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Sparano: Special teams players got better Mon.

Did you read the headline? Did you throw up?

Relax. Work with me, here, please.

Coach Tony Sparano just spoke to the media today and noted that in a game where the Miami special teams imploded -- allowing a 103-yard kickoff return, a field goal block returned for a touchdown, and a blocked punt that led to a touchdown -- there were parts of the special teams play that showed improvement from previous weeks and actually looked good.

Here's exactly how he stated the case:

"The hard thing, and I'm going to answer this question as honest as I can to answer it," Sparano said. "Tell me the return that came out there other than the big one? Tell me where we didn't ... "

His voice trailed off, before he picked up with a new thought ...

"So when I'm watching this film here the other night, am I pissed off? Sure," he said. "Obviously I'm pissed off. We can't cost ourselves points. We just can't do that. And we did.

"But when you break it down and take the three plays out of that tape, and you can't, they're part of the game, they change the game, no question about it. But when you do it and you take those plays out and start to watch the rest of the game, there were some really positive things done in that game.

"Guys like Nolan Carroll got better in that game. Reshad Jones got better in that game. Nobody said one word to me about Austin Spitler who played 14, 15 plays on special teams for the first time and played pretty darn good in that game. Well, you're going to say, 'Coach, how can they all play good?' There were three plays in the game, all in different phases and at different times in the game. That's not an excuse, but I just think they're fixable. And I trust the people in that room to fix them."

Obviously, Sparano trusts the new people in the room to fix the problem because he fired special teams coordinator John Bonamego on Tuesday. But all this suggests Sparano expects the players that are in the room, or at least some of them, are getting better.

He is, indeed, an glass-half-full person.


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tdeck 1...........Ricky is a sure thing .r.brown is afraid to get injured .

In this Day and Age, good football Teams are defined by their pass-protecting offensive lines. We didn't touch a hair of Sanchez's curly head. However, we did move Pretty Boy around.

Chad Henne has out-played both Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco through their first 17 career starts - purely from a statistical viewpoint.

Henne has a higher completion percentage (61.8%), more passing yards (3,750), and his 17 touchdown passes over these first 17 games is equal to Flacco's total and just one fewer than Ryan.

However, Ryan and Flacco both went 12-5 in their first 17 starts while Henne is only 9-8. Why? You can argue about the talent level of each team - and there's some validity to that argument. But Henne's 17 interceptions is four more than Flacco threw and six more than Ryan.

What does this all mean? I really don't know. What I do know is that it's crazy to even consider benching Henne at this point.

Just look at where he stands right now through the first four weeks of the season. He's 10th in passing yards, 11th in completion percentage, 10th in passes resulting in first downs, 11th in yards per pass attempt, and 14th in quarterback rating. For a player who is really just beginning his second season as a starter in this league, he's pretty much right where he should be - a quarterback in the upper half of the NFL.

And for the record, his five career 300 yard games is second most in team history.

This doesn't mean Henne doesn't have a number of aspects to improve upon. Nobody is saying he's a lock to be the team's long-term franchise quarterback. But there's only one way for Henne to get better and for us to know for sure if he is the long-awaited solution to Miami's quarterback quandary.

He has to play.

It's that simple, folks. Maybe Henne will never improve. Maybe he's always going to have struggles going through his progressions, making decisions, and being consistently accurate. Or maybe - just maybe - Henne will continue to improve as he gets more experience.

Maybe we all just need to relax and realize that benching Henne would result in more questions - not more answers.

Many people considered Drew Brees a disappointment three years into his NFL career. After sitting his entire rookie year, Brees started 27 games over his second and third NFL seasons - completing less than 60% of his passes while throw 28 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. The Chargers even went so far as to draft Philip Rivers after Drew's third season, thinking Brees was not the answer.

Some players just need more time than others to mature and reach their full potential. The only way we'll ever know if Chad Henne can be "the guy" here in Miami is to let him play without any worry of being replaced.

Let him grow. Let him learn from his mistakes.

does anyone else see what i've noticed about ronnie brown. he is very cautious to hit the holes at full speed. there is a noticeable hesitation when he gets the handoff on running plays and also on direct snap in the wildcat. if you dont burst thru those same holes close quickly. a back has a short window of opportunity for a big run.

HENNE is a gift from god ,we just have to wait as did the saints,colts and chi to see their QB flourish .

