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On top assistant hires: Daboll and Cox

The Dolphins made a handful of coaching changes after last season and the most important one will be the addition of Brian Daboll to become Miami's new offensive coordinator. Although initially skeptical about that hiring because all I saw was the fact the new coach's offense ranked lower than Miami's last year, I've completely changed my mind on this addition.

Brian Daboll is instilling a more aggressive, more dynamic offense for the Dolphins this year than you've seen recently. The success of the unit will fall on the talent running it, but I'm encouraged by what little the Dolphins have shown in practice and Friday in the preseason opener.

The offense attacks, which is what an offense is supposed to do. It does multiple things, making harder to prepare against. And I've yet to see Daboll call the incongruous end around at exactly the wrong time.

The second most dynamic addition to the staff?

Bryan Cox.

You'll hear a lot about Cox in the coming days for all the wrong reasons. Simply, the Dolphins will make him available to the media Tuesday and so the pack will write about him because its a seemingly easy story: Former Dolphins Pro Bowl player returns to South Florida to coach where he first played.

That is not the reason this hiring is important.

The hiring is important because the Dolphins are entrusting their most valuable defensive playmaker to Cox. It is up to Cox, who recorded 14 sacks in 1992, to help outside linebacker Cameron Wake make the next leap in his progression. (No, he's not fully formed yet.)

Wake led the Dolphins with 14 sacks s in 2010. So what is the next step for Wake? Well, the toughest assignment in the NFL is not having one good season. The toughest assignment is gaining everyone's attention with a good season and then following it with more good seasons.

Consistency suggests the player is maintaining a level of play, but in truth, consistency means the player is getting better because he is managing the same high level of performance despite the fact opponents are now trying to stop him, adjusting for him, scheming to erase him.

Wake has to get there. How?

He's explosive. He's got God-given gifts. Now, under Cox, the idea is for Wake to become a craftsman, a technician. Yes, he still has that amazing first step, but to remain elite he has to learn the tricks, the hand-fighting, the use of his hips and leverage.

I get the feeling Cox will also talk to Wake about harnessing his emotions. Cox was a master at it. Wake is more controlled. Maybe a little letting loose could help here.

Cox has work to do with Jason Taylor and Koa Misi as well. Misi, a grinder, needs to learn to play his position perhaps more than any Dolphins pass rusher. He gets his mostly on athletic ability and sheer determination. He needs work on his technique.

Taylor knows pretty much everything he'll ever know. But Cox is not beyond challenging his players, milking them. Cox and Taylor together are a couple of great pass-rush minds.

It is no secret I'm a fan of the Cox hire. I covered him throughout his Dolphins career. I loved the guy then and still do today. The Dolphins of the early 1990s were a finesse team. They didn't have a reputation for being able to push anyone around.

I loved the moment in 1991 when, as a rookie, Cox challenged the Cincinnati Bengals bench after they laid a hit on kicker Pete Stoyanovich. Here this almost anonymous fifth-round pick was leading the charge of standing up for Dolphins pride. Amazing.

In the summer of '92, I went to East St. Louis, Ill. with Cox when he went back home to the old neighborhood. I went to see first-hand what kind of place this guy had molded this fearless, confrontational, often angry man. I remember him asking me, "Are you crazy?"

East St. Louis was then and I suppose remains today a tough place. The most obvious example of how tough this place was is the city government had street lights flashing red and yellow starting at dusk rather than running through their natural progression. The idea was to let motorists stop only momentarily at the lights rather than sit there for a couple of minutes -- because that way drivers wouldn't get jacked up or pulled out of their cars as often.

I visited with Cox and his family for three days. After my visit one day, I announced it was time for me to go back to my hotel. It was around sunset. Cox, obviously concerned I kind of stood out in the neighborhood, asked if I needed him to follow me out of town.

No.

"Do you want to borrow my gun?" he offered.

No.

If I had been smarter I would have said, "You betcha!"

