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Parcells kicks himself for drafting Pat White, picking Long over Ryan

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As Bill Parcells looks back on his time running the Dolphins, he can’t help but second-guess himself over some draft picks gone wrong. And no pick looks worse in hindsight than the decision to take Pat White in the second round of the 2009 draft.

“We violated our principles,” Parcells told Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, in reference to picking White. “He just wasn’t a prototypical quarterback pick. He was a great college player, and we let that color our judgment.”

Parcells thought White had the potential to be a game-changing player in the wildcat offense, but looking back on it, he thinks the Dolphins should have been looking for a pro-style passer, not an all-purpose athlete.

And the best pro-style passer to enter the league in the three years that Parcells was running the Dolphins’ war room, Matt Ryan, is one player Parcells wishes he would have drafted. Asked if the Dolphins should he have picked Ryan instead of offensive tackle Jake Long in 2008, Parcells said, “maybe, we should have.”

Although Long has turned into a fine tackle, there’s no “maybe” about it: If the Dolphins had taken Ryan first overall, they’d be a franchise in much better shape right now.

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60 Responses to “Parcells kicks himself for drafting Pat White, picking Long over Ryan”
  1. scoops1 says: Apr 12, 2011 12:25 PM

    JETs Fan every where thank you for making those picks Bill

  2. chapnastier says: Apr 12, 2011 12:25 PM

    “Although Long has turned into a fine tackle, there’s no “maybe” about it: If the Dolphins had taken Ryan first overall, they’d be a franchise in much better shape right now.”

    That is kind of difficult to say. Without Long the Dolphins line might be terrible and Ryan wouldn’t have had the protection that allowed him to mature quickly. He could have been David Carr.

  3. canadianvikingfaniii says: Apr 12, 2011 12:27 PM

    Although Long has turned into a fine tackle, there’s no “maybe” about it: If the Dolphins had taken Ryan first overall, they’d be a franchise in much better shape right now.
    ————————
    You can’t possibly know that, Matt Ryan is great in Atlanta and the scheme they run, but to say the Dolphins would be better had they drafted him is stupid, because you just don’t know.

  4. freedomispopular says: Apr 12, 2011 12:28 PM

    And if they had signed Brees instead of Culpepper, who knows what could have been different. Like they say, hindsight is 20/2o.

  5. cytofed says: Apr 12, 2011 12:28 PM

    I bet Alex Smith was on big Tuna’s mind when he drafted Long over Ryan.

  6. shackdelrio says: Apr 12, 2011 12:29 PM

    Parcells the talent evaluator is way overrated by the media.

    A Parcells-led team hasn’t won a playoff game in 13 years.

  7. cnelson13 says: Apr 12, 2011 12:31 PM

    This headline is ridiculous and untrue. Parcells is only kicking himself for drafting Pat White, not Long over Ryan. It’s such a joke that people act like the Dolphins swung and missed when they landed the best left tackle in the game who is on pace for a Hall of Fame induction at this rate.

  8. jasontaylor9944 says: Apr 12, 2011 12:32 PM

    This article is depressing.

  9. duanethomas says: Apr 12, 2011 12:36 PM

    Asked if the Dolphins should he have picked Ryan instead of offensive tackle Jake Long in 2008, Parcells said, “maybe, we should have.”

    “Maybe we should have”…LOL. Just cant admit that mistake. Long is a great player, but it doesnt amount to much if your thrower is average.

  10. dcryan82 says: Apr 12, 2011 12:37 PM

    Matt Ryan isn’t even that good. Probably the most overrated starting QB in the NFL. He has an amazing running game around him, and he has a good group of receiving targets headlined by Roddy White and arguably the best TE to play the game in T.G.

  11. ttommytom says: Apr 12, 2011 12:42 PM

    Armando Salguero ( a very good beat blogger/writer) is putting words in Parcells’ mouth.

    Who is to say Parcells’ choice was between Ryan and Long? That question can only be answered by someone in their War room. It’s very easy to say Ryan was his next choice.

    If I recall correctly, there were at least 2 others that the pundits were throwing Miami’s way: Dorsey and Gholston. Maybe Parcells’ second choice was Ryan. Maybe not. Pundits don’t really count. But we will never get an honest answer here.