It's like saying if you take the wind out of the hurricane then you only have rain. What? Look here marrano this team's problem is two-fold. One, lack of talent to compete with the JETS and the PATS. Two, this rah rah coaching "deos not work" At least Rex Ryan is honest about how he coaches, and isn't afraid to rip'em a new one when they don't play to standards. You can hate Rex but at least he is honest, and his players want to play hard for him. Coaching isn't just about X's and O's its about people buying into your idea and rallying to play as a team

greg z......... our first try at the WILDCRAP in the pats game ,he had the ball and stood still .he's afraid to be injured for sure .in the end of the ear a new contract .he's saying to himself ( what the hell , the year is over i am not going to risk my future ) .i think he's right .

Ok the phins should look into a couple of guys that are off the radar. Some local talent. How about PRESTON PARKER formerly of the Florida State Seminoles? This guy is a football player. OR Travis Hunter? Hunter was a high school track star. I just watched him on youtube zig zagging around the semi pro league. I bet that either of these two guys would contribute to a special team unit in the NFL.

r.brown that is

Mark in Toronto,
those are terrible points. i don't want to be rude but they are terrible.

1st you tale 2 words from my post and comment on them (that is some selective reading and editing) did you read my entire post?

2nd, well lets not do 2nd...lets just look ar the facts with out the emotion.

fact: we beat the bills 14-10 in a nail biter
fact: jets destroy the bill 38-14

fact: we lose to the pats. give up 40
fact: jets beat pats hold them to 14 points

Mark...those are 3 facts. not opinions or wishesor what if's. straight facts

When it comes to CH7, phinsider is dead on.
Good post phinsider.

Brown has not quite gone back to the cha cha but he's not far from it. Seems like it took him forever to quit that crap and now he's started again.

Not with the Pats, Vulture(ugh). We can beat them.

On another topic, I read in the Post the other day, the Dolphins have acquired 16 players since Sept.5.....1st day allowed by NFL. Leads all other teams, average is 4.6 (ESPN sez 19) Which begs the question, why? Just sayin.

Certainly Henne might be the next Brett Favre, in the Future. But how about now? We always aim to win the Super Bowl, ain't we?

Mark in Toronto....
not to beat a dead horse but....

fact: jets beat us at home.

all of those FACTS equal us being little brother

for now...hopefully in december. by rhen we will be DADDY


Ricky looked like a man on a mission.
On the lone wildcat play on 3rd and 6, Brown should have handed the ball to Ricky, he was running like a locomotive on crack and would have gotten the first down......Brown dancin'- Ricky Runnin'

phinsider, AWESOME post. I couldn't beleive the rumblings to bench Henne when I first heard them emerge. I hope the staff doesn't buckle. I'm plenty happy with Henne considering his experience.

Kris, believe what you want. I guess I'm just more bullish that you are. Even though the scores were close in weeks 1 and 2, we were clearly the better team. The scores were close merely because the coaching staff dared the opposing teams' cripples offenses to score and they couldn't. We were not going to beat ourselves. In hindsight, a pretty good approach.

Week 3, I thought Henne and co showed a lot of guts in coming back from down 14. Didn't play perfectly but well enough to win.

Week 4, We controlled this game until the special teams imploded and made this team play from a position they didn't like to and put them too far down to come back from.

So you can be bearish and think the Jets are better than we are, but i'm going to be bullish and support this team - win or lose because that is all I've known to do in my 35 years. I love this team with every fibre of my being and will never quit on them.

Kris, we will be better. This team and Henne will continue to get better. Considering how inexperienced we are, we are on the upswing.

Odrick, jerry, misi, Wake, Davis, henne, Clemons, Allen, Langford, hartline, and even Long are all young players under the age of 25 (well maybe not Allen but still inexpereinced at his position) that we put a lot of pressure on to perform and they are all inexperienced and learning at an NFL level still. They will get better, we will get better.

I have to agree with some of the post here today.
Ronnie is very timid. I almost think theres something wrong with him. Ricky on the other hand is back to his old STUD form. I think he's shook off the dropsies,and is back to running with authority.
ALcoa, I couldn't agree more. If it were up to some of these fans,we would trade Henne, only to watch him flourish with the F'ing Bills or some other team. Have some patience folks, this kid is going to be a winner for a long time. He's been one his whole life.
GO FINS!!!!!!

