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Ross to consider many things, including $$$$$

The Miami Dolphins are not a disaster. Let's get that clear right from the top.

The team was a disaster three years ago when Bill Parcells was hired and he, in turn, hired general manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Tony Sparano. In the last three years, Miami hasn't won a championship, but neither has is it become a stagnant organization.

The Dolphins are probably four or five starters from being a Super Bowl contender -- a quarterback, a running back, someone in the defensive backfield that is a dynamic playmaker, a speed receiver, and probably a really good interior offensive lineman.

[UPDATE: Some of you are noting that four or five starters is a lot to ask. Really? Miami's defense this year has a new NT, SOLB, MILB, WOLB, and FS. It would be five new starters if first round pick Jared Odrick had not been injured, which would have put him at RDE and Starks a first-time starter at NT. And the defense went from tied for 25th in the NFL in points allowed to tied for No. 9 currently. Miami's offense is 29th in the NFL in points scored now.]

It is against that backdrop that owner Stephen Ross will decide in the next couple of weeks whether to retain Ireland and Sparano or cut ties and search for a "star" head coach. A "star" coach, by the way, almost certainly comes with his own choice for a general manager, which is why Ireland is in play in this scenario, and his own staff.

Ross would fire Sparano only if he believes he can improve the situation with that star coach, I'm told by one person familiar with the owner's thinking.


Because, at its roots, this decision on a coach is a money decision. Ross hates losing, which is good reason enough, but beyond that, he is bitterly disappointed his grand plan to make Dolphins home games an experience and an event has been spoiled by the fact Miami finished 1-7 at home this year.

It doesn't matter how many concerts, celebrities and face-painters you have at the stadium on game days if the team on the field doesn't win. Fans cannot go home happy without victories. And those that go home frustrated, upset and angry are apt not to come back.

Beyond that, the fans Ross wants to attract who now have reasons to stay away are likely to continue finding other activities to fill their game days.

So Ross is apparently under pressure from within his own circle to make a change.

Those people are telling Ross that a star coach will reinvigorate the fan base, increase season ticket sales, and ultimately help Miami win. Notice the order I just gave you. Some of the business-marketing-partnership people talking to Ross see the business side of changing a coach first and the on-field result as almost secondary.

Money is first in their minds.

So, again, money is a major variable in this coming decision. Well, here's a money matter Ross should weigh before he makes his decision:

If he fires Sparano and brings in a "star" coach who then brings his own general manager type, the cost is going to be exceptional. Ross will be on the hook for paying the final year of Sparano's contract (approximately $3 million), he'll be on the hook for Ireland (approximately $2 million), he'll be on the hook for Bill Parcells ($4 million), he'll be on the hook for assistants (including Mike Nolan), and he hasn't even started paying the folks that will be actually working for him.

Ross will have to pay that "star" coach and that will cost approximately $6-$8 million. He'll have to pay for the new GM, which will be another $2 million or so, and of course, he'll be paying for a new coaching staff while stay paying off the contracts of the assistants still under contract that the new coach does not retain.

Do the math. Changing administrations could cost Ross between $18-$24 million.

No big deal, you say? Really?

Are you aware Ross moved heaven and earth to try to work a $7.9 million relief on his stadium debt payments recently? I'm not saying he's counting his pennies, but I am saying he's not going to dismiss having to possibly pony up $24 million to make a change without some serious thought.

The argument from the business people might be that Ross will make back the money in season-ticket sales. The Dolphins were slightly over 50,000 season tickets this year and believe a new "star" coach could push them another 6,700 to 10,000 more, depending on who it is and what moves the new guy makes in free agency and the draft.

That is, of course, a short-term view of the situation.

It should be noted when Jimmy Johnson took over from Don Shula in 1996, season ticket sales jumped by about 7,000. And the next year they fell back by about 5,000.

When Nick Saban, the hot coach at the time, took over in 2006, season sales actually fell by 2,000. And the hiring of Parcells as the Football Czar didn't help one iota, as sales fell off the table after 2007 from 54,646 to 46,131.

