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Dolphins iconic coach Shula turned 90 Saturday

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USA Today Sports

On Saturday, Don Shula, the Patriarch of the Dolphins rise to success and dominance in the 70s and the 80s celebrated his 90th birthday. And for Shula, his legacy continues to live on, not only in South Florida, but throughout the NFL.

Now, some may not remember the Shula was not actually the first ever coach the Dolphins. That was actually George Wilson, but he came to Miami in 1970 and is essentially synonymous with the franchise, as they rose to prominence and won two Super Bowls within his first four seasons.

This includes the only perfect season in NFL history, as in 1972, Miami went 17-0.

In fact earlier this week it was the 46th anniversary of Miami shutting out Shula’s former club, the Baltimore Colts, in a 21-0 blanking at the Orange Bowl to advance to Super Bowl VII.

Miami would defeat the Redskins 14-7 two weeks later for it’s first championship.

As we wrote about a couple of weeks ago, Shula was just recognized as one of the 10 iconic head coaches in NFL history by being named to the “NFL 100” list for the first century of pro football.

Shula’s resume speaks for itself with more regular-season wins (328), and total wins (347) than any coach in league history. Among his other accolades, Shula was named the NFL Coach of the Year four times in his career, coached in five Super Bowls.

The legendary Dolphins coach also presided over numerous Hall of Fame players careers like: Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, Paul Warfield, Nick Buoniconti, Dwight Stephenson and of course, the iconic Dan Marino.

And just as with fellow icons of the previous era Lombardi with the Packers, Halas with the Bears, Noll with the Steelers, Landry with the Cowboys and Walsh with the 49ers, when you think of the Miami Dolphins you think of their coach’s last name.

Shula has been part of numerous Dolphins recognitions and celebrations at Hard Rock Stadium and elsewhere, over the recent past, and obviously he’s become more frail, including being unable to stand for any length of time. However, he still commands a presence anywhere he goes in South Florida.

And, we prefer to remember him with his steely eyes and strong demeanor as the likes of Griese, Czonka, Marino and Buoniconti suited up and succeeded for him in the Dolphins aqua and white.

Shula last coached for the Fins in a January 1995 playoff loss, but to this day, those images of him on the sideline for 25 years remain ingrained in Miami sports fan’s memories.

As they should.

Miami Dolphins

Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

Florida Football Insiders



John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:

In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.

However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.

As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan

He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.

It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.

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Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday

Florida Football Insiders



Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:

The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.

Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.

Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.

Colorado’s athletic director Rick George said in a statement Sunday night,

“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.” 

The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.

Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.

Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.

Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.

Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.

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