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Sparano on calling plays, Wildcat & Wake

Tony Sparano said today he did not call any offensive plays in the victory over the Patriots.

But he did acknowledge he was adding his opinion on what the Dolphins should run throughout the game.

"I didn't take over the play-calling, Dan did it," Sparano said. "Just was communicating and making suggestions, as many suggestions as we can make. We had great communication out there yesterday in all three phases of the game. I thought the coaches did a really good job preparing guys this week."

On the last blog post (below) I speculated that Sparano seemed to be calling plays at one point in the fourth quarter. He cleared it up during his day-after press conference today.

It was an informative and interesting 18 minutes with the coach. He talked about the fact the Dolphins did not use the Wildcat package even once Sunday. It was the first time the team didn't use the package this season. It might be the first time they have not used it since they introduced it against New England on Sept. 21, 2008.

"We didn't have it up and ready right now, to be honest with you," Sparano said. "We had two plays on the gameplan sheet that we had if we felt we had to go to it, but we didn't feel we had to go to it at this point."

The Wildcat package has been decimated by injuries. Ronnie Brown is out. Patrick Cobbs is out. Anthony Fasano was out for a couple of games. But Sparano was not ready to pronounce the package dead.

Not yet.

"I don't know, it depends on what we see on tape," the coach said. "Whatever we have to do to win."

One thing the Dolphins might want to do to win in the coming weeks and years is use Cameron Wake more. He's improving. He really is. And so coaches are trying to figure out how to get him in games more.

Already the team is platooning at the outside linebacker spots. Joey Porter and Jason Taylor are lately yielding snaps to both Wake and Charlie Anderson. Anderson got more snaps than usual against New England.

But Wake's play in limited snaps screams he should get more snaps.

"Cameron's getting better," Sparano said. "There are some things he's got to do fundamentally. But I've got to do a better job of getting him out there ... He gave us good rushes in the game and a great rush on the last play."

I asked Sparano if more snaps for Wake would suggest fewer for Taylor or fewer for Taylor and Porter.

"It really depends on the package, Armando," Sparano said. "If we put him in there in base defense, it would mean less snaps for Joey. If we put him in the nickel or the dime stuff it could be Joey or JT, depending on how we rotate that threesome."


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Play wake as much as possible I'm really gettin annoyed wth porter

I don't get it. he's the coach, he sees the same thing we see and more. who's to argue with him.

wake is one dimensional still at this point, but wow, he is something special at that dimension. he will be a fixture on 3rd and long, and hopefully improve to being at least a half the snaps kind of player next year.

i like pat white's athleticism,but until they have enough trust in him to let him throw a few passes they should not bother using him. as a run only option he s very limited.

i think sparano is overwhelmed once the game starts. he becomes more of a spectator; yelling and screaming like the rest of us. i think he forgot to get wake in the game and apologized for it. he makes alot of coaching mistakes but his enthusiasm is refreshing. we really need to see the rest of the young guys to inject their abilities to keep everyone playing fresh in the 4th quarter. ryan baker and wake should definitely be playing more than porter(whose best days are long gone).

Show your hand when you are ready coach!

I hope that Sparano was saying this into his headset when discussing plays with Henning: "Dan, please stop being smug. We don't need to run trick plays because we are moving the ball well without them. Let's let Chad Henne play. You can do a double reverse half back pass with Pat White later tonight in your living room when you play Madden Football on your X-BOX with the grandkids. This is real life with real consequences, we can't put Pat White in the game, okay?"

pat white is complete garbage

when he comes in, the down is flushed down the toilet

Any selling tickets for the Titans game email me at dolfan21083@yahoo.com

Thanks! Go Dolphins!

greg z.

Have to disagree with you about Sparano. He makes mistakes sometimes, but he prepares this team to play every week since he has been here. They always play hard and the results show it. He prepares great during the week, and he gives you maximum effort and focus on game day. He knows every detail of what is going on, dont think his enthusiasm takes away from that. He has given his soul to this organization, and you have to recognize that.

Hey armando, whats the update with Kory Sheets? Has some nice videos on youtube but remains inactive.

Play Henne in the Shotgun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Run from the shotgun!!!!!!!!! if you use the shotgun to pass enough times the draw from the shotgun is a killer

Thought Henne had a good game for once. He tends to over throw, under throw, but the numbers speak for themselves. It's nice to know that we still have a shot at the afc east!

