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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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all this tells us is that parcells is a fat piece of crap who didn't do sh%t for the dolphins. he should have went to the falcons. lets see falcons 12-2 number 1 seed in playoffs, dolphins no playoffs no qb,no coach. i don't see any similarities there.

Long-time readers of my (I mean Armando's) blog will recognize that the previous post attributed to "Nathaniel Dodsworth" was indeed a fake. On behalf of the perpetrator, I apologize to all who were offended.

Dear Mr. Dodsworth

"The church has a great handle on that already and have been excellent in concealing over 95% of their abuses"

I'm not a very religious guy but is that some kind of parable of the Dolphins front office and coaching staff ?....Cause if it is here's a dollar for the collection plate.

Soiled :)

i went to see santa yesterday and i told him i wanted a real franchise qb, a real winning coach, some dbs, or cbs that can make a interception, some rbs with speed, some good wrs, a new ol,. he just laughed!

So typical of the gentile folk, preferring to hide behind Santa and Jungle Bells, while never acknowledging the atrocities committed by their very own religious leaders, extending (no pun intended) all the way to the top. Now I see why they call it blind faith.

Maybe they will find a way to justify this with their next Book, the 3rd testament (or shall we say, version 3.01, revised for modern society).

Superphin can you read..if so can you comprehend what you have read...and if you can do those two things adequatley then my next question would be what did you interpert that I posted???? I mean seriously what I posted and what you understood are so differnt I can't fathom it what context you responded to me......re-read it...this time don't SKIM it......and get back to me.....in any case.....


Happy Holidays To ALL!!!!!!!!!!!

pat devlin, in the you tube videos this guy didn't even throw the ball deep once. pass!

Dear Mr. Salguero

Will going from the New Testament to the 3rd Testament be anything like going from Windows Vista to Windows 7...it was an easy install and an overall better operating system.

The new improved 3rd Testament...easy to read/install and an all around better Humanoid/operating system.

Wondering

Soiled :)

My spelling sucks.....but you get the gist...


Happy Holidays to ALL!!!!!

Soiled, the v3 testament will feature in-private browsing (aka, poorn mode). This was specifically introduced to eliminate all further traces of the all to prevalent child molestations going on in the church. With 256 bit encryption, it will be virtually undetectable by even the highest legal authorities.

I choose to just keep my kids away from any fear inspiring business interested religious freaks.

If Coher comes here I think we also make a play for Carson Palmer. I guarantee Cowher can win with Carson Palmer.

Carson maybe the only current evidence in the league right now of how a great qb can look average in a mediocre system.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TOO ALL!!!!!

It sure would be nice, highly unlikely though, if Ross spoke to the fans after the season and gave us an honest assessment of where he thinks things stand and what his immediate intentions are. He can do more than anyone to gain fan interest by merely reaching out to them.

DB,

We disagreed last night, but I am on board with Palmer as being an option....His Contract will make it diffucult to get the job done, but if they have the opertunity to get him an don't....I will be very dissapointed.....I think he needs a change of scenery bad......


Happy Holidays To All!!!!!

Its going to take a HUGE amount of $$$$ to make the needed changes here in Miami. All that's now left to see is if Stephen Ross will have the balls to do it.

Ross says he's a HUGE finsfan, but we'll really get to see how huge that is this offseason. We'll definitely see if he's willing to put even more money where his mouth is.

Its going to take both a HUGE amount of money and HUGE amounts of BALLS!

Joe Robbie had BIG TIME BALLS. He fired the early archetect of the 70's championship team. Yes Robbie scalloped Joe Thomas.

Here's Thomas list of deeds with Miami:

Joe Thomas: The Architect of the 1972 Miami Dolphins
Imagine if you will, a general manager of an NFL franchise who negotiates shrewdly, spots opportunities others miss, and superbly evaluates football talent. And imagining such a creature is all you could have been doing if you've been a fan of the Miami Dolphins this decade. Yet, once upon a time the Dolphins actually had such a person in charge of the organization. His name was Joe Thomas and the moves he made as Dolphins' GM from 1967 to 1970 rival anything any GM has ever done in NFL history. Submitted for your approval, Joe Thomas’ major trades (Pay particular attention to the bolded names):

1967
1) QB John Stofa to Cincinnati for 1st and 2nd round picks in 1968. 1st round pick used to take OT Doug Crusan.