    Point is, they got an All Pro LT and that is the second hardest position to fill on the team. The second point is yes, they should not have drafted White. The Jets shouldn’t have drafted Gholston. And so on. There should be no complaints.

  12. JSpicoli says: Apr 12, 2011 12:43 PM

    When a person happens to stumble upon the right mix of players in the ultimate team sport, and ride that success to a SB, he often is overrated for the rest of his career.

    I see the hindsight is crystal clear here today.

  13. DonRSD says: Apr 12, 2011 12:45 PM

    the Dolphins are stuck in mediocrity for 15+ years now.

    who cares about the aqua and teel……they will have a new coach in 2 seasons and then have to rebuild once again LOL

    GO BIG BLUE!!!

  14. profootballwalk says: Apr 12, 2011 12:52 PM

    How does Parcells escape the Miami train-wreck without getting called out?

  15. ruggerlad says: Apr 12, 2011 12:53 PM

    Matt Ryan has always had an o-line, good running game, good TE and a top NFL deep threat WR. He is a solid QB but wold have done little with what the Dolphins have had on offense. Jake Long was the right pick! What was so horribly bad was when the Dolphins passed over Brees and instead traded a 2nd rounder for Daunte Culpepper.

  16. dccowboy says: Apr 12, 2011 12:53 PM

    Bet he has the same regrets over drafting ‘Barbie’ Carpenter with the 18th pick of the 1st rd when he was in Dallas.

  17. snaponrules says: Apr 12, 2011 12:53 PM

    “Parcells thought White had the potential to be a game-changing player in the wildcat offense, but looking back on it, he thinks the Dolphins should have been looking for a pro-style passer, not an all-purpose athlete.”

    Exactly the same trap the Bronco’s Josh McDimmwitt fell into.
    At least Tuna got his guy in the 2’nd instead of taking te-bust in the first round.

  18. finsbooyah says: Apr 12, 2011 12:53 PM

    “Although Long has turned into a fine tackle, there’s no “maybe” about it: If the Dolphins had taken Ryan first overall, they’d be a franchise in much better shape right now.”

    That’s not necessarily true. If Jake Long continues to play at the same level that he is now for the next 5-8 years, he’ll be in the hall of fame. The same can’t be said for Ryan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Ryan can’t/won’t be great, but right now, he’s just good. Jake Long is elite.

    As for Parcells, he’s a coward. It must take a real man to prematurely leave the team he was paid to rebuild and then bash the players he picked to the media.

  19. dilberry says: Apr 12, 2011 12:54 PM

    chapnastier says: Apr 12, 2011 12:25 PM

    “Although Long has turned into a fine tackle, there’s no “maybe” about it: If the Dolphins had taken Ryan first overall, they’d be a franchise in much better shape right now.”

    That is kind of difficult to say. Without Long the Dolphins line might be terrible and Ryan wouldn’t have had the protection that allowed him to mature quickly. He could have been David Carr.
    —————————————————–

    This.

    Long is on his way to becoming a HOFer. Not that Ryan would be a bad pick either, but to say the Dolphins missed on the #1 pick is a stretch of the imagination.

  20. teambringitstrong says: Apr 12, 2011 12:59 PM

    1974 while at FSU, Parcells also said Walter Payton was too slow and too small.

  21. tednancy says: Apr 12, 2011 1:02 PM

    I get a kick out of those Phin fans who can’t bring themselves to admit that Parcells is probably right (and no, Salguero was not putting words in Tuna’s mouth).

    A franchise QB is always worth more than a franchise tackle. No comparison whatsoever. The Dolphins would unquestionably be a better team with Matt Ryan instead of Long.

    Look, I am a Browns fan, and we have Joe Thomas. I would trade Thomas in a heartbeat for Matt Ryan, and hopefully so would the Browns.

