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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.


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


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?


[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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Went away for luch, expected a lot of pages to read. Not many blogging today.

I am by far not smarter in the least... lol

I wanted to draft Lashour like it was my job... oooppss. :)

JeffDarlington I'm generally an optimistic person who doesn't pretend to know more than I do. But damn, that was an ugly practice.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/football/#ixzz1VDGBbfyF

f4l, poiz, dc - great stuff earlier

still waiting for sept 12th ......


Lashour was hurt, it happens when healthy he will be a player. I liked him alot as well good combination of speed and size. I also liked DeMarco Murray and believe Dallas got a player that will contribute nicely. I got to admit I didn`t even have Daniel Thomas in my top 5 wish list regarding RB`s, so here is to hoping Ireland makes alot of us eat crow and shows us why it`s his job and not ours.

PS I`ve never wanted to be proved wrong so much in my life.

A couple of former players who were watching also seemed to observe the lack of intensity. But a few respected current ones beg to differ.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/football/#ixzz1VDIaxNDN

From what I read in the tweets it appears this practice sucked. I happens, though.


You cant spend a day in the ghetto and think yopu have a feel for what its like. I grew up on the mreans streets. You have to live it my man.

The ghetto isnt like Disney World where you get a one day park pass. You still dont even have the slightest clue of ghetto life. LOL....


Whenever you get itch to visit any of America's ghettos. Please consult me. I'll give you a crash course in ghetto 101. After a one day lesson I guarantee you'll be able to spend a day in any ghetto in America, no matter the ethniticity with about 80% chance of recieving no harm.

Go into a ghetto alone right now and you'll be shark bait at the splash of the first wave!!! LOL...


I say you'll be 80% safe because no matter how well you carry yourself in the ghetto. You will have to fight at least 20% of the time! LOL...

awesome post mando, thanks.

U have an observation which makes me upset but I'm hoping our management knows more than I do.

Say Thomas is not who they thought he was....

We could have gotten Mallett in the 2nd round and brought back Ricky with a 2year contract (instead).
Now you have a more comfortable QB situation with more up-side; Henne, Moore and Mallett and a more comfortable RB situation with Ricky, Bush and Lex/Sheets.


I was always told & believe offense gets the cheerleaders, defense wins championships...
Pats won the superbowl because of defense when brady could barely muster 100 yards passing with a really good D against the greatest show on turf & lost with the best passing offense the NFL has ever seen... because they ran into a better defence, You can't tell me the Giants had a better Offence, Eli is no Peyton. Our problem is mistakes by QB's can't have them & win with an inadequate Offense, that's why I wanted Orton, the guy isn't no marino, but he doesn't turn the ball over alot and makes good decisions, hope chad can make good decisions & not turnover the football several times a game & maybe we can get back to the playoffs... once you get invited to the dance anything can happen...

Nice post Mando, thanks for sharing the BC story and perspective. Hope you are right about the hire!

The amount of pressure TS is under now is immense. He has to prepare this new Offense to play and he has very little time to do it in. I am no Football Coach but as a Physician we have to make these tough decisions everyday, and at the end, is always risk vs benefit for the patient. Always.

above all do no harm

Joe Theisman is a putz. DC's opinion of him is pretty spot on.

Poizen, Phil Simms was a good pro QB & knows his stuff. I didn't listen to the podcast but I'd be inclined to believe anything he said over Theisman or idiots like Chris Collinsworth!

To All, I hope the guys who were so happy with the practices last week haven't jumped off a ledge yet based on today's reports

Good day gents!

I love those Stinkin Dolphins!

we can't near the edge, coz ur in the way joe!

Today's practise report from the sentinel does not seem bad, except for the o line??

Crowder on Henne, from SS now:

On Henne and whether he can get the job done:

"As of what I've seen so far? No. I played with him a couple years ... He really hasn't proven anything to me when I played with him and now being on this side, looking down on him as a fan, he's not impressing me, either. He has all the tangibles, I want to say, arm strength ... he can make some good throws, but the intangibles, the winning the game, wanting to have everything on his shoulders, like the Bradys and like the Mannings, and wanting to be down by five with a minute left on the 20-yard-line, let's see what happens, he doesn't have that in his heart yet, and I think it will be hard for him to win, but like I said the proof's in the pudding, so if he comes out this year and going crazy, I'll have my foot in my mouth, but, if I was a betting man, I wouldn't bet on him going crazy."

wolf, I'm no where near the ledge fella. Please step forward & take the plunge.

ss, Crowder is good for a few laughs ain't he?