2) QB Jon Brittenum to San Diego for 3rd round pick in 1968. Pick used to take Dick Anderson.

1969
2) LB John Bramlett, QB Kim Hammond and 5th round pick to Patriots for LB Nick Buoniconti

3) CB Mack Lamb to San Diego for G Larry Little

1970
4) 1st round pick in 1970 to Cleveland for WR Paul Warfield

5) WR Jack Clancy to Green Bay for TE Marv Fleming

As you may have noticed, the bolded names are current members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Five trades. Three Hall of Famers (Three!), plus a two-time All-Pro in Anderson and two long-time contributors in Crusan and Fleming. As great as Don Klosterman’s moves were for the Rams, none of his deals netted even one Hall of Famer. And what did Thomas have to give up in exchange for his haul? Not much. Apparently professional football teams back in the day just enjoyed handing out Hall of Famers for nothing. “Just take them. What possible use could we have for them?” A quick look at the flotsam Miami parted with:

Stofa--The Patriots’ quickly tired of his awful play and he was back in a Miami uniform just a year later.
Bramlett--Was a Pro Bowler for Miami in 1968. Gave the Patriots two seasons and was out of the league after half a season more with Atlanta.
Brittenum--One season with the Chargers, threw 17 passes, and never played again.
Hammond—Three games with the Pats and done.
Lamb—Never played again.
Clancy—One season with the Pack, caught 16 balls, and never played again.

The only real loss was that #1 pick for Warfield. Miami’s crappy 1969 season, their final one before the coming of the Don, earned the overall third pick of the draft. But even losing that to Cleveland wound up working to Miami’s benefit. You see, the Browns used that draft pick to select their quarterback of the future, Mike Phipps, and in 1972 that future arrived. Phipps and his wild-card Browns matched up against the undefeated Dolphins in the first round of the 1972 playoffs. Cleveland gave Miami all they could handle, even taking a 14-13 lead in the 4th quarter. Luckily, Miami mounted a comeback and a late Phipps interception sealed the 20-14 victory. Phipps threw five, count ‘em five, freaking picks that day, giving away the game and keeping the perfect season alive. With perfect symmetry, if not irony, Phipps played the goat for the Browns while the man Cleveland traded to get Phipps, Paul Warfield, took the hero’s role for Miami on their winning TD drive, catching 50 yards worth of passes and drawing a key pass interference penalty to set up the score.

Thomas didn’t just make great trades. He also drafted QB Bob Griese, RB Larry Csonka, DE Bill Stanfill (two-time All-Pro), S Jake Scott (two-time All Pro), RB Mercury Morris (three Pro Bowls), RB Jim Kiick (two Pro Bowls) and DB Tim Foley (one Pro Bowl). He also signed C Jim Langer and OG Bob Kuechenberg (two-time All Pro) as free agents. 21 of the 22 starters on the 1972 Dolphins were players acquired by Joe Thomas. Don Shula molded those players into one of the greatest teams of all time. But Joe Thomas was the guy who built that team.

Kris i never know WTF your talking about but to my understanding you were saying belicheck was soley responsible for NE success over the last decade, and that he was just as successful a coach with tom brady than he couldve been without him....yes i re read your post and it still READS like belicheck WON those SB's instead of the Pats Overall having better managment, better personal, better coaching, so drink some more egg nog and try not to barf it all out when you read a comment, and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!!!!

I'm of a generation where there were no make up exams, no do overs, the grade you got was the grade you earned. Period.

After 3 years, going 1-6 at home, losing to other losing teams with the playoffs on the line can't be seen as anything other than a failure. Had Nolan not fallen in their lap, things could have been decisively worse right now. I don't see what Sparano has done to earn a continuation.

Investing in a losing proposition is what you call a losing proposition.