Obviously it was a cool experience for me. Cox was always open and honest. The guy hated Buffalo and he said so -- remember the Bills at the time where Miami's biggest rival and the reason the the Dolphins didn't make at least one Super Bowl.

The Cox dual one-finger salute of the folks at then Rich Stadium is a classic detailed below. It led to so many stories and a feud between Cox and the NFL that I could not possibly detail them all here. It was, shall we say, interesting. And, believe it or not, it served to unite the Dolphins defense behind Cox because all his teammates were enraged at the situation.

Cox played with vengence and the team lost something the day he went to the Bears in free agency. He's back now. There's gray in his beard and his belly is a bit larger than it was then.

But is this going to be a good hire by Tony Sparano?

Definitely.

[Please be sure to catch my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, this morning and every weekday morning 6-10 a.m. on 640-AM in South Florida and 640sports.com on the web.]

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Bryan Cox was heckuva good football player.

But the question needs to be asked.

How much of Cox's success was -- in reality -- due to the impeccable gameplanning and playcalling of Tom Olivadotti -- the 'Legend Maker'

Loved Cox and his cocky attitude! You need that in the NFL today.
I agree with the earlier post stating the main issue with our D is in the secondary...too many TD's with TWO Dolphin defenders swarming the receiver but NOT making a play for the ball.

The quicker Henne gets the ball out of his hands and into Bush, Bess & Marshall the better our chances of winning.

Let's give everyone a chance to prove this offense really has changed.

On the last play of the famous GB/Dallas game(1 second left, Packers at the goal line) somebody asked Lombardi, Coach what play did you call? Hell I didn't call any play! Bart Starr, realizing the confusion, called the sneak that won the Game, over Jerry Kramer, of course. I believe from Kramer's great Instant Replay.

Bryan Cox might be a good addition to the staff because Bryan became a great player because of sheer will and desire. He wasn't the most athletic linebacker in the game but he was a high-motor guy who was intense at all times.

Hopefully, he is capable of communicating the finer points of the game to the players while making it clear that going all out can make up for a lot of shortcomings. If a guy like Soliai had a high-motor to go with his size and talent, he'd be unstoppable.

Armando, Will Nolan get a chance to be the next coach once Sparano gets fired for putting all his chips in the Henne basket?? If so will he insist that a QB be drafted #1 in order to take the job. In reality the Dolphins will be attractive to another coach because with a QB this team has alot of talent and is ready to win now. Then again getting a good QB is not as easy as snapping your fingers and wishing it come true. I think that Ireland survives if Sparano goes becuase he has stocked the team with talent (except at QB, guard and TE). I guess in the end Sparano's inability to develop an effective Oline, which in turn has hampered Henne's development will be the reason he gets fired.

Miamisam...no doubt about Sparano and the O-line shuffle leading to his demise.

Naysayers beware;
The JETS and Titans looked much worse than our Dolphins did even with 4 extra days of trainning camp.
Sanchez and Shaub could not outperform our Chad.
The Dolphins, were more cohesive football team than NY & Houston by far showing us that TS's Staff it's doing a better job of preparing this team given the fact that we have to deal with way more NEWNESS.
Trolling motives aside, naysayers must temper their observations as time and again they are proven WRONG.

Gary,

Good call on Tom Olivadotti. Quite simply one of the all time great DCs in the NFL. LMFAO.

"The quicker Henne gets the ball out of his hands and into Bush, Bess & Marshall the better our chances of winning."

Agreed. Especially considering the way that oline is shaping up. Not sure that the pass pro will be great, at least early in the year. Let those three go make plays. But can Henne do this accurately and w/o ints? Time will tell.

Someone else said it in a different way.

Cox will bring attitude and emotion to this D. Also will hold the linebackers acountable if things do not work out.

I like that idea. I did not like our D last week in Atlanta, but it is early, so I pray that gets a lot better.

