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Ross skips out on postgame locker room -- again

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano or general manager Jeff Ireland or both have a problem -- and it has nothing to do with what you think.

It doesn't have to do with the fact quarterback Chad Henne is inconsistent and both are tied to Henne as the franchise QB. It has nothing to do with the fact no one in Miami's defensive backfield can be trusted to catch a potential interception delivered directly to the hands. It also has nothing to do with the fact the running game, around which the offense is supposed to be built, has been absent the entire season.

Those problem pale for Miami's top football men compared to this: Owner Stephen Ross is clearly not happy.

And Ross makes the final call on both Sparano's and Ireland's job status.

Ross was at Sunday's 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns at Sun Life Stadium. But when the Dolphins lost, he made himself scarce. Unlike other games in which Ross goes from his suite to the team's locker room, Ross skipped the trip on Sunday.

And it was at least the second home loss after which Ross skipped joining his team in the locker room after the game. He wasn't there after the shutout loss to Chicago Nov. 18. So that's two consecutive games after which Ross does not go see his team.

This, by the way, may not seem significant to you. But how the owner's feels about his team is something the football people must be keenly monitoring if they want to enjoy some sort of job security. And it is clear those absences are a sign of disapproval.

It doesn't end there.

Ross is clearly not happy with Miami's 1-5 home record. That record is terrible for any team, but particularly frustrating for a team that has managed a 5-1 record on the road. Clearly, if a team can win on the road, it should be able to manage some wins at home as well. If that isn't happening, it suggest they are under-achieving at home. Certainly, Sunday's loss to the previously 4-7 Cleveland Browns suggests that.

And that is bad because Ross wants his home games to be fun and entertaining and an event. He has spent many resources -- celebrities, concerts, noise, etc ... -- on making home games a bigtime experience.

The problem is all the appetizer and side dish stuff loses its meaning when the main course, the actual football team, is not palatable on its home turf. What's more, the Dolphins are not only seldom successful at home this year, they are boring in the process.

The Dolphins are averaging 16.3 points per game at home this year. They are averaging 19.5 points on the road.

That is not good. And it is especially not good when the owner is so keen on entertainment and showtime and offering people a compelling reason to attend games.

That leads me to the next issue: The Dolphins have two more home games at Sun Life Stadium this season. Never mind whether they win or lose those games against Buffalo (Dec. 19) and Detroit (Dec. 26).

The fact is neither one of those games is sold out at this time. The fact is, barring some unexpected series of events, neither of those games is likely to sell out in time to avert the local television blackout.

That sets a bad tone, folks. Home games that are not sold out make the owner (more) unhappy.

And that is increasingly an issue for folks like Sparano and Ireland.

[I'll be discussing this very topic on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, today from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. I'm sure the other local morning hosts that read this blog for material will pick up on this, but I would encourage you to listen to me directly so I can share other tidbits on this topic with you. Armando and the Amigo is on 640 Sports in South Florida.]

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Gruden can coach, He can also put a team together, dont forget he was with the raiders for 3 years and brought them to the super bowl...Just saying that at least 3 of the fins loses were due to bad coaching... make that 5 lose's.....

If Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano have hitched their careers to the Henne bandwagon, then they should go with him when he is jettisoned next year. I sincerely doubt that he is the answer to the Dolphin's QB problems. I have no idea why he was drafted to be the future QB. He looks to be a bust like all the other QBs before him and since Dan Marino.

AJ, Just think the fins could have had Brees, not once but twice.....

well that was fun to watch sunday.back to square one again.new gm,new coach,new staff,new qb,new,rb,etc.this a slow clunky team with no speed,not one player on the entire roster thats capable of demanding serious attention as a game changer(if you say marshall thats laughable)3 years of crappy drafts and lousy(actually lousy would be an improvement)free agent decisions have left us with a bloated payroll and no direction,mando,as a 40+ year dolphin fan,i dont know how much more i can stand,happy holidays my fellow fins fans

Ross didn't become a billionare by being a wuss.

I don't think he'll take it laying down. After making the Fins going to the SB comment the only thing he can do now is shake things up to SAVE FACE.

Expect a major change. I'd keep Nolan. The rest are on notice.