Not trying to stick up for Henne here but, who is crowder to talk? How many game changing plays did he make in his years?

Very few, if any.

Crowders own play has no bearing on the matter. He was out their on the field with him for a few years, played against the best enough, has some pretty good insight from a defenders point of view.

Offensive Line with another bad practice? Man, Sparano is getting himself run right out of the league with this gross mismanagment of the unit. Biggest investment in terms of draft picks and cash and is the team's weak link. Atrocious.

What is Ray Willis' personal matter thats taken up the last 3 days worth of practice?

Bring in Stinchcomb for a look! They look at every other acorn, why not?

Joe, I think if Chad Henne was as good as Crowder is at his position, this team wouldn't have any issues on offense. No Crowder didn't have the eye popping stats but the defense was always 10 times better when he played versus when he didn't. He was the gel - no doubt. I will miss him - apparently I'm one of the few. Always liked 52, always will. He was a leader.

Congratulations Armando finally ONE POSITIVE ARTICLE!!! without bashing Henne also!!!! lol.......

OmarKelly RT @MikeBerardino: Sparano says it's "safe to say today" Marc Colombo will open season as starter at RT

Simms > Collinsworth all day.

that is about it though, I have Simms and theisman in the same boat.

I bet we see Vernon Carey back at RT before long. These other guys they have in here can't play a lick by the sounds of it. No Vernon wasn't All Pro but he's a lot better at RT than anyone else they have in camp. This Columbo signing is beyond confusing. He was rated as low as you can get at RT. I guess if Murtha holds up, he can always go there too.

Mark, I liked him too but thought he was expendable.

Last week people were all goo goo & gaga over the scrimmage & practice reports only to see a sloppy preseason game.

Good or bad practice is nothing to get fired up about. We need to see if we can put it together when the games count.

Poizen, how about the ever insightful Michael Irvin or Cris Carter? How do people not feel dumber after listening to either of those 2 guys?

There as bad in their commentray as E. Smith is in the english language!

Your bringin up some doozies Joe.

Interesting view from Crowder...

I can't think of Cris Carter without cringing and thnking about that dropped touchdown as a Dolphin that would've cemented a playoff clinching victory against the Vikings no less. I will always hold that against him.

As far as Crowder being expendable - I wouldn;t be surprised to see our defense be missing a little something without him there. Sure Burnett is a better athlete and has better stats but the mental part of the game is also huge for an ILB.

You have to wonder if Crowder's comments are shared & if that thinking is rampant in the locker room.

If so, Henne will never be able to lead a team that doesn't believe in him. Just like Sparano.

They both have to produce early & often. If not, things in S. Florida could get ugly quickly.

JS, I guarantee his opinion isn't isolated. Players don't just come out with opinions like that from left field - they talk to each other - they develop opinions together. The only question is how far spread it is. Like previous posters said, heck, even the coach showed he didn't believe in him by benching him last year. That is one reason why I blasted the benching last year - you can;t just bench your QB and not let it raise further questions. I don;t know how people can be overly optimistic. We have an owner sho doesn;t believe in the coach, a gm who didn't stand up for said coach, a coach who called out his gm's personnel decisions (by saying he had bubkus at TE after Fasano), a coach who is less than 100% convinced of his Qb, and a locker room that at the very least has fractions that also question the QB as well.

It will take a Drew Brees' type comeback to save the coach and Qb. Ireland seems to have crawled up Ross' butt sufficiently to save his own job although he is to blame as much as anyone for this entire scenario.

Crowder plans NFL return next year, criticizes Ireland and Henne was the article in today's MH.

Here are the 2005 3 round (6th pick)numbers.

345 solo tackles
1 Int.

Don't let the door hit you in your non productive butt on the way out.

I for one am happy that this POS who never amounted to anything retired. He was nothing but all talk and a BIG mouth of which on occasion he got his ass kicked (literally)by other team players.

With a mouth and all talk no action player, who would want this troublemaker on their team anyway.. OH.. Forgot to add that the JETS or NE would take him.

Have you seen Vernon Carey pull? Neither have I. He's a Tackle, Man.

I don;t know how people can be overly optimistic.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | August 16, 2011 at 03:33 PM

see bobbyd or craig m for optimism, just don't expect them to defend their point of view with anything of substance.

We don't have Time, either.

The bye week really is going to be a bye week. But for how many?

We just won't accept anymore mediocrity in Miami.

Chad Henne deserves to start and get a nice, fat long-term contract after expertly moving the team down the field and getting a TD on just his third series Friday night.

