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Seahawks, Dolphins on similar paths until they weren't

Today's Miami Dolphins?

The Seattle Seahawks have been there, folks.

When Stephen Ross took over full control of the Dolphins in 2009, bringing one of the biggest wallets to the fraternity of NFL owners, it was only a coincidence that at league meetings the only other NFL owner with more billions to his name was Seattle owner Paul Allen.

Upon closer inspection that coincidence of resources would be only a foundation of similiarities we'd start to see between the Seahawks and the Dolphins. The very rich owner of the Seahawks, you see, faced similiar situations and initially took similar steps to what Ross has faced recently.

And while there were mistakes made, the Seahawks obviously corrected course.

Which begs the question ... Can the Dolphins correct course?

As recently as 2008, Allen had what he believed was a winning combination at the helm of his franchise. Well-regarded Mike Holmgren was his coach and unquestioned football authority. Holmgren had won a Super Bowl in Green Bay and wanted more power at his next stop. Allen, desperate to breathe life into his franchise, hired Holmgren and gave him all the power he wanted.

Holmgren was basically Seattle's football czar, as all the power on the football side of the organization belonged to him.

And it worked at first. Holmgren even took the Seahawks to the Super Bowl early in 2006. But soon things went south. After the 2008 season in which Seattle finished 4-12, Allen decided he needed to go in a different direction.

So Holmgren was gone. But general manager Tim Ruskell, who had become a favorite of the owner, remained. Fans wondered why Allen was so loyal to Ruskell after a 4-12 season, but the owner appreciated what Ruskell had done earlier in his stint under Holmgren. And, again, the owner liked Ruskell.

And this is the part where I remind you that in October of 2010, Dolphins football czar Bill Parcells left the franchice. He had some success in Miami. The Dolphins won the AFC East and went to the playoffs with an 11-5 record in 2008. You people would often write, "In Parcells we trust," in the comment section here.

But things took a step back in 2009 and 2010 was no better. And yet, after Parcells departed, Ross kept the GM and the coach the former football czar had hired.

Back to the Seahawks, Allen in 2009 went out to hire a head coach to team with his well-liked GM. And he handed the keys to the football team to Jim Mora who the owner believed was a rising talent in coaching circles. Mora was no fledgling coach. He'd been fired after a couple of seasons as the Falcons head coach. But he was young, and bright and well prepared.

So Mora, the new coach, and Ruskell, the previous GM, were teamed together.

The Seahawks made a big free agency splash (sound familiar?) with the signing of Edgerrin James and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The team picked a pass rusher with the fourth pick of the draft (coincidence again?).

The team was in the playoff hunt for much of the season, but collapsed at season's end -- with four consecutive losses in which the offense failed to perform up to expectations (crazy, right?). Mora claimed progress had been made as the 5-11 record was slightly better than the 4-12 the year before. At one point before the season-finale he actually said, "... We're not that far away."

And that's where owner Paul Allen found himself in pretty much the same position Stephen Ross found himself in after 2012.

With a big-time football czar in his rear-view mirror (Holmgren rather Bill Parcells), with a general manager he admired and kept on from that czar still on staff (Ruskell rather than Jeff Ireland) and with a young, unproven but still promising and respected coach under contract (Mora rather Joe Philbin), Allen had a choice. He could clean house or keep everyone or fire the GM and keep his new coach that had shown he couldn't milk wins out of his team late in the year to make the playoffs. Allen in January 2010 found himself n the same situation Ross would be in January 2013.

(Let me rephrase: Allen got himself into a similar situation as Ross did. These guys made decisions that put them on the road they were on. These billionaires made choices that put themselves in their spots.).

It gets weirder. Allen liked Ruskell but didn't want to give Ruskell a contract extension. So the GM saw that as a show of no confidence on the owner's part. So he resigned.

Well, as you know, Ross liked Ireland but actually wanted to trim back his power for 2014. The GM saw he had lost the owner's confidence and the two mutually agreed to part ways.

So now Allen had no GM but a coach he thought had promise although the record didn't bear that out. Just as Ross had no GM but a coach he thinks has promise, although the record so far does not bear that out.

What happened next?

Allen fired the coach.

After one year.

He went with the option to clean house.

And he went out and hired the hottest coaching prospect he could find in Pete Carroll. And a couple of weeks later general manager John Schneider was hired.

And while it wasn't until this year that Seattle's success reached championship levels, the seeds for that title were sown immidiately. The new management drafted Russell Okung and Earl Thomas and Golden Tate that first year. They traded for Marshawn Lynch. And although they only managed a 7-9 record they also went to the playoffs and won a wild card game.

