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Tony Sparano issues challenge to the OL

In the last week Tony Sparano has called out his offensive line.

The question remains if anyone has answered the call.

Sparano, a former center at New Haven and a former offensive line coach at both the college and NFL level, keeps a keen eye on his offensive linemen. One wouldn't say they're his pets. But they are his dogs.

Sparano, you see, wants the Dolphins offensive line to be the personality of the offense. He wants them to attack the other team. He wants them to win their battles. And, if it escapes him it certainly does not me, they should be doing this because they are the highest paid unit on the team at a whopping $156 million.

One problem: The Miami offensive line has been up-and-down inconsistent this year.

The unit has been dominant in games against Indianapolis and the first meeting with the Jets. The unit has also been unspectacular in games against the Falcons and the second meeting with the Jets. And that's not what Sparano wants.

“I just want to see better play," the coach said Thursday. "I want to see [fewer] sacks. I want to see [fewer] minus plays. I want to see more of us on the other side of the line of scrimmage. I want to see us finish blocks, do some of these things that are necessary for us to win, and that is something they can do."

When he was in Dallas coaching players such as Flozell Adams, Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode, Sparano believed his unit determined the destiny of the team. Those guys could take over games.

The coach wants the same from the Miami offensive line.

"I told you before, I believe a line, a good line, can take over a game, can be the personality of a team," Sparano said, "and that’s what I would like to see out of that group.”

So Sparano laid down the challenge to the group prior to the New England game. And the Miami OL returned mixed results. The club did rush for 4.3 yards per carry, but only because Pat White got loose on a 33-yard spread option run play that New England obviously wasn't expecting. Chad Henne didn't get beat up, but he was sacked twice and hurried an additional five times.

It was an average performance. And it wasn't good enough for Sparano, who this week has a new set of problems.

Right guard Justin Smiley is having persistent shoulder issues, which he has had the past two years, and has not practiced all week. On Thursday Smiley was sent to the shoulder specialist for an MRI and a more definitive diagnosis of the problem.

That means the team is looking for a right left guard to fill the potential vacancy at right guard by, basically, holding tryouts. Nate Garner took first-team snaps Wednesday, Lydon Murtha took some Thursday, let's see if Joe Berger or Larry Little take some Friday.

It's safe to say Sparano, who challenged his linemen last week, desperately needs someone to answer that challenge. 


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Thanks for the update. Where can you get OL stats for individual players (sacks allowed, penalties, etc.)? I was curious to know how the various players were performing this year. I couldn't seem to find much online. Thanks in advance.

Try http://www.footballoutsiders.com/

Armando, Smiley is left guard not right, And you know as well as we do that the long drives, time of possesion are due to the O line but dropped passes, inability of the defense to hold a lead once Offense scores, are not.

Not an O-Line thing, but a Snachez thing. If you want a good laugh go to Yahoo Fantasy Sports and read the 11/12 Flames/Lames column. There is a big picture of Snachez doing some faggity dance in the endzone. Flames/Lames indeed!

Love waking up to a blog update!

mando, you have a sharp mind. not one for complements so early, but seriously....you never say too much that isn't fairly bright. just sayin

Armando, I posted a late entry to your last blog regarding the Dolphins being in a funk. I will repeat it below, because it is quite significant:


Armando, when I was a small boy and I was feeling low I would tell my mother, "I'm miserable."

She would always sympathetically say, "Awwwww."

Now as a 42-year old, when I tell my wife I'm miserable, she also says, "Awww."

I think the Dolphins need a collective "Awwwww" from all of us. It works wonders.

NVfinsfan well said

Wish Sparano was as hard on the WRs as he is on the OL. And if the WRs were playing like the OL, we'd be 5-3 instead of 3-5.

Left guard Mando, left guard! :)

Is it me? Am I the only one getting a little sick of Sparano's BS?

We thought Smiley was a middle guard. Thanks for correcting.