I would love to see that nasty dolphin D again!

Daboll has to get our running game off the ground or this is gonna be a long year. the one thing this FO had to do this year is fix the run game. If they don't do that then both Ireland and Sparano will be sent packing

Poizen, I think the problem with the defense was lack of pressure. I don't think Nolan dialed up the blitz packages like he will during the season. And that exposed the weakness of our defense, which is our secondary. So if we get more pressure during the season, that should help the DB's take care of business (in theory, doesn't always work in practice on this team).

Boulder, fixing the run game will win you 7-8 games in any given year. Fix the pass offense, and now you can compete with the big boys.

I say they need to fix the run game just enough to move the chains. But if we run more than we pass, I GUARANTEE we will be a mediocre team again. That is NOT how you win in today's NFL, it's a waste of time.

DC I agree we have to have balance. The difference between us and the jets is our running game. Even last night. sanchez throws 2 check downs. Then green gets 25 yards on the next play. When was the last time we had 25 yards on a run play?
The best cure to a young erratic QB is a good running game. We have to be in the top 10 running this year or 7-9 or worst is probably where we'll end up at.

Great story about Cox,He was a beast!!!! we need more players like him.

F... THE BILLS!

YelloGinn -- Tom Olivadotti was indeed a legend maker.

He almost singlehandedly put Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas into the Hall of Fame

NE ENGLAND ,PITT OR GB NEVER HIRE OLD EX PLAYER TO COACH ..SEEMS THE THE ONLY TEAM THAT RESORT TO GIMMICKS IN HIRING NEW COACHES ARE THE DOLPHINS ....... AND THE WRITERS TRY HARD TO FIND SOME THING TO WRITE ABOUT ..............

I WOULD LIKE POINT OUT...NOTICE HOW THE DRUNK BLOGGERS WHO SHOW UP AFTER 11;00 PM ,ARE AWAY RIGHT NOW .........


I CALL THEM (( THE DB' FOLLOWERS )) ............

ALoco -- I thought it was noble of Armando to give us something other than Chad Henne to chew over.

This is the kind of inspiring, agenda-driving, sportswriting that has put the Miami Herald -- and Dolphins in Depth -- at the vanguard of football writing in America.

GARY. INSPIRING ,MY FOOT ...............

ONE THING I AM HAPPY ABOUT,ARMANDO ISN'T USING THESE TWO WORDS ANY MORE;

NUGGET
ACORN........ HOPE WILL STAY THAT WAY .

!!!Must listen for Henne Fans & Naysayers!!!

Phil Simms speaking this week on the Fins/Henne

Paraphrasing (link to full interview below)

Things that worry him about Henne, motion too loose, wavering, You have to be drop dead accurate. When they are open, you have to stick it on them. Thats how you get the backing of your teammates.

Marino, great mindset, confident, could throw 4 picks and still act on the field like he just threw 5 touchdowns. Henne needs that mindset.

http://thefinsiders.com/blog/2011/the-hammertime-podcast-phil-simms

I for one am glad we are not talking about Chad Henne.

I would welcome Armando to give us in-depth profiles of other Dolphin greats.

Like Howard Twilley, John Offerdahl, Keith Simms and Jay Fiedler.

Again, we need a QB!!! Any inside news on Carlson Palmer? We need Palmer ASAP

cox was a beast for a few years there for sure

sparano is stubborn to a fault. he will keep trying to force that square peg into a round hole!

ALoco

Cowher and Wisenhunt were ex players hired by PITT - won SB

First off you don't need a great passing game to win, you don't need a great running game to win, you don't need a great defense to win... what you do need is to score more points then the other team, with a combination of the 3 & plus special teams... saying you can't win running the ball is just silly of course you can win running the ball if you can do it well enough, you never need to pass, same can be said about a passing game, my problem with this team is the offense hasn't been tailored to its players, it players were round pegs being forced into square holes... make the holes round please, since you have to use the round pegs you were given by Jeff... Hopefully Brian can do this.