  22. bigmike7914 says: Apr 12, 2011 1:03 PM

    Who’s to say Pat White couldn’t have been good if given the chance, the problem with teams when they have players like Pat White is that they try and put them into a box instead of letting their athleticism
    flourish, when you unleash athletes with an unmatched skill set everything around them follows, a prime example of this is Ben Rothlisberger sure they call plays in Pittsburgh, but when those plays are called no one knows what is going to happen when Big Ben is out there because he uses every ounce of his talent to make it the most challenging day possible for the defenses he is up against. Players like Payton Manning and Tom Brady though they are great when things around them get pretty chaotic they have a tough time conforming to whats going on, because they are not great athletes that’s why they spend so much time on being perfect and to an extent they have achieved it.

  23. We'reFineThere says: Apr 12, 2011 1:05 PM

    I’m not saying Matt Ryan didn’t deserve to go 1 or 3 but the guy is overrated. The Falcons and Dolphins have won the same amount of playoffs games since they were drafted. I understand just getting a QB who doesn’t embarrass the team is worth it but since Ryan has been drafted, Flacco and Sanchez have won a ton of playoff games. Bradford and Freeman look like Franchise QB’s as well.

  24. smarterthantheaveragebearfan says: Apr 12, 2011 1:10 PM

    Hey its not like they were paying him millions of dollars to make those picks! Oh wait…….

  25. phinfan says: Apr 12, 2011 1:11 PM

    No Turner, no Roddy, no Tony Gonzalez. I doubt he’d be special in miami.

    I’m a miami fan and truely believe we are stuck in a curse from that 72 team.

  26. FinFan68 says: Apr 12, 2011 1:16 PM

    Long over Ryan was not a bad choice. Culpepper over Brees and drafting White were huge mistakes. Brees obviously had some say in the matter but they could have done what was necessary to get him. Granted, Brees’ shoulder was suspect but so was Culpepper’s knee. The Chargers let Brees go because they had Rivers; can anyone remember who the Vikings had when they let go of Culpepper? An aging Brad Johnson? Good QBs look bad without a good line and average QBs look good when there is a solid line protecting them. Parcell’s style is necessary in some situations but his good decisions with the Dolphins were countered by his penchant for bringing in players he liked even though they were not very good. How many Cowboy rejects have been on the Dolphins in the last 3 years?

  27. Jay says: Apr 12, 2011 1:27 PM

    The Fins QB quagmire has been there for years. They’ve drafted for other positions for years when they needed to secure a decent QB.

    Think about it. They’ve traded for Feeley, drafted Beck and Henne, signed Pennington (not a bad move in and of itself), and drafted White and really didn’t try to develop him.

    Drafting Long wasn’t a bad move, but they didn’t do anything to address the situation.

    But then that’s not a terribly unique situation. Most franchises waffle like that hoping that the guy they have on the roster might turn out to be at least a serviceable “bus driver”.

  28. marinofreakout says: Apr 12, 2011 1:28 PM

    disagree—first off, nice manipulation and mis-characterization of parcells’ comments

    is there anyone that wouldnt say “maybe the dolphins shouldve taken matt ryan”?

    2nd—how many division champs have falcons won with ryan? nfc champ visits? superbowls?

    the falcons have ratched up a few more victories than the dolphins in the past 2 years (and 2 years only)—but to say that theyd be “much” better off is ridiculous. This is also in consideration of the likelihood that ryan wouldnt play so hot on the dolphins minus long on the line.

    simply not a good arg—its like comparing apples and oranges. Long turned out real well, if they had taken someone like jrussell over matt ryan, then thats a different story. Dolphins were not in a position to take a big risk that year–drafting a qb is a big risk, top-quality lineman on the other hand, low-risk and long term reward.

  29. Jay says: Apr 12, 2011 1:30 PM

    @phinfan

    No Turner, but they did have Brown and Williams.

    No Roddy, but they do have some very decent WRs now.

    If only they hadn’t taken Ginn Jr. that year…(sorry to bring up that old wound)

    The problem they had was that the OL was looking bad so they figure protect whatever guy they put under center with Long and it should all work out.

    Unfortunately that didn’t pan out.

  30. shackdelrio says: Apr 12, 2011 1:33 PM

    “dccowboy says:
    Apr 12, 2011 12:53 PM
    Bet he has the same regrets over drafting ‘Barbie’ Carpenter with the 18th pick of the 1st rd when he was in Dallas.”

