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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.

Miami?

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.

Amazing.

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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the dolphins never achive any thing as long as posters like super fin is around ...we need stability and OC and 2 midgets .

mikeoliver1313 obviously sees something in strapono that nobody WANTS to see, A real puppet in Parcells clothing on the sidelines, like ive said before mike, ARE you in favor of the fist if it means more FGS and field position for next year??!!!!

Mikeoliver1313,

The year before Cowher took over the Steelers were 7-9 and had been to only one playoff in 6yrs. Cowher's season at Pittsburgh they also won thier division with an 11-5 record.

We havent been to Conference championship game since 1984(26yrs and counting...) and it's been at least 15yrs or more since winning a 1st rd playoff game.

Cowher went to 6 Conference championships in 15 seasons. Shula only went to 5 conference championship games in 30yrs with the Dolphins. But I'm sure that doesnt mean anything when the winningest coach ever hasnt even acomplished that feat given twice the same amount of time.

Wish Everyone a vey Merry Christmas!!

Quiet Aloco, otherwise no movie for the night and no meatball sub for dinner....

mikeoliver < loser

WHAT'S IS MORE IMPORTANT , A CONFERENCE CRP OR A RING ?

BILICICHICK WENT EO 8 CONFERENCES AND WON 3 RINGS

Can someone explain to me why Mike Nolan would be a poor choice as head coach? He's clearly got it with the defense. I suppose you can say good coordinators and good head coaches are different animals, but if he can trust an offensive coach to run the show and work on defense, what's to say we don't win a bunch more than we do now?

SuperPhin,

Aloco uses two computers and is logged in under 2 identities at a time. He types both up then posts both at the same time so it doesnt look like they could have came from the same time. Because using only one computer it's impossible to log in and out of different screen names and be able to post 1 or 2 minutes apart.

ALoco is the master of multiple identities here. But I have no problem with it. If thats what makes him happy passing the time away sobeit. LOL...............

SUPER , I SEE YOU DON'T LIKE PEOPLE TO DISAGREE WITH YOUR CRAP.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND ALL

Aloco, im confused here, im assuming that the poster at 7:23 was but then again it wasnt in all CAPS so i might be mistaken, please clarify if imposter is present!!!

El captain = super loser

Tony Sparano is a players coach, a real man's man, he is still learning. He doesn't have to be as smart as other coaches for us to win, he's proven that.

DYIND, I AM VERY SAD YOU THONK THAT WAY OF ME ,BUT I AM NOT DOING WHAT YOUR BRAIN IS TELLING YOU .I CHALLANGE YOU TO ASK ARMANDO ABOUT THAT ?

ALoco,

You have so many identies you use hear even I get briefly confused at times. LOL........

LOL @ Breed, Never thought of that, But makes since....

That rocks somebody posted under my name how do you that that's cool as he'll

Never mind Aloco, i stand correct, Love you too and happy holidays,

DB its tough to deal with multiple personalities, i have some EX's with the same problems as some these posters so id better watch out!!!

DB ,I AM VERY SAD YOU THINK THAT WAY OF ME .


MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU

Please post under my name again please

Aloco, Mando has named you "Many me" why???????

DB AND SUPERFIN ARE DOING WHAT THEY ACCUSE ME OF DOING.

ASK ARMANDO IF THAT TRUE COWBOYS .

ALoco,

wink...wink......... You and I both know Armando doesnt care enough about that to even consider revealing who all of the who's who are on this blog. All he cares about are the multiple hits because that's how he makes his money.

I dont care if someone here had a 1000 different identities here. Whatever makes them happy is what I say. LOL..............

It's like a out of body exsperinse seeing somebody post under name cool

Sparano for President in 2011

THE CUBAN WHO HAS MORE NAMES THAN GOD THAN DB HAVE SPOKEN.

MARRY CHRISTMAS CUBAN .

ALoco,

Merry Christmas good buddy. LOL...........

Aloco = Heart and Soul of ADD in America*lol*

DB, IN THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS I AM NOT GOING TO REVEAL ALL YOUR NAMES AND ASKING YOU AGAIN TO ASK ARMANDO AGAIN ,I GIVE HIM THE LIGHT TO SAY SO .


MERRY CHRISTMAS DB

LOL@ superphin 7:39 pm

Ask yourselves a simple, honest question. When you listen to Sparano ramble on and on, using 50 words where 3 would do, if not say even more, winding his way to nowhere, do you think:

a. This guy is one dumb fuh.
b. This guy is the master of ruse double talk to throw off the other coaches.
c. This guy can't speak, but he is the master of using time outs.
d. This guy is one dumb fuh.

Please vote.

Merry Christmas Lil Aloco, Be safe and enjoy the week-end... You guys have a great chrismas, The Menace is Out....

superPhin,

I love ALoco to death. He keeps this blog fully entertaining. LOL...............

Good article.

Lots of ifs and buts. The reality is last year they should have cut JP earlier and played Wake. That is the easy call. They would have made the playoffs. Wake would have caught on during the last few games.

They should also have changed the schemes on offense this year. Nothing we can do about safetys and corners dropping balls, but we could have done something about some of the play calling. The defense had us in the games the whole season. No reason to lose to the Steelers, the Browns and others. Just no reason.

We never went for it on 4th and 1 or 2. Big mistake in that the team lost it's killer instinct if it ever had one. Look at the Pats. They will eat you and run the score up. Their job is to score lots of points. It takes pressure off the d.

It makes me believe that Sparano and Henning have lost the offense. And for that they should lose their jobs.

