Flipping it

O, BY THE WAY

On Bill Parcells

December 29, 2007|By BILL ORDINE

Say what you will about Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter - and there's not much good we in Baltimore would generally have to say about him - but one of Las Vegas' most feisty blackjack players does kind of get to the point.

When Bill Parcells showed up at Dolphins practice Thursday, Porter observed that players moved a little "faster" and coaches coached a little "louder."

In other words, everyone's job is in jeopardy in Miami.

The chances that first-year coach Cam Cameron and general manager Randy Mueller will be retained appear to be next to zero. At his news conference Thursday, Parcells talked about his role as one in which he's there to put in place a "structure" that would allow the Dolphins to succeed.

His job isn't to coach. It isn't to be GM, which means player personnel. It's all about "structure." I don't think that means making sure the practice fields are watered. If the idea was to keep Cameron and Mueller around, owner Wayne Huizenga wouldn't need Parcells.

This was kind of an interesting decision for Parcells. He was almost philosophical when he talked about taking this Dolphins job. He's 66, and he discussed that he's come to terms with the fact that he "likes football very much." That is a classic understatement.

Here's what he said: "I've always liked it. I guess you could call that male menopause when you're no longer ashamed of what you are."

Here's what Parcells really meant: He needs football, like it's oxygen. The championships Parcells won could have satisfied some people. The heart problems might have scared some guys off. And the immense pressure of coaching four NFL teams would certainly have worn others out. But Parcells keeps coming back.

"It doesn't make any difference how many championships you've won," Parcells said. "You're not winning now, so you become some of the ones that aren't winning now. And they use other terms for you."

We pretty much know what those terms are - "has-been" would be one.

Parcells isn't about to allow that to happen, not easily. He is one of those guys who always has to test himself, challenge his ability, put his ego at risk - and prevail. And I'm not being judgmental about that. I'm not saying it's good or bad. For Parcells, that's just the way it is.

But that's also why the quickened pace of practice that Porter noticed Thursday is just the first of many changes about to come to Miami.

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

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