Good article Armando, Kosar told you on your show right after the hire that this guy was scherzo e and would be good. Glad you have come around. And Wake and Koa Misi can only get better with Bryan helping them. Really good show this morning too!!

Did anybody listen to the Simms interview about Henne? I guess maybe some of you are right, Henne really is not an NFL QB.

http://thefinsiders.com/blog/2011/the-hammertime-podcast-phil-simms

LOL, Phil Simms, dink and dunk king with one of the best o-lines in history...

Anyone listen to this guy? personally I think one of the worst and most biased annuoncers in the game.

Complete below average QB on a team with a great running game and defense. Hell Jeff Hostler came in and led the team to a SB victory.

He is a hell of a nice guy though. :)

Of course some crying beatch on here uses my name cause they are too much of a FKn Pussyass to use their own. Bob Griese, Joe Theisman and numerous other NFL people back Henne. But that's ok you FKn troll, have fun knowing your parents raised a pussyass. Have a great day.

You know who Mando DIDN'T mention, the QB Coach (Dorrell isn't it?). Wonder how he's doing in his job. He was never a QB or a QB Coach, so not sure what he can teach.

Also, Poizen, can better ball placement be taught (I'm asking you because I know you played QB before, not to be a wise guy)? Or is it just something innate? I mean, I'm sure you can improve on it, but if you don't have it, can you ever learn it?

Bob Griese, Joe Theisman and numerous other NFL people back Henne.

Posted by: bobbyd12 | August 16, 2011 at 11:02 AM


Of course Griese is going to back a Dolphin fool! He backed Cleo Lemon too! Henne's own coach didn't even back him last year. Ha!

BTW, who are these other 'numerous' NFL people? You quote one who agrees with you and ignore the opinions by those who know him best - his own QB coach, Head Coach, GM, and star reciever. Nice try.

Poizen

I wouldn't say Simms was a dink and dunker. He was great in the pocket and very accurate. Hostet replaced him when he got injured, and BP just rode with Hostet who was more mobile. Simms was a better passer and smarter QB IMHO.

ireland/ross tried to replace coach(with harbaugh);then coach/ireland tried to replace QB(with orton). now all must let bygones be bygones and pretend it didnt happen.

Well DC, ball placement can be learned, because accurate placement is more shoulder, arm and feet position.

That being said, All those things with Henne are stellar. In fact maybe to stellar, to the point people call him a robot.

I personally had a problem throwing the deep ball with touch. I just could not hit a guy in stride with a lot of air under the ball. I still threw to those guys on a string with zip. That left me open to problems of CB's jumping my reciever by being faster. I could not fix that for the life of me. I knew what to do, I was told what to do, but whatever it was I could not get consistant with it.

Now, I coach it well, so that would tell me that deep ball issues, could be just that, issues for some people. I do not want to say "it can not be coached", But I will admit, it couldn't be coached to me.

I feel like a contradiction here... lol

Now, The guys we talk about with great deep ball skills are Brady, Manning, Rivers ect... lets not lose sight of who they throw to. those guys GO GET THE BALL. we have Marshall who does the same, but also, I do not think his hands are anywhere near Wayne, Moss, Fitzgerald, Holt, ect... So just throwing it up to Marshall is a high risk reward thing in my opinion.

So receivers help your ability to look good with a deep ball more than you as a QB do in my opinion.

also, those guys get the time when those plays are called to let the deep route develop and deliver the ball to a spot down field where the receiver then goes and gets it.

Wow, im stopping now.

My opinion for Henne, 20 yards and less can be fixed, anything longer, I think there are some QB's who do struggle more than others, depth persception thing, i know i did.

I was never even close to being as good as the above mentioned... :)

So take it for what it is worth.