    Over Antonio Cromartie, Tamba Hali, Davin Joseph, Johnathan Joseph, Santonio Holmes, Deangelso Williams, Marcedes Lewis, Nick Mangold, Mathias Kiwanuka and Demeco Ryans?

    No Way Man!

  31. marinofreakout says: Apr 12, 2011 1:35 PM

    also, if your gonna play the shoulda coulda woulda game in regards to the dolphins qb decisions—-theres no comparison to their decision to not sign drew brees, but instead CULPEPPER!

    that was by far a bigger regret than not taking matt ryan over a best-in-league left tackle.

  32. sjoyner59 says: Apr 12, 2011 1:36 PM

    The Tuna is stealing money and truly needs to step down from his job evective immediatly

  33. brutus9448 says: Apr 12, 2011 1:37 PM

    pat white was a mistake but the 2nd rounder the phins used on white came from Jason taylor to the redskins trade. So they could have chanced it.
    The long over ryan debate I’m not sure about. Long will be a probowler for the next 10 years and it was a much safer bet. In hind site ryan might have been a better pick but you can’t say Long pick was bad. The guy is the best left tackle in the NFL. You can’t beat that

  34. CKL says: Apr 12, 2011 1:49 PM

    tednancy says:
    Apr 12, 2011 1:02 PM

    Look, I am a Browns fan, and we have Joe Thomas. I would trade Thomas in a heartbeat for Matt Ryan, and hopefully so would the Browns.
    ______________________________
    The Browns would have done better trading RAC and Kokenis, Savage etc for Smith and Dimitroff than they would have been trading Thomas for Ryan.

    Ryan is nothing spectacular SO FAR. Any solid, above average Qb who wasn’t a legal issue nightmare would have looked like a 10 next to the dumpster fire they were emerging from with the Vick era. Remember Redman (sp) and Harrington were at least average for the Falcons before they got Ryan. A solid QB who could have upside still but who has never played well in the playoffs vs an elite LT isn’t even a question in my mind…I go elite LT. A franchise QB vs a franchise LT I agree with you, franchise QB. I just don’t think Ryan is that…YET.

  35. ubummer says: Apr 12, 2011 1:54 PM

    So Parcellsout wants to kick himself for drafting White. Tell him to get in line, a lot of us want to kick him for that.

  36. mykl954 says: Apr 12, 2011 1:56 PM

    Sorry, but ending up with the best player in the draft who through no surprise turned into a franchise LT instead of yet another QB with some valid questions as the #1 pick was not a screw-up without the benefit of back to the future looking glass. BUT when you’ve got AJ Feeley, and take a dime a dozen running back now on the downside of an injury-plagued career instead of Aaron Rodgers.. now THAT’s a major boner!

  37. sllib12 says: Apr 12, 2011 1:58 PM

    tuna good coach. lousy g.m.

  38. ronithan23 says: Apr 12, 2011 2:01 PM

    Parcells made his fair share of mistakes as a talent evaluator, but every franchise he’s left was in better shape than when he took over. The Dolphins are far from contending, but this is a team that was 1-15 the year before he took over. All things considered, Miami fans are being short sighted if they think the last three years have been a failure.

  39. jcjets says: Apr 12, 2011 2:07 PM

    Jake Long is a great player, but they could have drafted probably the best Young QB in the league..

  40. larryfinfan says: Apr 12, 2011 2:16 PM

    Long vs Ryan pick is certainly a “chicken or egg” question. Both seem to be above average to great players-in-development, however the White pick was certainly a boner….And most of us Fins fans thought that the Ginn pick was out of line…but the White pick trumped Ginn. The reason…simple, one was made by a guy that has proven since that he’s just not HC material and the other by a so-called proven commodity in the Tuna….

    So, yeah, taking White was irresponsible and idiotic and that’s what I said the minute after the pick, not 3 yrs later with him out of football altogether….

  41. link49 says: Apr 12, 2011 2:30 PM

    the only thing he do well was put 12 mil in his bank account ( probabbly he had direct deposit ) thru his 3 years tenure with the organization, because drafting was- C ( not only Pat White….what about WR. Patrick Turner, OL. Murphy, John Nalbone,last year Jared Odrick- with a probably bone problems in his legs- and in three years only the first was winning season because of soft schedule because year before was the 1-15, the followings two years are in the Lost Column.

