might turn into a Hall of Famer some day.

But a Hall of Fame left tackle does not trump a franchise quarterback. And that is precisely what Ryan has become in Atlanta.

Both teams seemed to turn it around instantly. The Dolphins won their division with an 11-5 record in 2008. The Falcons similarly went 11-5 and made the playoffs.

But the Dolphins, benifitting from an easy schedule, were something of a mirage while Atlanta had actual staying power. Even though both teams regressed in 2009, Miami's took several steps back to 7-9 while Atlanta dropped to 9-7 while playing in the same division with the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.

And while the Dolphins got about the business of finding their all-important QB in 2009, the Falcons were already certain Ryan was their man. They also had a good, albeit not great left tackle in Sam Baker, an Alpha wide receiver in Roddy White, and consistent pass rusher in John Abraham, and a full complement of draft picks for 2010.

The Falcons have filled in with trades and free agency, but they have really been built through the draft. That's the New England way that Dimitroff learned.

All six draft picks made the team this year. In fact, on the day teams set their initial 53 man rosters this season, the Falcons had 31 of their own draft picks on the team, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That was fourth highest in the NFL.

The Dolphins had 21 of their own picks on their roster which was tied with the Jets for the league’s second lowest total.

The Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins – organizations that have often set the standard for how to mess up in the NFL – had the league’s lowest total of draft picks on their respective rosters. They each had 17.

And while the Falcons were building slowly and surely, the Dolphins at the start of 2010 found themselves rebuilding once again. Parcells quit as his contract allowed him to do. Huizenga had sold the team despite indications to Parcells he would not and so Parcells made his counter-move by stepping down as Miami's football czar.

It has been portrayed that Parcells walked out on the Dolphins. I would tell you if Huizenga was still the owner, Parcells would still be the football czar. Period.

No, there isn't a rift between Parcells and new owner Stephen Ross. The two men still speak but their relationship is not a friendship. They talk about the labor issues facing the league. It's business. Huizenga and Parcells were more friends.

Obviously, neither Huizenga nor Ross wanted to take the PR hit for losing Parcells immediately following an 11-5 season when they announced the sale of the Dolphins. So they gave Parcells the sweetheart deal he enjoys today of basically getting paid until the end of 2011 without really working for the team if he doesn't want to.

This year, Parcells began to use his option. He stepped back from daily operations, handing them to general manager Jeff Ireland. And now he is only a consultant. He doesn't make decisions about the team. He isn't involved in the daily grind. He doesn't have an office in the football facility in Davie and hasn't visited since he moved out, best I can gather.

Does he talk to Ireland? Sure. Does he text coach Tony Sparano? Sure. Does he tell either what to do? Nope.

And so while the Falcons are hitting their stride with their front office and coaching set up in Year Three, the Dolphins are kind of starting over with an independent Ireland and Sparano working without a Parcells net for the first time.

On the field, the differences are obvious. The Falcons are fast, they make plays, they're dynamic, and yes, they win at home. Atlanta is 6-0 in the Georgia Dome this year. They're 19-1 in their house the last 20 games.

The Dolphins are great on the road with a 6-1 record, but incredibly disappointing at home at 1-6. Miami lacks speed, dynamic playmakers on offense and special teams and even its No. 4 ranked defense needs work because it has had a chance to win -- WIN -- a couple of games this year and didn't do it. Cleveland comes prominently to mind.

The Falcons are 12-2 today, three years after they missed out on Bill Parcells. The Dolphins are 7-7 today, three years after they landed Bill Parcells.


The Falcons, by the way, are doing it with a Dolphins flavor. They have five former Dolphins coaches on their staff – offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, offensive line coach Paul Boudreau, receivers coach Terry Robiskie, linebackers coach Glenn Pires and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong.

In that regard also these teams are strangely connected.



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Dying Breed you make me sick. Please stay here and keep out of the Sentinel. Say hi to your boy HOME, and cuban mange. LOL

Ho Hum. So what?


QB drafting is hit and miss. With our krappy luck, if our Phins had drafted Matt Ryan, he would have been a bust.


Absolutely Excellent Material Armando
Your work is much appreciated

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to All

No guarantee Ryan would have worked here. He seems to play his best in a dome, not as much on the road.

Games in Miami with the wind, rain, etc. I bet he isn't the dynamo he is inside that dome.

Besides, who would be protecting his blindside? LJ Shelton? Damion McIntosh.

Time to move on

I see why no one has ever let BP shop for his own groceries. Seems he spends far too much time time in the bagged marshmallow isle. You see the gut on him lately?

Huizenga gave him full grocery buying power here and he immediately makes the bag boy GM and shelf stocker our HC. Seems Parcells will go to any lengths to get discounts on his bagged marshmallows.

