You know what would happen if Jeffrey Loria owned the Miami Dolphins, right?
Joe Philbin would have been toast a long time ago, probably after losing back-to-back games to the Bills and Jets to miss the playoffs in 2013.
That would have started a wild hunt for an emotional leader with long, long experience turning teams around. Think Jack McKeon with the Marlins. And for the Dolphins, hey, why not Dick Vermeil? Yeah, that’s it. He’s only 78.
Of course, if the results didn’t satisfy Loria, and nothing ever does for long, it would be time to find a brash and quotable celebrity who runs the team his way and doesn’t care what anybody else thinks and gets fans excited about all the crazy things that might happen.
Ozzie Guillen filled that role for the Marlins. As for the Dolphins, are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Sure, Loria would have to go with Mike Leach, the 23rd-century playcaller with the 17th-century pirate obsession. He’s the fourth-highest paid coach in the Pac-12 and has a 7-20 conference record at Washington State so it’s likely that he’s gettable.
After that blows up, Loria would tear down the whole thing. Start over with a discount roster. Hire a Mike Redmond type to work with the young kids and establish some stability.
I’m thinking Chad Pennington here. A real pro, one who loves the game and would be willing to patiently work with anyone who feels the same way. Heck, Chad has only been out of the game since 2012, and it took four shoulder surgeries to make him retire.
Problem is, none of these approaches comes with much of a guarantee. If there is success, it will take a while to build it. That’s a problem for Loria, who fired Redmond without a solid backup plan in place and quickly turned to general manager Dan Jennings to run the Marlins.
The results have been fairly predictable. Jennings is scraping to the end of the season with hopes of keeping his winning percentage above .400. Even if he does, he’ll have a lower success rate than Redmond did overall. Lower, in fact, than any Marlins manager ever has.
All the same, you see where this is going.
If Loria were the owner of the Dolphins, he would fire Philbin right now, three games in, and turn to his front office for a new leader already on the payroll.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new head coach of the Miami Dolphins, general manager Dennis Hickey.
Played safety at Tulsa so he knows the game. Scouted for years and ran the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ personnel department so he knows the players. Moved aside when Stephen Ross brought Mike Tannenbaum aboard in January as the Dolphins’ Executive Vice President of Football Operations, so he knows how to keep his head down and take orders.
Of course, there’s a chance that might not work out, either, which means that the Dolphins would be diving right back into the pool of coaching candidates.
While you’re screaming for Stephen Ross to make a change right this second, from Philbin to anybody with a whistle and a pulse, consider this.
Isn’t one pro franchise in constant chaos enough for this market?