Perhaps you - or I (if I can find time outside of my real job) could do a what if matrix of what the scenarios are for Miami to win division based solely on our next four games and NE's next four games. Would depend on opponents obviously, since tie breaker procedures come into play. I will try to get something posted.




NE will have to lose their game against Buffalo to have a worse div record then us. NE 3-3 vs. Dolphins 4-2.

They NEED to play Wake more!!! The guy is obviously producing when he's in and with more snaps come better results from him...they keep him under wraps like he's a baby!! I have a weird feeling that they r gonna trade him or let him go and he's gonna go to another team and shine like how we let Ogunleye go....

fake GM, i think sparano is a hard worker and trys hard to get the guys prepared by practicing all week. i think up to now he hasn't recognized that this is the new NFL. games are won with offenses playing to win with chunk yds, yac and scoring TD's! you have to line-up with 4 receivers and go! like the colts, vikes, pats, cards, saints! if you don't get those defenses to back-off they will smother your offense. he finally took the handcuffs off the offense and let them make plays!! pat white won't be a success either the way he is used; he is not allowed to pass or improvise. he looks very uncomfortable. tyler thigpen is a better option because he can run or throw efficiently. we need to play cam wake and ryan baker alot more as well as the other young guys. sparano needs to realize porter is no longer a force.

Play cowbell more. More cowbell. Trust me fellas you're gonna want that cowbell. More shotgun too and then some wildcat...and then more cowbell. And more until you cant take any more. Then add more.

If you dont play more cowbell I'm gonna stab you in the eye with a soldering iron.

Shoot the shotgun, unleash the cat, and then lets throw chunks.

Don' fake the funk on the nasty dunk, bruh ...

On stating the obvious......

"One thing the Dolphins might want to do to win in the coming weeks and years is use Cameron Wake more."

You could also say , " the way the Dolphins have mixed in and the development of Cameron Wake is brilliant! "

Kinda like having a hungry dog in a kennel , then when you need him the most , you throw him a " piece of meat " of coarse he gobbles it down. Fed a regular diet some dogs eat their food more carefully.

How about we let the people with the knowledge , experience and exposure to these players make theses decisions , instead of questioning every fricken move!

Go Fins

I don't understand the people that say Pat White sucks. It's not really his fault. I think the Fins are putting Pat White in a position to fail. Every time he comes in the opposing defense knows 100% that it will be a run option play. So that makes it easy to stop. Hence makes Pat White predictable. Pat can throw. He's just been inaccurate for some reason. Although in college he was not inaccurate. They should either have him throw the ball once in a while to keep the defense guessing or just sit the guy down and like Armando said let him hold the clip board and learn. After all it worked for Henne.

Great to see that out coaching staff is also learning from their mistakes..."Whatever it takes to win" whether it be Sprano "making suggestions", putting Henne in shotgun or less alternative packages is great to see using what works GO PHINS!!!

Guys seriously, sparano is still not there! We had one game where him and henning
Didn't blow a fourth quarter lead. For this of u who think
Chad henne can't do that every week, wait till we get him some receivers!!! And I hate to say this, but all you dolphins fans are wrong about Joey porter. He is having a rough year, but best days long gone? No he is still a force! Next year I say we trade for ochocinco and sign Jermaine Grisham, and j the second round pick up Taylor mays and third pick up williams from USC. We will be unstoppable!!

Actually, a loss against the bills assures miami the division if miami wins out. If the patriots wins against the bills then it comes down to number of afc wins, then strength of schedule. If the dolphins keep doubling their biggest threats from here on in and play the basic offensive scheme, then they may host the superbowl this YEAR! We should be getting a few players back to help down the stretch like david martin and jake grove.

The only way the dolphins can win the AFC east is 1) Must win the final four games on their schedule AND 2) Patriots lose to Buffalo (doubtful) OR 3)Lose one of the other games against an opponent that dolphins have beaten. Which is any of them if dolphins win their next four games, because currently NE is up a gm on common opponents. After that it would go to record vs. AFC conference opponents. Very tricky scenario.

Pat White's package almost gave me a heart attack on Sunday. I hope they scratch it. White is a good back up to have, but as a QB who is known for scrambling (of course), not as an option/trickery plan.

Henne is good, I've always said it, now give him better weapons and we shall see a next level QB.

The only credit I give Crowder is that he went down with the ball when Brady gave him an early Xmas gift, thanks to Wake. Nothing more out of our MLB. Nothing.

