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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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fire sparano and ireland. bring in gruden or cowher. look what dallas has done since they let wade phillips go.

I'm a keep saying this until I'm proven wrong. They are asking Henne to be a game manager. That means don't throw much (yet your RBs can't pick up yards or 1st downs). It means short, high-percentage passes (that means nothing long and take no chances). It means 10-15 play drives without making a mistake (that means no chunk yards). EVERYTHING being asked of Henne is NOTHING that he is. He's a gunslinger, he's a big arm, not too accurate QB. He's young, he's inconsistent, he's a chance-taker. He's being asked to be what he's NOT. How can they win with that?

A smart OC/HC would say, here's what we have (Henne). Here's what else we have (rest of offense). Here's a game plan that plays to his strengths as well as the team's.

But they aren't doing that. You can see the distrust the coaches have in Henne in the play calling. They don't trust him. So, they handcuff him, and he messes it up since he can tell he's not trusted and being handcuffed.

I'm for keeping Henne another year, but if the coaches don't trust him, nothing else matters. If Sparano can't uncuff Henne and trust him, then I'd just get someone else. It'll never work like that.

I agree Joe, Henne may still be the Qb of this team next year or maybe not but I think this team is approaching the San Diego point they were under when they drafted Rivers. Brees got one more shot put the franchise wasn't putting all their faith in him anymore.

I hoped Henne would steal the job in the back half of the season - he got off to a good start then came yesterday. At the very least he should not be the undisputed starter going into the season - he should have to win the job.

Personally, I always loved Ryan Mallett - if he's on the board when the Dolphins pick and they take him - I'd be doing cartwheels. Otherwise, you have to take the best OT or RB on the board. The pick should not be used anywhere else.

getting rid of marshall is another tard statement!

Aloco, Let me ask you, What do Peyton Manning,Drew Brees,Josh Freeman,Sam Bradford,Phillip Rivers,all have in common??????No QB coach, They dont need'em... And remember St.Louis and Detroit were the laughing stock of the NFL, I'll tell you what, The Rams and the Lions are a up and coming team. The Phins?????????? They'll be 8 and 8 next year too... Again, sorry if I insulted anyone...What I'am trying to get accross is these teams are improving, and the fins are not...........

If I were Ross I would put the GM and HC on notice. If I were the HC I would fire the Offensive staff and start over. The Def is fine under Nolan.

yesterday freeman threw a pick at the end for a loss and so did flacco. hmmm

Hello Dolphin Faithful,
I just thought I'd stop in and check the pulse of the fans - Monday mornings can be tough, especially after a nail biter like that. For those of you wondering what his next steps are, your guesses are as good as mine but Mr. Ross is a good man and I know that he takes these losses personally, so hang in there fans.

Losing to Cleveland is bittersweet, because it was against the Browns that Dan tore his Achilles tendon, but also where I got my start in the league. Most of all I remember that it was against Cleveland that we had a comeback win in the playoffs after being down 21-3 in the 2nd half. Of course, Dan was a special player and you need those, but it just goes to show anything is possible.

Well its been good to check in and see so many concerned fans expressing their opinions. Go Dolphins!

Don Shula

nolan is genius. he puts these kids in the perfect place to make picks and they drop it. but i still love this young D and what they can do in the future.

ALoco, because they are professionals. I don't make as much as lots of people on my job, yet I go above and beyond ALL THE TIME because of personal pride and professionalism. You're all into contracts, but that's a tiny, tiny part of team cohesion. These guys all know which positions get paid the most. You think Bess isn't happy he's even IN the NFL. Dude, look beyond the money, it's really not that important.

Everyone on here last year knew the Dolphins didn't have enough good WRs. Everyone in the LEAGUE knew that. They HAD to get a Brandon Marshall-type player. Dez Bryant WOULD NOT have been good enough. You needed a proven veteran like Marshall, someone who knows how to get open in the NFL (not has to learn it). And can teach the other guys. If that's the case, then they knew they'd have to pay to get a player of that caliber.