  42. rabidbillsfan says: Apr 12, 2011 2:46 PM

    @finsbooyah

    Try like 10-12 more years.

  43. 1historian says: Apr 12, 2011 2:49 PM

    Ryan right now is a GOOD quarterback – not a great one. He won’t be great until he leads his team deeper into the playoffs year after year.

    Last year the Pack undressed him and left him for dead on the field in Atlanta. If he hasn’t thought about that at his workouts every day and done one more rep, run one more lap – he won’t be great.

  44. jaggedmark says: Apr 12, 2011 2:57 PM

    Bill Parcells and the rest of you stroking Matt Ryan like they’ll be no tomorrow, can you at least wait until Ryan wins a playoff game?

    Zero playoff wins so far.

  45. descendency says: Apr 12, 2011 3:01 PM

    If the Dolphins had drafted Ryan over Long, Matt Ryan would be in a wheelchair. That line was horrible.

  46. FinFan68 says: Apr 12, 2011 3:09 PM

    Dolphins starting QBs since 2000: Damon Huard, Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, A.J. Feeley, Sage Rosenfels, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen.

    This trend was there long before Parcells.

    Hopefully they fix that trend this year. Henne may turn out to be capable but wasting another year in the hopes that he pans out is not smart. I like Mallett as a probable long-term solution.

  47. andyreidisfat says: Apr 12, 2011 3:14 PM

    I have to agree with the person who says Ryan is a bit overrated. Not that he can’t be great because he can. Just that i think people get a bit to happy about a guy hasn’t really put it all together just yet.

    And as far as long goes, he is in the top ten OT’s in the game. though i have seen him have some troubles with speed ends and 3-4 line-backers. For the most part he is well on his way to many probowls and possibly a hall of fame (someone said hes the best left tackle in the game, have you seen Clady play ??? or the Browns guy thomas ?? Long is good but those guys are beyond good)

    As for Pat White, that was terrible to think he could play. I see the some GM saying the same thing 5 years from now about Cam Newton and 15. Being great in college is one thing, being great in the pros is awhole other ball game.

  48. viguy007 says: Apr 12, 2011 3:24 PM

    No matter who is right in this war between the NFL and the players, both sides do not have any concern for us, the fans. They are killing the fan interest that produces ticket and merchandise sales, but most importantly the television audience they sell to advertisers. The NFL is expected to enter into TV contracts worth 46 Billion dollars as soon as the next CBA is signed. The NFL just assumes we will once again slip back into old modes of behavior, and they have no fear we will not. Let’s just put some fear in them.

    The NFL will be watching their draft very closely for any signs of slippage in its viewing audience. Remember last year, when they so proudly announced that the television ratings had increased by 18%, it was a sign that the NFL reached new levels of popularity. Now imagine how they would react if the rating declined by 50%. And if you intend to go to the draft in person, don’t go, let the auditorium be half filled. Support your fellow fans by not acting like a fan. You can watch the results of the Draft on your late night sports report, and these blogs will be filled chatter about the selections. You will know who they are, you will lose nothing, but maybe gain a season. Send a message that the sleeping giant is starting to awaken, and he can not be taken for granted, or ignored any longer. This is only the first step.

    Pass this message on, post it to your Facebook page and other blogs, Tweet “Join Fan Boycott of NFL Draft on TV”. Spread the word,

  49. 305phinphan says: Apr 12, 2011 4:06 PM

    scoops1 says: Apr 12, 2011 12:25 PM

    JETs Fan every where thank you for making those picks Bill
    ___________________________________

    Parcells made those horrible picks and yet the Jets still can’t beat the Dolphins. Rex Ryan and Dirty Sanchez are 1-3 against Tony Sparano and Chad Henne.

    We thank the Jets that they took Mark Sanchez. While everyone in the entire NFL knows he is not a franchise QB for some reason every Jet fan does. I’m glad the Phins get another 14+ years with Sanchez at the helm, at least we know that the Jets will never be a passing team.

  50. imjinbrdgr says: Apr 12, 2011 4:14 PM

    Without Ryan who would have thrown all those picks to the Packers?