Crowder should be in Akin Ayoedele's spot and we need to find a MLB who is more instinctive and can cover some ground.... Crowder is a good tackler and can stuff a hole, but he often overpursuits leaving the cutback wide open and has been terrible in coverage this year. Last year he could atleast cover.

Westernfin that was just a disturbing post you made. Cameron wake is a beast not a dog!!!

I don't think Pat White sucks. There are money players on this team that suck quite often. And to say a rookie sucks at this time of the year with his experience means you are not a fan of the Phins. So go away and eat ca ca
That being said, until Pat can pass the ball, the Wildpat is in trouble. Everyone is lining up to brain him.
The Dolphins needed the Wildcat to win last year. This year this play is becoming or became an anchor. It hurt the teams timing and rhythum. Henne is finding his stride. Last week we forgot about our receivers. We crapped all over the receiving squad like they were all from the Jets. This week Hartline, Bess, Cammillario and yes EVEN Ginn showed up to play.
Be a fan, have some fun, lend a critique on Monday but forget about it after Monday's hangover.

FakeGM knows what he's talking about.Sporano is still a rookie HC,so to speak,and I do enjoy his enthuisiam.It ain't over yet kids.....we still have a shot at the AFC East Title.Go Dolphins!!!

"Pat White's package almost gave me a heart attack on Sunday"

Posted by: Gian | December 07, 2009 at 02:57 PM

Why? Was it a big package?

"Just was communicating and making suggestions

I'm thinking it went something like this: Alright Henning, no more cute $hit and no more Pat White. Throw the damn ball. Got it? Good.

Ronnie Brown IS THE WILDCAT. It just doesnt work without him. Ricky cant run it for more than 3 yards and a cloud of dust.Scrap it for now and focus on getting our young hungry players on the field. Joey and JT should both be benched. Neither is making plays and WAKE should be in much more. GET IT?
BTW- did I mention that the jests suck?

Mondo, Somebody, anybody!!!

What was Henne's QB rating for the Pst's game. Where can I get such info each week without going through a GD shoutout? Thanks jack

let white play water boy....nothing else

did anyone see the look on his face when white went in, he was PO'ed

henne is moving so well in the pocket, making reads and yes he had a couple of mistakes....then again... so did brady........

fasano is back to '08 form and bess is simply the best. even ole ginny is playing better.

Safety big concern with the gerbil rat in there. soliai had a great game as did starks (always now) and tony mac love those last two..

Shotgun Henne

correction: the look on henne's face

jack K

henne had a 80.2 passer rating yesterday

The Patriots are 7-5 and the Dolphins are 6-6. They’ve split their head-to-head games, and both have two losses in the division (though the Patriots still have one more game to play @ Buffalo on Sunday, December 20th).

Assuming the Jets will suck and do nothing of any consequence from here on out, here is how the AFC East could end up shaking out:
If both teams win their remaining four games, the Pats will finish 11-5 and the Dolphins will finish 10-6. PATS.

If the Dolphins win out and the Pats go 3-1 losing to Buffalo, they will both finish 10-6 but Miami will have the better division record. DOLPHINS.

If Miami wins out and the Pats go 3-1 by losing to either Carolina, Jacksonville, or Houston, the next relevant tiebreaker would be % won against common opponents. In these cases, NE and Miami would be 8-4 against common opponents. So the next tiebreaker is win % against Conference opponents…

So, if Miami wins out and the Pats lose one game to either Jacksonville or Houston, the Dolphins would finish 8-4 in the conference and the Pats would finish 7-5, giving the divisional edge to the Fins. DOLPHINS.

If Miami wins out and the Pats go 3-1 by losing to Carolina, both teams would finish 8-4 in the conference. The next tiebreaker is strength of victory. This is like strength of schedule, but only beaten teams are taken into account.

That’s when shit gets tricky, I’m still working on the math.

Ricky can't run for more than 3 and a cloud of dust? Have you watched him since Ronnie went down? How about the game winner in Carolina? How about he has more big plays than Ronnie.

Unlike Ronnie, Ricky has the speed to pull away once he gets to the second level. Ever seen Ronnie run away from a DB?

Doug yes i have, but he often gets caught by a different faster DB....

RE: i think sparano is overwhelmed once the game starts. he becomes more of a spectator; yelling and screaming like the rest of us. i think he forgot to get wake in the game and apologized for it. he makes alot of coaching mistakes but his enthusiasm is refreshing.