So I don't believe anyone in the team is shocked or even upset at Marshall or Dansby's salaries. They might want to be paid more, but not at the expense of getting rid of talent already on the team. Your theory is full of holes my man, that's what you need to understand.

What does it take to realize the team just plain sucks? Ok, we have some bright spots on defense, but as a whole, the team is lucky to be 6-6. This team together with this coaching staff will never get beyond mediocrity. Buffalo in one season is improving faster than we are. NE has enough draft picks to keep ahead of us for another 2 - 3 years. Since 1 - 15, we had one year forward and then two straight years backwards. Time to cut your loses, and move forward. Lingering with this crappy team won't make it smell any better.

Time to raid the Ravens, Steelers, or Eagles for our next GM. They are never short on talent & know how to accumulate picks. And for those who want Cowher as our next coach pay close attention if Peterson is signed as GM because Cowher was DC under Marty Shottenheimer when Peterson was GM in KC.

Cuban, 8-8 is progress from last year. Tiny progress, but progress no less.

DC-- I don't buy that anymore. Henne was timid early in the season and held the ball too long. We thought that was the coaches' fault--but then they benched him for it. They have wanted him to take his shots down the field when the opportunity was there, and he was too slow. After the benching he was obviously making faster decisions, and looked great against the Raiders. What we saw yeaterday were good decisions, appropriate timing and shots down the field where Henne just made bad throws. You can't blame that on Sparano, Ireland, Henning, Ross, Fergie or anybody else. We don't know what the called plays were supposed to look like because Henne doesn't make them. Our receivers beat the Cleveland secondary all day long--they aren't getting enough credit. They are good. Henne is not.

DC, Aloco is now on a "HUFFING" spree of paint thinner and glue now for the past 24 hours.....(It started on the opening KO) yesterday........

keep irlend and tony. just draft a new qb. dont fire the front office that is dumb

if u fire the front office then your looking another rebulding what 3 more years

Sparano and Ireland get another year with the CBA we have. But they need to draft a QB and a new OC. Henne can hold the line until the new QB is ready to take over.
I can guarantee you that henne will have to compete to start next year. It won't be handed to him

DC....don't confuse a BIG ARM...dor a gun slinger....a gun slinger is a mentality....and I got to disagree...enning and Sporano have given Henne every chance....

1. named him as the starter at the end of a 3 straight loss leason

2. have thrown more than 30 times on multiple occasions....against some good teams to include NE

3. We threw from our own ENZONE yesterday...you don't do that if you don't trust your QB

Yesterday when the WILDCAT was forced back to life in the 3rd quarter (after INT 2) for extended use you witnessed the end of the Henne era in Miami....mark my words....coaches have no confidence in him now......either Sporano goes or Henne goes

Kris, Both need to go the way of"OLD YELLOW"........

Please bring in some people that know talent and can draft and put together a real team. Ireland is a tool and got the job by nepotism because his daddy was an NFL exec with the Bears. Most of these teamns are made up of the good ol boy system with scouts and coaches. I honestly think some fans would do a better job of fielding a team then these losers that are in place.

Why did we extend Carey, Fasano and Crowder? They are serviceable at best but this regime gives them big money contract extensions. And what about all the huge misses in FA.

Scouts, gm's and coaches are overated when it comes to judging talent. How many college games do coaches watch u think ? None thats how many, because they can't sit there all day on saturday like a scout or a fan. Then they go to the Senior Bowl for a week and think they know what players are good.

Front office is fine. They've built a hard-nosed football team, and assembled some fine players. We can't get it done with Henne. And no, we won't be an elite team with a rookie QB, either. Maybe 2 years from now, if we are lucky. We need to acquire at least an average NFL-grade QB. If we had one of those, we'd be a legitimate playoff team, even in the AFC East. Good bless Coach Shula--best ever!

I dont know why but it seems to me like a lot of the folks in here probably voted for O'bama. I bet these same folks probably want him out of office now. Just an analogy

Cmon guys are you seriously blaming the home losses on the fact that Ross brings Celebrities around the stadium on game day and that has the players distracted. The only thing your proving is your lack of football knowledge.

