When the lockout was temporarily lifted last week, NFL teams had less than 24 hours to communicate with their players. Some were very successful, while others at least touched base and accomplished some rudimentary tasks.
And then there was Tony Sparano and the Dolphins.
If there was one thing Sparano and his staff were going to do on Friday, with players at the team’s facility in Miami, distributing playbooks should have been first on the list. Hand out at least one playbook to one veteran player. Then, if/when the lockout returns — as it did on Friday evening — that veteran player can hit up the local UPS Store and make copies to pass onto his cohorts.
Buried in a story from the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
“There wasn’t time for new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to hand out playbooks, Sparano said, but some players were able to meet with new coaches for the first time.”
Wasn’t time? The team had, like, two months to prepare for an event like this. On the day itself, they had over 12 hours with unlimited access to every player on the roster.
Can you imagine Bill Belichick failing to accomplish such a basic task? This is part of the reason the Dolphins have been a losing team four of the last five seasons. Organization and preparation are of utmost importance in the world of professional football, and Sparano has lacked in those areas both on and off the field during his tenure as Dolphins head coach.
From my pal Brian Miller at PhinPhanatic:
“Miami is already put into a bad situation with the lockout given the fact that they have a new offensive coordinator and a new offensive system to install. They failed miserably this past weekend when they lost the opportunity to reach out to the players and get those books into their hands. Sorry coach, but there is no excuse for this failure. It’s simply pathetic and a complete mismanagement of time.”
If the appeals court extends its stay on the lockout and the work stoppage lasts several more weeks or months, the Dolphins will be at a major disadvantage because of their failure to get this done.
It baffles me that Sparano is still employed. How do you go 1-7 at home and finish with a losing record in back-to-back seasons with that roster? If the Dolphins have another poor season following this colossal miscue, that should finally mark the end of a disappointing era.