The most stupid thing I've heard here is that because Ross sold minority interest in the team, the players aren't performing. Please tell me why that is true. The players aren't performing because some just don't have the skill, and the coaches aren't putting in positions to win. Period.

deytreder........you r VERY SMART .......IT'S ABOUT THE QB NOT THE COACH .WHEN THE COACH HAS A GREAY QB HE ACTS ON THE SIDELINE LIKE HE KNOWS ALL AND WHEN HE DOESN'T HE LOOK LIKE CHILDRESS OR SPARNO .

Chris, Dont give up, When they do finally win the SB it will be worth it......BTW, Your not in your 60s are you, this might take some time brother......

Why people get on Sparano? He didn't throw those balls. In ane case, get on David Lee.

OSCAR, BUT SPARANO DECIDE WHO TO SIGN AND HE DID SIGN CHAD.P .

Listen, Henne is mentally weak. Sometimes you have to impose your Wiil specially in a place where there are more foes than friends

This has been bugging me the past couple of years at home games (even when we were winning them.) When I watch other games on TV, I look at the stands at kickoff and the stadium is packed. Packed and loud. When I go to home games here, the place is half empty at kickoff. I remember a Pats game last year that we were still in at the half, and for the second half kickoff, half the stadium still weren;t back in their seats. When it should've been loud, it was dead!! Now I realize it's hard to get excited about a 6-6 team, but still, you paid for a ticket -- at least be there for kickoff making some noise. Yes, it's different here because there are always so many poeple from the opposing team at the stadium, but still -- our fans have gotten real lazy. And yes, I blame Ross to the degree that there are so many things going on outside the stadium, it gives plenty of reasons for people to not come INTO the stadium. Too many distractions. Even that stupid TV thing he promotes. Why would you want people at the game distracted by watching other games!?! Keep them focused on what's going on at THIS game. Of course, better play would help, but there are plenty of "bad" teams and teams in down years that still have rabid fans.

Aloco, Why must you post under different names, we know it's you........

GET RID OF LEE TOO.

PAT WHITE had a 64-65% completion percentage in college then LEE runs him in to the ground changing his mechanics.

CUBAN, I AM TESTING HOW GOOD YOU R ...10 OUT OF TEN

HOW CAN WE FORGET ABOUT MR LEE ?

At least, when we are away we know we are battling the enemy; but over here they are traitors, man, traitors.

Everyone thinks you can change fundamental things overnight. Well, this game shows you can't. The Miami Dolphins offense is fundamentally flawed. The scheme, the strategy, the philosophy, the coaching and the personnel are all fundamentally flawed. And this isn't one year in the making, not two, but it's been the case during Sparano's entire tenure with this team. The oline is NOT elite. One year they run block effectively but can't pass block. Next year it's just the opposite. And they have significant injuries as the norm. The WRs/TEs are NOT elite. None have breakaway speed and when their QB is floundering no one steps up to help. The RBs are NOT elite. They can't break open games or take over games, they are completely outmatched by opposing defenses. On top of all that, the young QB is horribly inconsistent and a turnover machine.

If Tony Sparano can't fix that fundamental flaw with that part of the team (either by acquiring an OC that can turn things around like Nolan did to the defense, or by lucking into acquiring a good QB) then his job here is done.

I was a strong Sparano/Henne supporter in the past. I didn't think they were the main culprits in this two-step of win one/lose one. But, after this game, I'm starting to see that perhaps they are more culpable than I previously thought. I still think Henne is too young to just throw away as a bust. But I'd be stunned if Miami doesn't try to either draft/trade/pick-up in free agency another QB to compete with him. Yes, it's only Year 2 in Henne's progression. But that game yesterday, when the Browns were just horrible, waiting for Miami to step on the accelerator, and Henne can't put ONE freakin' drive together to win. That's too much to accept, even for a team looking for a QB.

I'm not sure past personnel decisions fall on Sparano. Probably Ireland and Ross.

The stands are empty because Miami has the beach. Would you rather watch waves and pretty girls in bikinis or the fins lose? Most people in Miami under 40 have no reason to be interested in football because they were not alive when Miami last had a real football team.

