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The truth and spin about the Miami Dolphins

I try to read most of your comments. And one theme I'm noticing lately is how some of you feel disappointed when one of the coaches says something that is clearly, patently false or just a bunch of hooey.


"Ernest Wilford is improving every day in practice," when everyone knows if he was improving he'd be playing.

"I don't have information on that yet," when discussing injuries that are already diagnosed and have a prognosis and the third person to find out that information (after the doctor/trainer and player) is usually the head coach.

"The right guard job is Shawn Murphy's to lose," when everyone knows the second Donald Thomas can put one foot in front of the other he's starting and Murphy is really not going to pan out in Miami.

"I thought Matt played really well," when Matt Roth plays his first game after being on the non-football injury list but is cut three weeks later for poor performance and other reasons.

"I like our receivers," when Miami's receivers don't often win one-on-one battles and are all flawed in one significant way or another.

The words don't always match the facts. Your eyes tell you one thing while the Miami coaching staff tells you something different.

Well, it happens because that is what the Dolphins staff feels it must do. When your team is as flawed, as filled with voids as the current Dolphins are, you cannot as a coach, fire a broadside into your own ship and add yet another hole. It would be dumb considering the coaching staff is on that ship.

So Tony Sparano and Dan Henning and Paul Pasqualoni tap dance. They try not to outright lie. But they cannot really tell you the whole truth about their Dolphins.

Some of you, and even some media, often forget this fact. You take what coaches say as gospel. It often is not. It often is spin.

"I've got people upstairs that I'm accountable to," Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning explained Thursday. "And when I'm called in to be accountable to them, I explain it to them exactly like it is. They don't like to hear it all the time but that's the way I explain it.

"I can't do that with you and Tony can't do that with you [media]. Because if I explain to you that this is a liability for us and this is a plus for us, then pretty soon that gets written or somebody speaks it on the TV and then somebody on the other side [on other teams] writing that down says, 'Well, they won't do this because he thinks that's a problem,' that type of thing. Understand that from us. You guys know that. I don't have to explain that to you."

So understand, when you read quotes from Sparano or Henning or Pasqualoni that stretch credulity, don't think them unwise or fooled by their own team. Trust me, the Miami's coaches know they have talent problems. They know this team is a work-in-progress.

But what are they supposed to say? We stink like a sewer?

And that leads me to this:

The Dolphins offense and Dolphins defense stink like a sewer.

Naw, not really. But they are both very, very troubled.

The offense has scored 26 touchdowns in 11 games. That averages to 2.4 touchdowns per game. You know what team made the playoffs last year averaging 2.4 touchdowns per game? None.

And it's not just that the Dolphins struggle to score. It's how they score that is also troubling. In a league that is all about electric, dynamic offense, the Dolphins look like a team straight out of the 1970s. They plod along, slow and sometimes steady on 13-, 14-,15-play drives.

The "chunk" plays Sparano is always talking about? Wait until next year the earliest for them.

This year the Dolphins have scored three, count 'em, three touchdowns from outside the 20 yard line. Three!

Don't blame the running game for this fact. It's all about a terrible passing game. Fact is the Dolphins have eight running plays of 25-yards or more this season. The passing game has contributed the same number of plays of 25-yards or more. That, in a word, is horrible.

For context, consider that Miami's defense, not exactly a slice of swiss cheese, has yielded 26 pass plays of 25-yards or more.

About that defense. If it's the fourth quarter, Miami's D Fence more closely resembles a swinging gate. The Dolphins have yielded an NFL high 134 fourth-quarter points this year. Aside from being an NFL worst, it is already a franchise worst.

The 2007 Dolphins, the 1-15 debacle of a team, yielded 126 fourth-quarter points.

So this year's team has already surrendered more fourth-quarter points than the worst Miami team of all time. And there are still five games to play!

And what does Pasqualoni say when he's asked about that terrible, terrible fourth-quarter performance?

Hint: He's not saying, Phillip Merling isn't playing like a first-round pick, Joey Porter gets sacks only when he plays backup tackles, Channing Crowder isn't making any big plays, our young corners are going to be good some day but not yet, our safeties were out of synch the entire first half of the season, and our front seven is slow to the football.

Pasqualoni is saying: "We've been real good in the red zone. We've been real good, to me, it's field position as much as anything. Just so happens that some of that stuff has come up in the fourth quarter, but we've got to do a better job of finishing there's no question about that. And we've got to do a better job of just flat-out executing."

You didn't expect him to put another hole in the ship, did you?


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If we draft Tebow, WE RIOT!

As you've no doubt guessed, my real name is not Nathaniel Dodsworth. (It's a sobriquet that my parole officer suggested I take.)

