After Matt Flynn chose to become a Seattle Seahawk instead of a Miami Dolphin yesterday (a choice that may just make me reassess my whole “There Is No Plan In Seattle” stance from last week…), Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark took to Twitter with a pretty damning critique of the situation.
When responding to a follower saying that “NOONE wants to go to the Dolphins,” Clark Tweeted: "No one! To believe I almost went there but it was easy decision not to. It’s my honest opinion. Not a good guy making decisions."
The “guy making decisions” is most likely a reference to Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland. Ireland, as most football fans know, made headlines two years ago when he asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute during a pre-draft interview. Ireland latter apologized for the incident.
The perception that “no one” wants to go to Miami is only reinforced by owner Stephen Ross swinging and missing on most of his attempts to acquire “names.” Since coming on board, Ross has targeted and failed to acquire Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher to coach his team and Peyton Manning to quarterback it.
Then, after meeting with both the Seahawks and the Dolphins, Matt Flynn’s choice to go with the Seahawks was reportedly due to the “vibe” inside the building in Seattle. How can that reflect anyway but negatively on what is going on at Dolphins headquarters?
The Dolphins are now so desperate at quarterback that they are reportedly offering San Francisco 49ers free-agent quarterback Alex Smith close to $8 million to be their starting quarterback. This is a team that is implementing a pass-oriented offensive attack offering the starting job to a guy who threw the fewest number of passes of any full-time starting quarterback in 2011. It may seem absurd, but the Dolphins would probably be better off holding onto their money and going into 2012 with incumbent Matt Moore under center.
Whoever the quarterback ends up being, Ross and company have a real issue when it comes to the outside perception of their team. Right or wrong, to the outside world it certainly seems coaches and players want to avoid being Dolphins. (I mean, how hard do you have to work to make South Beach unattractive?)
Obviously, there’s one sure-fire way to turn perceptions around, and that’s by winning football games. Joe Philbin is a good coach, and I want to see him succeed.
But he’s certainly not getting a ton of help from Dolphins ownership or management in selling his program.