I was in Cincinnati for one of their road wins, but it was hardly a work of art. This team is up and down like their record indicates. They play like a superbowl contender one week and then the next like a lost football team in a rebuild.

I like Sparano as a motivator, but his knowledge and in game adjustments just arnt cutting it to get this team to where it needs to be overall.

I can see Ross cleaning house and it wouldnt surprise me if he did so. These guys were given to him when he bought the dolphins and as we all know, Ross has put his stamp on the Dolphin brand everywhere except on the field so you know he cant wait to hire his own guys to improve the on field product

lol @ Cuban....I think Sporano gets a fourth year.....wether I like it or not.....not giving it to him would not make sense....unless we lose out

I truly believe that coach Sparano is not ready for the head coach position, he does not come up with very good game plan with his OC, and during the games there seems to be problems lingering from week to week on how to score points. The Defense is good, but if the Offense only score 13 points at home how many games can you actually win week in and week out? Ross did not bring in the Trifecta,so from his stand point he will bring in his own people, is a business decision......

Give me a break - Gruden??? Didn't he inherit a team with talent. A one year wonder. Wasn't he let go? Let's get a proven leader - Cowher. He has the fire and the coaching prowness, a proven coach.

Cowher teams has always been competitive. I was for giving Ireland and Sparano another year but if we are going to change now we need someone other than Gruden.


I don't trust billionaires to build football teams. Activist owners build bad teams--Raiders, Redskins, Cowboys. Nobody can tell them anything, even when what they're doing is obviously crazy. Ross needs to write the checks and leave the football guys alone. All we need is a QB. The fans will start going to games again when the games don't make them want to beat their heads against the sidewalk.

kris, that's what I'm getting at. If the coaches believe it's Henne, then he should go (no matter what he "could" be someday.) The coach has to trust his player, or else you get crap. So if that's what they believe, then get rid of Henne yesterday.

I personally think it's the mediocrity of the offensive system that ensuring Henne doesn't progress, but I agree with you, yesterday, you can't really blame anyone but Henne for the majority of that loss.

Either way, Henning/Henne/Sparano/Ireland....at least 1 will be gone after the season, possibly all of them.

Of course Ross is pissed. Chad Henne is the next Dan Marino. Or so he thought. I proclaim a radical idea. Make the fans collective GM's. Have online votes for FA & the draft. Best percentage for a player gets the nod. Then we have only ourselves to blame when things go wrong.

Henning is gone for sure, but I don't believe Henning deserves all the crap he has taken from us, me included. Henne needs to go. Sparano and Ireland are superbowl grade and need to stay as long as we can keep them.

It was never more blatantly obvious than yesterday. They have lost confidence in Henne. Previously they didn't have handcuffs on him so much like every suggested, they put them on yesterday. They went so much with the WC because it was apparent Henne was in a fog since that first int to Hartline. Henne is a QB that will always be capable of having a couple of hot streak quarters, but he will never be consistent and never be a great leader. Seems like he looks for others to lead him.

If I'm Ross, here's what I do. Fire ALL coaches cept Nolan. I make him HC. I find a GM who KNOWS how to draft! Enough of guys with size. Time to draft Football Players! As far as personnel goes, I fill the holes through FA as much as possible until a new GM proves he can find good talent!:

Resign Ricky 1 year & sign a guy like Michael Bush from Oakland. Temporary, maybe long term fix & can find Rb's a dime a dozen.

Sign a guy like S. Breaston, S. Rice, M. Floyd, to add some outside speed.

ST - If you can, sign B. Smith!

Sign a Ryan Kalil at C. Move garner to RT & Sign a guy like D. Colledge from GB to be LG

Sign 2 DB's like R. Marshall, T. WIlliams, E. Wright, I. Tyalor, K. Jennings to replace Smith & Sapp.

