The Jets announced Robert Saleh as their new head coach, and Dolphin fans will not have Adam Gase to kick around any more. But we do have Saleh. He was the 49ers defensive coordinator. A man whose calls blew a late 11-point lead in the Super Bowl vs. Kansas City. A man whose defense gave up 43 points to the Dolphins midway through our last season. A man whose defense was last place in their division, lagging behind the Cardinals. He also has the kiss of death upon him, as pundits are saying how ready he is and how great he is. His former boss, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, praised him more than anyone…and Kyle should know….it was Kyle’s own calls that let the Patriots win a Super Bowl when they were 25 points behind. Kyle Shanahan knows a lot about teams collapsing, so when he praises Shaleh, take it with a grain of salt.
And remember, Adam Gase received the same kind of praise when we hired him as well.
Urban Meyer, the Jags’ new head coach, has a much better pedigree. He actually has some success and championships in his background. This could be a good hire for the Jags, but I’d be leery of the Nick Saban syndrome. College football coaches have unlimited access to whatever players they want. They can pick and choose the best high school players from around the country and offer them “incentives” (legally, I’m supposed to say “offer them a scholarship” but let’s be honest). Kids can choose any college in the world. They receive multiple offers and go to the better schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Texas, etc.
Meyer and Saban succeed because of their skills, of course, but don’t ever discount that they succeed because they are able to recruit the best players.
In the pros, it’s not even close to that. You get 7 new players (draft picks) per year. Period. You also can get free agents, but you’re limited by a salary cap. You can dress only 46 men on game day, not 129 like in college. Oh, did I mention you only get to select 7 new players per year? And when you want a player, you cannot simply select him. You have to wait your turn and wait for 31 other teams ahead of you to go before it’s your turn again.
Nick Saban didn’t like that part, so he tucked tail and ditched the Dolphins high and dry. He realized building a program in college is infinitely easier than the pros because of the access to stud players.
I think Urban Meyer can learn a lesson from Saban’s saga and become a successful pro coach, like Barry Swisher. But he’ll have to be patient.
Falcons. Lions. Chargers. Eagles. Four teams remain without a coach.
And, after all is said and done, I’m really pleased with Brian Flores and how he is slowly building the team. A lot of work still to be done, but at least he came from a championship organization and was instrumental in building those titles. That goes a long way toward mental toughness and knowing what it takes to win. It makes me glad that the Dolphins don’t have to look for a head coach for years to come.