Also, bobbyd12, just wanted to point out you should take Theisman's opinion with a grain of salt. I've known him for years (being from D.C. and also personally, his daughter and my sister were good friends so I'd see him a lot and talk to him). He's known in D.C. sports media as something of a joke. He's the ultimate optimist. He also thinks the Reskins QBs this year are great (Grossman and Beck, who, I think it's fair to say you can call them anything BUT great).

Not saying these ex-QBs don't know more than me, or us fans, but, you need to know the whole story so you can see where they are coming from. Griese has a stake in the team, probably in the front office, I accept his opinion, but think he's kind of biased (concerning Miami).

And for every ex-player, QB, whatever you can name that says Henne will be good, I can name someone that says he won't be very good.

But, then again, the Trifecta made the determination that John Beck wasn't worth keeping, while the Shanahans here in D.C. think he's the next Peyton Manning, so, just goes to show no one has the answer to the future.

With all that said, I know what you're saying bobby, Henne still has potential, and could be good. We don't know. But EVERYONE will know after this year. That's why I don't want Moore to play, I want Henne to be the starter, not to get hurt, play the entire season. Then we'll all have our answer, once and for all, and we can stop fighting with each other if he's the franchise QB we need or not.

Cool, thanks Poizen, from what you said then sounds like the right Coach could have a positive effect on Henne's accuracy (and maybe confidence would have the best positive effect).

And I agree he needs time to throw. I think, however, the game might be slowing for him. I saw him step up in the pocket, and not have the happy feet I saw last year. He looked poised, was looking downfield, etc. All were very hopeful signs. I'm hoping he can pull it together, because even if we draft a QB next year, it would be nice to have someone else that can play while that guy develops for a couple years, that seems to be the best progression for QBs in the league.

YelloGinn -- Tom Olivadotti was indeed a legend maker.

He almost singlehandedly put Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas into the Hall of Fame

Gary Stevens | August 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Don`t forget making Ken O`Brien and Tony Eason Super Stars in their 2 outings vs. Miami every Season! Especially O`Brien who was a Sack machine when he played the other 26 teams in the leauge in his time but always seemed to throw for over 4oo yards and 3 to 4 TD`s vs. us keeping pace with Marino when we played the Jets, sheesh!!

Well, I think with Henne, unless we get a fitzgerald or andre Johnson (I think Marshal is good but not in the calibur if the two mentioned) We here as fans will get frustrated with Henne throwing deep balls. Receiver instincts are HUGE on deep balls. Hartline does not have them.

The best receivers look up once to see when the ball is in the air, and then go "to the spot" Not so good ones are always looking up, then down then up... all that time loosing speed and concentration, then the stumble.

Some day watch that, it can be fun to watch. You can tell an elite deep threat from just a fast guy.

Henne did look better in the pocket, but you hit the nail on the head. If things go well, and he gets confident... LOOK OUT, he will be good. However, if pieces start to fold and he is getting hi a lot... he is going to get happy feet, let the ball go early on deep routes, duck early for sacks so he does not fumble. It happens to almost all QB's when those things happen.

Also, I must say, you brought up the pump fake last year, great observation by you,...

DC,

I happen to agree with you about becoming a better passing team in today`s game vs. a good run team. If we could successfully throw the ball it would back the D off the line and make delayed hand offs and draws more effective in giving the team the proper counter balance. Some fail to realize that with the rules set up in favor of the WR Football has evolved into a pass oriented game, not the game your Father use to watch anymore. Most teams use their run games to keep D`s honest not the other way around in the modern NFL, the run 1st league has slowly over the last 15 years disappeared, Indy, N.O.,G.B. have proven that, heck if not for Santonio Homes Arz. wins a SB with absolutely no run game what so ever. I thought the 99 Rams put a big stamp on it by taking their All World RB and making him a duel recieving threat. I bet had the Colts seen the potential of Marshall Faulk in the pass game they would have given 2nd thoughts to trading him for a mid 2nd rounder before that Season.

