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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.

Comments

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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.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | February 10, 2014 at 04:06 PM

Placing words in mouth mouth, eh? There was nothing "ambiguous" about my post. You have undoubted taken it there. Im talking apples and you've stretched into talking every fruit tree in the field.

Sam,

Being Half-Black is the new Gay.

House N'ggas have always been more accepted by white people than field n'ggas.

I know I could've choose a better analogy. But it is how some people still look at things.

Honestly I won't even say it is an all white mentality. I would say that most small town folks are still antiquated in they way of thinking compared to city people who are accustomed to mixing different cultures.

Racism in the NFL goes both ways.

Coaches don't want a White RB or a White CB. They feel they aren't athletic enough.

The best thing will be watching all 32 teams play decency chicken in regards to drafting Sam. If he's the last player taken will they eliminate the Mr. Irrelevant label for this year so as not to lessen the impact of his gayness?

The key differences between Seattle and Miami on statistics

Defense:
Yds allowed pg- Sea:273.1 Mia:359.4
Turnovers- Sea 39 Mia:24

Offense:
Total yds: Sea 339 Mia 312.9
Rush ypg- Sea 136.8 Mia 90.0
PPG: Sea 26.1 Mia 19.8

I short, Seattle's defense gives their offense a much shorter field to work then Miami's does and their offense takes better advantage because they are more balanced than Miami.

Dashi, and whoever signs Gerhart and he gets a 1,000 yard seaon, you won't be able to watch any NFL tv without seeing his face.

One good season got Peyton Hillis on the cover of Madden

jason Sehorn was the most visible player in the NFL at one point.

If Ross is looking for a free agent that will bring a spotlight to his team, Gerhart is the guy.

Great post Woodshed, the Seahawks routinely get short fields for their offense on turnovers. Also partly why Wilson's yards thrown seem lower than they should, other than the dominant run game

Yeah Darkoak, a strong run game is what gets you points in the redzone. Couple it with a defense that doesn't spend much time on the field and you can dominate without elite QB play.

As someone who lives near UVA, I got to see Lazor work as an OC and he will get more production from the RB position. We just need to shut down our opponents run game on defense and this team will be okay moving forward if we can upgrade our Oline.

Michael Sams has announced his "gayness". Now he needs to sit down and shut up. No more media interviews.

This should not be about Michael Sams "the NFL's gay football player". It needs now dwarf into Michael Sams "the NFL football player.

The more media interviews Sams continues to give, the worse he'll make his potential NFL employment to be. Not because he's Michael Sams "the openly gay NFL football player". Because, then, he'll appear to be Mihael Sams, "the media's attention grabbing hog".

Good Morning Finland, disappointing ending to the Season. Glad Ireland has been cut loose, but Gotta tell you that maybe Philbin too should have been given his walking papers.
We'll have to see what Hickey has, But again what was he Miami's 5th choice???
I think the problem is the Owner, Same thing with his Head coaching search, What was Philbin Ross's 4 choice???
GO PHINS..........

MIT,

Agreed. When a white player is playing well he gets more publicity.

But what happened to P.Hillis after that 1 season? They basically black balled him.

Name 1 white CB after J.Sehorn.

Racism goes both ways.

Wow Sam and MIT have been hard at it on the gay stuff for 4 hours now. Boy thats stamina guys !!!

Sam, not trying to be a dick, but the word you're looking for is "morph", not "dwarf" :P

That's BS. Everyman looks at each other's di-k when showering together. I remember whenever "The Hose" used to come into the shower room, everybody turned their backs to the wall, except Mike Sam, I guess.

I'll bet we have a few gay players on the roster already, whats the big deal ?

So that's why you guys turned away from me? I thought you all were just being dikks.

Oscarito,

Do you remember all those long showers we used to have back in La Habana?

Oscar,

Do you remember all those showers we had back in La Habana? Te acuerdas, you used to call me "The Hose."

Jajajaja,

Te estrano

Dime que te recuerdas.........

I'm not at all sure that you can compare Paul Allen to Stephen Ross, or the other way around.

Suena mucho mejor en espanol......