The terrible play of Ginn has resulted in this video! The song and video certainly go hand and hand!


Why does he call out the offensive line so much but never Joey Porter, or Channing Crowder, Gibril Wilson, Ted Ginn...That is bizarre to me.

Injuries are piling up. I feel like we are starting to move backwards because of them.

me think dying breed is seriously jealous of a....hmmm...certain someone who posts here alot. Dying breed you have many strong qualities, but your jealousy and envy will be your undoing. Hhahahahahahahhahahah

I think the two worst moves in free agency were re-signing Channing Crowder who hasn't made 1 impact play and not re-signing Renaldo Hill.

Sparano needs to challange Hennings play-calling. That is where the problem starts.


I am hearing they might shut Smiley down for a few weeks because of that bum shoulder. Can you confirm this? If so, can either of the Garner/Gardners' or Murtha realisticly replace him? I'm thinking the line's personality would change. Those candidates to replace Smiley are bigger and more stout, but not anywhere near as good at pulling.

Smiley...take a shot and get back in there!!! If your unproductive we'll take you out of there but at least try to go. the rest of the expensive O-line needs to pick it up!!

It's just you willi. What BS are you referring too, protecting his players from being used as skapegoats? Would you prefer he calls his players out to the media and create an atmosphere of distrust in the locker room? Get over it already, the guy is doing what is best for his young players.

Can anyone tell me why they shouldn't let Henning go after this year. Sparano built the O-line. It was David Lee's idea to use the wildcat. And Henning can't come up with any good plays for the WR. He is making everyones job harder with his bad play-calling. He is not getting it done.

Donald Thomas has been getting beat time and again when pass blocking. He's a great run blocker, but his pass blocking has been really bad.

Henning is a great offensive coordinator. It's a miracle the Fins can even score with what they've got. It takes a magician to get anything out of the unit the Fins have on the field.

Omar the answer you're looking for is right at the top of this page and it seems you missed it. You know, the part about Sparano being a former offensive linemen, then being an offensive line coach for years, and the fact that the offensive line is his pet project, and the part about how he wants his offensive line to be the personality of the team, you know, the part where Mando says the offensive line are Sparanos dogs? You read this article and somehow missed all of that? So yeah that's why he calls out the line. No need to call out a veteran who has played for over a decade, he knows he needs to play better. Also for those who are not aware, this is coaching. You call out the people who can handle it. You can't treat every player as if they were the same person, different people react differently to what you are telling them. Some guys need to be yelled at and some guys need to be given confidence through quiet instruction. A good coach recognizes this and uses it as a resource.

The BS I'm talking about, NewYorker, is that Sparano calls out the OL, but nurtures the WRs who are just crap.

The BS I'm talking about is ripping his players a new on the sideline for EVERYONE to see on TV and then acting like he's protecting them in press conferences. Sorry, but if you want to defend the guy for defending his players, explain how he chews them out IN PUBLIC on TV? That is just hypocritical.

There is a way to tell the truth without undressing an individual. I don't want to hear that all the WRs are "getting better" when my eyes keep telling me they're not getting any better. He doesn't have to call them out by name, but at least concede that they have to play better and don't insult people's intelligence. Otherwise you lose credibility.

Shula used to do this very well. So you think he didn't know what he was doing? Parcells did this all the time. You think he got it wrong?

The truth is you're an apologist that keeps looking toward 2011 like suddenly and magically things are going to come together for a Super Bowl and that in the meantime we should absorb all the crap the team throws up against the wall.

Well, unlike you, I spend good money on tickets to EVERY home game and I have a right to voice my displeasure with the team they are putting on the field NOW.


