Miami Madness Needs Tender Lovie Care
By TJ Hatter
The complexity of the Jonathan/Martin Richie Incognito relationship continues to reveal itself before us all and call into question modern interpretations about race, toughness, and what's appropriate in even the most masculine of workplaces. While we'll all continue to follow the story, the post script has already been written.
The Miami Dolphins are a middling team with a national reputation for something other than football. That's a recipe for regime change. It's actually amazing that Jeff Ireland is still heading up this team, given that the world at large knows him for asking Dez Bryant if his mother is a prostitute. He's gone. The job of coach Joe Philbin, whose prior national media exposure is due to having the same last name as Regis, is similarly in peril on a theory of a lack of institutional control.
My fellow panelist on Football.com's "End Around Show," Joe Scumaci, does a fantastic job covering the Dolphins. Read him here. In his latest column, Joe makes a credible case that the Dolphins are right in the thick of the playoff hunt. He's right, numerically. But the current turmoil around the Dolphins didn't derail a season-long march toward the playoffs. It revealed a mediocre team at war with itself.
The Miami Dolphins haven't been relevant since Dan Marino retired. To change that, they need a breakout player. That's where the draft comes in. That's hard to control. What can be controlled from the owners box is who runs the organization. The Dolphins need competence, professionalism, and a presence to limit the knucklehead around and within the team. In short, the Dolphins are looking at regime change and to do that, the next head coach needs to be a consummate professional.
On any short list of potential candidates, one name needs to be included: Lovie Smith.
During his time in Chicago his teams were well prepared week in and week out. His leadership and professionalism, unquestioned. His classy demeanor, taken for granted. Currently, Smith is enjoying time away from the pressures of the NFL, but there are likely quite a few organizations that are looking his way with interest.
Miami should be first in line.
Particularly after the Greg-Schiano-coached Tampa Bay Bucs looked like the model of competence by comparison on Monday Night Football.