After a subpar 2011, the Seahawks changed their uniforms and logo in 2012. They drafted their quarterback of the future in 2012.

And there are other coincidences.

But it's impossible to get over the fact that while Allen and Ross's first instincts were similar -- have a big-name guy atop the organization, keep his GM when that big name was gone, hire a young, promising coach to pair with that GM the owner really liked  -- the Seahawks didn't really take off until Allen hit the brakes, turned the steering wheel and pointed the franchise in a totally different direction.

Now look at the Seahawks.

They're where the Dolphins long to be.

The Dolphins, as you know, veered from the Seahawks course this offseason. While Allen made the mistake of not cleaning house the first time a group failed him, he did so the second time. Ross declined to clean house after Parcells left and again in 2011 after he fired Tony Sparano. He kept the same GM both times. And now, he's fired that GM, but kept his coach thus declining to clean house for a third time.

That's where the paths have separated.

We know Seattle followed its course to the Super Bowl. The Dolphins? We'll see.


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I agree with Sam the Home-o.

I don't get the big deal with gay people announcing they are gay. This is 2014. They are even allowed to get married. They have been an acceptable part of society for the last 30 years.

I am very suspicious of my new neighbors. They seem to be extremely stable, well-educated, and have invested thousands into upgrading their property (increasing my home value as well!) but still...I think they might be...GAY!

I guess I'll just have to move somewhere safer.

Sam, the NFL does not discriminate nor has any history of discrimination? No professional league has a more recent and gigantic dscriminatory history than teh NFL. You will still find people that will say your odds of winning increase if you ahve a white head coach or QB. Additionally there were some who knocked Andy Dalton down a few pegs in the draft board because he was a ginger and nobody could remember the last good ginger qb. I thinks you give these decision makers a bit too much credit.

Oh, for crissakes. So now Sam will be leering at other guys in the shower?

This kid sounds to me like a super mature, bright guy. I'm going to take a wild stab here and say he probably is already in a relationship and really could give a crap less about other guys 'junk' in the locker room.

Seriously, some of you sound like 14-year-olds making pee pee jokes. If it wasn't an issue at Missouri it won't be one in the NFL, either.

The kid is gay. Big freaking deal. Do the straight players walk around with a hard on just because a female reporter is in the locker room??

Well, if someone is a "devout Christian" that's great but they do NOT get to decide who will or will not be playing alongside them on Sundays.

Or are these the type of "Christians" who conveniently omit the "judge not lest ye be judged" part of the Bible when it suits them?

Do the straight players walk around with a hard on just because a female reporter is in the locker room??

Posted by: Gimme a break! | February 10, 2014 at 01:55 PM



BTW Paul Allen also owns the Portland Trailblazers, they are not exactly a model on NBA success.

It's a thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Do the straight players walk around with a hard on just because a female reporter is in the locker room??

Posted by: Gimme a break! | February 10, 2014 at 01:55 PM



Posted by: Sonny Boner | February 10, 2014 at 02:00 PM

if they were naked...yes..

It's impossible to maintain eye contact 100% of the time and someone at some point will take issue with him here.

Posted by: fin4life | February 10, 2014 at 01:47 PM


I played scholastic sports and had to shower with other men. Even being straight, as hard you "try not to" the brain wants "awareness of it's surroundings". So there's a reason to look.

You want to see how you compare "phallically" to other men. So another reason to look. Looking alone, means no conviction at all.

Basically, I would have no problem showering with a gay man in a "locker room shower" situation. Looking is not touching. Nudity itself, is not a "sexual act". Maybe this is the lesson needed learning in the heterosexual world.

Gay eyes on a straight anatomy does not contagiously make that straight player gay.

The phins beat Seattle 24-21,got 189 yds rushing, over 400 total offense, this was just in the 2012 season, cut down on the 58 sacks, get running game going, and the Dolphins beat Seattle like a drum.

what if he pops a woody in the showers? then what? Will ESPN be all over it?

Comparing us to the Seahawks is like comparing justin Bieber to Lou Ferrigno in a bdybuilding contest.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 10, 2014 at 01:51 PM

By any chance did Michael Sam go to the Jerry Sandusky youth football camp as a child?