I really think the reality of the situation needs to sink in after a horrible loss. Yeah the team looks really inconsistent. Solid game last week and a bad game this week. But what can we realistically expect with the hand we are dealt?

I think 2 major points have to be considered at this point:

1)Too many injuries to players in key positions (note I said key positions and not key players...we don't know how some of these guys were going to play this year but with them out we are left playing back ups): W. Allen, Odrick, Edds, Crowder, Merling, Marshall, Pennington & Berger. Not too many teams are capable of overcoming this many injuries.

2) Henne is a young and inexperienced QB. This is his FIRST year as a starter. We have to expect highs and lows. It happens. It will continue to happen well into next season. If, and only if the team keeps patience. But in the end Henne can be a solid starting QB for the Fins.

But most fans and sports writers will lose patience. They will call for Henne's head. That will set this team back 3-4 years. We don't have a number 2 pick. We aren't going to get a great starting QB in the draft with mid-round number one. So, what are we going to to do?

I say stay the course. Our young D-Backs are showing signs of improvement and will get better with experience. Dansby, Dobbins, Misi, Wake, Solai, Langford, Odrick, Starks and Merling are a good front seven and will get better with more time playing together. I would let Crowder go. Dobbins and Edds should do well. Sign another linebacker with #4 or #5 pick.

Focus the majority of the off-season on Offense. Resign Ronnie Brown if he comes at a reasonable price. Use your number one pick for another top receiver to complement Bess and Marshall and hopefully can be used as a real returner. Or use the #1 to replace Ronnie if he leaves. Use #3 on a strong tackle to groom for Carey's replacement (or find a tackle in free agency). Get a solid 2nd tight end.

Last but not least, consider Gruden as a new head coach. Something tells me Henne would do much better with Chucky. If Gruden doesn't come, get rid of Henning and find a new OC. Sounds difficult? I don't think so. We got Nolan as the DC and we are getting better each and every game.

Don't panic, just be patient. It is difficult I know.

LOOK THE OWENER IS NOT TO BLAME. HE BOUGHT THIS MESS. WAYNE GOT BIG EYED WHEN THE GOT THE BIG TUNA. THIS ONES ON HIM. I TOLD YOU THE GAME HAS PASSED HIM BY. THATS WHY HE IS GONE

Plain and Simple. Good Teams know how to win, and Bad teams know how to lose.

This team can't finish games. The Defense puts us in a position to win every game.

Well said DC,Even when the "Elite" QBs(Manning,brees,Rivers,etc.) were on a losing team and struggling you saw glances of greatness even when they lose, With Henne I just dont see that in this guy, I might be wrong but I would bet my last Dollar that in two years he's not even with the mighty air breather........

Let’s hope Ross doesn’t make the mistake that Huizinga made when he kept Wannstedt too long…Sparano has had his chance and he is failing.

DC - the offense has been fundamentally flawed since Shula left. JJ, Wannstache, Saban, Cameron, and now Sparano have all completely failed at building a good offense.

The Beach was here in the 1970's(which by the way it's a piece of crap).

If iam Mr. Ross i will fired SPARANO for not benched henne in the half time a put Thiphen fired henning fired henne and oh yeah everyone except Jake Long, Mr.Ross you wanted to win now and now you have to wait till 2013 or 2014 at least,this season got smoke and done faster than ever remember SEASON OVER SEASON OVER.

Here's how past personnel decisions fall on Sparano. He's the coach. He SHOULD know his team. As a HC, you're basically a motivator. Basically a game manager. If you're team is down, MOTIVATE. If your game plan isn't working, CHANGE IT! If your starter isn't producing, PUT SOMEONE ELSE IN. Personnel is personnel, but football is football.

You're telling me, after 1/2 lousy football, you can't get in there as a coach and COACH up your team? Can't get in their butts? Can't change up the game plan to fit the situation? That rests solely on the coach, not the owner, not the GM, the coach.

Here's the situation, you CANNOT lose another game or your slim Playoff hopes are dashed. Losing is NOT an option. So, your QB is stinking it up. You've already benched him. FRIGGIN' BENCH HIM AGAIN! Maybe Thiggy would have been better. Maybe not. But at least it shows the coach is trying. Go for it on 4th and 2, who cares. Pull out all the stops and win any way you can. That's on the coach. THAT'S how a coach imposes his will on a team. Sparano didn't do everything he could have to force a win there. That's my beef with him.