Not The Greatest Quarterback Of All Time, Part One: Tom Brady

Did Super Bowl XLII damage any player’s reputation more than Tom Brady’s? If New England had won that game as expected, we’d right now be hearing football experts throughout the land anointing Brady the greatest quarterback of all-time. You know it’s true. After he completed just his fourth season as the Patriots’ starter we first heard the whispers about Brady possibly winding up as the greatest ever. Look where he was after the 2004 season: three rings, a 3-0 Super Bowl record, two Super Bowl MVP awards, several classic game-winning drives, and only three postseason picks en route to a perfect 10-0 postseason mark. Sure you could quibble about a few things, Brady really didn’t do much in Super Bowl XXXVI until the end, and he got outplayed by Jake Delhomme in Super Bowl XXXVIII, a game in which Brady’s late game heroics might not even have been necessary had he not thrown an end zone interception on third-and-goal midway through the 4th quarter. Still, 10-0 is 10-0.

Lots of people now started comparing Tom Brady to Joe Montana. Sure Montana won four Super Bowls to Brady’s three, but Montana’s third didn’t come until he was 32 years old. Brady won his third at 27. But a few cracks in the armor soon appeared. In 2005, Brady’s Patriots travelled to Denver in the second round of the playoffs. Trailing 10-6 near the end of the 3rd quarter, New England faced a 3rd-and-5 at the Denver five-yard-line. A TD would give momentum and the lead. Instead, Brady threw a horrible interception to Champ Bailey, who took it all the way back to the Patriots’ one to set up an easy Denver TD. 17-6 Broncos, the Pats were done, and the dream of a third-straight Super Bowl ended.

In the second round of the 2006 playoffs, Brady played even worse. Against the Chargers, he suffered his first-ever three-interception playoff game. The final one seemingly putting the Patriots in a huge hole late in the game. But luckily Troy Brown knocked the ball out of Marlon McCree's hands, NE recovered, and Brady pulled another one out of his you-know-where but his luck then ran out the following week. Against Indianapolis in the AFC Championship game, Brady led his team to a seemingly insurmountable 21-3 lead against a team he had owned. Even the biggest Colts homer could not possibly have expected a win at that point but the Colts and Peyton Manning shocked everyone with one of the game’s great comebacks and stormed back to take a late 38-34 lead. To date, all of Brady’s great comeback drives ended in field goals. This time it would take a TD. Brady drove his team from its own 21 to the Colts’ 45 in the final minute, but his shot at another Super Bowl died when he threw an interception with 24 seconds left. So after nothing but playoff success, Brady wound up missing the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons thanks to his own mistakes. Still, 12-2 is 12-2. Nobody’s perfect right?

The only real criticism you could have of Brady was his failure post an MVP-type season. Brady never topped 28 TD’s in a season and he only threw for 4000 yards once. Meanwhile, his big rival Peyton Manning was doing those things almost every year. Now Brady's apologists pointed to his lack of big-time receivers as the reason for his not-so-stellar numbers. And when Randy Moss and Wes Welker landed on the 2007 Pats, those Brady apologists sure as hell looked like they knew what they were talking about! Dude threw 50 freakin’ touchdowns in 2007. 50!!! An all-time record. And 4806 yards passing! And a 16-0 regular season! Sure New England ran up the score in shocking weekly displays of bad sportsmanship, but 50 TD’s is 50 TD’s. Brady ran away with the MVP award. So Brady set the NFL passing TD mark, won the MVP, and won every regular season game. All he had to do to cap off the greatest quarterback season in NFL history was to win that fourth Super Bowl. And with that fourth Super Bowl, Brady would be well on his way to cementing his case as the greatest QB who ever played the game.

One problem. Brady forgot to bring his A-game. He forgot to bring his B-game even. Maybe he brought his C-game. Not discounting the incredible performance by the New York Giants’ defense, there’s no way to say Brady deserved to win that game. The greatest offense of all time scores 14 points? How does that happen? Yeah, Brady’s stats don’t look that bad. He didn’t throw any picks and he completed 60% of his passes. But look at his Yards Per Attempt, 5.5. That is horrible. He didn’t make a single big play all game and, in Super Bowls, nothing is more important than big plays. Nobody’s going to confuse Eli Manning with Tom Brady but in crunch time the guy made some huge plays (i.e the 45-yarder to Boss, and some other play near the end of the game. It’ll come to me later). Brady fumbled, costing his team a field goal, when he held on to the ball too long at the end of the first half. He misfired several times when he had receivers open. He just didn’t get the job done.

