Brees over Culpepper? How about a couple other "What Ifs" in Miami Dolphins history?

The Goat

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The most famous one seems to be the one that is being karmically revisited this year with the Saban link to an injured star QB - hopefully undoing the "Culpepper over Brees" fiasco. But the Bill Arnsparger achievement award brings a couple more to memory.

1) What if Bill Arnsparger didn't leave to coach LSU after 1983? You'll remember 1983 as the year some QB started his career in Miami...his name eludes me. Anyway, until that point, the Dolphins were a defensive monster. Bill Arnsparger had been the force behind the great defenses of the 70s, and now he was going to be there for the Marino days, right? Right? Wrong. Bill Arnsparger left to become head coach of LSU after the 1983 season ended. Chuck Studley took over, and the Dolphins defense got progressively worse. They were decent in 1984, but I have little doubt the D would have been far more solid in the Super Bowl. Also, for all of us who seethe when we hear the name "Tom Olivadotti," Chuck Studley was actually WORSE. In 1986, what some consider to be Marino's best year, the Dolphins gave up 132 points over three of their first four games, including giving up 50 points or more TWICE. They managed to hold opponents under 30 points only twice in their first seven games. This was in 1986, not 2006. Points were a lot tougher to come by. We missed you, Bill. Oh, how we missed you.

2) What if the WFL didn't take three Dolphins stars away before the 1975 season? The Sea Of Hands game is remembered as the end of the Dolphins early 70s run. But that's not what caused it. In 1975 the Toronto Northmen of the fledgling World Football League signed away Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick and Paul Warfield in their primes for $3.5mm combined. Only Csonka ever played for the Dolphins again, for one year in 1979. To his credit, New Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Howard Schnellenberger did a pretty damned good job with what he had in 1975. Imagine what would happened if Howard had those additional weapons at his disposal?

Bonus: What if Howard Schnellenberger wasn't lured away from the University of Miami by the USFL? Fate does have a sense of humor. A decade after the WFL put Schnellenberger in a bad spot, the USFL hired him away from the U to coach the Miami Federals. The deal fell through and Howard was done at Miami, replaced by Jimmy Johnson. While Jimmy clearly got the job done repeatedly, who knows what would have happened if Howard had stayed? "Who knows how many national titles Coach Schnellenberger would have won if he'd stayed?" UM Coach Larry Coker says. "His success would have been off the charts."
 
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FinPhan54

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Some of them newer than the 80s


What if Saban never left is one I love because of how much it would have changed college football.

What if Ricky never retired? What impact would that have had on his depression/life.

What if we would have taken Aaron Rodgers?
What if we would have taken Matt Ryan?
 

SmokyFin

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Arnsparger left the first time after the '74 Super Bowl to coach the Giants. The D suffered greatly the next season. With him they almost assuredly would have beaten Oakland in the Sea of Hands game and also made their 4th straight SB.

Then keeping the idiot olivadotti and not hiring Arnsparger back in the early 90s and he instead goes to SD where his defense was the main reason the chargers went to the SB upsetting us in the playoffs along the way. That should have been another SB team for Miami.
 

DolfanISS

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Brees would probably be injured and out of the league. We’ve had like 2 seasons since them where we had good lines.
 

Bopkin02

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Back to 1984...and no Arnsparger.
What if David Overstreet hadn't died in a car wreck in the offseason prior to 1984, and what if we hadn't lost Andra Franklin in week 2 or so of 1984?
The Super Bowl vs San Fran with Arnspargar, Overstreet and Franklin might have been quite different.
Not to mention Rusty Chambers and Larry Gordon dying not too much before that season as well. Chambers was a good run stuffer, and Gordon was also good.
 

The Goat

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Arnsparger left the first time after the '74 Super Bowl to coach the Giants. The D suffered greatly the next season. With him they almost assuredly would have beaten Oakland in the Sea of Hands game and also made their 4th straight SB.

