Jimmy Johnson (Miami Dolphins)
One of the great football minds in NFL history. Jimmy Johnson was the architect of the Dallas Cowboys dynasty of teh early 1990s, winning two of their three Super Bowls as head coach. His reputation was spotless at that point, having also won a national championship for Miami. So when he took over the Miami Dolphins in 1996, everybody thought he’d be the one to finally get Dan Marino a ring.
All things considered? He should’ve. The Dolphins drafted extremely well during that period. They secured four Pro Bowl defenders including Hall of Fame pass rusher Jason Taylor along with Zach Thomas, Sam Madison, and Patrick Surtain. In each of his final two years, the Dolphins had a top 5 defense. Something Marino hadn’t enjoyed most of his career.
Yet there was a clear disconnect between him and Johnson on how the offense should be run. Johnson wanted what he had in Dallas. He wanted to run the football. Marino was used to everything going through him. Johnson was never able to find the back he needed, which is a shock considering he had shots at guys like Corey Dillon, Eddie George, Ahman Green, and Tiki Barber.
Johnson made the playoffs three times but never reached a conference championship, let alone a Super Bowl.