You know what’s funny? If the Giants don’t pull off that miracle drive at the end, all of the above is forgotten. All we would have heard about was Brady’s 4th quarter drive that gave New England the lead with less than 3 minutes to play. “When it counts, the guy gets it done”, “Brady just knows how to win”, etc., etc., blah, blah, pick your cliche. He finally would have had that Super Bowl-winning TD drive, just like Joe. And 4 rings, just like Joe. And a 15-2 playoff record, much better than Joe. But he didn’t. And he doesn’t.

So maybe Brady still wins another Super Bowl or two before his career is over. It’s unlikely Brady racks up career numbers comparable to Marino, Favre, or Peyton Manning. So his legacy rests on Super Bowls. And now he can’t say he never lost one. And he can’t say he never played badly in one. Joe Montana can.


Derek...I totally agree regarding a QB of excellence...however (don't you hate "howevers?"...lol)
It's sort of a "cart before the horse" thing.
Get a great GM with A GAME PLAN, and HE'LL get you a great QB. Worked in Atlanta, NE, Indi, Green Bay...several times, etc.

We've had a series of either inexperienced, or unqualified morons siting in the GM's chair, the no cajones to make the tough decisions.
Long is great, but no elite RB with speed?
No QB with both an arm AND heart?
Long is wasted, and will be gone in 2 years, or whenever his contract comes up, and his service to us would have been wasted.

Mando's post could perhaps have been better timed til after New Years, but it doesn't change the fact that he is correct.
What he didn't say was that Parcells WAS/IS the problem, as he brought in 2 MORE inexperienced people, and THEN left them holding the bag.

BTW, Vann, your andalogy of Scarlett v Spears was brutally correct.

Merry Christmas to all.
We need a loss tomorrow. Better draft pick (hopefully) and another reason to can Tony and Ireland.

lions will probaly break their 489 game winless streak on road vs us tomm. so glad we will be getting a new staff. cowher is number one on my wish list.

dying breed are u drunk or really bored bro

to compare the best player brady w/3 rings to marino who never won even a ring is just plain dumb .

brady borck so far 89 percent of the nfl records and still many years to go to break the rest .get a clue papa .

brady cant hold marinos jock. give marino bradys teams and see what happens. marino IS THE MAN

superphin is a little guy who's trying to be tough .

NOW i know why we can't complete no deep passes ..i went to all open practices this year..and i never saw them throw a deep ball with coverage..msybe they didn't want to get the wr's or db's injured.

i give kris props, he had the balls to come out of the closet on this blog

Shorter 'Mando Salguero:

Falcons Good. And Lucky.

Dolphins Bad. And very unlucky.

how are the falcons lucky?

There are records and there are stats. There are also just so many different variables by which one can judge a QB. But when all is said and done, nobody threw the ball better than Dan Marino. Nobody.

Falcons have the skill to have a great Record.
Today I tell u, Falcons fall in Playoffs.
The Great thing about the 2010 season,
You can take all ur stats,history,records and geek information and throw it out the window at the start of the Playoff...
New england is the only team that really are Convincing to the SuperBowl,BUTTT WAIT,
Even the Browns can show u How to beat them.

Warning::: I'm in no Position to Play or Coach in the NFL. These are JUST a fans opinion.

...... and still.... I Wish... IT WAS OUR TIME!!!! :(
( I need a cold one)


Im just a man of mediocrity and thats no lie

lions will probaly break their 489 game winless streak on road vs us tomm. so glad we will be getting a new staff. cowher is number one on my wish list.

Posted by: bill_cnnrs@yahoo.com | December 25, 2010 at 04:09 PM

Uh, Detroit beat the Bucs last week in Tampa.

how are the falcons lucky?

Posted by: bill_cnnrs@yahoo.com | December 25, 2010 at 04:20 PM

Because I don't post at their websites that's how.

the cuban again enjoying faking posters .