Poizen @11:26,

Good post!!

i had to check and see if I was on the right site. There was so much positive talk going on...lol!

That's my thinking anyway fin4life. Guys talk about using the run game to open the pass game. I'd do it opposite (like you said). Use the pass game to open up the run game.

The reason is because it's too hard to win consistently with a strong run game and great defense. We've been trying to win that way for decades, and haven't been able to put it all together (like the Ravens did in 2000). Not many teams can do it that way, since there is a tiny window for mistakes.

History proves it's easier if you have a greater ability to make up for mistakes (as Indy, Green Bay, the Patriots do). The way to do that is to be able to put up lots of points quickly. Then, if your defense screws up, you're still ok. If you're offense turns the ball over, no problem, you can come back next time you get the ball.

But our style of playing has a tiny margin for error, and as we've shown, the personnel, coaching, etc. aren't good enough to overcome many of the self-inflicted wounds we wind up making every year (including injuries).

Poizen, that 11:26 post was one of the most informative things I've read on this blog. Wish you wouldn't have stopped when you thought you were rambling because it was really good.

fin4life, DC, do you ever feel like we are the last organization that thinks an elite run game can take you to the summit? heck, even the ultra conservative Steelers have seen the light on the importance of the finesse game in today's NFL. Sure they still have a great run game but they sling the ball all over the field and look nothing like the Steelers of the 80s and 90s.

But our style of playing has a tiny margin for error, and as we've shown, the personnel, coaching, etc. aren't good enough to overcome many of the self-inflicted wounds we wind up making every year (including injuries).

DC Dolfan | August 16, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Great point!! We need to go on 9 minute mistake free drives and our opponents need 2 plays and 30 seconds to counter with a response. It`s also worth noting that even when were successful in these drives having teams answer so quickly is deflating for the team`s moral.

I still remember the 2nd game of 2009 Monday night vs. the Colts were we had a staggering 45 minutes to the Colts 15 in time of posession and lost, you would have thought even back then that Sparano would have learned a lesson from that game alone!!

fin4life, DC, do you ever feel like we are the last organization that thinks an elite run game can take you to the summit? heck, even the ultra conservative Steelers have seen the light on the importance of the finesse game in today's NFL. Sure they still have a great run game but they sling the ball all over the field and look nothing like the Steelers of the 80s and 90s.

Mark in Toronto | August 16, 2011 at 12:13 PM

I truely do not even the perennial mediocre teams think that way anymore it`s enough to drive you absolutely crazy.

This may not be the right thread but since I didn't see one...

sign Stinchcomb

Henne looking like Henne, same old stuff.

Moore looking better, nice touch on his throws, a few nice deep balls hitting the receivers in sride.

POIZEN'E POST @ 11.26 PM IS PROVE IS THE HENNE'S SUPPORTERS ARE MORE EDUCATED AND SMARTER ABOUT THE GAME .......


Some Known Anti Henne Supporters:

Phil Simms
Ron Jaworksi
Boomer Esiason
Brandon Marshall
David Lee
Tony Sparano
Jeff Ireland

You know on this article regarding Bryan Cox and whether his lawsuit was dumb or not everybody should take one thing into account. When that whole thing broke about the death threats and racist letters he recieved, the one that bent him out of shape was one that even Bills players would have had a problem with. The letter apparently told Cox the he was "One Dead N_gg_r"

That lawsuit saw it`s day in court and when the letter was leaked the NFL backed off the $3,000 fine. Cox was so disgusted with it all which included the League back lash that after it was all said and done he quit the game in 97 after basically going to war with the League office which spilled into his performance on the field in Chicago and didn`t play again till Parcells egged him out of retirement in 98

this is the live practice blog? Where is mando?

Cox should be tutoring Henne.

Some Known Henne Supporters:

Bobbyd
Craig m
Poisen (50/50 wait and see)
Gaydolphin
Mr. & Mrs. Henne

henne pix six machine. lmao

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