LA MANGUERA!!!!

Oye, Fidel,tu tienes Alzheimers. It was the other way around , man, the other way around.

JaJaJaJaJaaa Oscar,

No jodas mi amigo. Te recuerdas..... Fidel "La Manguera" Castro, commandante de la Revolucion y Oscar "Manguerita" Canosa, gusano # 1.

Te quiero mi hermano! Me alegro mucho de hablar con tigo despues de tantos anos.

To: La Verdad,
While it is true that demographics have changes and Miami is for all intended purposes part of Latin America, a shrewd, football savvy management could see that as an opportunity rather than a detriment.

Of course these Dolphins lack such management and vision. In Seattle they are doing things differently. Don't just look at the Seahawks, look at the Sounders, their soccer team, they actually sell more tix than the Phins!!!!

People around here are looking for excuses rather than thinking outside the box and embracing what we have here. The city's diversity could be an asset, more and more emerging markets in that same Latin America you are downplaying are producing more and more wealthy people, people who travel and spend money. In such countries they are now watching the NFL, in fact I was quite surprised of how much people are following the sport.

In Seattle Allen cleaned the house from the GM to the janitor it seems and more importantly they changed the culture. Pete Carroll was a breath of fresh air and rather than complain about how rainy it is, or how no one in the country watched them he embraced the city's philosophy, DRAFTED WELL, have them do yoga, got a lot of some of the thousand rock bands that Seattle is known for involved with the team and now you have what you have.

Do not be surprised Wilson takes a local discount when negotiating a new contract, his endorsements would more than compensate for that. Here in Miami we have none of that. We have a headless organization because Ross is never here and lacks the gonads to name someone to work in unison with a COMPETENT coach, without a so called capologist with equal powers.

Lots of things we can be doing to be a great organization but we lack of imagination atop it will be more of the same o same o. If a Sandals-type of deal is the best they can come up with, good luck with that! SMH.

In traffic, cars go "BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!" It is so crazy!!!

BEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!

MR. OSCAR CANOSA:

We shall ascend the marble staircase together, bathed in golden light and dressed in silken white robes.

Our baths shall be drawn, scented with lavender and fragrant oils.

There shall be wine and laughter. And sweet murmurs in the night.

That was truly beautiful, Fred.

Two dirty socks make a perfect square

"Please remove the mouse from my freezer."

TAMPA'S TRASH PILE UP FOR GRABS

Ireland was never afraid to scour the Cowboy's refuse, why should Hickey hesitate to harvest a few acorns.

What kind of mouse was it?

these last few posts are the dumbest things I've ever heard. I'm dumber now just because I read them

I need to go and shower now, I feel so dirty and dumb

on the gay stuff!!!

Posted by: Marco | February 10, 2014 at 05:04 PM

Really?

To be perfectly blunt, The Dolphins are nothing more than a heaping pile of Honduran excrement. They aren't worth anyone's rooting interest and they will continue to lose both games and fans. The only things to look forward to are the loser's expressions that both Philbin and Ross will consistently exhibit in the era that is forthcoming. As a Seahawks fan, I see no parallels between these two franchises at this point. One is a champion with a bright future, the other is destined to fail repeatedly.

Ross' Dolphins are an embarrassment.

Phins go 5-11 in 2014.

Followed by more losing seasons.

People won't accept free tickets to The Dolphins before too long.

Preferring instead to go to clubs or the beach.

"gayness"

Posted by: SAM I AM | February 10, 2014 at 04:52 PM

Say what?

Nice read, good job

That's the aim for Some, to create less brain in Many.

Hell, I'm going to turn on the Winter Olympics for the first time now. Have to let these TV Networks live also.

Ireland would use his acorn radar and move up in the 2nd round to take Sam, just so Bellichick can't get him, everyone else says Sam's a 4th-6th pick.

I hear Jeff Iresands has a new job guys. He is taking on PR duties for Sam. Ireland is an expert at filling empty slots.

I love how these talking heads say Miami won't be a good locker room for the new PSA that is about to enter the NFL.

Mike Sam won't fit in Miami because he won't make the 53-man roster in Miami!!! Who is he going to beat for a Roster spot at DE?