Why do so many fans say Ryan may not have worked out here? A great qb will be great no matter where he plays.

You guys make it sound as if Ryan is a system qb. I guess Dan Marino may have not worked out somewhere else either. We f^cked up. Stop making lame excuses. LOL..............


Jake Long is one helluvah consolation prize but still doesnt erase the fact we screw up passing on the franchise qb. LOL...........


You also fail to mention The dirtybirds were only 2 seasons removed from a nfc championship game appearance. While we were still at the end of Nick Satan's pitchfork. LOL..........

Yeah,..sour grapes. Thanks Armando. Way to put us in the holiday spirit. Its like being reminded that your best friend found and married Scarlett Johanson before she was popular and you hooked up with britney spears.

Happy Holidays to you and yours Armando!

But Alas we know the history, can we get something about the future? look deeper into your crystal ball.

Our List Of HC's Since Shula:

1. Jimmy "baby powder" Johnson.

Instead of SB rings brought us egg frying rings. Except that the eggs he cracked in Miami were slimed all over our faces.

2. Dave XXX Wannstadt

Clearly he had a better future in the XXX business. Better known in fan circles as Pornstache.

3. Nicky "little nicky" Satan(I mean Saban)

Now we know what the devil did next after he left Georgia. He didnt fiddle around when he left Miami neither.

4. Cam Cameron

Huizenga just should have flat known better than to make a guy with the same first and last names our HC. Then only compounded things hiring a GM named Mueller. Reminds me of:

I once had a mule and her name was Sal.
16 miles on the Erie Canal.
She was a good ole worker and a good ole pal.
16 miles on the Erie canal.

You guys get the drift...LOL......

5. Tony "soprano" Sparano

Still waiting on that offer we cant refuse.....LOL..........

Outstanding Article Armando....

Happy Hollidays to ALL!!!!!!

This Precisely Who Our Next HC Will Be:


Mando: This is your best post all season. I for one will be happy when Parcells is gone and wouldn't mind seeing a total overhaul of the coaching staff at this point with the exception of Nolan. The team needs major work but hopefully with free agency and a decent draft we can start on the road back to being competitive. I enjoyed Dying Breed's comments as well. Happy Holidays to all and let's hope that next season is more successful for our team. Go Dolphins (from a big fan in NY)

Ok, we've been burned before on the qb search, but that's no reason to have analysis paralysis now. Fact is...we need a qb to be successful, and we REALLY need to stay the hell away from McNabb and Jackson. The man to go after is K Kolb in Philly....done deal. Philly will not be able to keep both Vick and Kolb. Somebody will go after Kolb and it might as well be our Phins. Forget about drafting a qb...it's hit or miss. Soprano, are you paying attention??

i have a feeling our coaches would have tried to make ryan a "check-down" game mgr. they probably would have screwed up his programmming much like they did with henne. no guts,no glory. we play "small ball".

are we the only NFL team without a 2 minute offense????????

All i want for christmas from this dolphins organization is to hear the words Strapono Fired after this year and dead henning retired or fired after this year. Then we can talk about moving forward with whomever.

Strapono???? ouch...

Merry Christmas, Armando!

My gripe is the beef you have with the Dolphins' D.
In regards to the CLE game, don't forget that the wonder boy Chad Henne threw three INTs that game. He put the defense in the situation and you casually misplace blame. Could the pick have sealed the deal? Sure. But had Henne even threw two INTs, the Dolphins probably win that game.
The defense is the absolute highlight. You throw the term "mediocre" around like you own rights to it, but in no way can that term be applied to the Mike Nolan defense. Nor can it be used for the guys like Vontae Davis, Karlos Dansby, Yeremiah Bell, and Cameron Wake, who, as you know, happens to be the NFL's sacks leader.
The defense is outstanding, and if anyone need any more proof, read a few post back -- namely Brandon Marshall's apology.

The fact is simple: Chad Henne needs to go and the Dolphins need a better offense. The defense is set.

why are we stuck with guys parcell's put in place. they're as antiquated as he is with the same outdated philosophies that worked 25 yrs ago. we went for size and sacrificed speed and "heart". just look at the pats with welker and woodhead;those guys are ballers! ireland/sparano dont have a clue;just listen to his press conference.

Armando, why didn't you mention the mistake Bill Parcells made by drafting Jake Long ahead of Matt Ryan? The local media tries to portray Parcells as this cult like figure but this team is not close to being elite because we don't have an elite quarterback. If Matt Ryan leads the Falcons to the Super Bowl, this will be the second quarterback we passed on that led his team to the Super Bowl (Drew Brees). I'm 32 and I have been a Dolphan since 1984, the year Dan Marino led us to the Super Bowl. I have the Dolphins logo tattooed on my left forearm. I don't know how much longer fans can continue putting up with this incompetent franchise.