When they drafted Ronnie Brown they said he had the best hands of all the running backs. So why wouldn't Henning throw in some seam routes and throw it deep at least a couple times a game? He has all that speed and no deep routes? I don't get that concept.

we made (jeff ireland) some really poor decisions the past year. we signed ernest wilford, grabbed eric green, signed gibril and let goodie, hill and holliday walk. then we waste a pick on pat white who they say is a qb but don't trust him to throw. then we get turner who cant get on the field while we pass on johnny knox who is playing every sunday. i still say we should have gone after brandon marshall or braylon with a trade.

Amen Willi! Omar Hill was eaten alive last weekend. He was average at best

The only problem is that the OL can't catch either.

What Mando is trying to say is that we are basically trying to replace a left guard with right guards...he knows that Smiley is a left guard. All those other guys trying to fill Smiley's spot are really natural right guards...we really don't have a back up left guard...get it guys?


Do you really think they will call Larry Little back to play....:)

Armando I was amazed on Monday night football how much time the QB's both teams had to throw the ball. Even with that Cutler came up throwing 5 pics...If Henne had that much time and our WR could get some space we would have a totally different pass game. Seperation would have a huge difference I believe then Henne could slow the pace of his throws down so these guys could come up with the big ones. Henne tries to hammer it in there because it's ususally 3rd and long when he gets back in there and the WR's really can't create the space! What do you think?

Just looked at the YouTube video of Ginn's drops and it is pretty sad. I keep hoping he's going to turn into something even with the serious evidence to the contrary but watching the video and the very catchable balls he has dropped it's tough to remain hopeful. some of the drops looked even worse than I recalled watching them live.


what about Andrew Gardner the kid they drafted from GA Tech? can he move inside and play G?

I heard he was impressing in camp and have not heard anything since. I did notice his name was not mentioned in the article above.

Sanchito , I'm glad you see it too. Some of us had a great conversation going last night and then Misty had to jump in at the end with that jealousy and envy. Notice how everybody left as soon as Misty showed up. LMFAO !

Well, he challenged them last week and the results were so-so. Will we see more of the same Sunday? I tend to think so-hope I'm wrong.

Jersey...There you go eggin' it on again...I repeat...IGNORE...That includes mentioning it!

LOL@Marc , i was responding to sanchito. You got it. :)

Outstanding Willi. Want to add that Sparano needs competent assistants. Henning and Pasqualoni have to be replaced by COMPETENT COORDINATORS.

I'm trying to give Sparano the benifit of the doubt....he's still green. But these guys are going to be the reason why Sparano will be seeking employment sooner rather than later.

Please address this:
If you remove Ronnie Brown's longest run this season, 38 yards, then his rushing stats are 134 attempts for 528 yards or 3.9 yards/carry.
With the wildcat he's rushing for less than 4 yards/carry.

And with the 79th pick of the 2010 draft, the Miami Dolphins select...............

OG Mike Johnson for Alabama 6'6 305

Even using the BACKDOOR wildcat Ronnie Brown's not a top 10 rusher in the league.
And we keep pulling our qb 10 times a game?
Would we not be better off leaving Ronnie Brown on the bench and Henne in the game?

Price, tell me what games have you been watching? Henne is decent but not even top 20. Our team is a rushing team first. Problem is coaches have forgotten and relied on bottom 10 receivers.

1st comment, its apparent no one is wathching Jake Long get beat like a little rag doll. This guy needs to step up.

2ND Ronnie was leading the league in rushing out of a base offence with a very bad off/line the he blew out his knee. $1560000 on this off/line is a joke.

3rd comment, is it me or is anyone else see players continualy being held out of game due to injury and that seem to not no they were injured. This has been happening a lot and when Jason Furgason says he did know of an injury he had last week and was getting rubbed down is suspiciouce. I think the fans and the league are being dupped and our best players are being held out of games to look at the players behind them without just saying so. And Ibelieve this is costing us games. I think the players are getting tired of it too. They do not feel the management is not given them the best chance to win now with their experiments.

final comment, Joey Porter, why do they continue to play him over Wake. They are giving every opportunity to turn it around so they can trade him in the off season.

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