The Dolphin Report

By Ron Poltorack



 Having lost to a 3-10 Bills team last week the Fins got mowed down by a 4-10 this week.  Although neither loss should come as a surprise to Dolfans , the 1-7 home record is quite telling. 

Three years ago when Czarcells and Co. came into town Dolfans knew the team was in a rebuilding mode.  Unfortunately, this coming off-season will look like that once again.  The way this season has unfolded there is not going to be much job security on the offensive side of the ball or, for that matter, on the coaching staff (or the front office either). 

The loss to the Lions not only cries out to the Fins’ faithful that it is time for a change, but it should speak loudest to Stephen Ross, the majority owner of the team.  And it should reverberate with the reports that Bill Cower is ready to resume life on an NFL sideline.  If Ross has not yet employed the good offices of Dan Marino to ask his TV sidekick if he is interested in the Fins’ head coaching job, no further time should be wasted.  He should do so now, before other teams desperate for a coach of Cower’s quality come calling. 

Since winning teams generally don’t fire their head coach, if Cower is going to take the plunge back into coaching, he will have to choose between the mediocre and bad teams searching for a new head coach.  And there is reason to believe that Cower might want to relocate his famous jaw to Miami.  That’s because the one strength of this Fins’ team belongs to the defensive side of the ball and Bill Cower likes his team to play a hard-nosed defensive brand of football.  For all of their deficiencies, these Dolphins may have the best defense of any non-playoff team in football.  So if Cower is ready to leave the studio, he might be ripe for a move South. 

That is not to say that Tony Sparano is a bad coach or deserves all the blame.  But the reality is that except for what Sparano accomplished in his first season (much of which can be written off to a weak schedule and getting all the right bounces in November and December), he has not gotten the team to rise above mediocrity again.  If Bill Cower is interested in coming South, that is the real bottom line.  Since NFL teams are always looking to upgrade, the bottom line is quite simply: it is that no one would seriously debate that Bill Cower would be an upgrade. 

Back to the game against the Lions.  With the game seemingly in hand well into the 4th quarter, and when only a turnover could put this game in the loss column, Chad Henne went brain dead and threw 2 interceptions.   The first let the Lions back into the game and the second let the Lions win it in regulation.  After each of these interceptions Dolfans sat collectively wondering what was Henne thinking because quite frankly, either each was the product of either a serious mental lapse or he had placed a rather large wager on the Lions.   What else could explain the way he gave away the game?  The problem with Henne appears to be that despite his solid arm, he doesn’t seem to have the head for the game.  And that is why in a game against a lower-echelon team in which he desperately needed to show the coaching staff that he is the answer, his 4th quarter meltdown just raised more questions.  It is why his performance once again cried out, “I am not the quarterback of the future.” 

So expect big changes this off-season.  Expect the Fins to be in the market for their next QB of the future.  Expect there to be changes on the coaching staff (and it may well not just be the retirement of Dan Henning).  Maybe just maybe, it will be time for a new jaw on the Fins’ sideline.

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