Sparano is the worst game day coach in the NFL.

The falcons have an easier division and conference.
They took a chance on a Big East quarterback,from Boston College.
if Ryan gets hurt, they are done.
I don't expect them to get past the second round.
The dolphins are short a quarterback, but if they find one, they are light years ahead in personal.

Any Offense by any definition is > Than our Offense PERIOD!!!!


Fly brain > Sparano brain

Nice work Mando. Great read and so very true... Merry Christmas to you and Happy New Year!


Nice work Armando !! Merry Christmas to you and your family..

what does that mean aloco, im confused??!!!


sad , so very sad that we have to reduce ourselves to being compared to a team that very well may be SB ready and here we are KO'd from playoffs AGAIN and talking about another up and coming QB again, while our coaching staff and Q figure's out How to actually get *IT* done fore next year.....good article Mando, lets compare us and the Pats similiarities in next weeks blog!!!!

Omar Kelly says:
December 24, 2010 at 4:43 pm
I’m reading everything just so you know. I’m curious where the real Dolphins fans (the Mob) stand on Henne.

Omar(The wanna be Pimp)At the Scum Sentinal has reached a all time low,Endorsing the Idiots that "Run" the scum, What a tool.........

Sounds like he's begging for more blog hits cuban.


Super, There's 8 or 10 "Mob" Idiots that post 24/7 and if there's a new poster they attack them like a pack of feral dogs..... LOL At Omar Kooky.......



Guy's gotta ask why do women take so long to go out???, I dont get it, I've got a great looking chick that takes a hour and a half to get ready to go out, do any of you guys have a answer???????BTW, Miami will keep up with there win one, lose one gig this week and beat the lions, but get your fantasy kicker on Carpenter this week..(Hopefully they can get past the 30 yard line this week for him).....

*Mob* idiots = Klu Klux Flim Flam Posters

Makes sense

dolphins just suck....what a drag..


Screw Carpenter*no pun* this week, Go with Fields Punt Per Average in this game, miami will win off of a Pick Six, First of the year, you heard it here first Cuban.

Cowher won with O'Donnell, Tomzack, and Cordell "slash" Stewart. If any coach can go forward with Chad Henne it's Cowher.

Cowher pretty much had dumpster dive qb's then a retread Tommy Maddox before finally landing Roslisberger. He won with everyone one of them.

One of the most aggravating aspects of Professional Football (The NFL Particularly)...are the legions of Analysts, Pundits, Prognosticators, Detractors, Micro-Managers, Handicappers, Odds makers, Clairvoyants, Talking Heads(Both anti & pro)and those who I like to call... "Front Runner Journalists".

One cannot argue a single point that Armando has made in this "Christmas Carol to Miami fans"... But just like the legions of people whom I named above... the 500 to 700 words used by Armando to explain the plight of Miami at this moment in time can be summed in 1 sentence...

"What an NFL team needs, above all else to be a successful franchise, is a Quarterback that is capable of EXCELLING in this league"

One need not point out the connections between Miami and any other team, those connections, be they real or imaginary weak links that make for good print are belaboring a very simple diagnosis. If The Dolphins were a living being, rather than a professional football franchise and that "Being" visited a Doctor. And lets say that "Doctor" only works on one creature... NFL football teams. He could slowly take account of the patients health.

In Miami's case he may find where this patient does not take care of itself well. Seems to have a pension for injury. He would see that they are a tad over weight (Bloated and slow) but far from obese. He would certainly say that this patient is uptight, nigh unto hypertensive. He would likely tell this patient that some of the company it keeps in whatever form they may be (Coaches, Coordinators or other influential people) have created a state of Nervousness and self- doubt. And that this patient would do well to get these people away from them and do it quickly.

But... as soon as the Doctor of this team started to examine the Quarterback... he would push his glasses a bit higher on his nose. We would start being more intent and purposeful as he poked and prodded. He would peer over the rim of his glasses as he looked into the Teams QB... his expression growing more concerned by the moment... He would say... "There, enough then"... as he snapped the latex gloves from his hands... He would tell the patient to get dressed and that they would meet in his office....

20 minutes later... the conversation would be over and the patient on his way back home... I knew it!... I knew it all along the patient would say to his fans... "The Quarterback" How many times have I seen my buddies sick with the same affliction? All the symptoms were there... Inability to score, Horrible at converting 3rd downs, no long plays to discuss, poor pocket awareness, Poor footwork, Inaccuracy that is maddening, poor clock management, a fearful disposition, and -ZERO- leadership and team presence.