Then keeping the idiot olivadotti and not hiring Arnsparger back in the early 90s and he instead goes to SD where his defense was the main reason the chargers went to the SB upsetting us in the playoffs along the way. That should have been another SB team for Miami.
My apologies - you're correct - it was the Giants.
 

mfish41

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Wannstedt passing on Brees in 2001 after our head scout was literally screaming at him to take him.

The stories of how dense Wannstedt was is frustrating to read.

Norv Turner in 2002 with Brees would of done damage.
 

Blake the great

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what if we didnt go full retard and draft Pat White in the 2nd round? would he have completed a pass in his NFL career else where?
 

spiketex

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There are lots of bonehead examples to choose from. However, there is absolutely nothing to be gained from this exercise in regurgitating bad Dolphin memories. We now have Tua, so put them behind. It's time to move forward with optimism for the future. It's time!
 

The Goat

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There are lots of bonehead examples to choose from. However, there is absolutely nothing to be gained from this exercise in regurgitating bad Dolphin memories. We now have Tua, so put them behind. It's time to move forward with optimism for the future. It's time!
It's an exercise in putting the past behind us. There are few more optimistic than me.
 

Digital

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The most famous one seems to be the one that is being karmically revisited this year with the Saban link to an injured star QB - hopefully undoing the "Culpepper over Brees" fiasco. But the Bill Arnsparger achievement award brings a couple more to memory.

1) What if Bill Arnsparger didn't leave to coach LSU after 1983? You'll remember 1983 as the year some QB started his career in Miami...his name eludes me. Anyway, until that point, the Dolphins were a defensive monster. Bill Arnsparger had been the force behind the great defenses of the 70s, and now he was going to be there for the Marino days, right? Right? Wrong. Bill Arnsparger left to become head coach of LSU after the 1983 season ended. Chuck Studley took over, and the Dolphins defense got progressively worse. They were decent in 1984, but I have little doubt the D would have been far more solid in the Super Bowl. Also, for all of us who seethe when we hear the name "Tom Olivadotti," Chuck Studley was actually WORSE. In 1986, what some consider to be Marino's best year, the Dolphins gave up 132 points over three of their first four games, including giving up 50 points or more TWICE. They managed to hold opponents under 30 points only twice in their first seven games. This was in 1986, not 2006. Points were a lot tougher to come by. We missed you, Bill. Oh, how we missed you.

2) What if the WFL didn't take three Dolphins stars away before the 1975 season? The Sea Of Hands game is remembered as the end of the Dolphins early 70s run. But that's not what caused it. In 1975 the Toronto Northmen of the fledgling World Football League signed away Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick and Paul Warfield in their primes for $3.5mm combined. Only Csonka ever played for the Dolphins again, for one year in 1979. To his credit, New Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Howard Schnellenberger did a pretty damned good job with what he had in 1975. Imagine what would happened if Howard had those additional weapons at his disposal?

Bonus: What if Howard Schnellenberger wasn't lured away from the University of Miami by the USFL? Fate does have a sense of humor. A decade after the WFL put Schnellenberger in a bad spot, the USFL hired him away from the U to coach the Miami Federals. The deal fell through and Howard was done at Miami, replaced by Jimmy Johnson. While Jimmy clearly got the job done repeatedly, who knows what would have happened if Howard had stayed? "Who knows how many national titles Coach Schnellenberger would have won if he'd stayed?" UM Coach Larry Coker says. "His success would have been off the charts."
Absolutely great 'what if's". Thank you @The Goat !

The Arnsparger one really upsets me. I've mulled that one over time and time again as I've gotten older. As a kid, I didn't really understand. But as a guy who grew up with the unequaled magic of Dan Marino, and now appreciating Bill Arnsparger's defenses (even later in San Diego etc.), I salivate to think how many rings Marino and the Dolphins would have had with Arnsparger running that defense. We already had the most lethal offense in the NFL, and the QB who threw the most TD's, and made the most 4th quarter comebacks, and threw for the most yards, etc., etc., etc. ... but we couldn't stop anybody. Nor could we really even slow them down. But if we had kept Arnsparger, we would be talking like the Steelers fans do .... "one for the thumb." Marino was soooo close to leading a dynasty of teams had Arnsparger stayed.
 
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