I completely disagree. I think that Sparano is an excellent coach and his enthusiasm is just his true passion for the game. With the amount of injuries this team has suffered to KEY players, the fact that he can inject other, younger, more inexperienced players, coach them up and get production out of them - enough production to defeat the FULLY healthy New England Patriots says A LOT about his coaching and his coaching staff.

Most teams that lose their starting QB, starting Center, #1 and #3 RB's, #1 Cornerback, #1 (and only) NT in a 3-4 scheme would be down and out. Sparano has this team still competing despite those loses this season.

can't believe we have to root for the bills......against the patsies...i will drink aplenty and do my duty...just this one time

WTF is wrong with this app??

Which would you rather have? The enthusiasm of Sparano coupled with the "I can do a better job..." or the "I know best, so get out of my rice bowl" of Cant Cameron and Sabansucks.

Great win for the Phins... I have one concern with the way the Phins use Pat White, if they actually let him throw the ball, I believe he would definitely have a open receiver to throw to. It seems like when he is put onto the field, the opposing defense plays the run, which he is fast and has that threat, but the coaching staff should give him the option to pass.

Yeah! More Wake!

Excellent responses today - interesting to read and funny too. I don't agree with everyone but these responses are why I like this blog.

I think the coaching staff are making the changes they need to. Somewhat slowly and maybe there are things we don't see. I am certainly feeling less angst because of a good win and don't feel right being critical but: Pat White accounted for a huge loss of yardage that ended up on Ricky's stat sheet. The kid is a great human being (see the veteran's stuff in NE) and has some talent but he is not ready for prime time and needs to be left on the bench - not to mention that he is put into a difficult position when asked to come in like that (even though it is his job and he practices it, it's not easy). The Wildcat is most effective when there are two RBs running it - not a QB. This allows for the extra blocker that makes it so effective. In that respect, I think it still has a place. No reason Ricky and Hilliard can't run it. Sure Ronnie is the best guy to run it but it can still be effective as a change up - especially if people think we are going to stay in our base offense, it gets the element of surprise back.

Really good to see the Fins change things up both offensively and defensively.

Good point on moving Crowder to Ayodele's spot next season Chase. He is a much, much better player when he has a strong player lined up next to him (see how he played with Zach in).

Sparano is on his way to leading this team to its second straight winning season after years of bad decisions, finishing 1-15, and being the joke of the league. What else could you possibly ask for? You think someone else going to do better job? Let me guess, you and your buddies could lead this team to an instant super bowl? This team is still in overhaul, dealing with injuries, but still competing for the division title.

Carlito, Marc has already lead the Dolphins to 15 consecutive Super Bowls in Madden on rookie level.

I like Sparano. I don't agree with some things but the players seem to like him and play for him. That's very important. I would give him a very good grade so far. He's done a good job.

Dear Mr. Salguero

"Cameron's getting better," Sparano said. "There are some things he's got to do fundamentally. But I've got to do a better job of getting him out there ... He gave us good rushes in the game and a great rush on the last play."

How good is Wake ? So good he made Channing Crowder look good for once.

Soiled :)

Dear Mr. Salguero

About the Crowder interception

Brady through it right to Crowder while being hit by Wake

Crowder standing there with no one around him...not one Pats player...who was he defending, what was his assignment ?

Does he have a purpose ?

Maybe one of you more knowledgeable fans can explain it for me.

Just wondering

Soiled :)

You guys are so right about moving Crowder to Ayodele's spot and drafting a high profile MLB (Brandon Spikes, Ryan Stamper anybody?) (Yeah I go to UF). But seriously, lets do it!!

Ronnie is the Wildcat. No Ronnie, no Wildcat.

Pat White needs to sit. Every time he comes in is a lost down, loss of momentum and loss of focus. He might have what it takes, just not yet. He's a great kid with talent, just not a great quarterback... yet.

Dear Mr. Salguero

I have read that Channing Crowders Mother is very Knowledgeable and teaches a class called Football 101.

Can she explain to me what her son does ?

Soiled :)

Bottom line.....Dolphins need to win out to get into the playoffs...don't worry about what other teams need to do....just play consistent and win out and it will take care of itself.

henne had a 80.2 passer rating yesterday

Posted by: harricane

Wow, seemed better.

Brian Hartline and Davone Bess are 2 young guys coming along very nice and developing good chemistry with Henne... They are great #2 and #3 receivers that are just begging for a big #1 receiver to compliment the offense... When the Dolphins pick somebody up this offseason, they will be very dangerous in the future.

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