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Thread: To what extent is Shula to blame for Marino never winning a ring?

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    uk_dolfan's Avatar
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    Galactic Empire medalManchester United FCPS4 ControllerCam Wake 912013 Dolphins Logo

    OPINION To what extent is Shula to blame for Marino never winning a ring?

    First off im not randomly hating on Shula, he is one of the greatest coaches ever and made this team what it is today. However I feel this is a discussion worth having. I was reading the "what would you change" thread and it got me wondering, how did the Dolphins not manage to even win one ring with such an amazing QB like Dan Marino, was it just plain bad luck or was Dan let down by the decisions the made in his era.

    I am 22, I was not around for the Marino era but I look back at that era and ask myself how can Marino not have a single ring or even have been to multiple super bowls? Marino was such a great QB who had good weapons and a successful coach, the lack of success under such a winning coach strikes me as very odd.

    Im a massive soccer fan, my team in Manchester United, we had a manger called Alex Ferguson, he dominated English football for over 20 years, winning trophy after trophy year after year with multiple different teams and he rebuilt the team time after time. As time went on and the game evolved his style and management evolved. I find myself wondering did Shula fail to evolve alongside his sport?

    I can't help but feel Dan was let down by the organisation and the staff. I wasn't around to see it but I feel over such a long career he should have been given a better running game, more reliable defense etc. One player doesn't win a Superbowl I know that, but Marino one of the best QB's of all time should have at least been in multiple Superbowl's.

    I would love to hear the older members views on this topic, im not seeking to attack the best coach in Dolphins history..... but I can't help but feel he let Dan down.
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    Dr. Phin's Avatar
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    It is blasphemy to speak any ill regarding Shula...
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    Poor defense and a lack of balance on offense alwas ended up tiring out the defencen. In games, and at the end of the season. There was also a very good Buffalo team we could not beat. Shula has some responsibility for that.
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    Djavelin's Avatar
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    Dodge LogoPlaystation LogoTannehill 17Cam Wake 911972 Dolphins Logo
    Alot of greats don't win a super bowl. Some never even get there. Barry Sanders.
    It makes me sick to my stomach to watch all these years and Shula/Marino never got back.
    What's done is done. What if we didn't have a bunch of draft busts or injury's.
    Shula is the Best Coach ever. Marino the best QB ever.
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    You have to separate in your thinking Shula the coach from Shula the General Manager. Shula the coach is rightfully one of the greatest personalities in NFL history. However, his greatest success with the Dolphins occurred when he was coaching the team put together by Joe Thomas, one of the greatest GMs in the history of the NFL. When Shula was picking his own players he was unable to put together a running game and a defense worthy of Marino's talent. Honest observers will admit this weakness in Shula's history.
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    LordPicklewagon's Avatar
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    Snakes!Dolphins HomerDolphin
    Eh. It was a bunch of things. Studley and olividotti was as bad as it gets. Clayton and duper got old quick. The K-gun killed us when it mattered and our team wasn't built to do well against it. I remember games the dolphins would line Oliver in the slot and he would get abused. We never had a running game.

    Shula did try to give Danny as many weapons as he could get him. From Keith Jackson to Keith Byers to Irving fryer to even eric green(ugh). Our running game was non existent and our defense sucked. Recipe for disaster.
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    It was a huge blow when arnsbarger left the DC job.
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    LordPicklewagon's Avatar
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    Snakes!Dolphins HomerDolphin
    I also wonder what would of happened if frank reich doesn't lead the greatest playoff comeback of alltime. We got to the afc title game that year and if we never faced the bills, who knows.
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    TheWalrus's Avatar
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    Dave Hyde put it best, I think. The Dolphins had the best weapon in the NFL for 10 years, and they screwed it up.

    Shula is the person most to blame. Why did the Dolphins draft so poorly from the mid 80s on? Because Shula took almost complete control of the personnel department, which Robbie had long resisted giving him. Harry outlined our problems at defensive coordinator, problems that lingered because Shula had loyalty to incompetent men. I don't think it's insulting to Shula to say that like everyone else who's ever coached, at some point the game passed him by. But his decline was obscured by Marino's greatness, by Dan's ability to will the team to winning records and playoff appearances that could never be more than that. If Marino hadn't become a Dolphin I think Shula would have been gently pushed out by the late 80s, like Chuck Noll and Tom Landy before him.

    Think about this for a second. In all the years Marino played for the Dolphins under Shula, he only played with one guy -- on either side of the ball -- that eventually got to the Hall of Fame: Dwight Stevenson, who had to retire after the '87 season due to injury. When Jason Taylor gets to the Hall of Fame, he'll be the second guy.

    Look at the Bills for comparison. Thurman and Bruce Smith are already in the Hall, and Andre Reed will get in before either of the Marks brothers do. Even Elway eventually got Gary Zimmerman and Shannon Sharpe, not to mention guys like Terrell Davis, Randy Gradishar and Steve Atwater, each of whom are likely to get into the Hall one day (especially Gradishar).

    It's a remarkable record of personnel futility. Some might argue that Dan's ability to throw the football was a kind of mermaid, luring a coach like Shula to his doom. But that's bull****, frankly, like saying George Foreman would have become a great technical boxer if only he hadn't had such a devastating punch.



    #freespesh
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    Oronde's Avatar
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    There are so many different factors, but something needs to be said here, even if I don't think a lot of people are comfortable admitting it.

    The most underrated "culprit" in Marino's inability to win a ring is Marino himself. As great as he was in the regular season, he simply wasn't the same player in January. He'd make uncharacteristic mistakes, try way too hard to force things at times...it wasn't just his teammates who took a few steps down come playoff time.
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