Good College player, Average Pro!! That is what M.Sam will become.

why we even talking about same

I wish more players in the NFL were g.ay, or at least be honest.

Wish lots of g.ay players running around chasing other men we may see a few good tackles.

For example dumbs who read this blog, like Dashi. If a g.ay, poo.fter player really wants to down a man, he will not just arm tackle him, he will nail him to the field and give him one in the a-pipe after the tackle. The fans in Miami would go nuts and we would be on course to win another superbowl.

In summary, I say the more gay players on our team, the better.

Epicene is actually the best way to describe our ball club. We have coaches and players on this team that really have no identity. Maybe a camp outwardly bent man will give us an identity. Lets all be gay and get to win the superbowl.

Q. Would Miami fans be happy to win a superbowl with 53 gay players ? I would. Think of the dance party afterwards.... wowsers !!!

La Verdad | February 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment.
What the heck is there to do in Miami for 8-9 months out of the year?
Go to South Beach straight into a cesspool of rude people who are legends and stars only in their own minds? Eat at mediocre restaurants where you get a bill that makes you feel like a victim of armed robbery? Sit in traffic for hours because county commissioners would rather give bed tax money, better served to remedy near unbearable traffic congestion, to a couple of carpet bagging buffoons who had a baseball stadium built for them. The reward: the city gets a minor league team masquerading as an MLB franchise? Great deal. Oh yes, all this and also, the Medicare fraud capital of the world.
Yeah, gimme more of that.
This used to be a pleasant place to live; not anymore.

There are awesome places to go to in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle is a beautiful city with great restaurants, a great football team, museums and more importantly, personable citizens.
3 1/2 hours away heading south you have the state of Oregon where you can visit some of nature's gifts such as Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, The Dalles and many others.
The city of Portland is highly cosmopolitan with great restaurants and bars and a sense of respect for the environment and transit efficiency. The Willamette Valley offers beautiful vineyards and gourmet restaurants that abound, with again, personable citizens.
The region has a sense of well being as there is a strong sense of respect for healthy lifestyles and respect for the environment.
Oh yeah, sports, the Trail Blazers aren't exactly slouches and the University of Oregon fields a football team that is consistently in the top ten.

I for one am actively looking to move there.

Most dolphin fans don't live in the state of Florida

I think in the future, if the human race survives long enough, homosexuality will be rightfully treated as a mental illness, and not a politically correct right of choice.

Move this team to atlantic city

Even South Carolina would be a better spot for our dolphins

Every one knew this kid was flaming he had to come out he would make a great tight end

Move the team to London, its the only way to save Dolphins.

Nice blog Marco THAT WAS :) :)

Homosexuality, just like an excess of melanin in the skin, are basically genetic defects. History has proven this time and again.


Rooting for Miami is a complete waste of time until Philbin is gone and a real coach and GM are here. Pray for lots and lots of losses this and next year.

Sam,

Being Half-Black is the new Gay.

House N'ggas have always been more accepted by white people than field n'ggas.

I know I could've choose a better analogy. But it is how some people still look at things.

Honestly I won't even say it is an all white mentality. I would say that most small town folks are still antiquated in they way of thinking compared to city people who are accustomed to mixing different cultures.

Posted by: Dashi | February 10, 2014 at 04:17 PM

Something that I have recently learned, Dark skinned brothers are highly prejudiced toward the light skinned, especially in the City. This goes to the point of violence.
This comes from a previous resident from the 'City of Brotherly Love'.

Trane, dashe is a frail mal nourished mulato bus boy with no car or college degree. He just tries to pretend to be an adult, he is probably 23 going on 13.

Dashe told us that he was a big built man lol. Ever been to Santo Domingo? Frail skinny boys. Then dashe told us he paid over $1000 for a political fund raiser dinner. LOL. Talk about delusional. Like anyone would believe that.

Look lets be the only all gay team in pro sports. Its at least one way to get an identity. Thill in white stockings and high heels. Now he has the chance to hit those deep thrwos... You see it all makes perfect sense boys !!!

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