Thursday, October 21, 2004
Huizenga disappointed, focused on 2005
MIAMI -- Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said he's
surprised and disappointed the team is off to the worst start in
its 39-year history, but he hasn't made any decision regarding the
future of coach Dave Wannstedt or general manager Rick Spielman.
Huizenga said his staff is formulating a plan to improve the
organization but didn't elaborate.
"It has been a very disappointing year for us, needless to
say," Huizenga said Thursday. "We're trying to get focused for
next year as to what we're going to do and how we're going to do
it. Thus far no decisions have been made."
Miami, the only winless team in the NFL, takes an 0-6 record
into Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams. Three more losses
would ensure the Dolphins' first losing season since 1988. Huizenga
bought them in 1994.
Wannstedt and Spielman have been widely criticized for their
roles in the decline. Huizenga said any changes would likely come
after the season.
"And I'm not sure we'll do something after the season other
than having a plan," he said. "We don't know what we're going to
do. I like both of those guys."
Wannstedt said he believes he still has Huizenga's confidence.
"I think he's obviously got confidence from the standpoint that
he's hopeful and optimistic that we can get this thing turned in
the right direction," Wannstedt said.
"Wayne and I talk every week. ... Everybody is disappointed.
Everybody would agree to that. The guys are working to get better
and get it turned. We know what's kept us from being successful in
some games. Some things we can control. Some things we can't. The
things we can control we're going to get corrected."
Huizenga said he expected his team to finish above .500 this
season even after running back Ricky Williams retired shortly
before the start of training camp.
"We were disappointed when Ricky didn't come, but that didn't
mean we didn't think we were going to have a good season," Huizenga
"It's tough. But look at the Yankees on Wednesday night. They
won three games in a row, and you would think they would win one
more game. For somebody like the Yankees to go four and out -- but
it happens in sports."
The Dolphins' dismal start follows an offseason organizational
reshuffling by Huizenga that drew widespread criticism. Wannstedt
was stripped of authority over personnel matters but also given a
two-year contract extension. Player personnel chief Spielman was
promoted to general manager. Dan Marino was hired as an executive
but had second thoughts about the commitment and quit 22 days