Not the Greatest Quarterback of All-Time, Part Four: Dan Marino
Dan Marino’s my favorite player of all time so if you’re here looking for critical things to be written about him, you’re in the wrong place buddy. Past Interference isn’t going there. Ever! Do you hear?! Suffice it to say, since Marino never led the Miami Dolphins to a championship team and as he has now ceased to be the NFL’s all-time leading passer, it’s not possible for him to be considered the greatest QB of all-time. His brilliant passing was more than good enough to have won championships had he been surrounded by enough quality players but sadly that just didn’t happen.

What I do want to write about is about what happened in Marino’s one Super Bowl appearance. Too many have talked about that game as if it represented some sort of failure on Marino’s part which is just flat-out wrong. Marino played heroically in Super Bowl XIX but no heroics on his part could have made a difference. Dan faced off against one of the great teams in NFL history while being supported by players who were outmatched, outplayed, and outcoached every step of the way.

Let’s start with the Niners. When people talk about the great 49ers teams of the 80’s they’re usually talking about the 1989 team or the 1988-1989 team that won back-to-back titles. But it’s the 1984 team that won more games than any team in history. They went 18-1, and that single loss came on a late field goal. The 1984 49ers may not have had Jerry Rice or Steve Young, but they scored more points than the 1989 team, allowed fewer points, and probably had a better defense. Specifically, consider the secondary. Marino was throwing against Ronnie Lott (A Hall of Famer), Eric Wright (an all-pro), Dwight Hicks (an all-pro), and Carlton Williamson (two-time Pro Bowler). If a better secondary has ever stepped foot on the field, please tell me ‘cause I’d really like to know who it could be. I sure as hell know it wasn’t the garbage Miami was putting out there (Judson, Lankford, and the Blackwood Brothers). And against the greatest secondary of all-time, Marino tore it up in the early going. The Dolphins scored on their two first-quarter possessions and led 10-7 as the second quarter started.

Miami’s offensive production slowed down after that. You know why? Because Bill Walsh wasn’t an idiot. The guy saw what Marino was doing. So “The Genius” made a change, he went with six defensive backs. And it worked. Marino struggled after that, especially as San Francisco managed to keep the heat on him rushing only four men. Miami’s O-line couldn’t stop them. So under all that pressure, and against that flood of defensive backs, Marino understandably started having some problems. Now there would seem to be one obvious strategy for dealing with those problems: RUN THE BALL! Make those undersized d-backs come up and have to make some plays. Don’t let the Niners D sit on the pass. But Miami didn’t run. Ok, they ran it a whole 8 times. Sure, when your team’s leading rusher that year is Woody Bennett and sure, when your team’s averaging less than three yards a carry putting the ball in the hands of your running game might not seem like the best strategy as you fall further and further behind, but great coaches adjust. Don Shula just yelled at his team to play harder. Bill Walsh changed things up and team took control of the game.

Miami could only add 6 more points in the second quarter. Still, both then and now 16 first-half points is a very good total. Up to that time only five Super Bowl teams had bettered it. And of all 84 Super Bowl teams to date, only 15 teams have topped that first-half number. So Marino and the Miami offense posted a well-above average scoring effort for the first half, and they were getting killed 28-16! How was that Marino’s fault!?!?!

Contrast Marino’s predicament with Joe Montana’s situation. Miami’s defenders could barely lay a hand on him (which would have been tough even if Miami had had any kind of pass rush, which they most certainly didn’t. Joe’s O-line featured 4 All-Pro’s: Ayers, Quillan, Fanhorst, and Randy Cross). Unlike San Francisco’s D, Miami couldn’t sit back and play the pass because the Niners had a great running game. Not just Roger Craig, but Wendell (Tippecanoe and) Tyler too. Tyler was injury prone but when healthy the guy was a fantastic player, a 1000-yard rusher who averaged 5.1 yards a carry that year. Pure speed. Both backs were tremendous pass catchers as well. Not to take anything away from Montana who played brilliantly, maybe the greatest quarterbacking performance in Super Bowl history, but there was an obviouse talent disparity between the two teams. The only advantage the Dolphins may have had was with the Marks Brothers at receiver, but that edge wasn’t huge. The Niners countered with Dwight Clark, an all-pro, Russ Francis, an excellent tight end, and Tyler and Craig, who each caught 70-plus yards worth of balls each that night. Montana had no shortage of weapons and no shortage of time in which to repeatedly find them wide open. Of course, passing was a choice for San Francisco. His team also ran for 211 yards and controlled the clock for over 37 minutes. Marino on the other hand had to pass on practically every play, setting a then-Super Bowl record for attempts with 50. Near the end of the third quarter Marino tossed his first interception of the game. The score at the time? 38-16. Forced to take chances in a hopeless cause, Marino threw another pick on the 4th quarter. The score was still 38-16. Final score: 38-16. Those two picks ruined Marino’s stats but they obviously played no role in the outcome. The game had already been decided when the Niners opened up a three-score lead in the third quarter. Marino kept fighting till the end anyway.

