So now it’s Dan Campbell in the soup.
So now the Miami Dolphins, once among the proudest and most reliable organizations in the NFL, have become the Oakland Raiders.
Check that, the Raiders are 2-3 at the moment, better than Miami’s record, and the boss in Oakland is Jack Del Rio, not a stupendously successful head coach but one with a decade of NFL experience in the job.
Compare that to the Dolphins, who with the worst kind of timing have chosen their golden 50th season to go all the way back to square one.
Miami’s head coach, temporarily or otherwise, is Campbell. In five seasons beyond the coaching intern stage, he has worked exclusively with Dolphin tight ends. His head coaching mentors have been Tony Sparano and Joe Philbin. Sounds like a guy who needs all the help he can get in setting up a winning program, so here goes.
For an assistant head coach, a right-hand man, the team has handed Campbell special-teams coordinator Darren Rizzi.
For a defensive coordinator he gets Lou Anarumo, who was in the coaching game for 20 years before making the step up to the NFL.
For help in fixing the offense Campbell keeps coordinator Bill Lazor, who to this point has been grasping at straws, with the bonus of Al Saunders in a consultant’s role. Saunders is 68 and a former NFL head coach but this doesn’t seem the stage of life where he’s willing to spend every day at practice and every game in headphones.
They don’t call them consultants for nothing.
Of course, there’s a lot of hollering right now about getting tougher and pitting teammates against each other in practice and, as Campbell put it at his introductory press conference, taking this thing to where “it’s all about being primates again.”
If that doesn’t sound like the Raider way, what does?
Here is a shocking numbers, and made all the worse by the fact that Miami was ruled for 26 seasons, and very well, by Don Shula, the NFL’s all-time winningest coach.
Over the last 10 years, beginning in 2006, the Dolphins have had six head coaches, interims included. Only one team has had more coaches over that period. That would be seven. That, naturally, would be the Raiders.
Look now at the list of teams coached by one man over the last 10 years. It’s a stable group, like the Dolphins once were. New England, Green Bay, the New York Giants and Cincinnati.
All right, maybe you don’t think the Bengals are that great of an NFL brand name but, hey, who in South Florida has the right to look down on any other market now?
Bottom line, the Dolphins have really ripped the cord on anything that used to make them special and are caught in a free-fall that could last for years.
The Philbin years might actually start looking good after a while, just as the Dave Wannstedt years do now.
This franchise is going backwards after half a century.
Now comes the scrounging for other team’s properties. Instead of Joe Robbie throwing a first-round draft pick into the pot to get Shula from the Colts, it’s Stephen Ross toying with the idea of robbing Sean Payton from the Saints.
Might as well buy a Raiders jersey now. They’re interchangeable.
Whatever that Dolphins logo once stood for has been reduced to a fresh smear.