There are so many moves the Miami Dolphins organization need to make, the most obvious one is hiring a new Head Coach, and having that Head Coach assemble an entire coaching staff. I liked Brian Flores. I liked his no nonsense personality, I liked his toughness. I didn’t like the staff he put together, and that includes revamping his staff last season. As the group Depeche Mode says, “Everything counts in large amounts”. Flores was the architect of a poor staff. I’m not picking on him because he’s gone, just stating the obvious. I can’t say whether his first season’s plan was just to work with guys familiar to him, or he simply had no NFL ties and took what he could get. In 2019, He brought both OC Chad O’Shea and DC Patrick Graham from the New England Patriots. In 2020, Flores tabbed long time NFL’er Chan Gailey, who was probably pretty sure he was never ever going to coach again, and named him OC. Not that Chan Gailey wasn’t qualified, but I’m sure Flores’ call was the ONLY call Chan Gailey received as far as NFL offers were concerned. Chan Gailey departs so in 2021, Flores has the brilliant idea of naming Co-OC’s (supposedly in order to keep any teams from stealing them away), so 2020 Tight Ends Coach George Godsey and 2020 Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville are promoted together to form the NFL’s first 2 headed Offensive Coordinator Duo. Sometimes having more is better, The Tucker had a center headlight in addition to the 2 common ones on either side of the front of the vehicle. The center headlight actually turned left when the car was turning left and right when the car was turning right. Ingenious! The Co-CO idea, not so much. The Dolphins offense was 22nd in the NFL scoring 20.1 PPG and if not for the defense setting up the offense so many times, it would have been considerably worse.
I’m going to recommend something I know many of you here won’t be in favor of. I can tell you, I’m not sure I’m in favor it myself. Hear me out though. You can build for now, or build for later. Instant gratification or long term success. Either can be satisfying. The problem with my recommendation is that one important step needs to happen before this can even be possible. Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh needs to step down from his current post. If that happens, I think we should be the first, and most likely the last to offer him a Head Coaching position in the NFL. When you hire a guy from the college ranks, you get a guy who knows all the college players, what they’re capable of, who the right ones are for what they want to accomplish, on both sides of the ball. What you usually get is a guy who doesn’t know the NFL, and how to deal with NFL players. Not the case with Harbaugh, who has successfully run an NFL team, quite successfully I might add. From 2011-2014, Jim Harbaugh compiled a 44-19 record with the SF 49ers. He did that with 2 QB’s who were not considered upper echelon talents in Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. For some reference, Alex Smith was 19-31 in 5 seasons as the Niners QB. With Harbaugh, his first season was 13-3. His 2nd season was cut short due to injury but the Niners were 6-2-1 with Smith. So 19-2-1 for one and a half seasons after 19-31 in 5 without Harbaugh. We all know who took over after Alex Smith went down, my former crush Colin Kaepernick. No problem for Harbaugh. Kaepernick after taking over the helm went 5-2 and took the Niners to the playoffs. A huge upset 1st RD victory over the Green Bay Packers, 45-31 started an improbable run. The Niners then defeated the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 to earn a Super Bowl berth. The SF 49ers lost a thriller of a game, 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens.
Still with me? My favorite MLB team the NY Mets made a very similar move recently. They decided to bring in a proven winner in Buck Showalter. Results have yet to be determined and if the bougy MLB Players Union doesn’t get it’s collective head out of its ass, we may not see a MLB season next year. The Mets have decided instead of hiring a young up and comer, they want to win NOW! Forget 3-5 years from now, NOW! They know Showalter knows exactly what he’s supposed to do in every and any situation, there’s nothing he hasn’t seen. The very same would go with Jim Harbaugh. I think it’s an extremely unique situation to be able to get a guy who is so in touch with the college game and all the players, yet has had tremendous NFL success as well. I say if Jim Harbaugh steps down as Michigan HC, Stephen Ross should fly one of his fucking planes as fast as they can fly and throw down some stacks of $$$$ to secure the best Head Coach for RIGHT NOW, the Dolphins can get. Personally, I think Harbaugh is a bit of a time bomb, and I have no idea how long he can last if he comes back to the NFL. My guess is it would be a similar gig to the Niners. He’d stay as long as they were winning. That’s not a terrible thing either. If for some reason he fails right off the bat, which I think is unlikely, he may try one more time. If he fails again I would think he’d step down and disappear and we’d probably want him to. I think if he does come back to the NFL, I think he’d be great for our team. Our defense would continue to flourish and he’d get Tua a run game if it killed him. Defense, running the ball, all the things we crave here. All that will make Tua better and more importantly, the Miami Dolphins better.
I’m open to other HC’s too, there are lots of ways to skin a cat. I actually don’t know how many ways there are and not sure why people think are so many ways to skin a cat, but there really are a lot of different avenues to explore in a Head Coach search. I’m sure Tom Garfinkel and Chris Grier are doing that as I type. Maybe it’s because I’m 58 now and my mortality is in the back of my mind. Who knows, maybe Mike McDaniel is the next Mike Tomlin. At 38 he’s a tad older than Tomlin was when he took over the Pittsburgh Steelers at the age of 35. To have continuity and longevity along with winning would be swell, but make no mistake about this my fellow Dolphins fans, the Miami Dolphins franchise is NOT the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. The Steelers are steeped in tradition and their owner doesn’t flip-flop on their decisions. Since 1969, The Steelers had HC Chuck Knoll 1969-1991, Bill Cowher 1991-2006, then Mike Tomlin from 2007 – present. Not only do they have consistency, but they WIN. So do I crave the same? I would wait until we clean house of our current GM before heading out on that path, which is another strong reason I prefer Harbaugh. With Harbaugh at the helm, it’s gonna be his way or the HAR-way. If Chris Grier didn’t like Brian Flores, he’s gonna hate Harbaugh, because this would be his show, guaranteed. He won’t allow Grier to undermine him and his cachet dictates that he deserves as much. Unfortunately, Harbaugh may have no intentions of leaving his current post, but if he does . . .
To elaborate on some great news we got yesterday, I’d like to share that I also got to speak to Jon “Stanger” yesterday, and considering what that man has been through, I was absolutely shocked as to how great he sounded. As I’m typing now I’m literally getting goosebumps and tearing up because he literally sounded just like the old Stanger, and that’s not being kind, or overenthusiastic or wishful, that boy is BACK! Now he needs to get his body back to where his head is and he’ll be in better shape at the next Fest than he was at the last. He’s currently just dealing with atrophy from being in a bed so long, and I believe he will respond very well to rehab, both occupational and physical therapy. I have to give both Jon and his wife a lot of credit, they really clawed back from some tough odds. Maybe our Dolphins can do the same!