Posted by: Living In 1985. | February 10, 2014 at 01:49 PM

Posted by: Gimme a break! | February 10, 2014 at 01:55 PM

Sam, the NFL does not discriminate nor has any history of discrimination? No professional league has a more recent and gigantic dscriminatory history than teh NFL.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 10, 2014 at 01:51 PM


Just yesterday it was said the NFL's last COMMISSIONERS were directly linked to "Rainbowlism".

Paul Tagliabue has a gay son. Roger Goodell has a gay brother. So the absolute top of the NFL food chain(commissioners) for the past 30yrs have "direct links" to the subject of gayness.

Never said the NFL has never discriminated. Discrimination has existed since the earliest conception of mankind. It will always exist in "some forms". Whether taboo or none taboo.

The seahawks and Dolphins have very little in common. Armando is really reaching to make a connection here, and it doesn't exist. Seahawks have and awesome coach and we do not. period. End of alleged comparison.

smitrock, WELCOME! To Fantasy Island.I am sending tattoo over to Marks place to get some heroin for you.

By any chance did Michael Sam go to the Jerry Sandusky youth football camp as a child?

Posted by: Rdubs | February 10, 2014 at 02:19 PM

Now that's a scoop! :)

By any chance did Michael Sam go to the Jerry Sandusky youth football camp as a child?

Posted by: Rdubs | February 10, 2014 at 02:19 PM

Now that's a scoop! :)

HA!! Sam, some things you should probably not put down in a public blog...

Just kidding, don't go crazy on me now... just having a chuckle - as the immature side of myself likes ot do from time to time

Sam, and this great sense of gayism in the NFL has filtered itself to the playing level how exactly until now? A lot of good Tagliabue's gay son did...

have u
ever seen a
grown man

Armando re-surfaced. He always seems to do it. He probably has a Big connection in TMH.

Sam, the NFL does not discriminate nor has any history of discrimination? No professional league has a more recent and gigantic dscriminatory history than teh NFL. You will still find people that will say your odds of winning increase if you ahve a white head coach or QB. Additionally there were some who knocked Andy Dalton down a few pegs in the draft board because he was a ginger and nobody could remember the last good ginger qb. I thinks you give these decision makers a bit too much credit.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 10, 2014 at 01:51 PM

You read your post more than one time and it sounds funny, yet your 100% right here! This after all was and is the League that thought W.Moon coming out of the Univ. of Wash. would end up being an NFL running QB because after all blacks are to dumb to grasp a playbook. It took forever and a day for that stigma to drop and still holds water with alot of the "GOOD OLE BOY NETWORK" who feel R.Wilson an aberration.

Some like Sam I am will say were HIJACKING the convo. but "IF" your going to discuss BIGOTRY then you have to look at how the structure has dealt with other forms of it in the past. The race card took forever to fall in the NFL as opposed to other Pro fraternities. The NFL being as visible as it is will get flap over this issue. I think at the end of the day were making a bigger deal out of it than needs be given that he won't be the 1st or only GAY NFL PLAYER in a 2014 Locker Room but he'll be he 1st open about it and the worst thing for him is from now on he'll be the GAY-BOY before he's anything else even if he were to have a 25 sack Yr.

Funny thing is he's an undersized 4/3 DE so Miami is actually a logical spot for him in the middle Rds. were (unlike others) I suspect he'll fall with teams hesitant to be the 1st to draft him and the media circus that will follow this kid.


as I posted earlier I also spent my share of time in Locker Room's and you know as well as me that at some point right or wrong someone will take issue with this kid claiming he looked at them in an inappropriate manner.

Very interesting that the subject of sexuality seems to bring out so much nervous laughter here.

MIT, countless number of "gay men" have played in the NFL. It was just taboo to "openly announce" it. I'm sure teammates, coaches, and owners have known. It was just "highly cloaked" under the unwritten, "DONT ASK DONT TELL" policy.

Still, with Sams now being projected as a "day 3" pick, it's now appearing his "coming out party's" dwarfing into even more "a lot to do about nothing.

His draft projecting is dwarfing into, "special teams/designated pass rusher" at best. If cut, will he use his "announcement of gayness" as excuse, when apparent it was his play? If he does, the media will be all over this too. Fair or unfair.

Sams announcement is a "double-edged" sword that will be wielded over any team that drafts him. Obviously, if a team "wastes" a draft pick on him, in the end, how can he make the "false claim" he wasn't given a fair chance to make the team because he is gay.

This is another potential "slippery-slope" for the team drafting him to climb. Which will cause "some teams" to "shy away", not because he's gay. But, because it potentially places that team in "harms way".

LV @ 11:52 - You're not a fair weather fan, you're just one who will not return until the team is winning again.

