Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The Daily Rant: Hindsight Isn't Always 20/20
Keeping up with Chizzy's Daily Rant on the NFL Draft yesterday, I've got a bone to pick with seemingly every TV Draftnik out there. Former Dolphins football czar Bill Parcells (who was Vice President and Director of Football Operations for the Dolphins from December 2007 to some point in 2010; I think he cleaned out during the Week 5 bye and is now officially gone) is doing an NFL Draft special with ESPN's Mike Tirico.
The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero took a look at Parcell's status having departed from Miami. (Please keep in mind that I lotahe Armando Salguero as he's stolen people's work, generally discredits the Dolphins, is known for the infamous "High Five Gate", and is generally subpar in his writing, but this piece is good for him).
For all Parcells and GM Jeff Ireland (who actually had pick authority unless overidden by Parcells) have done, the Parcells era can be considered pretty good. Jake Long is unbiasedly the best left tackle in the NFL; they've turned the 32nd ranked run defense under Cam Cameron in 2007 into a top 7 unit, and they have incredible depth there. They unearthed CFL transfer Cameron Wake (14 sacks last year); drafted two starting CBs (Vontae Davis & Sean Smith); and managed to bring in a bunch of talent defensively. They also added Brandon Marshall - the best offensive weapon they've had since Ricky Williams circa 2002. The one issue that remains unsolved is quarterback...
And pretty much everybody says they should've drafted Matt Ryan 1st overall in 2008.
Enough of this. There's no way that Matt Ryan would have near the success he's had in Atlanta if he had landed in Miami. Let's get one thing straight, Jake Long was a beast at Michigan, and he's on pace for a Hall of Fame career...but he could do this anywhere had Miami not drafted him. Looking at the rest of that top class, which includes: Chris Long, Matt Ryan, Darren McFadden, Glenn Dorsey, Vernon Gholston, Sedrick Ellis, Derrick Harvey, Keith Rivers, and Jerod Mayo, ask yourself, which one's had the most success? Answer: Jake Long
Which one has made 3 Pro Bowls?: Jake Long
Which one has made an All-Pro team: Jake Long (okay, somehow Jerod Mayo made it this year...you'll have to explain to me how he made it over Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher).
Miami simply picked the best player, which is what your supposed to do when you have the 1st overall pick (Al Davis, take notes).
Matt Ryan was blessed to come into Atlanta with Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, Michael Turner, and he got Tony Gonzalez a year later - a very nice core of weapons there, and he had a decent enough offensive line. Atlanta also drafted USC left tackle Sam Baker in the first round of 2008.
What was Matt Ryan going to do with Ronnie Brown (coming off a torn ACL in 2007), Ricky Williams (coming off a whopping 6 plays in 2007), Greg Camarillo, Ted Ginn, and David Martin as his weapons? I'll wait...
Miami did acquire TE Anthony Fasano in a draft day trade, and found a gem of an undrafted receiver in Davone Bess, but please, spare me, Matt Ryan wouldn't have helped Miami go 11-5 that season the way Chad Pennington did.
And that should be the end of the story. Miami took the best player, then took a QB later on. While Miami's coaching staff has been horrific in coaching most of their offensive players, Chad Henne included, they were a couple of bounces and a blown call against the Steelers away from making the postseason with Henne at the helm. Last I saw Matt Ryan is 0-2 in the postseaon. While one can make the argument that Miami needs a QB upgrade, how much better would Matt Ryan have been in Miami? Not much. Ireland made the right call taking Jake Long. He also tried to trade back into the first round to draft QB Joe Flacco, only to be overruled by Parcells and ended up drafting Phillip Merling, a reserve DE with that pick. Go figure.