My 22-year-old co-worker notices me making entries and the other day she said, "What's the name you use again? Dodsworth Namath?"

I thought that was cute.

Sanchez did a great job last night ,strange we didn't see any wildcat gimmicks .

wow Matt, you must be a Harvard grad with that outburst. First of all, Allen was not a Parcells pick. Find me a team that everyone of their picks is playing and is a starter. Every team misses, Allen is at least contributing. Second, Tebow, really? We already have our QB of the future in Henne. You and Marc must be twins

masculine? hahaha sharks? who cares you marc would probably be happy if there was a big schlong on the helmet would that be masculine enough for you? get a life the fins helmets are awesome

Since I am surfer as a hobby, I could never root for team called sharks.

If marc want them to change so much, wouldnt it be more easy for him to root for another team?

why a guy name's himself carlito any way ? it make me think of toilet paper .

bofin sound like man in dress

Phillip Merling was the 32nd overall selection in 2008. In case you have not heard, the first round of the NFL draft is 1-32.

So while Merling was technically the first pick of the second round, he is by all accounts a first-rounder and everyone knows that.

Almost forgot ...



ONE LAST COLLEGE GAME TO SEE....If you're a CANE fan, but FIU Alum like me....Go to the link below. BIG GAME for FIU tomorrow against FAU OWLs.

This is a fun rivalry game, went to OT last year in a shoot-out at LandShark Stadium, and FAU won 56 - 50. It should be a high scoring affair once again.

Great tailgate village just east of the stadium and plenty of stuff to see. Come back and support your Panthers in the season finale.


Dolphins colors & logo are awesome. Anyone who doesn't agree is not a true fan of the Dolphins!

Dolphins colors & logo are awesome. Anyone who doesn't agree is not a true fan of the Dolphins!

I'm wearin' the colors right now, but, they're not awesome...

Agree with Marc, these colors are fine on Carlito.

I am a lifelong Dolphins fan and there is only one thing that makes me more sick than the Dolphins losing games, and that is coming on here and reading tis crap fom you FAIRWEATHER FANS. We get people in here that get us in the playoffs one year after we just win one game. We have people in here that have us in the hunt for the playoffs this year. You change the outcome of 5 to 10 pays this year and w have no undefeated teams left and are playing for a first round bye. The Dolphins have problems they need to address, as well as made a few bad choices, but for a REAL fan that is no reaon to sit there and berate a team. ALL TEAMS MAKE MISTAKES. How can a team lose a few games and you IDIOTS get mad and think the solution is to lose out for a better draft pick? If I would ever sit here and say the phins should lose the rest of thier games to get a higher draft pick I wouldn't beable to look myself in te mirror. YOU SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED!

I like the look of Mount Cody wearin a cute little dolphin logo next year.

I agree with not intentionally tankin' the season...That's absurd

Dear Mr. Salguero

"So this year's team has already surrendered more fourth-quarter points than the worst Miami team of all time. And there are still five games to play!"

1 - Does this mean the worst Miami team of all time doesn't get to pop the cork on the Champain at the end of the season ?

2 - Team records mean nothing, we want the NFL records.

3 - Use that statement as a point for ticket sales for upcomming games.(I was there the day we gave up 50 forth quarter points)

Soiled :)

Was that Dan's last game Soiled? :(

Dear Mr. Marc(K)

"Was that Dan's last game Soiled? :("

62-7 if I remember correctly


Soiled :(

i see porter took another day off to rest. seems to me he rests during the games; his only sacks come during garbage time when the qb is pushed into him. please play cam wake!!!! oh, and ryan baker!

There is nothing wrong with the Dolphins colors, they are the best in the league and I wear them with pride

Here is our luck in the year 2012 we will have a elite team one for the ages maybey even perfect but before we can watch them win the super bowl for the first time in years and for alot of us our first time whatching them in the super bowl the end of the world will happen first and we will all get screwed out of it.

Jack- From original '66 fan. Don't forget Gene Mingo, the only Native American punter, the two George Wilsons, and that Wahoo was the only pro wrestler to crack into the NFL. We've come a long way. That Joe Auer 99 yard kickoff return was a tease that lasted 5 years until Shula showed up.

Mando from Dr Lou:

Reputation is what other people say about you. Character is what God says about you.

The Fins have character. Now if they'd just hang on to the ball they can keep pace with both the Pats and the Wild Card race. The Ravens and Steelers are in for a let down. And Sanchez is a knucklehead who needs to learn to slide.