Hearing people slam Marino for losing that game makes me sick. The defense gives up four straight TD drives in the first half, the offensive line can’t give Marino any time to throw, Miami’s all-pro punter kicks nothing but short easily-returned line drives, and the coach has no answers. Marino got no help. One guy can’t win a game! And just why does Marino come in for criticism for the loss while Don Shula goes completely unscathed?

People point out that Shula won championships without Marino yet he couldn’t win with him. Ergo Dan couldn’t have been that great. Right. I’ve written about Shula’s big-game failures before. He coached in seven title games and lost five times. Marino quarterbacked one of those five losses. So what happened in the other four? Were those Marino’s fault too? Of course not. Miami's offense just did in Super Bowl XIX what all of Shula’s team did in championship games: not score in the second half. Just 14 total points in the second half of the seven combined title games. Pathetic. That includes games quarterbacked by Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks Johnny Unitas and Bob Griese. Did they suck too? Even in Shula’s two Super Bowl wins note how many total first-half points Miami put up: 7 in Super Bowl VII and 17 in Super Bowl VIII. Pretty comparable to Marino's 16 in Super Bowl XIX no? So what was the difference? Well, Miami shut out their opponents in the first half of their 1972-1973 Super Bowl wins while Marino’s defense gave up 28 freaking points in the first half, that’s the difference! Miami’s 314 yards on the day topped the 1972-1973 efforts of 253 and 238 yards.

Shula’s two highest scoring teams in Super Bowl play were the 1973 Dolphins and the 1982 Dolphins. Both put up 17 in the first half. The former added a TD in the second and won handily. The second added nothing and lost. Marino’s 1984 team put up 16 points but truly that was a much better offensive effort than the 1982 team as the latter team scored on a kickoff return, a flukey 76-yard TD bomb, and a FG set up by another long kick return. In Super Bowl XVII, Miami didn’t have one sustained drive the whole game and wound up with only 176 yards of offense, just a pathetic 80 in the air. So really, only one of Shula’s many Super Bowl squads ever surpassed the offensive performance of Dan Marino’s offense in Super Bowl XIX. And that one team, the 1973 Dolphins, featured a dominating defense and running game. Such things were missing from the 1984 Dolphins and thus Dan Marino went down to defeat. And clearly that has to be considered more Don Shula’s fault than Dan Marino’s. Marino didn't have the horses.


DyingBreed

Enjoyed your post at 6:17 pm

Soiled :)

The Worst Trade in Miami Dolphins History, Part VI
Ok, the Herald says these are the three worst trades in Miami Dolphins' history:

1) The A.J. Feeley trade (2004)
2) The Jake Scott trade (1975)
3) The draft day trade down with Green Bay that may have cost Miami a shot at Randy Moss (1998)

That's wrong. These are the three worst trades in Miami Dolphins' history:

1) The A.J. Feeley trade (2004)
2) The Anthony Carter trade (1985)
3) The Ricky Williams trade (2002)

So which of these is the worst of them all? I suppose it all depends on your criteria. For sheer stupidity you have to go with the Feeley deal. I mean, what possible reason was there to give up a 2nd-rounder for a guy who was a mid-round draft pick and who was mediocre at best in his brief career up to that point? It made no sense. Spielman and Wannstedt panicked and gave up too much. Had Miami given up a #1 pick, then this would be an easy call for their worst pick ever. But though this is the dumbest trade ever, it's not the costliest. Of course, Miami's collapse in 2004 still wound up making that 2005 2nd-rounder a pretty valuable pick--the number 35 pick overall.