Like I said, that's fine. It's also the very DEFINITION of a fair weather fan regardless of whether you accept it or not.

LV fails to note the ongoing, nationwide, phenomenon of big screen LCD televisions, DVR's, 1000's of cable channels, NFL Sunday ticket, NFL Red Zone, recliners with built in refrigerators, man caves, Fantasy Football leagues, Bose sound systems, and every other imaginable technology that keeps people indoors to watch games instead of out at the ballpark. Does Miami draw a little worse than other cities? Sure, but more for reasons related to ongoing, painful mediocrity, combined with an awesome in-home football experience than from some "football hating" demographic that has taken over South Florida. Its happening nearly everywhere. I'd be willing to bet on any Sunday, 75% of all stadiums (made up stat, but whatever) have empty corners and a checkerboard of empty seats. By your narrow definition, fair-weather fandom must be rampant throughout the league. Except in Seattle, of course.

So the last pick in the NFL draft gets a Disney parade?

So the first openly gay player in the NFL gets what kind of parade?

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 10, 2014 at 02:55 PM

I believe here you nailed it (Hammer meet nail!!)

I always had a feeling Sam@2:15 was a meat gazer.

This fallacy that he is straight has gone on far to long.

This taboo that this country has about being nude in front of other people is ridiculous. We all came to this world naked. And just cause someone is naked doesn't mean they are going to rape you.

The problem will come if Sam tries to hit on a straight player. And I don't believe someone in such a precarious situation will try something like that. He knows eyes are already on him.

Wally Agreed, My only problem with a gay player would be if he pops a woody in the shower and wants to Sandusky someone.


dont you mean Phallusy?


Wilson is only half black. He is the Obama of NFL Qbs. Extremely overrated.

Sam, I never said Sam's orientation would be a problem with the players. The players are the least of his concern. it will a problem high above the player level. The palyers are sheep - they do what management tells them to do. Those making the decisions as to whether he is drafted/cut/promoted/benched are the oens he shoudl concern himself with.

And these people are generally not as young or "with it" as the players or most fans are.

fin4, I believe what some of the "supposed straight guys" in the locker room fear most is "getting a woody" seeing the "gay guy" naked in the shower.

They probably fear mot having their own supposedly heterosexual assignment exposed. Homophobicism can cover a hell of a lot of ground.

Any man uncomfortable with another man, gay or straight, staring upon their nudity. Is man not clear cut on soundness of his own manhood to begin with.

Contrary to popular belief, gay date other gays. They predominantly go after supposed straights only when that straight has sent them "signals to".

I've never been hit on by gay men. But, I have been hit on by pervs, whom I immediately put back into their place.

rdubs, they will have Sam's parade up here in Toronto the first weekend of July just like they do every year... the same weekend Rob Ford runs away from tjhe city just so he doesn't have to partake in such events.


You mean flaccidity. They are pronounced almost the same way and mean almost the same thing.

We know Sam has had a Flaccid Argument since 1972.

The worst thing that is gonna happen to Sam Michael in the locker room are his teammates coming up to him and asking him questions like?

Do I have pretty penis?

If I was guy would you do me?

Do you ever see semen in your stools?

Do you wanna swordfight?

Does this jersey make me look fat?

I don't know about anyboody else here but when I'm in the gym changeroom and sitting on a bench about to change my shoes, don't come up and talk to me if you just came out of the shower unless you have a towel around your waist - gay or not - it's just not cool... OK?!?

With a name like Mike Sam you know he was going to be a gay LB. Let me guess his middle name is Will.

Nothing to really say about Mark Sam. Might hurt him in the draft. Me personally if he could play I would welcome him on the Dolphins.

Not seeing too many similarities between the Dolphins and the Seahawks.

Philbin and Pete are polar opposites. Also their D coordinator I think his name is Quinn can coach circles around Coyle.

Bruce Irvin was the teams best pass rusher last year. This year he moved him to outside linebacker after signing Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Irvin's stats went down some, but the team got its best 11 on the field. Exactly what Coyle refused to do with Jordan.

Really hoping Jordan can come along in some capacity this year.


I heard they already are making Sam the Grand Marshall of Fantasy Fest this years.

Sam and J.Martin are going dressed up as wrestlers wearing football pads and face paint. They are going to be called the Legion of Boom Boom.

Well, it would put an end to "No Subject Is Taboo" when Sam's in the locker room. This is probably what players will miss most.

The locker room may be one of society's last bastians of complete and utter bigotry.