Great point Dan, Iam a little concerned for 2016...That's the year for DODDSWORTH/MENACE presidential ticket.....

you all seem to forget the loss of our most productive and third most productive RB's in Ronnie and Patty Cobbs, our starting QB, who was 11 and 5 with us last year, our nose tackle Fergie for the last two games and the remainder of the season, our starting center Grovey for the past game and a half...Im not sure that any of the elite teams like NO, INDY, MINNY would be thriving as much if they had to face these kinds of personnel issues...it will be a tough road to the playoffs this year and last year we were had the good fortune of the easy schedule and few critical injuries...I hate to say it, but we are still a young team, work in progress with no big time receivers for our puppy qb to throw to....patience...next year will be better

I still believe..

FISH 27 - PATS 23 we return the favor and Ginny returns one for a TD

Thanks for a great post - - and the truth - Armando!

But let's not get cold feet atthe end.....we DO stink like a sewer.

And let NJ know that one can conclude we stink and still be a fan. A real fan calls it like it is----a stinky mess.

Ghost, Now that's what I call Spin...........

Difference perspective from ESPN:

EL (winter haven, FL)
SUP TIM, wow the way the fins are drafting where seeing a dynasty being built dont you think Tim?. and dont forget about the FA signees

Tim Graham (3:45 PM)
They are putting together an impressive foundation. Even though they took a step back record-wise, they are admirably competitive.

Nathaniel Dodsworth
Are you the Dodsworth running for President? In any event here I go:

1)I live in Texas now and have never been to the new stadium. I wouldn't be fair or me to comment. But, I know this. Where ever the Dolphins home is it will always be Joe Robbie (sp) stadium to me. He made the franchise and shouldn't be forgotten.
2)Paul Warfield gets my vote for the best ever. A close second is Jerry Rice. Warfield never got to fully show off at Miami. Griese was accurate, a masterful game manager but didn't have the strongest arm. Put Warfield with Marino and he would own the record book. In comparing receivers, then and now, you can't overstate the effect of rule changes. Back then QB's didn't play in diapers and receivers didn't get a free pass once they were five yards deep.
3)Sure they had some luck. Every team that has posted their type of performance has had luck. Look at this years Colts. To be a great team doesn't mean you had no luck. It means when luck presents itself you say “Thanks” and take it.
4)Its futile to compare teams that far apart in years. There is a strong argument for the size and speed issues. But also there is the matter of rule changes. The No Name defense was zone. Receivers had to be fighters. But I can say this, no team could embarrass the 72' Dolphins for team work and confidence. There was no individual showing off when someone made a player, they expected to do that. They were almost robotic in the professionalism. I wish Sparano made watching their game SOP for today's Dolphins just so they would know how real champions act. But you can say this, if Don Shula's coaching staff had this years Dolphins we have 3 to 4 more wins and be headed for the playoffs.
5)They were the ultimate profession team and we held them in awe. No team dismantled the Dolphins of the early 70's. It took and entire league pooling its finances to steal Zonka, Kick and Warfield. Without that Shula's Dolphins would have become greatest dynasty ever.
6)Good luck in the election.

You guys needs to STFU and relax....just kidding fellow Fish Fans. Anyway, you all want to throw in the towel and pick apart every little thing that is going wrong this year. If any of you had dreams of going better than 8-8.......wake the eff up!!! This year has always been about stepping back from last year's perfect storm and continuing to build the team. So I guess the Steelers should throw it all in too. They're 6-5 after winning the Super Bowl. Time to fire the coaches and GM!!! This stuff happens. We still have holes that need to be filled. Next year we'll all have a better idea about where this franchise is headed. We "should" make the playoffs. If so, it's heading in the right direction. Maybe some of you are on life support and only have some much time. If so, my prayers are definitely with you......but this team isn't that good yet. Relax and enjoy the ride everyone.....we're going to be pretty good in the next few years!

Ya I know this is the truth but it totally just depressed me reading this article.

Dean & Jack Kompan

I have many years reading the nonsense that Armando write...

Once in a while I read again Armando and all the years is the same thing... SAME!

Honestly, I don't know WHY Miami Herald pay to Armando... They should fire him! Why? Because Armando will never EVER could be objetive!

A writer has to be objetive, MUST TO! Even if he don't like something or someone.

Armando just don't have that capacity, and he will never develop it WHY? because he don't realize he is a fool.

That's it.

it's not that channing''tall dwarf''crowder doesn't make big plays'no he does not make no plays'a retard.he might make a play in the backfield on the first drive but then he misses tackles'left and right.as for the coaches saying that this guy is improving 'it means they still have hope'that he might develop'but we all know that if they play and don't do jack 'they stink.

Mr. Kompan, thank you for your response. As an expatriate Canadian, I'll have to get the constitution amended before I run for President.

