Let's face it, everything that is about to happen starting at noon on Saturday is window dressing. The script has been finalized. The actors have studied their lines. The public relations department has supplied the right-sounding spin to possible tough questions.
And when the lights come on, the Dolphins' brass will act as if Tony Sparano signing a two-year contract extension today makes everything right and everything you heard the past week is mostly wrong because, of course, the media stinks.
Part of that is true. Some reporters stink at their job and get it wrong a lot or simply steal information from others. And some are just human and make mistakes. I made some myself in covering this weeklong debacle. Some media out there said the Dolphins made Jim Harbaugh an official offer. I think I was quite clear in telling you they never did. They weren't really on a footing solid enough to convince Harbaugh to come, which should say something about the Dolphins ownership and organization.
790 The Ticket in South Florida reported on one of their shows that Harbaugh was already delivered as Miami's coach and he'd already told his assistants he was taking his talents to South Davie, where the Dolphins train.
Harbaugh is today the San Francisco coach.
But the hope here is the Dolphins, known for making the outside world the enemy, emerge today a little smarter, a little wiser, and a little better than that flawed blame-someone-else-strategy.
Note to the powers that be: Admit your mistakes. Tell the truth -- because if you lie you will get busted eventually. And don't assume you're smarter than everyone else. The past week has pretty much proven practically everyone else is smarter than you, no matter what your pay grade or bank account says.
You guys are rookies and you showed it this week. Everyone in the NFL is talking about it and snickering about it, trust me. Don't make it worse by trying to rationalize, excuse or obfuscate your mistakes.
Soft words turn away wrath. Humility disarms. Honor inspires.
Don't try to fool people by saying everything is fixed and perfect. We all know the fracture between Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland will require work. We get that. We can get over that if you can. But we cannot get over you guys saying the understandable hurt and discomfort don't exist because that is a challenge for people like me to prove it does.
Admit it. Tell us you're working toward making it better. Then move on.
Saturday is going to be somewhat painful. We understand you're nervous. We understand that's the reason the round table is being held in a tiny room that limits the size of the audience. Just speak from the heart, from the soul. Speak truth.
This two cents worth of advice is all meant to lessen the sting. It cannot deaden it. The only way that happens is if my dream comes true.
My dream overnight? The Dolphins gather for their noon round table with the media and out trots ... Drew Brees. Or Matt Ryan. Or Josh Freeman.
In his new Dolphins uniform.
All are quarterbacks. All are outstanding or showing the early signs of being outstanding. And it says here that if the Dolphins could somehow, some way, find a way to introduce one of these or a reasonable facsimile, then all would be forgiven.
The Dolphins cannot do that Saturday. So all cannot be forgiven Saturday.
But that doesn't mean wounds won't heal down the road. That doesn't mean the phones jammed with complaints won't eventually stop ringing.
Miami's best chance of making that happen? Get a quarterback!
Start with get a quarterback coach. Get one that has previous NFL success as well as experience. Get one that is ... is ... ballsy. Yeah, get a quarterback coach that will teach his quarterbacks to play with gusto and nerve and daring as well as intelligence, preparation and care.
And get a quarterback coach whose greatest contrubition three years into his Miami career won't be to deliver plays that, like Wildcat, take the quarterback out of the game.
Zeke Bratkowski isn't working is he? Talk to him! Yes, he's older than the hills. So? Advice has no expiration date.
After you find a quarterback coach, find a quarterback. Search high and low. And get help for your search.
In 2008, the Dolphins sent Ireland, Sparano, Dan Henning and David Lee to Michigan, Boston College and Delaware. All four watched Chad Henne, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco. The unanimous consensus was Henne was every bit as good as Ryan and Flacco.
Everyone was wrong. Henne isn't in the same class with the other two. So maybe the Dolphins simply stink at evaluating quarterbacks. I present exhibit A: Pat White.
The Dolphins need to find a couple of quarterback experts. They need men who can spot quarterback talent, sniff quarterback greatness, feel a quarterback's instincts. The Dolphins need men who can spot that it that quarterbacks must have to succeed.
I cannot describe it. But I can tell after 20 or so NFL starts if a player has it or not. Henne doesn't have it. Sorry.
So enlist a couple of guys that can identify that. Ron Wolf can. Former Dolphins and University of Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar can. Chad Pennington probably can, too. Pennington has it, by the way. Too bad he doesn't have an arm to go with it.
The Dolphins will have opportunities to address the QB spot in this coming offseason. Study Cam Newton. Study Blaine Gabbert at Missouri. Obviously Ryan Mallet deserves a thorough study. Check out why Jake Locker simply collapsed.
Get a conviction on somebody. Learn something about one of these kids that no one else knows. Don't stop working it until you have that nugget. And then draft him.
And then get him a veteran to help him learn to be a professional.
Vince Young, Carson Palmer, Kyle Orton, maybe Donovan McNabb will come available. Do not sign any of them for very long and do not sign Young at all. None of the others are the answers, really. But maybe one can be a stopgap.
Scrounge around for that one, understanding that you are picking through some else's discards, which is a nice word for trash. Don't pay like any are treasure. None are for varying reasons.
Above all, understand that the slow, plodding offense you've put on the field the last couple of years was acceptable in 1990. That was the Bill Parcells blueprint of yesteryear. But this year is 2011. And the game has completely changed.
You need speed. You need big plays. That's what the rules are written to allow. And more than oxygen itself you need a quarterback.
The fans get the fact you cannot produce one during Saturday's round table. Do the next best thing. Rather than telling us how the last week really wasn't as terrible as everyone knows it was, do something audacious.
Pledge to get us that QB. You get the right one, he will make us forget the last week ever happened.