A couple of days ago I made the case why I'm not too fond of the idea of the Dolphins signing Peyton Manning to be their starting quarterback in 2012.
I'm not done.
Moving on from Manning's health questions, his age question, his eventual decline, his being a short-term fix at best when the quarterback problem requires a long-term solution, I've come up with annother issue to ponder as I continue to swim upstream on an idea the Dolphins apparently are intent on developing.
I was reminded by a former coach yesterday that adding Peyton Manning to your team can become a royal pain in the posterior.
The point was made to me that whatever team Manning joins will have to make concessions for him. The team will have to run an offense he's familiar with to maximize his talent immediately because, after all, he's going to be 36 years old and time is short. No time for him to learn a new system and get comfy in the system and start to produce maybe late in the year and maybe next year.
In the Dolphins case, that would likely mean new coach Joe Philbin and offfensive coordinator Mike Sherman learning a system Manning is comfortable with rather than the other way around.
So let me get this straight: The Dolphins hire Philbin because they admire his work in Green Bay. They like the Green Bay model. They like the Green Bay system. And he hires buddy Mike Sherman, who was at Green Bay and feels a kinship with Philbin and the system he wants to run.
And having all that familiarity available to them, the Dolphins would scrap it all to make Manning comfortable with a system similar to the one he's run the past 14 years? They would make Manning the de-facto offensive coordinator?
One of the advantages everyone assumed the Dolphins would enjoy by hiring Philbin was expertise on soon-to-be free agent quarterback Matt Flynn, who played under Philbin in Green Bay and is obviously familiar with that system. Assuming Philbin wanted to make some tweaks to the system, the foundation was still going to remain and Flynn was going to enjoy a head start if he joined the Dolphins because he is very familiar with that foundation.
And the Dolphins are simply going to turn their back on that?
That would be better?
I have to say this: The reason everyone knows the Dolphins are enamored with the idea of signing Peyton Manning if he becomes available is because owner Stephen Ross loves the idea. And he's the boss. He is apparently going to make this call come heck or high water.
Everyone knows this as fact because Ross has let his feelings be known on the subject.
But no one knows how Philbin feels about it. Nobody knows general manager Jeff Ireland's opinion on the subject. Don't they get a vote?
Do Miami's football men have the ability to say 'No' to the owner if all their football wisdom tells them to go in a different direction away from Manning?
Now, I suppose it is possible Ross spouted his opinion on chasing Manning after careful consideration and conversation with both Ireland and Philbin. (For Miami's sake, I hope that's the case.) But knowing the Dolphins as I do, my guess is no such conversation took place before Ross indirectly made his desires known.
Despite my worst fear, perhaps such a conversation eventually takes place and Philbin and Ireland are all in on Manning. (Something that will cause me to wonder about both men, but that's another story). At that point it won't be an issue that Philbin might have to subjugate his system for one that fits Manning. At that point it won't be an issue that ownership is dictating which quarterback the team must chase first before checking with, you know, the football experts. Those points would be moot.
But it still raises the question: Why have such a logical connection to a young quarterback after hiring his coach and then going in a totally different direction with an old quarterback? Is that fair to Philbin?
And will it work?