Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life After Parcells for Dolphins

September 8, 2010

The airwaves have been flowing with talk of Bill Parcells stepping down as Miami Dolphins VP of Football Operations. With only one day passing since his decision, that is now history that the Dolphins must put behind them. A new era with Jeff Ireland at the helm of the team must now ensue.

Parcells' decision was expected to come at some point in the next year or so, but he pulled the trigger before the 2010 season ever started. And for seemingly valid reasons too.

The Big Tuna's main capacity was as a talent evaluator and personnel decision-maker. With less than a week until the regular season begins, the brunt of his work had already been completed as the roster and staff are virtually set in stone. Hence, the reason to leave now could be attributed to the lack of work necessary for the next four to five months. Perhaps, his reduced role, as a team consultant now, could still allow him to accomplish any remaining tasks during the course of the season.

As for the Dolphins organization, the next phase of this team's future has already begun. With a young, solid core set as the foundation of this team, they must now continue to improve every season en route to contention. Remnants of Parcells' work will be present for a myriad of seasons to come, but his legacy will only have substance in Miami if, and only if, the Dolphins reach the promised land in the near future.

The sour taste of a few draft busts (e.g. Pat White and Patrick Turner) and free agency duds (e.g. Gibril Wilson and Ernest Wilford) will slightly tarnish Parcells' reputation in South Florida. However, those poor decisions will ultimately be overshadowed by the positive moves he made for the Fins during his brief tenure.

Just in the past two drafts, Miami has hit on about 50% of their draft picks, making immediate and effective use of their rookie talent in each respective season. Not to mention, undrafted gems like Davone Bess have also contributed to the team in unthinkable ways. And while the verdict is still out, the acquisitions of Karlos Dansby and Brandon Marshall made a huge splash this offseason in an effort to improve the roster.

Thus, life after Parcells begins today. The Dolphins now must swim out to sea without The Big Tuna spearheading the team's direction. Their final destination: still unknown. But should the Dolphins steer towards elite status, they will have Parcells to thank for their success.

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