Bill Parcells Is Partially to Blame for Miami Dolphins' Struggles

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Bill Parcells Is Partially to Blame for Miami Dolphins' Struggles
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I took a look at my Twitter this Monday morning to see what Twitter's Monday morning quarterbacks had to say about the week as a whole.

One of the tweets I read caught my attention, per ProFootballWeekly.com's Twitter feed:

I read the article, which stated:

Is anyone going to give Bill Parcells a hard time for all the crappy picks he made in Miami? Is everyone afraid he is going to beat them up? I don’t know why it never gets addressed. He passed Matt Ryan for Jake Long and that’s fine, but what about everyone else? The cupboard is empty. It’s not just a lack of talent, though—you have to be able to work with the talent you have. I would have given up a (first-round pick) for Vontae Davis.

I'm not afraid of Bill Parcells beating me up, but that's mainly because I know he wouldn't even so much as pay attention to me. But I have no problem calling him out for his job with the Miami Dolphins.

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Two of Parcells' draft picks...
Like the piece stated, passing on Matt Ryan for Jake Long is fine. Miami needed a left tackle, and Jake Long has done the job exactly like you would expect the No. 1 overall pick to do. If anything, the onus is on Jeff Ireland to sign Long to the extension he deserves, considering that not only does this guy play hurt, but is still better than 90 percent of the other left tackles in the league when he does (and when he is healthy, he's the best left tackle in the game).

But as for the other draft picks, the question is a matter of where to begin.

I can't blame him for the Chad Henne pick. It made sense at the time. Now we know how that ended up, but considering that we already spent the No. 1 pick on Long (meaning 2008's top quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco were already long gone), he was the best quarterback available at the time (and we needed a quarterback—remember, we would have no idea that Chad Pennington would fall into our laps during training camp).

But Henne was chosen with our second second-round pick. Our first second-round pick was spent on Phillip Merling. Merling's time in Miami was marred by injuries (and there was already a pattern of injuries while he was in college) and personal issues.

Merling was chosen because Miami needed a defensive end. They already had one in Jason Taylor, except Parcells treated Taylor very coldly before trading him to the Washington Redskins prior to the draft. Had Parcells embraced the team leader, there wouldn't have been a need to draft Merling, and instead Miami could have bought in help at that pick for another position of need, cornerback (Kansas City would pick Brandon Flowers three picks later).

Let's go on to 2009, when the Dolphins picked Vontae Davis with their first-round pick. Davis has since been traded due to his own inconsistencies, but let's say the Dolphins had picked Flowers the year before and kept Taylor (who would re-sign with Miami in 2009). Clay Matthews was chosen by the Green Bay Packers right after the Dolphins drafted Davis, but cornerback was a position of need for Miami, so Vontae was the pick.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
How do you feel about the John Jerry-era? Could've had this guy!
But 2009's most dumbfounding pick, even as it happened, was that of Pat White. Granted, this is a draft pick we don't have if Jason Taylor isn't traded, so this will be dealt with in reality assuming that Miami still trades Taylor but drafts Flowers instead of Merling, then Matthews instead of Davis. Miami passed up on Mike Wallace among other players to pick a quarterback that would only be used for special packages, then leave football after one year.

The 2010 draft was Parcell's worst, which makes sense considering that he was gone only six months later. Miami had the No. 10 pick but traded down with San Diego and chose Jared Odrick at 28. The reason was the need for a pass-rusher, but there was a great one available at No. 10: Jason Pierre-Paul.

That's not an attack on Odrick, who when healthy has actually been good for Miami, as has the second-round pick, Koa Misi. But while Misi has been good, the man they passed up despite needing a tight end (Rob Gronkowski) has been Pro Bowl-level.

That's not even as bad as the third round, when Miami chose John Jerry. Jerry's tenure in Miami can be summed up by what he did in an episode of Hard Knocks. Passed over for that pick were tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Jimmy Graham. Remember, tight ends were a position of need in that draft, and the draft was strong with tight ends. The Dolphins came away with no tight ends.

Miami would get nothing back for Phillip Merling or Pat White and only a second-round pick for Vontae Davis. Odrick and Misi have been solid. The rest of their draft picks? Pitiful. Jake Long is the only Dolphins draft pick from the Parcells era to make the Pro Bowl. If anything, Jeff Ireland has improved their drafting, but not by much.

How much blame do you give Bill Parcells for the current state of the Dolphins?

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Worst of all is the way Parcells left. He just cleaned up his office and was gone. Thanks to the way his contract was negotiated, he would still be paid by the Dolphins even if he took a job with another team (he hasn't, but he has consulted other teams, such as when he recommended to the Jets that they hire Rex Ryan, while he was working with the Miami Dolphins).

Parcells has left this cupboard bare. Not even Nick Saban can say he did that (remember, Cam Cameron was the guy who traded Welker and made a host of personnel moves that flushed away talent, not Saban). This shouldn't have even come as a surprise to anyone considering his previous stops (New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys) all got worse for a few years after he left than they were when he was there (Dallas being the lone exception—they've stayed the same).

So who's going to call out Bill Parcells? I will. Thanks Bill, for your bad draft choices, for Ireland and for the mess the Miami Dolphins are in.

 

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