Bill Parcells Questions Drafting Jake Long over Matt Ryan and Later Pat White
Bill Parcells has built a lot of successful football teams and has helped turn around several franchises. He has been part of rebuilding processes in New York, New England, Dallas, and most recently Miami. With the Dolphins, Parcells was lauded for improving the team by 10 wins in his first year (from 1-15 to 11-5). Since the major turnaround however, the Dolphins have slipped to 7-9 in consecutive years and they’ve been plagued by a lack of consistency at quarterback.
Now, several months after leaving the front office in Miami, he has opened up about a few questionable draft selections they made.
In an interview with The Miami Herald via Pro Football Talk, Parcells admitted some of his picks were questionable. On the decision to draft Jake Long first overall instead of quarterback Matt Ryan who went third to Atlanta, Parcells says “maybe, we should have,” drafted the QB.
Then the second-round pick of Pat White in 2009, which the Dolphins admitted was a mistake by cutting him last year, is one everyone knows was a bust. On White, Parcells admitted “We violated our principles. He just wasn’t a prototypical quarterback pick,” Parcells said. “He was a great college player, and we let that color our judgment.” He also talked about how the Dolphins became so infatuated with the “Wildcat” offense that it led them to getting carried away with taking White.
Look, you can examine any executive’s draft record and you’ll find mistakes they’ve made. Parcells certainly has made more good picks than bad ones in his drafting career, but I think there are two lessons his picks have taught us. One, you need a very good quarterback to succeed on an annual basis in the NFL. Two, going for the quick fix with safer picks like Jake Long may improve you in the short-run, but it doesn’t help you get to the elite level in the long term. Sometimes it’s worth taking the chance on the quarterback, something the Dolphins didn’t want to do in 2008.