THE RIGHT MOVE?

There had been a lot of speculation about the future of Dave Wannstedt in Miami until late last week when word began to surface that Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga had decided to extend his contract. It's a decision that will not be met with a round of applause from a lot of Dolphins fans, we can assure you.

The big debate in Miami in recent weeks is whether Wannstedt deserved to keep his job.

Those arguing in his favor will point to his 41 victories in four seasons as Dolphins head coach and his two playoff appearances, both fairly impressive stats.

His detractors will point mostly to the fact the Dolphins have regressed every year since taking over, from losing in the second round of the playoffs in 2000 to losing in the first round of the playoffs in 2001 to being knocked out of the playoffs in the final week of the regular season in 2002 to being knocked out in the next-to-last week in 2003.

There also is the argument that Wannstedt compiled his impressive won-loss record with a nucleus put in place by his predecessor, Jimmy Johnson, who basically handed him the job when he resigned following the 1999 season.

There are some things to like about Wannstedt, who is a classy guy, a guy his players like. There are some things to dislike, most notably his conservative approach, both to personnel decisions and to game-day decisions.

We have no major problem with Wannstedt being retained, although we would severely question the decision a two-year contract extension.

The way we see it, Wannstedt should have been given one more shot to get it done or else. But that one shot needed to come with some changes put in place.

If Wannstedt is coming back, then a new face needs to be hired as the general manager. This is nothing against Rick Spielman, who is highly regarded around the league.

But if Spielman is the one hired as the new GM, then basically what you have is the status quo. Besides, doesn't it strike you as being a strange arrangement if Spielman is hired and then, in essence, jumps over Wannstedt in the power structure?

Somehow, that just doesn't make a lot of sense to us.

If Spielman isn't the new GM, we're willing to give Wannstedt the benefit of the doubt and see if he's a good coach who simply isn't great when it comes to personnel.

But again, he shouldn't more than one more year to do this.


Dolphins Report Top Stories