OK, so I have to say I've been reading this blog all season....I keep seeing posts asking, "what's Parcells doing about this" or Parcells needs to get off his fat but and do something" or "Parcells needs to get down on the field", etc.

For those posting these comments, why do you even come here. It is obvious that you don't pay an ounce of attention as to what is going on. If you did, you would know that Parcells is no longer with the team except in a supposed "consultant" capacity. He is no longer the VP of operations...he's not in the building...not on the field. So either start paying attention and bring something to this blog or leave it along because it's obvious you just want to trash the Dolphins without having the slightest clue as to what you're talking about.

probably the first really dumb thing i've heard sparano say. i reckon he's a quality coach, and i reckon he's going to deliver us a quality team. it's understandable that we want it now but for god's sake, we're coming from a long way back. he's just fired a good buddy of his, he doesn't want to crucify the guy, he's standing in front of the microphone ... i think this guy knows he's got a young, developing team and he's staying positive and we're going to reap the benefits. i think too many of you good souls are smarting at the last two weeks and the week off is a good time to take a deep breath, and let's just see what happens. it's a long year, we've got talent, and i believe.


Ok fellow Dolpfans...I read all 8 pages of this blog..so here's my take..
...Bill Parcels is OOP (gone)..I'm a disciple, but very disappointed..yes, he could have left, paid in full by contract when Ownership changed, but he didn't. He opted to stay..the paying fans deserve to know why he abandoned the ship..it blemishes his legacy otherwise.
...for the Henne die-hards...the staff knew LAST SEASON that Chad needed work on pocket presence, progression reads, decision maing, timing, footwork, etc...They tried all summer, and thru camp...and pre-season to change his mistakes..Parcell's experience told him that Henne wasn't getting it...Coach/Ownership wouldn't listen...so the Tuna took the road of least resistance , and opted out. But the problem remains; simply stated...Chad Henne will never be a top shelf QB in the NFL..his interceptions will be just too high to tolerate.
...As for Coach Sporano, Parcell's choice, the grade is an F..the experiment is a bust..he is a College Head coach, and not at a top flight school either. NFL Offensive line coach is his limit. He can't handle the multi-tasking, can't handle the media appearances with any clarity of expression. He is a cheerleader on the sideline......name one successful coach(read Super Bowl winner) who exhibits similar behavior.
...Regarding his Special Teams solution..he has placed the problem in the hands of a one- year-NFL-experienced assistant to the previous steward of the faulty system...closing the barn door after the horse has gone..namely the previous week versus the Jets, when Sporano should have DEMANDED that a blocked punt never occur the reat of the season...
...finally, the owner, Mr Ross.....must already have seen enough....the next six games will result in two wins at the maximum..after that..it's Mike Nolan time..interim Head Coach..with half a season to show some semblance of a cohesive game plan.
...Remember I told you......

oh...just one addendum....Dan Henning is a good Offensive Coordinator, but his play book is trukated, trying to call plays with limited liability , to compensate for the QB's inability to execute them...as for the use of the wildcat, eg on 3rd and 6....the same lack of confidence in the QB's ability to get the job done is the primary motivation for the use of the wildcat..trying to make something out of nothing...period. The wildcat was a wrinkle that was born of a QB deficiency..trying to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers, without relying on the QB as the facilitator. Hence, OC Henning is trying to the best of a bad situation; it worked for one the '09 season. Defenses have adjusted; the bag of tricks is now empty. Period.

...if walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
Seriously, has Sparano lost his marbles? This problems been going on since pre-season & I only see it getting worse. Look, I like the optimistic view point but not here. I get what your trying to sell Tony but I'm not buying it. BTW...when will we be able to see the Dolphins special team not only prevent what happen last week but actually turn the table and do it to someone else. OK, OK...I'll just take prevent last week at this point.

Crummy set of games. Special teams in particular and coherence of whole team in general showing effects of too much churning of backup players. Loss of Jerry, Crowder, Odrick not helpful. Henne is progressing fine despite a really bad set of ints but he is not ready to be Dan Marino, he should be the occasional passer in a conservative run first offense. Henning should return to conservative play calling. The lines need to step it up, we need to return to ball-control, smash mouth offense, we need to get our starters healthy and get back to winning. All do-able.


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