What a difference having football people with not only knowledge of the game but knowing when to grab a team by their collective necks and telling them in no uncertain terms that there is a new sheriff in town and they are no longer in charge.
Say hello to Miami Dolphins VP of Football Operations Bill Parcells and Head Coach Tony Sparano. These two have shown that winning in the Mational Football League can only be achieved with dedication to the team and each other as well as a one game at a time focus.
Anything else wouldnot be tolerated and would be delt with in a swift and decisive manner. In order to show just how serious they were they first sent oft injured veteran Zack Thomas to Dallas, then "Dancing With The Stars" is more important than OTA's Jason Taylor found himself dancing off to DC.
These two moves showed immediately that everyone would be required to it Bill and Tony's way or it was the highway. This attention grabber began a whole new attitude in Dolphins camp and a winning formula was now in motion.
The next step was to draft and sign free agent football players and to stay away from the me first guys that seem to be every where in the NFL. No one is better than the Tuna in finding football players who have the drive, skill, and attitude that is necessary to play in the NFL.
These types of players check their egos at the door and know that the name on the front of the jersey is more important the name on the back. Bill was able to do this in New York with both the Giants (two Super Bowl Wins) and the Jets, the New England Patriots, and the Dallas Cowboys.
Who knows maybe if Jerry Jones could put his ego aside the Cowboys just may have won it all last year. Fortunately for the Dolphin faithful he didn't and now the Fins are on the doorstep of the playoffs.
The final piece came thanks to a love affair of the New York Jets with Brett Farve (who just may have shown that 2007 was an anomaly) and the departure of Chad Pennington. Pennington was drafted by Bill and both he and Tony knew that his winning attitude and ability to lead on the field was desperately needed.
Pennington knew what was expected and how to convey this to his teammates. From the first day of training camp everyone in the huddle new that Chad was in charge and soon the entire team had new leader.
The use of an old offense that was new in this era help to put the ball in the hands of the play-makers and a defense that played with the aggressive style that winning teams like the Giants, Ravens, and others used started the Dolphins on this historic turnaround.
No matter what happens on Sunday in New York the Miami Dolphins have not only had a historic season, but have built a foundation for a serious run at the Super Bowl in 2009. I do believe that the Dolphins will win on Sunday and complete what will only be acceptable to Tony and Bill.....The Playoffs.
Maybe just maybe come Sunday night ESPN analyst Trent "JET" Dilfer will finally have to acknowledge that the Dolphins had what it took to turn this season into a historical one and claim the AFC East Division Championship.