I appreciate what you said about the 72 Dolphins' professionalism. I recall a former Dolphin (Dick Anderson?) saying that the Dolphins' defense that year made an incredibly low number of mental errors. I also know that Don Shula had a habit of using refs in practice who would literally throw flags for infractions. And the Dolphins' would do the play over again until they got it right. It's little wonder that Shula's Dolphins were consistently the least penalized team in the league. (Although critics of Shula would point out that his position on the Rules Committee intimidated some of the officials.)

As a former Torontonian it pains me to say that it was Canadian John Bassett, owner of the Toronto Northmen (eventually the Memphis Southmen), who lured Csonka, Warfield and Kiick away in 1975.

Have a great weekend!

Mandi. This was an excellent article. The only thing u did not touch on that I wish u had is that maybe our coaching staff needs more accountability! I would love some reporter to have the balls to call Sparano out on his clock mngt or about how poor a job it appears they did on getting pat white in the second round! Get in there and rattle his " everything is under control" cage!

David in san Fran

Douglas, the reason you don't like Armando's work is because he writes in English, a language with which you obviously are not familiar.

Fins have lost this year by an 11 point average. They've won four games by a 4.5 point average. If you throw in the 28 point win against Bills it's a 9.2 point average.

I would like to see the offense and defense contribute (offense score an extra 7 points and defense hold off opponents by 7 points less).

Unless the offense or defense can somehow take the team on its shoulders (like defense did for the BUCS they year they won the SB).

Question is, can they do it with all of the injuries and a QB novice?

Hey Jack,

I'm quite a bit younger than you but old enough to remember Joe Auer's kickoff return against the Raiders in our first regular season game back in 66. Don't look at it as a reach back in history. These are all fond memories of the true DolFans out there. I was 8 when Auer ran the kick back. I'm 52 now and have been a fan almost my entire life.

We'll be a lot better next year. I think Henne is going to a very good QB. He just needs some time. If I remember correctly Peyton wasn't all that great his first year starting in the NFL.

I'm tired of the so called fans who think they know everything. If they all had brilliant football minds they would probably be involved in Football.

Questions for Sparano
1. Why not try and use Pat W as a wr?

2. Why is wake not playing more?

3. Why do we keep going to gin with the game on the line?

Yeah, I think fans understand that the coaches spin their statements to the media. That's just the way the league is.....especially with injuries. Sparano is like Oprah when compared to Belicheat in terms of his openness. Try being a Cheatriots beat writer. It's probably a lot worse.

The quotes that I'm tired of hearing from players and coaches are the ones that praise the other team prior to playing them. I realize that they don't want to give out bulletin board material, but the things said approach the ridiculous. I don't want a WWF style shouting match, but it should be acceptable for a player to at least state that they're the better team.

4. Why not throw to Camarilo more as he catches everything thrown his way?

5 why for 2nd yr in a row this team starts the season so flat?

6. Why is Joey p getting so many snaps when he is a ghost for much of the game?

7. Why keep running ricky late in the buffalo game when he had nothing left

8. Why not do more reverses on kickoffs with ginn ?

aquaandorange has a boy friend named Camarilo ? give it a rest aquaandorange.

Why can't Sparano be called to the Mat by the media on his poor click mngt?

10. Why oh why has miami lacked the urgency in their team???? As ricky balboas trainer Mick says: "there is no tomorrow rock.....well it time for Miami to play like there is no tomorrow!????

i laugh when i see a loser like aquaandorange blaming the coach for all ills .


you talk like nj phin the plumber ,are you ?

Fin 4 life

Douglas, the reason you don't like Armando's work is because he writes in English, a language with which you obviously are not familiar.

Posted by: Finheavenblows! | December 04, 2009 at 04:52 PM

Douglas dont mess with finheaven, he loves armando and kisses his buuuttt. What a fairy he is. hahahahhahahaha

All this crap about letting Edwards slip through our fingers is BS did you see him drop a for sure TD it hit him in the facemask. I am glad we did not pull the trigger on a headach like Edwards OVERRATED to say the least. We do need a vet WR and should draft one as well but you do not go out and pick the wrong playet up just to do it.

The more I hear the coaches speak the the less I hear, they are not going to give the media or the fans anything to talk about. They have a plan and will build this team through the draft so give them time to turn this team around.

Turner has to get on the field because we have to know what we have in him. If we lose to the pats on sunday Turner should start for the rest of the season just to see if he can play or not, if not he is not the answer for a redzone posession type of WR we were hoping for and can go draft another player that is the answer.

Neil...if you go back that far what your opinion a Henne resemblence to Earl Morrall? He was the QB that stepped in when Griese went down an led most of the 72' season.

I'm still a fan of Tony

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