Hi guys, this is my first post, be gentle with me.
I recently purchased the Sporting News 2009 NFL preview magazine and was reading about the Dolphins and some parallels jumped out at me that made me think of our team and McD. I'd like to share them and see what you all think. After the jump, I guess...The first thing I noticed was this quote
"...You don't go from 1-15 to being a playoff team simply because you're plaing a few weaker opponents The NFL doesn't work that way. It's too competitive. Instead, I think you need to credit the arrival of Tony Sparano as head coach and the arrival of Chad Pennington at quarterback. Sparano installed a sense of accountability in that locker room that everyone throughout the league recognized, and he had the perfect quarterback to serve as the person to put those qualities in place on the field."
I think from the start of McD's tenure he has signed players who are accountable (tough, versatile, leaders) to help in the locker room. He's also traded for a QB who is very hard working, and could very well be the perfect player to help get those qualities on the field.
Then there was this, possibly a connection between Orton and Pennington. Two quarterbacks who were run out of town on a rail, Pennington in NY, Orton in Chicago. Both seemingly have weak arms, but I also believe both to take great care of the football
"...the most important addition to Miami's offense was the arrival of Chad Pennington. His poise and efficiency, along with offensive coorinator Dan Henning's balanced play calling, resulted in an offense that offered the perfect mix of patience and innovation."
Also this "Despite throwing a ball that lacks pop, Pennington's decision-making made him one of the NFL's top quarterbacks last year. He had a career high 3,653 passing yards while completing 67.4 percent of his passes"
Can Orton match that in this offense? Remember that Miami does not have a number one WR, which we should have if Marshall decides to come to camp and learn the offense. I believe that Orton can. And if he does I further believe that this team can have a better record than last year. If it's possible for a team to go 1-15 and turn in the next season at 11-5, than it is definitely possible for another team that went 8-8 to go 10-6 (13-3? :)) As for Orton's decision making, is it on the same level as Pennington's? I'm not sure, but it's been proven in many posts on this site that Orton has gotten better each year in limiting his mistakes. Even if he's not as good as Pennington, I think that he will, at the very least, take better care of the football this year than Cutler did last year, which may lead to a more productive offense.
One other thing I wanted to ask the members. If Shanahan had stayed, kept Cutler and signed the same free agents and drafted the same players, do you think the MSM would be so down on our team? Can Cutler make that much of a difference? Without Cutler last year would we have been 1-15? Last in the NFL? Was he the end all and be all of the Denver Broncos last year?I don't think so, there are 52 other players on the roster. We have a great O-line and great weapons on offense. That hasn't changed. So I ask you, how can essentially an overhauled roster, with improved players across the board (on defense), with better coaching, possibly be the worst team in the NFL this year because they no longer have Cutler? I can't make sense of it. I'd love to hear your thoughts.