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The absence of a good QB option hurts on field, off

Jimmy Johnson wanted to get back into coaching in 1996 and he wanted to do it in Florida so he looked around the landscape of possible jobs and weighed the Tampa Bay Bucs and Miami Dolphins. In Tampa, he had more cap room, a budding great defense with youngsters Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch, and the promise of a new stadium.

In Miami, Johnson saw Dan Marino.

Johnson picked the Dolphins. And he did it primarily because he believed Marino could get him to the Super Bowl quicker than anyone on the Tampa roster playing quarterback at the time could. Johnson figured he could build a team around the quarterback easier than find the quarterback to build the team around.

Yes, he was wrong because Marino would soon begin his decline.

But a team's quarterback situation was important for more than one reason all the way back then -- even before the NFL became a lubricated lightning strike league where teams can score four touchdowns in four minutes of playoff action as New Orleans and San Francisco did last weekend.

Fast forward to 2011. The Dolphins lost out on hiring Jeff FIsher a few days ago. And on Monday there was this in Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column in Sports Illustrated quoting Fisher:

"From day one, when I began this process after the season, I felt Miami and St. Louis were my best options. I did my research. I looked at every team that had an opening. I looked at the personnel on each team, I looked at the owners, I looked at the cap situations, and I narrowed it to two. Not Marvin. Me. Marvin didn't push me. I am convinced he was completely objective.''

Fisher went on to say at the start of the process he was interested in a team that had a good owner and good quarterback, and he felt St. Louis had the best combination of both.

I'm not going to replay the Fisher fiasco. That's done.

But the lesson from that missed opportunity is that aside from hurting the team on the field, aside from keeping the team perpetually playing a secondary role to NFL teams that do have quarterbacks, the Dolphins decade-long inability to land even a good quarterback has come to roost off the field as well.

We've seen glimpses of how the QB situation has driven the direction of the franchise before.

Nick Saban quit after 2006 when he realized he made a terrible mistake in his chase of a quarterback and that mistake was probably irreparable, thus killing his chances to win soon, thus making life in the NFL miserable.

The 2004 Dolphins were terrible because Ricky Williams quit days before the season, that is true. But if they had a great quarterback instead of the terrible Jay Fielder-A.J. Feeley competition that was never settled, they might have overcome the disaster of that season.

The one season the Dolphins did kinda sorta solve their QB woes -- 2008 -- also gave the team its most successful season in years. Chad Pennington was great and the club won the AFC East.

Knowing this history, knowing how the quarterback situation has repurcussions on and off the field, how can anyone rightly say that the status quo is good enough?

It is not.



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T. Martin
I personally think M. Zimmer would be a great hire!
I am also of the mind that a switch to the 4-3 would be a good idea as well. It use to be not many teams ran a 3-4, now too many teams run a 3-4. It use to be the 3-4 could confuse QBs because they didn't see it as much but now they see it all the time. Also, there simply are not enough LB's and NT's to go around for all the 3-4 schemes. And as the Giants continue to prove if you can get pressure with your front 4 then yoy can beat anybody.

Since when did Sam Bradford become an elite QB?
Who cares what Fisher has to say why did it take him so long to make a decision because he was not given full control in Miami.

Mike Zimmer joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1994 as an assistant coach of the nickel defense under Barry Switzer. He was promoted to defensive backs coach in 1995 and served in that capacity before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2000. The 2003 Dallas Cowboys defense gave up the fewest yards in the NFL while running an aggressive, speedy 4-3 defense. Despite the Cowboys' problems over the years, Zimmer survived several coaching changes (Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Bill Parcells) and was rumored to have been a candidate for the head coaching job at the University of Nebraska (circa 2003). In 2005, he implemented the 3-4 defense favored by head coach Bill Parcells, although Zimmer had no prior experience with it.

When Bobby Petrino was hired to coach the Atlanta Falcons early in 2007, Mike Zimmer agreed to become the new defensive coordinator in Atlanta.

Zimmer was named the defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals on January 15, 2008. In 2009, Zimmer earned NFL Assistant Coach of the Year honors from Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers and from CBSSports.com,[2] after guiding the Bengals to the 4th ranked defense in the league. In 2011, the Bengals finished with the 7th ranked defense in total yards and 9th ranked defense in points allowed.

The man is impressive.

Matt Moore had a GREAT running game at Carolina and the fantastic Steve Smith, but still did not win games. We still need an NFL quality Qb, but cannot afford to give up our whole draft for RG3 or in a Manning trade. As for HC, wait until after Super Bowl and approach Cowher and Gruden. They both say nay while still on the air, but once the offseason comes... who knows?


You never know. I understand that you have to find a willing partner. However my point is that it would we wiser to trade down and gather picks than to trade up, give up picks that you can't afford to give up for a guy that is no guarantee will be great at the NFL level.

Matt Moore is a top 10 QB.