Sign a Safety alla Q. Mikkel, D. Landry, A. Bigby, D. grant, M. Johnson, A. Ball.

ncfinfan, you can't be a SuperBowl-grade coach and have 1 really good game where your decisions won the game for the team (NE game in '08). That's one game in 3 years that Sparano won. I can count about 10 where he had a hand in losing. So, that's not SuperBowl grade to me.

Let's not get drunk on hyperbole. You may think Sparano/Ireland are good. Best we've had in awhile, even above average. But nothing in the last 3 years has given them "SuperBowl-grade" status. I don't think anyone in the NFL would agree with that statement.

DC...my problem with getting a new OC is this....now I will have to read about how Henne is on his 2nd OC in 2 years...(yes will be argued it is year 2)...and how he has to adjust and learn the new system.....by the time 2013/14 roll aroud we will have had this conversation 100 times....

Without throwing Henne under the bus SPorano and Henning have made it as CLEAR AS DAY...that he is missing something....PARCELLS siad something wasn't right and packed his office and left...what will it take for us to get it?

We're fine at safety. Bell is awesome and I like the way Clemmons hits. What did you see yesterday that makes you want to pick on the safeties?


Now I'm gonna be watching the bowl games to see who would be a good QB for us going forward

NC, Bell is going to be 33 years old & Clemmons is ALWAYS late getting over the top. Almost every game he is late only to be saved by a bad or late throw which he has time to recover. Move Jones to SS, where he is probably more comfortable and find a better FS. I don't just look at the last game. Look at the entire season, the plays made on the FS & the lack of plays from the FS position makes it a position of need.

Let's not forget Clemmons was not the guy they wanted anyway. They made a play for Rolle & Clark that failed. I think we've all seen why they tried.

The only reasone to watch NFL the rest of the year is to root for anyone the Jets are playing. We're not going anywhere lets hope the Jets don't either.

DC--I credit the coaches with more than just trick plays and the wildcat out of desperation. Coaches are responsible for more than that. The attitude of this team is noticeably improved over recent years. They are a tough, hard-hitting team, and noone in the NFL would disagree with that. We have a lot of the pieces in place. With a decent QB, we would have had a shot at deep playoff run with this team. I absolutely hope Sparano gets to finish the job, and I have no doubt he'd get us there.

any one has an idea for good recipe for swiss chard ?

he know about qb play? buffalo bill,whats the matter? nothing to read about after yesterdays debacle in minnesota? stay off this blog @#$hole! take away 4 yrs and buffalo has been a bigger laughing stock than the jets.what the $%^K do you know about qb play? your horrible team has been a joke since kelly retired! #$@$ you!!

Parcells packed his bags but forgot some of them, the rest of his coaching staff!
Clean House is the Answer.
There is no Man of the House here.
These kids are Lost!

Jon Gruden is available, correct? He wants to stay living in Florida, correct? He presumably wants to coach again in the NFL, correct? Stephen Ross is a big fan of Jon Gruden, is he not? Maybe Chucky will be coaching a team next season that plays in Sun Life Stadium, after all. Or 2012, depending on what happens with the collective bargaining agreement.

No offense to Tony Sparano, who really seems like a good guy, but hiring Jon Gruden would rejuvenate the Dolphins fan base and give fans some hope for the future. The fact is Chad Henne is not the long-term answer at quarterback. He's too inconsistent, and his learning curve has plateaued this season. I think Henne has shown all he will ever be as a starting quarterback in the NFL. He's average some games, decent in others, and flat-out horrendous in games like yesterday. Henne also lacks the "it" factor that the quarterbacks of winning teams have. Drew Brees has "it." Tom Brady has "it." Peyton Manning has "it." Ben Roethlisberger has "it." Aaron Rodgers has "it." Hell, even Mark Sanchez has shown glimpses this season that he has "it."

If not Jon Gruden, then maybe Stephen Ross should consider promoting Mike Nolan to head coach. His done well with the defense this season. That has to count for something.

This team is not tough...the mark of a tough team is running the ball....can we run the ball??? we were tough last year...we were over achevers the year before...this team is often injured....can't keep the staters on the feild....one of the ILBs has played less than half the season (and has quite a fan base for some reason).....