Thigpen sucks. did you see the Chicago game.

Two Words ROB RYAN.... Sorry folks hes the answer... Gruden and Cowher are Jimmy Johnson waiting to happen. Rob Ryan is a go getter so lets go get em

Oscar in 1970 we had shula and a football team that became a dynasty. Now we have dog food.

And people blaming Ross are asleep. He just took over the team and has made no football decisions, YET. We'll see how he handles this situation soon enough.

Oscar, I believe (And many geologist)that the beach has been here for Millions of years..

Personnel/Draft mistakes have doomed this team for years. What do Matt Ryan, Dez Bryant, Clay Matthews and Desean Jackson all have in common? They all could have been drafted by the 'Fins!!! I'm sure there are more, going back to Flozell Adams!!! Sparano/any coach can only coach the players that are brought in by personnel...

Dolfan13....when your fist you gotta come with more meat and potatoes than that...ITS ROSS'S FAULT......C'mon man.....

next time just say....

1st

Sparano is a good coach. But Ireland/Parcells are horrible. Our talent level is so much worse than the good teams in the league. Too many bad draft picks and FA busts.

I will concee to you, DC, that TS is not a great game planner, but motivator he is. The only time I saw a flat Team of his was the Chicago game and it was very understandable. This Team plays for him. Ask some players.

HEY, LIKE I BEEN SAYING FOR TWO YEARS, SPARANO
IS A MORON. HIS DECISIONS COST MORE LOSSES THAN
THE PLAYERS. HENNING IS BORING, & IRELAND IS A BAD ACORN. PARCELLS IS LEAVING BEACUSE HE SEES THE OWNER IS NOT COMMITED TO FOOTBALL, THE SAME
THAT JERRY JONES IS NOT COMITTED TO WINING. THEY JUST WANT TO BE ON THE SPOTLIGHT. FIRE IRE
LAND, SPARANO, HENNING, SPECIAL TEAMS, SECONDARY COACHES, & UNFORTUNALY HAVE TO START
ALL OVER AGAIN.ALSO GET RID OF HENNE,DOBBINS CROWDER,SEAN SMITH, AND AS MANY OF THE PLAYERS YOU CAN. START ANEW WITH MISI, WAKE,LONG,& A FEW GOOD PLAYERS STILL THERE, & BUILD AROUND THEM.

I notice a tendency in this Blog to protect Ross and attack Sparano. You afraid of your bosses, People?

REX RYAN SAID ........(( MY GUY SANCHEZ WILL HAVE A FEW RINGS AS TOM BRADY ,WE R A SUPER BOWL TEAM B/C OF SANCHEZ )).

P.S..... AT 9-2 HE CAN SAY ANY THING AND I AGREE W/HIM.

Thigpen sucked in Chicago, but helped win the game in Tennessee. I'm not the guy to be defending Thigpen (because I don't think he's very good), but give him a chance. Everyone SAW Henne was off. He didn't have it. So, what, keep doing the same thing and wishing for a different result. Or does the Coach take it into HIS hands and change things up. Maybe Thigpen would have created a spark. Given the Browns a different look they weren't ready for and gotten hot. My point is, TRY! TRY to win. TRY to change mid-stream. Sure it's hard, but good teams with good coaches do it.

Also, I'm sick of hearing about injuries being a problem. Look at the game last night. Big Ben had a broken foot, got a broken nose, and STILL stayed in the game and won it. And these Miami wusses don't play because they have a pull? PLEASE. The ONE thing I like about Parcells is when he came in to the training room and kicked everyone out if they weren't injured. Seems Sparano let that fall by the wayside. I'd go right back to that. If you're constantly hurt, then don't let the door hit you on the way out, we don't need you.

I doubt either sparano or Irland are going anywhere. Hennign will take the fall. We have to draft QB next year.Henne is 8-8 QB. But its better than a 1-15 QB. So until we draft a QB to get us to 10-11 wins we have to keep going with henne. Lets hope a new OC can change him but I doubt that'll happen.