You never know. I understand that you have to find a willing partner. However my point is that it would we wiser to trade down and gather picks than to trade up, give up picks that you can't afford to give up for a guy that is no guarantee will be great at the NFL level.

Posted by: albert


Miami has drafted "scared" this way since Parcells/Ireland came aboard. Perhaps a team will be desperate to get Richardson and be willing to make a deal. I am only making a deal though if I can pick up a 2013 #1 pick plus. Multiple 2nd and 3rd rounders haven't done crap for Miami in a long time...

Matt Moore maybe in David Letterman's top ten, but not the NFL's !!!!!

Colts fired Cladwell. Now we are fourth on the list as to where folks will want to coach.

It seems to me that what we have here is a failure to want to "Pull The Trigger". Mr. Ross and Ireland have had more than enough time to review the landscape of available coaches and it's time to pull the trigger. None of the available coaches will come with a stamp on their forehead guaranteeing a Super Bowl win in the next year. It's time to hire Philbin. The Phins hire Philbin and we will very likely have Matt Flyn come our way as well. Now we have two QB that are proven winners. Let them both go at it in preseason and for sure we will have a TOP GUN QB with an exceptional back up who ever Matt it may be. Let's get the Coach hired in time to get his input in the Free Agency market ( excellent this year) and to try and share thoughts as to what to get in the draft (Large aggressive offensive linemen). Please, Mr. Ross, PULL THE TRIGGER, HIRE PHILBIN!

Payton Manning has been hired to coach the Indianapolis Colts.

Not really, but isn't he really the coach anyway?


You cant bring in Flynn and expet him to "go at it" with anyone else. If Flynn comes in he will get big starter money and big starter years. And the guys that get that dont compete with backups. They start, period.


I stated originally that the goal is to get an additional pick in next years draft. Then we would ideally have two #1 in 2013. If the Dolphins can manage that, then maybe they can make a play for Barkley or who ever the flavor of the month QB will be next year.

Watched all or part of almost every game Brock Osweiler started for ASU. Obviously tall and strong arm as has been stated. Really tall, like Dan McGwire freaky tall. I think he's more mobile than some but he's no Steve Young. Problem is he was the 3rd best QB in his six team division. He was probably outplayed by the opposing QB at least half the time. He would make a great throw then a horrible decision then another great throw. Seemed to be really streaky. Definately a box of chocolates QB.

He is however very fiery and by all accounts a good leader. The so called insiders in Phoenix didn't think he had any intension of going to the draft except that his coach got fired and his OC, who he really liked, left for UCLA. Bottom line, if the Dolphins go that direction expect Matt Moore to be the starter for a few years before Osweiler is ready to see the field.


Jimmy Johnson was the cause of the Dolphins' decline. He got the snowball rolling when he CAUSED Dan Marino's "decline" through poor schemes and gameplans (forcing the run), not allowing Dan to audible, and, more importantly, resenting the fact that Dan was so big in South Florida. Don't forget it was Johnson who told Wayne Huizenga to hire Dave Wannestadt to replace him, which continued the franchise's downward spiral.

Why Jimmy Johnson doesn't get more of the blame for the current state of the Miami Dolphins continues to puzzle me.

At this time last year Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford,Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco were considered budding Franchise QB's. One season later because of bad playoff appearances, or bad seasons, they are on a short rope with their teams and fans. On the other hand last year Eli Manning and Alex Smith were considered over rated or bust now they are the talk of the town. Fickel thing this game.

Kevin Cronin,

GREAT POST!! Also don't forget Wayne Huizenga. He bought the Goose the laid the golden Egg from The Robbie family and turned it into Pollo tropical.


Thanks Albert. It just sickens me what Johnson did to our once-proud and admired franchise -- and no one ever mentions it. I don't watch the FOX pregame show because he's on it. I got to meet Joe (and Tim) Robbie a few times. Joe wasn't the most pleasant guy in the world but he was a great NFL owner. He got it -- unlike the clowns we've had running the show since. I truly believe the Dolphins won't get out of this rut they are in until there is new ownership. Unfortunately an owner can't be fired.

The Falcons hired Mike Nolan today as their DC. Also The Bears extended the contract of Dave Toub. What does this mean? The Dolphins will hire Mike Zimmer. I susect the anouncement will be made in a day or two. (No way the Dolphins let Mike Nolan go unless Zimmer is their Coach)


Considering who we have calling the shots, the Dolphins will probably hire Don Zimmer to be their next head coach.

QB, QB, QB... Get a QB. Why draft an OL when there is nobody for him to protect? We keep drafting them, and by the time we do ever get a qb, the OL will be old and washed up. Start with the qb and build around him. We have a few pieces in place, but need a lot more. Tired of all these wasted drafts. Getting the best player available. Do you see the patriots or saints or packers drafting the best available? NO. They draft for need. I keep wishing for ross to finally give up and sell this team. Maybe one day it will come true. If they draft an OL, the seats will once again be empty.