In the last article the bloggers were saying Tedd Ginn would have helped this year. Well he plays football like Sparano and Henning call plays. Lack of belief that they can do it.

Happy Holidays Cuban, dont drown too much of your sorrows on Poor HOT ASHLEY *lol*

Question, I'd Say Tony has a place in the Political world, IMHO......

IT'S very laughable when mike disagree w/superchin early and superchin start to act like a Bully .lol

Like wise DB, Aloco brings with him a uniqueness that can only be matched by himself.

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALOCO!!!!

Bully??? who is this bully??? And who is this mike you speak of???.....Damn, confused again!!!!!

i better agree with these 2 BuLLY'S DB AND SUPERCHIN IF I WANT TO SLEEP TONIGHT .lol

LOL @ Super...

Ginn maybe could have again helped with 1-2 scores on kickoffs. Also could have definitely helped out with starting field position at times.

Also he could have forced teams uncomfortable playing 2 high safety into do it. Because they had to place a safety over Marshall and Ginn sooner or later would blow the top of single man to man coverage. Still it was a roll of the dice does he consistently catch the ball in these situations. LOL............

LOL@ALoco! LoL................

Merry Christmas fellas. Visions of a better football team fleet through my head

All I know is my team us in tatters

I seeped back from the ledge and ask myself if it matters

When to my surprise did appear but a shinny new coach without his head up his rear

He was shouting commands even a retard to understand

And to my amazement the players did shout "we believe".

DB,

Heres one for ya, what are the chances miami signs Tedd*dont let it hit my hands* Ginn to come back to miami again????If strapono remains the HC????

*lol* Happy Holidays Popncaps551

I have forgotten a lot about football X and O as I have gotten older, but I have learned a lot about leading men in dangerous grueling efforts. You don't have to be their friends, but they have to believe in comparison to peers that you know what you are doing. This groups of coaches have failed. I think it's just what the Tuna wanted. Some think foot fetish Ryan has an ego, but it's no where as overblown as BP's.

FINHAVENS ,WHO PICKED THAT CRAPPY NAME ?

TIME FOR MY CREPS BULLY'S .

I'm very satisfied with the Jake Long pick. If the dolphins would have picked Ryan whose to say he wouldn't be a different player for Miami? It has alot to do with the way Atlanta has developed him and game plans for him. I still believe Henne can be the quarterback that this franchise has been looking for. Lets see what he can do with a new off. coordinator. Don't give up on Henne yet, if this franchise does we may see him go somewhere else, in a better situation, and become another teams franchise QB!

YUO GUSY ARE ALL BROWN DONKEYS,HOPE YOU ALL COHCK ON A HAM BONE.


YUO GUSY ARE ALL BROWN DONKEYS,HOPE YOU ALL COHCK ON A HAM BONE.

Posted by: ALoco | December 24, 2010 at 08:12 PM

What language is this in? maybe it's why I dont understand it.

I need somebody to post under my name again it gets my rocks off please

NJ PHIN FAN BAD BOY ! says:
December 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm
I’m out !! I have better things to do than argue with a clueless troll !! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE !!!
More reason to hate the Scum Sentinal, NJ Flim flam LIVES there.LOL, What a buffoon.

the cuban menace is at it again ,

NJ Flim Flam has renamed himself to NJ Flim flam "Bad Boy" ROTFLMAO, What a moron.

Armando, your point is well taken and just goes to show that luring the big name, a lot of times fails to produce brilliant results....Miami seems great at acquiring players who are eventual hall of famers in their last leg, see Cris Carter & Thurman Thomas, damaged goods, see Trent Green & Daunte Culpepper and HOF coaches who made their mark in the NFL elsewhere, see Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban, & Bill Parcells......this is why when I hear Cowher or Gruden I feel enormous cynism because of the aforementioned.....I think Sparano should stay and be offered an extension, unless he has lost the respect of his players.....Ireland is a very good personnel executive, just look at some of the players on Dallas & Miami that he has assembled.....if Ross is worried about selling tickets because of the pathetic home record I understand if he wants to bring in Cowher to energize the fan base and compete with the Heat....you know Henning made a great point about the 5 HOF coaches at the beginning of their careers....Hopefully Miami can add excitement to the fan base next year by instead landing a high-profile o-coordinator, maybe Childress (I'd say McDaniels but with Nolan & Marshall on board that wouldn't work)to totally change the scheme of the offense, perhaps implement a west coast system...might as well try something new....acquiring a QB would be good, unfortunately as Miami's luck goes, this is possibly the worst year to do that....McNabb will end up in Minnesota & Palmer is our only hope which is OK for now....Kolb, but the whole AJ Feely thing frightens me & plus we don't have a second...maybe he's a Matt Schaub, I don't know.....as far as the draft Luck is head and shoulders above Newton, Mallett, Locker & Gabbert and he goes with the first pick...Merry Christmas....oh and it seems like a terrible yr for backs in the draft; doesn't surprise me with Miami's luck....

Bill Belichick could conform his offense to revolve around Tatu as qb and still leave nfl defenders chanting: "Boss, boss thee plane, thee plane!"

Our offense is so offensive it couldnt even tempt a one-legged man with a bushel full of wooden nickels.

Our offense couldnt even go into a w'hore house and tempt a w'hore with a fist full of hundred dollar bills.

Can we have a Christmas Blog with no talk of Cowher...whoops to late...he showed up after about 9 post....well, there is always next blog...


Happy Holidays

Steve,

All 5 of those hof coaches Henne named were all at least OC's Or DC's before being named HC. None were position coaches.

Still wanna bank on Sparano being the first? I'll be the first to take that bet! LOL........

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