Miami is getting soft...and losing is a cancer that spreads thru-out the entire orginization...we have to cleanse ourselves of this losing

Boulder, I wouldn't worry about the Jets. After the season, ALLOT of their best players will be FA's. With the money they gave Mangold, Ferguson & Revis already, they can't retain many more, if any, of them. It's a 1 shot deal for them this year really. Big name FA's next season include Edwards, Holmes, Harris, Cromartie, E. Smith, B. Pool, D. Coleman, S. Ellis, B. Smith.

Let them have their fun this year, while it lasts.

Is it my imagination or are there only about 4 bloggers here that each use several different names?

FIRE HENNING RIGHT NOW!! Only way Sparano saves his job.


Frankly, I could care less who we keep and who we get rid of. But we're going on 2 decades as a mediocre team. The last three years have only been more of the same.

That's fine if Henne isn't the answer. Kris, you said you don't want to get rid of the OC for the sake of continuity. Do you really think there will be continuity if you get rid of the QB? Do you really think anything will be different if you don't get rid of anybody?

At Year 3, it's evident that THIS team, as it's put together, can't win consistently. If nothing else, that should be clearly evident to all of us. So, something's gotta give. Either the player, the coach OR the GM gotta go. To me, it's stupid to get rid of Ireland because he's acquiring players that "supposedly" fit the system the coaches have. I agree finfan, Sparano probably deserves at least one more year to make it happen. So that leaves Henning/Henne.

Kris, I think continuity is important. But not continuing a mediocre offensive system (like Henning's system is on it's best day). Plus, Henning is too old without the fire anymore to WANT to change. He wants everyone to change to him. I'd like a younger OC in there, just as common sense that a younger guy will have more strength to make changes. Experience can work both ways (as a plus and a negative). I think, with Henning, it's acting like a negative.

Now, if you want to change the OC and the QB, fine. If just the OC, fine. I don't care. But I don't want to go through another year with the same coach, same OC, same QB, and expect a different result. That's the definition of insanity.

Joe Schmoe, ur right on the Jets. When a new cap comes in the Jets are going to have trouble. They are going for it this year. All i have to say is GO PATS

we spent 3 weeks in august at camp watching full practices. our initial excitement soon turned to outright deep concern for the qb position. armando even posted my observations in a blog without telling me first. penne was a pro but couldnt throw a 15 yd "out". his arm was gone;we couldnt believe they signed him to a contract and gave him practice snaps. henne was annointed "qb of the future;the next marino". he never won the job;he didnt seize the job,he didnt lead the team. in fact he couldnt even move the team down the field in practice. he either killed a play or checked it down; very disappointing to us fans who wanted to "believe". henne never showed development from the previous year. i expressed these thoughts in august(unpopular at that time but true observations).

ALoco, Swiss chard, olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Cut the shard, put in pan with EVOO, garlic, salt (sea salt) and pepper, cook until chard is wilted.

Very simple, but DELICIOUS!! Make sure the chard is fresh or else it'll be awful.

Bobby, there are 3 of their guys I would KILL to have on this team. Harris @ ILB with Dansby? Killer! Half the cap would be at ILB lol

Brad Smith as a WR with some speed & his KR/PR/Wildcat abilities...great need filler!

And B. Pool would be a good addition at Safety for Clemmons.

To Fire our Staff is Not Starting over!
When parcells left the Ship on Auto-pilate, It was Bound to crash n burn eventually.
He ended the Era when he packed. The problem is we have Not Started Over Yet.
Cheers! To a New Beginning!!!

So funny, guys call for Gruden yet Gruden is a HUGE Henne fan

Gruden also had one of the worst & boring offenses in the NFL at the end of his tenure in TB. It wasn't so electric to begin with, they won with a defense he inherited that not many teams will ever have.

lets trade henne for tedd ginn jr and two tons of swiss chard. the greens will clear the teams bowels, making them all faster.

dc, i love your recipe ,it's simple ,if i don't like it i will blame you .

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