I defy anyone on this board to name another QB in the NFL who can score a TD every third series that he's on the field!

Question 1. What ever happened to that nyg all pro center that came to town. Is he signed anywhere yet??

#2. Incognito is a good pulling guard??

#3. Carey made some good pulls today, correct??

ESPN reporting we traded Henne for a box of Cracker Jacks, but the deal became null and void when no prize found inside the box.

ITC, Sun Sentinel reported that Carey made a nice pull on at least one play.

Apparently pulling is not a strength for Incognito

As far as O Hara, I have no idea.

Mark, I can't see Ross sticking with either of them. If 1 goes, they both go. They showed up together & things won't change unless their way of doing things is gone.

I don't know if Ross is a bad owner. I'm on the fence. It's a joke with the minority owners etc...but he did try to get a coach. He's learning. I think he sees this ship has run it's course. He just didn't go about it the right way.

At the end of the day, I also can't ignore the realities to be an optimist. To me, we're between a 6-8 W's team. I doubt Ireland fires Sparano if theres a slow start so I think they both get canned at seasons end.

I'm not a psychic, but I think those are realistic scenarios.

The bye week really is going to be a bye week. But for how many?

Posted by: dice | August 16, 2011 at 03:45 PM


The Jets just lost their backup center. If we dont grab OHara, they will.

Joe, I think this is one of those years that we as fans really can't lose. Either the Sparano/Ireland formula will work and we will be a decent-to good team capable of beating anybody or we will stink in a good year for us to stink. We will get to to right the wrong of 2008 when we passed on a franchise QB. That being said, if we do stink they better get someone else to make decisions in here because I'd be afraid these guys would take another offensive lineman with a top 10 pick. I can just hear the quotes again "we thought this offensive lineman graded out better than any Qb available and the Qb we selected in the 7th round gave us tremendous value".

Guys, your best bet is to stop reading the daily practice reports or at minimum, don't put any stock into them.

We saw last year Incognito couldn't pull. What is practice this year going to do to change that until we see him do it in games?

We won't know what Carey can do until the season starts. He's relearning the position. There is no way to gauge how a guy is going to play at G when he hasn't played it for more than half a decade just by reading snippets of practice reports.

Mark LOL I agree. It's kind of a win win. I just can't stomach another stinker season.

We have some young talented players. But, the more we sit with a formula that doesn't work, the players get older & will walk away in FA. Deep down, most want to win. Why stay here? We'll be rebuilding again before you know it if Ross let's it happen. Then he'll sell LOL

We need to STABLIZE THE O'LINE with proven FA's & start using our top picks on skill position players. We have wasted so much time, picks & money on the o'line, when those resources could have been spread out elsewhere.

The entire roster suffers because of Ireland & Sparano's incompetence with the line.

Thanks. It appears heayne unsigned so far

Joe, i wouldn't worry about players walking away from this team. If we get a leader of a QB that can play, everything will fall into place. After all, Florida's generous tax laws and the abundance of the glamourous life will always ensure that Miami will at least be a major consideration for a bulk of these players.

What is the over under on the Dolphins introducing the Dolphins O on Friday night LOL.

I'm starting to actually feel sorry for Chad Henne. I'm not an apologist nor do I think he will ever lead this team to more than 8 wins. It just seems to me that he is taking the brunt of the frustration that should be directed at Ireland.

BTW, democrats suck donkey ding dongs.

Also, Henne is shouldering the cumlative frustration of broken promises and screw ups under JJ, Wanny, Saban, Cam, and the Trifecta. If this were say 2001, I don't think there would be near as much Henne talk. But everyone is sick of a decade plus of incompetence in the FO and at QB.

Home is soooooooooooooooo freakin sexy, naked running on the beach, with nothing on, ........
but a smile.


Yellow, time for excuses with this franchise is over. This is do or die for Henne, ireland & sparano.

If Irleand/Sparano get axed, Henne won't be back next year anyway. New coach will bring in his own QB. Especially if the team he signs on to coach has no worthy QB to keep.

Good thing is, a new coach will have a decent D to work with & some decent weapons. The oline & QB needs fine tuning. Other than that, this team can compete quickly.

Rebuilding hasn't been this FO's biggest problem. Credit, where credit is due, they've done a decent job. Their problem is being unable to add the finishing touches & put it over the top. A new coach might be able to.

Or so we can hope.

I might agree with you that maybe Sparano needs to go but not Ireland. I think we had a great Draft this year, besidews, who drafted all those very good players we have now?

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