Earth to NFL locker rooms:

Announced gays have been in the rest of America's "WORKPLACE" for at least the last 30yrs. Maybe its time you catch up. Better late than never. :)

I am the inscrutable MR. FU WONG.

Heed my warnings.


I started laughing at your name, then I realized i read it wrong.To Wong foo


You almost hit on a great point there.

Philbin and Pete are Polar Opposites. Philbin was an OC and has spent his entire life coaching offense. Pete is a defensive mastermind who was one of the best college coaches of all time.

They are running Carroll's Defense. They just replaced their DC this past season. The last one is coaching the Jags now. The DC only runs what Carroll wants.

I feel like Philbin could learn a bit from Pete in making it fun for the players and making it loose for them behind the scenes.

I'm obviously not there, so he could be more than it appears. Just my opinion.

I'm not trying to make fun on Wilson being half-black. Just trying to say that it is easier for white america to accept a half-black QB than a Black QB.

Cam is more talented than both those chumps but because he is black and plays for a good old' boy, people don't look at him the same. He is looked as temperamental and lazy just because he doesn't like losing.

Yet, The Master Race QB, Tom Brady could do no wrong when he loses. They say discontent is a sign of leadership and his competitive fire burning,whenever he throws one of his tantrums.

Haha. Legion of Boom Boom, what a rush!!!

My 8 year old son is half black, but he is so light skinned he doesnt believe me. True story

I would agree Cam Newton did have a better year than kape or Wilson - while pretty much running the saem type of offense.

The DC only runs what Carroll wants.

Posted by: Dashi | February 10, 2014 at 03:29 PM

Dashi, actually you may have "unknowingly" hit upon something very important in this post. This makes the comparison closer to Bellichik than "Dolphins/Seahawks".

Bellichick/Pete both flopped in their earlier hc devu. Both regarded as defensive gurus. As you stated, dc's run what both want to run.

Both also discovering and drafting "later rd" qb's that lead both to SB Championship very early in their qb careers. Both qb's considered by "some" more game manager, than elite while accomplishing this.

Both hc's and team considered "more defensive, than offensive", while grinding "championship dirt". Only disparity thus far, obviously Bellichik never tested the "collegiate" coaching market.


That reminds me of a story of a cousin of mine. He is Half-Black and his Dad who is my first cousin is this 6'4" White guy with blue eyes.

The story goes that when he was in elementary school he use to tell the kids and teacher at school that his dad was white and nobody believed him. My cousin supposedly went to pick him up from school one day and they didn't want to give him the kid because of the color difference. Luckily the kid was a Junior so when they checked that the names matched and the mother called telling the school that was the kids dad. My cousin is also a cop in Memphis, but it was Memphis what do you expect. Supposedly the teachers were embarrassed that they didn't believe him when he said his dad was white and what they made my cousin go thru just to pick up his son.


I have to disagree. Half black and black has nothing to do with qb acceptance. At least not in this era. Its all about winning.

Hell, the media has praised Newton for the fine season he had this year. Doug Williams won a SB. It really doesn't get much darker skinned than that at the qb position. The Doug Williams and Warren Moons have already paved the way for both the Newtons and Wilsons. Beit black or half blacks.

Today's qb's are judged upon the merits they "display". Not the skin color they display. Hard for anyone to complain while having a championship trophy jammed down their throats(Russell Wilson).

Winning cures all ills, regardless of how light or dark a qb's skin color may be.

Many in this blog bash hell out of Tannehill. Is he black or half black? Does Russell Wilson receive better "public billing" than Tannehill because Wilson's half black?

No, it's directly associated to their play. Right now Russell Wilson has 1 Championship Ring, Cam Newton none. Race, full nor part, has anything to do with it.

Sam, if you think every team beleives they can win just as easily with a black qb and a black coach ... man, you are being naive.

The Rooney rule exists for a reason.

Sam is going to inject limp serum into his wang so that he can fantasize about the showering players Hershey highways and meat slinkys and none will be the wiser.



You compare apples to apples. Not apples to oranges.

I said it in my first post on this blog and someone got offended.

This post was to be made right before the Superbowl or right after the Superbowl. To kick the Dolphins while they are down.

Not a week later when we are already talking off season.

And in no way you can compare the Seahawks with the Dolphins. 2 totally different teams. 2 totally different situations.

Now Belichick and Carroll that is a great comparison. You can even say Belichick won with the team Carroll built.

Carroll was the coach of the Pats before Belichick took over not Parcells.

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