Nick Saban couldn't close the gap on the Patriots. He picked the wrong quarterback -- Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees -- and dumped the Dolphins after two seasons.
Bill Parcells couldn't breach New England's dynasty either. He passed on drafting a franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, and eventually quit after three seasons.
Those two are considered the brightest football minds of our generation, and they failed the Dolphins.
Jeff Ireland overstayed his welcome. He couldn't close the gap in the AFC East either during his six-year run as general manager, which ended earlier this week.
Those are the architects our Dolphins' owners have put in charge since 2005. Yet, we wonder why owner Steve Ross apparently has trust issues when it comes to allocating power.
"The new General Manager will have autonomous responsibility for the 53 man roster and selecting players during the draft, and will report to me," Ross said.
We've been waiting five years for Ross' business savvy, the real estate expertise that made him a billionaire four times over, to pay off for the Dolphins, a franchise lacking a solid foundation.
Problem is our wait might be in vain because the last GM Ross committed himself to (Ireland) wasted time and money. And the head coach Ross hand-picked (Joe Philbin) is as dull as a butter knife, which might explain why his team wasn't sharp in the final two games of 2013, with the franchise's first playoff berth since 2008 on the line.
Ross' search for a new general manager begins on Friday with a laundry list of qualified candidates, but none of them will have the juice they need to make franchise altering decisions.
It is clear that Ross wants to win. He's done everything within his power to do so, everything except build an organization the right way. And he doesn't have any evidence the power structure he's building, which puts the next GM at the same status as Philbin and Dawn Aponte, the Vice President of Football Administration, works.
The Dolphins are constantly changing their structure -- 3-4 to 4-3, power scheme to zone blocking -- and consistently doing it all at different times. How about doing one good reset, all at the same time so everything can by in sync?
What happens when the next GM wants a player Aponte says the team can't afford? Who makes the call when Philbin wants a leader like Karlos Dansby banished, but the GM knows he'd be a valuable piece?
What's the point of getting someone new to shop for the groceries if he's doing so for a chef who can't cook the right meals, and a book keeper who won't let him buy the best cuts of meat and freshest produce?
Nobody is says a general manager should come in and immediately swing a wrecking ball, knocking down the team's infrastructure.
Dave Gettleman took over the Carolina Panthers last off season and gave Ron Rivera this season to prove himself. He was rewarded with a 12-4 season that includes Rivera being considered a coach of the year candidate.
New Jets GM John Idzik gave Rex Ryan a one-season tryout and Ryan's 8-8 season, which was produced with NFL scraps, earned him a stay of execution.
Philbin might be able to turn it around. However, we're wasting a lot of time, draft picks, money, coaches, and brain power doing these franchise rebuilds in stages if 2014 doesn't work.
Coordinators, coach, general manager. Coordinators, coach, then general manager. Call it the Dolphins' wash, rinse and repeat cycle because it's cleansing the franchise of loyal fans.
What this franchise doesn't need is another failed regime, another era of finger pointing, more rounds of mismatched pieces that don't fit the puzzle the head coach is putting together. What the Dolphins need is synergy, and Ross better find it.
After this hire Ross will run out of reasons/excuses/justification for why the Dolphins haven't turned the corner, becoming perennial playoff team, and the only place left to look will be in the mirror.
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