The Carter trade is, I believe, the only time in Dolphins history where they gave up a great player with his best years ahead of him and got nothing in return. Shula got taken. I never gave this much thought until I started working on these posts but now I'm pissed I never had the chance to see Marino throw to Duper, Clayton AND Carter! Man that would have been awesome. Would Carter have gotten Miami to a Super Bowl though? Seems unlikely. RB and defense were still the big needs in the late 80's.

Now Ricky WIlliams. To get Ricky, Miami gave up more than they’ve ever given up to get any player ever. Was he worth it? We all know the answer to that. Hell no! Ricky gave them one incredible season but Miami missed the playoffs that year. He regressed the next year as did the Dolphins. Then he quit to sail off to hippie lotusland. The move to get Ricky made all the sense in the world at the time, but now we see what a huge cockup it turned out to be. Miami gambled and lost. The lost first round draft picks and the 2004 team collapse franchise were a direct cost of this deal, and unless you drafted Ricky for your fantasy football team in 2002, no benefits were gained. If you weigh the worst trade by the damage ultimately done, and I do, then this has to be the Worst Trade in Miami Dolphins History.


Breed is drunk .

Truth is, I'll be up all night.

Why? Cause Money Never Sleeps!

mikeliver1313 has condom breath.

The NFL is cyclical. We haven't been good in decades, but the tide will soon turn (if you believe in inevitability). Miami will be a powerhouse again. The Pats and Jets will be laughingstock's again. And somewhere in Heaven, God will be pleased the Earth is finally right and exact! All praises due!

hope and prayer is for losers. actions make things happen. this team stinks. its perpetually 3 years away from competing. ross needs to act. it all starts at the top.

if fins lose sunday, i dont see any way strapono keeps his job after this year, which may be best case scenario for most of us wanting him gone anyways so losing to another inferior team may be all the hope we need for the AXing...Just Sayin!!!

superphin, are you still drunk punk ?

I have to go, boy toy is calling me.


Get a life DyingBreed

Get some sense SuperPHIN

Get Real DC Dolfan

Burn in Hell Kris

Happy New Year

My boy toy sleeps too much. Any manly men out there that can help me?

superphins and breed are 2 low class drunk punks .

mikeliver1313 obviously has multiple sign ons because his name frequently changes by a letter or two, which means he is dikn around. Poor sad loser strokes it looking at playgirl..hahahaha

The Marlin Briscoe Trade

I forgot about a trade I meant to discuss in my brilliant series about the Dolphins' worst trades of all time. Miami sent its first round pick in 1972 to the Buffalo Bills for wide receiver Marlin Briscoe. Here's what Briscoe did in three seasons with the Dolphins (he got hurt in 1974):

years catches yards TD's
1972 16 279 4
1973 30 447 2
1974 11 132 1


Not great numbers even for that time, though Miami hardly threw the ball in those years. Meanwhile, with the pick they got for Buffalo selected future Hall of Fame Guard Joe DeLamielleure. So this one looks bad. Very bad. BUT, I'm sure the Dolphins wouldn't have taken DeLamielleure even if they kept their pick. They already had two guards named Larry Little and Bob Kuechenberg. Not a need position. But even if they needed a guard, you'd never ever want to take that deal back no matter how lopsided. Why? Because the ultimate goal in any trade or draft pick is to improve your team so that they can win a championship. Briscoe was a part of Miami's only two Super Bowl winning teams. An important part. And one of those teams was a perfect team, the only one in NFL history. That's the crowning achievement of the Dolphins' franchise. You'd never give that back. Miami played in a few nailbiters in 1972, especially in the postseason. If Briscoe made just one key play in any of those games--a catch. a block, drawing attention to free someone else up to make a big play, then the trade was worth it. Those Super Bowls, that 17-0 record, those are forever. Everybody on that roster had their part to play and they played it. Removing any one of those players, even if he wasn't a star, might have turned a perfect team into something less than perfect. Briscoe gave everything he had to the 1972-1973 Dolphins. Miami fans have to be glad he was there, even if might have cost them a Hall of Famer.

The Worst Trade in Miami Dolphins' History:

Yeah, mike dude is obviously a pitiful loser.