TRADE MARSHALL AND DANSBY TO GO UP IN THE DRAFT OR GET COLB OR SHAWN HILL .

Need a new coach, didn't this organization just get a new head coach? If this franchise gets a new coach, it will be like Tampa Bay in the 80's. It is nice that many organizations draft a franchise quarterback ready to play, Henne has the tools, and is slowly getting better, very slowly, give him time, because you won't get a great prospect where Miami picks and picking quarterbacks early is a crap shoot anyway. Who wants to here anything from an owner anyway, especially a rookie owner.

I have no Boss.

PEople need to stop calling for thigpig. He's not the answer. We do need to draft a QB. I'd fire henning right now and see how henne does with a different OC the rest of the way. Then draft a QB and let them compete in training camp

Tampa has lots of nice beaches in the area, i don't see them having issues with empty seats. Face it Miami fans in the home region suck ass and don't deserve a team albeit a lousy one.

I'm sure to get kolb we'd have to give up a 2nd. Do you remember the last QB we got from philly named AJ feeley for a second? Buyer beware

By the way, NY will win tonight. You can write it down.

Henne will never be the answer. He is a knucklehead with a strong arm. I think his brain is made of dry ice.

been tell'n youz all season.. need a qb.. henne blows chunks..lol

Jeff Ireland: pay attention to ALoco.

Oscar, I was an avid Sparano defender before today. I agree that he motivated his team in the past to play. But, look at NOT just this year, but last as well. Win, loss, win, loss, play great, play bad, play great, play bad. Once, ok, could be a glitch. Twice, ok, everyone getting to know each other. Three times, 4, 5....How long do you go before you see a DEFINABLE pattern? There is a DEFINABLE pattern on this team of playing well one week, then awful the next. There's a definable pattern of one part of your team playing up to par while another is not. And it's a different part each game. There's a pattern there Oscar. And if it's the personnel, why are they so good on the good weeks? Why were they so good against Oakland? Tennessee? Cincinnati? No, I'm sorry, I've played sports (including football). Don't underestimate the importance of a Coach. I've had coaches I was too SCARED to mess up for, or who I respected so much I would do anything to make up for a bad play.

I saw Sparano on the sideline. Yeah, he's yelling in the earpiece, but I didn't see him yelling at his players (like I see Bellicheck do). I didn't see him changing things mid-game, at halftime, 4th quarter. Sparano isn't the leader of this team. Parcells was ALWAYS the leader of his teams, everyone knew that. I doubt anyone thinks the same about Sparano. He's not a leader. He's a bottle in the ocean with a sail. Yeah, he can affect some things, but most of all he's at the mercy of the wind and the sea.

You people calling for henne's head are clueless, when he is allowed to get into a flow, he often runs off long completion streaks, yet we have a senile moron for an OC and a calzone making retard for a head coach. They call stupid plays at the worst times break the flow with the wild cat. Henne is no manning, but if he were allowed he could be above average. Sparano is a clueless moron who is trying to cover his own ass by placing the blame on henne.

nolan. new hc.as soon as today.

My guess is Ross will clean house and that includes Ireland. If he's as smart as we all hope he is, he'll insist on keeping Nolan.

Henne's Career
TDs; 24
INTs: 29

I agree that Ross is a huge part of the problem. Tuna seemed to have us going in a decent direction, but now Ross has turned the franchise into "Club Med" with all these celebrities and parties and nonsense. None of that means sh*t, just give us a damn team we can be proud of, that is going to be competitive. As it stands now, the Detroit Lions are far more competitive than we are.
I think it's time to clean house, and I really don't like this owner at all.
It may be time to find a new team to support.

New GM and hire Mike Martz as the new HC. Keep Mike Nolan as the DC... they are quite young and are getting better and better on that side of the ball. Time to purge the Parcells crud from this team. Martz will produce offense and can judge very quickly if Henne can be salvaged/developed or whether we need to go in a different direction!!! This is a good year for drafting college QBs... some very good prospects coming out!

Remember, DC, that basically, this is a rookie Coach(last 2 years under a strong boot).The part of the Team that has had problems is the Offence. Tony's fault? I don't know yet. Have to give him at least next year.

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