weeks ago, a gust of fresh air blew into the Dolphin organization.
not exactly. Jim Bates has been (and, technically, still is) the
team's defensive coordinator, this being his fifth season with the
Dolphins. We just haven't heard nor seen much of him.
hearing from him now.
head coaches usually endure the remainder of the predecessor's term
and then quietly fade away.
has made it clear to everyone, including the press, that he has his
own way of doing things and that the "status quo" was not going
to be part of his agenda.
from his football smarts, Bates brings high energy and much needed
discipline to the table. He is passionate about his football and
demands the same from his players and coaches.
such, Bates has implemented a much tighter practice and game day
regimen, replacing the more lackadaisical ones that Dave Wannstedt
the heart of this regimen is a lack of tolerance for mistakes,
something Wannstedt could never seem to purge from his brand of ball.
Drop a pass? Pat on the back, he'll do better the next time.
Drop a pass? Run sprints.
Commit a penalty? Talk to the player, he'll do better…eventually.
Commit a penalty? Run sprints. Keep making mistakes? Get cut.
Late for a meeting? That's OK, stuff happens. I'm flexible.
Late for a meeting? Get embarrassed in front of your peers and pay a
for mistakes? Fancy that.
we sure that Don Shula isn't back at the helm?
Bates is approaching his situation aggressively. He wants to do more
than just be a caretaker; he wants to win out.
else, he figures, will take care of itself. That is, his desire to be
hired as the team's head coach, sans the "interim".
course nothing speaks louder than results. On that point, the man is
now 1-1 and should be 2-0, save for an ill-advised A.J. Feeley pass
against the Seahawks.
I know: Seattle and San Francisco aren't very good teams.
was Arizona, Cincinnati, or (at the time) Buffalo. Yet the Dolphins
managed to lose to all of them.
a doubt, there is something about Bates that is resonating with the
is well-spoken, confident, thoughtful, and focused…almost Joe
Gibbs-like in the way he carries himself.
has credibility, backed by over 20 years of professional coaching
experience, most of it in a defensive coordinator or head-coaching
role. Players gush about his motivational skills and his football
acumen, his ability to lead men.
everywhere Jim Bates has gone, positive results have followed. In
Miami his guidance of the Dolphin D has been very good, finishing in
the Top 10 year after year.
even though his resume on the offensive side of the ball is paper
thin, he has already demonstrated good decision-making with key
personnel and philosophical changes that are yielding results.
is all very nice to see. However, Dolfans are expecting Wayne
Huizenga to roll out a wagonload of money and hire, say, a big name
out of college to come in as the team's so-called savior.
is, would such a man be nothing more than a hyped up name?
Butch Davis left the University of Miami to take the helm of the
Browns, he seemed like a sure thing.
resigned this week after a pretty disappointing run.
the Redskins brought in Steve Spurrier, it was hailed as a coup that
would transform the team into winners.
flopped as a pro coach and is now back in the college ranks, where he
should have stayed all along.
hiring one of the Patriot assistants, Charlie Weis or Romeo Crennel,
the way to go?
Then again, Bates worked for Belichick too and incorporates much of
what he learned into the way he coaches.
about a highly regarded offensive mind like Philadelphia's Brad
Childress brings a lot to the table. Does he bring more than Bates
and a guy like Marc Trestman combined? Don't know.
sure, drawing any hard conclusions at this point would be premature.
After all, we are only two games into the Bates regime.
assured that the person who replaces Eddie Jones as team president
will move quickly to assess the talent on hand. Items 1 and 2 on this
list will be General Manager Rick Spielman and Bates.
goose is already cooked. His record as the team's chief personnel
man, which predates his formally being named GM, is dismal. Finding a
good personnel man who can make sound decisions will be Job #1.
line: No team, no coach, can win without the horses. Case in point:
the Dallas Cowboys.
Bill Parcells has suddenly gone dumb?
to the point, the Dolphins simply do not have enough difference
#2 will be to find the right coaching staff to mold the talent into
he won't say it publicly, Bates would like to have that opportunity
and is doing everything he can to prove to Dolphin management and
you, the fan, that he is the right man for the job.