3 games (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo), if we had won those we'd be in the Playoffs. With a crappy owner and a crappy coach and a crappy OC and a crappy QB and a crappy offense, etc.

So I don't believe we're always 3 years away. Actually, we're there this year (probably 1 OC away). You take this exact same team, with a new OC, I bet we win those 3 games, and everyone's singin' a different tune.

Maybe the problem is, even on Christmas, most of you people are so damned negative-thinking that you can't take yes for an answer (like, "is your team better now than it was with the last coaching staff?").

I think you people need more ecstasy in Miami. It ain't all that bad.

DC,

I believe we're a OC and a proven gameday coach away. Sparano still takes questionable timeouts and those big fist pumps for field goals, I believe sends the wrong message to both team and fans.

It wasnt until constant fan, through the media, disapproval did Sparano cool down with the fieldgoal fist pumps. Dont get me wrong I like Sparano, but think we need a more experienced and proven gameday coach on the sidelines.

I feel Sparano was the right coach for our team in the beginning but feel now the team is outgrowing Sparano and he struggles to keep up.

Remember, It was Moses who led the Isrealites to the promised land, but it took Joshua to lead them into it:


"Moses was supposed to, but the people balked because a lack of faith. After Moses death, Joshua led the people into the promised land. Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because he disobeyed God's command to him. He struck a rock to bring forth water when God told him to speak to it."

Our team seems to suffer lack of faith and maybe Sparano has stricken the rock instead of speaking to it, to make it bring forth water. LOL................

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_led_the_israelites_to_the_promised_land#ixzz19BK3P3XQ

DC,


Im sorry but i disagree with that, even if miami found ways to beat Cle, Buff, and Pitt @ home, how would this team be any different from the same team that greatly benifitted from a easy schedule in 08 just to beat broken in the playoffs by a much better playing opponent. We had flaws then and we have some serious flaws now at key positions. The QB is in serious doubt as far as weather or not he is a Starting QB in this league, and he seems to have a robot personality, Our OC is bush league when it comes to putting points and reasonable plays out there on offense, The HC who continues to sit back and watch as the offense gets worse week to week and then endorces hennings playcalling after games and uses himself as a third person when doing so.
The highest paid offensive player on your team coming out and apologizing to the defense for absolutely Stinking on the field. No, this time i would say winning those games would've covered up more of the problems this team wouldve continued to have going forward. You ask if we are better than the cam-moron era, Yea sure we are, who couldnt be better after going 1-15 in 07 which is the worst this organiztion has ever looked but its more apperant day by day that with BP gone, Tony Sparono is in over his head at head coach.

DB, not disagreeing with you there. If you look at the trajectory, Year 1, we were good, but it was very good execution and a lot of smoke and mirrors (i.e. easy schedule). Year 2, poor defense, poor passing offense, #4 run offense. Year 3, #4 defense, better pass offense (until recently), horrible run offense.

We take baby steps. Put one thing together, then another, but can't get the whole ball of wax to gel. Sparano needs to get it all to come together like Transformers. If not, bye bye baby!

Still, Sparano's hands down our best HC of the post Shula era. But given his previous competition its not an overly high esteemed accomplishment. But my thanks does go out to coach Sparano. Now lets move on.

Wow DB,

Your posts invoke some distant memories.
You should create your own website - Dolphins History.
You mentioned some things that time has eroded from my memory.
It's great to have those things jogged back to life.
Peace to all true "aqua blue" Dolphins fans.

o yea not to mention how bad we are at clock management, too scared to make more risks, i love how sparono pointed to the green bay Hail Mary not working as an excuse of why not trying it in buffalo game....somebody shouldve pointed out the same thing was tried in Jax-Houston game with game winning results.

DC,

I know some here do and dont fully agree with me. However, from the deep inerts of heart I believe Cowher is the answer. I believe Cowhers goes after Palmer and win with him.

As for baby steps, that was good in the beginning but its now time for the BIG GUNS. Cowher represents this. Moses has led us to the promised land, but its now time for Joshua to take over. LOL................

R&R EXPRESS,

I dont take false credit for those things I posted. You can relive all of those memories right here:

http://miamimigraine.blogspot.com/2007/05/architect.html

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