Kevin Cronin

I also won't watch Fox because of Johnson. To me he is nothing more than a used car salesman.
I think Ross means well but he has a lot to learn. I am not anti Ireland as many here are. Reality is after Cameron left we had a roster that was worse than an expansion team. I believe in the 4 years since the roster has been vastly improved. Unfortunately Ireland gets blamed for much of what came before him.

What would the Fins have to give up to move up to #2?


The whole roster.

Rams need an OT to protect Bradford but they also need a #1 WR (Blackmon, potentially).

Could the Fins just trade 1st round pick spots a 4th round pick and Marshall (giving them a proven WR)?

Then Fins pick RGIII or Blackmon (assuming they get a QB thru free agency).


Fair point. And remember the Dolphins were an expansion team in 1966 and were awful until Don Shula arrived before the 1970 season. He had an immediate impact, as they tied the Colts for first place in the division that year but missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker, went to the Super Bowl the next year, and won it consecutive years after that.

It's much easier to turn around a team in the current NFL.

Matt Moore didn't beat any teams with a winning recored. When the pressure was on he folded. A franchise QB can make it work wit an average o-line, which we had. Moore ain't the guy, RG3 is a leader and a winner and that's what we need.


Completely agree: the Dolphins (the team, the organization, the fans) need a breath of fresh air -- particularly at the quarterback position -- and Griffin would be exactly that. He is an awesome talent, extremely exciting to watch, a good kid, and seems to be a bit of a character (note the Superman socks with capes at the Heisman Trophy presentation).

He is exactly what the doctor ordered for this franchise.

kevin cronin I like your position on the whole idea

people keep saying RG3 is a running quarterback but he is not his o-line sucks so he had to run for his life. Miami needs this guy, a good quarterback can make an awful offensive line look great take a look at Peyton Manning what he has done for you in Indianapolis for years. and no I'm not saying RG3 is Peyton Manning coming out of college but he can be. Peyton Manning was not that polished when he first came out of college but with time he became that. Then people keep talking about how much it will cost to a draft rg3 are the same people who are afraid to take a chance. stop saying wait till next year that's never gonna get out of the nfl cellar we've got to make the move now so we can be a winner and productive now. leave it up are you people who wanna wait till next year or draft a lineman this year or receiver you have a the phins being the middle class team in the nfl forever this move will make us an upper echelon team.

then also former dolphin players are saying draft rg3 do whatever it takes... like Troy Stratford, Troy Drayton, Kim Boekamper, these guys are saying draft pick up whatever pics you have to to make this happen. These are former players. We are only a few spots away from being a playoff team, all other spots can be addressed in free agency

Interesting little tidbit....going into our final game against the JETS, Miami...yes, Miami, had 38 plays of 25 yards or more....second in the league to.....the Green Bay Packers. It's a fine line ( redzone anyone? ) between 6-10 and 15-1. I like Matt Moore to get a shot. No way we have that many plays with Henne, and it's Irelands faith in that scrub that has us all wanting his head. Just want a coach that realizes we are in a division with NE, and need to be able to put up 40 on them.....


You must have been too young to remember when Johnson came to the Fins. All he did was handcuff Marino and try to create a running game. He drafted at least six running/fullbacks. Guys like Abdul-Jabbar and Cecil the Diesel Collins. He was convinced that Miami needed to run the ball to win. All of the games went the same way, a bunch of runs and a few field goals and then Johnsosn would have to turn to Marino to try to win it in the fourth quarter with his arm. Problem was Johnson had taken away all of Marino's weapons and did not let Marino audible or run the offense.

In my opinion Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones deserve each other. While they were great together neither one has done much since without the other. I think that is what they call "carma"

Jimmy got Marino, and then made him run the stretch play 20 times a game. Dan's last year his shoulder injury was evident, but the other years he still was better than most QB's in the game!

Dolphins=Costa Concordia!


You may be too young to remember, but when Jimmy came to the 'Phins he publically stated that he was going to run the ball, not pass so Danny was a liability to his strategy. He wanted to replicate the Cowboy model rather than taking what he had and making it a winner (ala coach Shula: Super Bowl Apperances with Griese (run), Wood/ Strock (run/ pass) and Marino (pass). The 1996 roster depth chart at receiver included such household names as Barnett, Miller, Niel, Hill, Myers, Jordon and the McDuffie (3rd year)and Shannon Myers.... not exactly an investment in Danny's strength. Friction ensued and the rest is history. 1997 draft had Jimmy picking Yatil Green at 15, despite injury concerns. I don't recall that he every played a down. Jimmy also gave us Wannestadt who inherited probably the most talented team and he managed them into the ground. So as a 40 year fan, I do not look back kindly at the Jimmy Johnson years, or his 63 - 0 exit (when he also shut down Danny's arm). I wish he had picked somewhere else to retire before his time. He just wasn't a good enough coach to win without the triplets (Aikman, Thomas and Irvin).

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