October 18, 2010
A lot of things happened way back in 1993: Cheers' production ended, Pablo Escobar was killed, Michael Jordan retired and - most relevant to us - Bill Parcells was hired as the head coach of our rival New England Patriots. During Parcells' stint as the Patriots head coach he had a modest 32-32 record and led them to a Super Bowl in 1996, in which they lost to the Green Bay Packers. Shortly after, he decided to leave New England behind the statement "If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries." This referred to the fact that he, as a head coach, was expected to win games but was limited in the player and personnel decision-making process. It was a luxury that he was granted here in Miami. Minus the actual coaching duties.
That leads me to this, Parcells was allowed to do all the grocery shopping here in Miami for three years and did pretty decent (but not amazing) in my humble opinion. I feel he missed out on some great skill players that were traded for chump change to division rivals (Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie), missed on some players in the draft and drafted some poor picks (Earl Thomas, Philip Merling), got rid of some players he shouldn't have (Zack Thomas, Jason Taylor--twice) and missed on some free agents as well (Antrel Rolle, Ryan Clark), but I digress. The purpose of this article really isn't to bash the hard work, research and talent evaluation skills that Parcells is known for, after all he turned the team from a joke to a division winner over one offseason. The purpose is to discuss his departure from the role.
Parcells resigning in the fashion he did before the season opener truly raised some eyebrows. It seemed like he didn't approve of the direction in which the team was moving and decided to wipe his hands of the mess. He downgraded his role from Executive Vice President of Football Operations to just a consultant now. Jeff Ireland will now assume the real role of NFL General Manager. Hopefully he's not as selective as his predecessor was when it comes to grocery shopping and adding players that can truly benefit our team.
The grocery needs can be viewed in several different ways depending what you fancy, but in my opinion the Fins should be shopping for a few things. They are as follows:
There are also a few other areas of concern that might need to be addressed depending how the current players here pan out. Those positions are free safety, cornerback, outside linebacker, and to some extent wide reciever and middle linebacker. Here's why.
No More Bargain Shopping
I'm a firm believer in the saying "you get what you pay for" and for the most part in football the higher quality players cost more. The mathematics are simple, you pay the better players more, they perform and provide you with their services, and you win games. Simple. I know we have a salary cap and all but we once paid Jake Grove a lot of money and he's no longer on the roster. So if we should research more effectively to eliminate those costly mistakes in order to eliminate "Grove-like" blunders. If you notice, you rarely hear the Colts, Saints, Ravens, Steelers, Patriots, or other playoff winning teams suffer a salary cap blunder or sign a player who completely flopped. They barely even make poor draft choices. Most of them find immediate starters and impact players late in the draft. However, we have failed to do those things (aside from Brian Hartline, really). Also, those teams don't win just because, they do so because they've surrounded their offense and defense with several impact players. They're flooded with pro bowlers. We need to spend more money at the grocery store for better quality goods.
This is the simple economic concept I hope Jeff Ireland will follow. Miami is hungry and it's time for Ireland to deliver the goods.