  51. nooittall says: Apr 12, 2011 4:22 PM

    Parcells has always been a big mouth and a bully. He always sucked as a personnel evaluator. The media kisses his arse because he won Super Bowls in NY. If it weren’t for George Young giving him the talent to coach, and yes, he is an excellent coach, no one would have ever heard of Bill Parcells. He needs to thank his lucky stars he had George Young as a personnel director. Because on his own, Mr. They Won’t Let Me Buy The Groceries, sucks. He’s whipped up a bunch of stinky meals when he gets to pick at the grocery store.

  52. dontcallmepete says: Apr 12, 2011 4:42 PM

    Falcons won twice on that one because Parcells had agreed to join them before Miami called. It was crazy to take Long before Ryan. You have to MAKE the playoffs and the guy who brought Ryan there also brought Turner and TG. He hands down picked a better coach.

  53. thefiesty1 says: Apr 12, 2011 4:46 PM

    He should have stayed in Dallas. By now he might have built a winning team in spite of JJ.

  54. liltifer says: Apr 12, 2011 4:48 PM

    “Who’s to say Pat White couldn’t have been good if given the chance, the problem with teams when they have players like Pat White is that they try and put them into a box instead of letting their athleticism
    flourish”

    You know – they weren’t trying to convert him into a pocket passer. If throwing him into the Wildcat doesn’t seem like a way to have a Pat White type player show off his skills, I don’t know what would.

  55. frankdatank23 says: Apr 12, 2011 5:00 PM

    Bust Parcells, always in the golf cart… ya need to get on that treadmill. grocery shopping days are over.
    Maybe he’ll bring a “Parcells guy” or two with him to ESPN… Quincy Carter needs a job, LT too.

  56. grogansheroes says: Apr 12, 2011 5:23 PM

    jaggedmark says:
    Apr 12, 2011 2:57 PM
    Bill Parcells and the rest of you stroking Matt Ryan like they’ll be no tomorrow, can you at least wait until Ryan wins a playoff game?

    Zero playoff wins so far.

    ———————————————-
    That’s what they were saying about Aaron Rogers last year. How did that work out?

  57. ohkhan says: Apr 12, 2011 5:42 PM

    305phinphan says:
    Apr 12, 2011 4:06 PM
    scoops1 says: Apr 12, 2011 12:25 PM

    JETs Fan every where thank you for making those picks Bill
    ___________________________________

    Parcells made those horrible picks and yet the Jets still can’t beat the Dolphins. Rex Ryan and Dirty Sanchez are 1-3 against Tony Sparano and Chad Henne.

    We thank the Jets that they took Mark Sanchez. While everyone in the entire NFL knows he is not a franchise QB for some reason every Jet fan does. I’m glad the Phins get another 14+ years with Sanchez at the helm, at least we know that the Jets will never be a passing team.

    I’m pretty sure ever other dolphin fan wishes they were where the jets are (2 straight afc champ games in 2 seasons under Sanchez). If you say that it wasn’t sanchez, its all the defense, then youre gonna have to say rex ryan is an amazing coach, to get to the afc championship game twice in 2 years without a franchise qb, can anyone other than jets fans on this blog really swallow that?

  58. MichaelEdits says: Apr 12, 2011 9:37 PM

    HA-ha ha-ha ha!

  59. childressrulz says: Apr 13, 2011 12:34 AM

    Matt Ryan is over rated. That throw in the playoffs against the Packers right before half time was hilarious. Everybody saw that coming and he limp wrist-ed the throw in there. Resulted in a pick six right before half.

  60. mykl954 says: Apr 13, 2011 10:34 AM

    [quote]Parcells made those horrible picks and yet the Jets still can’t beat the Dolphins. Rex Ryan and Dirty Sanchez are 1-3 against Tony Sparano and Chad Henne.

    We thank the Jets that they took Mark Sanchez. While everyone in the entire NFL knows he is not a franchise QB for some reason every Jet fan does. [/quote]

    The Jets reached up for Sanchez well beyond where he deserved to be picked. It’s ironic that if they stayed where they were, they could have had Josh Freeman, who’s far and away the best of those 3. Thank heavens they didn’t

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