Its the "Cancer" of the league. All the NFL Beings dread and do what they can to avoid it... they are afraid of it. A sick Quarterback in the Body takes away the breath, the legs, and makes the vision blurry... It is a death sentence to every season that patient lives....

So... now I have joined the ranks of those who take 700 words to explain a very simple problem... sure Miami has a OC issue... but he is not terminal. Miami has a problem with speed... but they have never been beaten because of it. They are overweight and slow... but still strong and hard hitting. They have a pension for injury but they are also willing to play hurt and in pain if the team needs them...

The Miami Dolphins have needed a Quarterback to lead this team since the day that Jimmy Johnson and Dan Marino walked off the field in Jacksonville after Jimmy had Wasted Dan Marino's last 4 years on a 2 yards and a cloud of dust offense (Like this one we have now)... And every measure they have taken to secure this teams future at QB has been short sighted, cheap, or a complete blunder. They let one of the best opportunities ever in 08 go for fear of making the wrong choice.

"Less effort has been placed into filling the most important position on the entire football team then has been spent on getting the correct players at Offensive Guard".

Think about that statement for a moment and tell me how we can expect this team do do more then it does...

You can talk of bringing in Bill Cowher, John Gruden... Hell! You can dig up Vincent Lombardi and have a Voo-Doo witchdoctor bring him back to life... unless he has Bart Star.... leave him in the damn hole! Because without a franchise QB... This team is going "NO WHERE"!!!

You can be a Henne lover or Hater... IT DOESN'T MATTER... until Miami spends the same effort they spent to get Jake Long, Brandon Marshall or Karlos Dansby on getting a QB who can play at a High Level in the NFL... we will be the "Unhappy NFL Souls of Christmas" for another 11 years.....

This Patient named "The Miami Dolphins" has a terminal illness. One that has laid waste to the lives of many a great team... It called "No Hava QB Itas" its terminal... HOWEVER... it can be cured... but just like the disease of Cancer or addiction... the first thing the patient and his friends must do is understand and accept the problem and accept that sacrifice MUST BE MADE to assure that it is at the FOREFRONT of the patients live and thinking.

"We'll see"...!!! Did your Mother ever tell ya... "We'll See"...???

Merry Christmas to all you guys and your loved ones!!!... hang tough...

Cowher's career record is 149-90-1 in the regular season and 12-9 in the playoffs, and his Steelers won a Super Bowl title after the 2005 season. Gruden is 95-81 in regular-season play and 5-4 in the postseason.

Sparano's regular-season and postseason records are 25-21 and 0-1, chokingly!!!!

Nuff said!!!!


i adore you
i am
i am all for you
i am
i adore your smile
your steos
i ask you
do you love me or ?

from ALoco's library

Hennes Favorite All time Song

Mr Roboto By Styx

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
Mata ahoo Hima de
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
Himitsu wo Shiri tai

You're wondering who I am
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
Machine or mannequin
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
With parts made in Japan
(Secret, secret, I've got a secret)
I am the modren man

I've got a secret, I've been hiding under my skin
My heart is human, my blood is boiling
My brain I.B.M., so if you see me
Acting strangely, don't be surprised

I'm just a man who needed someone
And somewhere to hide
To keep me alive, just keep me alive
Somewhere to hide to keep me alive

I'm not a robot without emotions
I'm not what you see
I've come to help you
With your problems, so we can be free
I'm not a hero, I'm not a saviour
Forget what you know

I'm just a man whose circumstances
Went beyond his control
Beyond my control, we all need control
I need control, we all need control

I am the modren man


Those wanting Sparano back also dont seem to understand Bill Belichick is in this division nor do they understand the significance of that.

I wonder if they also understand the significance of not bringing a knife to a gunfight too? LOL................

Ok my turn to bit*h listen up everybody.those of y'all wanting cowher. He is not all that.what did he do in his first 3 years as HC.it took him 15 years to win a superbowl.I'm not saying sparano is the answer cause I don't know if he is are not but I do know I don't want cowher.I don't want to blow this up and start all over again thats just plain dumb as h*ll

Dyingbreed and superfin I want sparano back so to he'll with you it's bad enough I can't go to finheaven.com anymore cause of the dumb posters and now the same for the comment section of this blog

my heart
leave the love alone
who brought me all the
lets live empty
no love ,no agony
leave all the past

from ALoco's library

Mike, How much longer do we give Tony(Babble)Soprano and his 8 and 8 record that he'll deliver this year and deliver next year and the year after that???

i second mikeoliver1313 and what he said .

Thank you ALOCO

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