The point is the hiring of a big name doesn't come with a guarantee that ticket sales will soar. And when they have soared in the past, they have leveled off the following year.

So the season ticket argument is a short-sighted one, if history is to be believed.

Think about that. Stephen Ross probably will.


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Phil76...haven't you read....Chowder is a SHUT-DOWN LB....yo know...like a shut-down corner......lol

Sorry Mark and DB....but you had to know that would resurface sooner or later.....

lol Kris

If we keep TS and they draft a QB how good are we going to be next year? Not very good. We need an O line. Tony needs to stop the training camp stuff of shuffling the line around every other practice like hes done the last few years and build something. After three years this line is below average. Why do you think our running game has declined so much and Henne has two seconds most of the time to get a pass off. This staff said it three years ago..it starts in the trenches. That is what they focused on and failed when it comes to the O line. Im not sure if TS can be a good Head coach.

don't worry 1 more season of hell if they stay. maybe ross will get a clue after next season, when all the fans are gone.

Davis is our only corner; cause everyone knows smith cant hold on to the ball

Whoever the Coach is, the 2011 Dolphins need to be BALANCED and CONSISTENT!

I'm sick of these games where one side shows up and the other is asleep (including ST).

18 to 24 mill in a year when there may be no football? I`d keep the current team of coaches.

As for future QB`s what will the cost of Kevin Kolb as our number one?

I think it's a VERY dangerous situation when your 'business' people are making decisions based on money rather the decisions on the field. We as fans shouldn't care about the business side, as much as the business side. Put a winning product on the field and the fans will support the product on the field. I've said for awhile now that the fans won't show up to support a 'name' coach. The numbers back that up. Stop the circus and let the 'football' people run the show. I think Parcells saw this coming and it's one of the reasons he's not here any more.

DC...I see both sides...i really do.....I believe Mr. Ross know that Tony Sporano has been tremendous for the Miami Dolphins...just tremendous....

Last week Tony Sporano only had 18 minuses in the game he coached...that is is lowest amount of minuses in 3 years!!! I can see improvement...I really do

The bigger question is who do you bring in as OC?? Felt at the start of the season the O had no identity. It turned out to be true.

Who Do you get to put an identity on the O??

If we keep Sparano and Ireland who do they have connections with?? Maybe with a better QB their way works??

We are in desperate need of Offensive Creativity who with that MO is going to be available??

I think I would bring in Linehart and Mcnabb to create the utltimate QB competion. But that means you still need RB and o-line help.

Give me a good reliable Qb and a hungry OC and we are a better team. Oh spend the draft on O-line not QB, Wr, or RB. Resighn the RB's we have.

Go Dolphins!

Ok I wanted Mr Ross to clean house, we need a Qb Chad is not the answer back-up yes. I say now keep them give them one more year but I also want him to sign Ricky and Ronnie and offince line will help them.Let's look at the last 15 games and how many game did Chad Henne lose for the team I can think of at least four games get a QB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I live in New England and hate the Pats please get a QB

As many of you have commented about the 5 new starters thought, please check the update I posted on the blog.

It explains the thinking and gives some perspective that 5 new guys isn't unrealistic. And no, I did not mean 5 super stars. They need five good players. Good. Doesn't have to be great. Although great would be nice, no doubt.

You guys want to trash Sparano all the time but take a look at the situation in Houston. Gary Kubiak has had FIVE years to get his team to the playoffs and has NEVER gotten there. A lot of people thought they would win their division this year but they are currently sitting at 5-10 and a mess! So should the owner be showing this guy the door? No, the talk is to bring in Wade Phillips to run the defence. Seems like a pretty smart move to me. Seems like very similar to our situation here in Miami. Part of the team is broken, so a new co-ordinator and players are needed. Makes sense to me.

C'mon Kris, that's not fair. 3 of those minuses were caused by the Sun when Tony accidentally lost his sunglasses and was temporarily blinded.

Another 11 was due to execution by the players.

And another 3 was due to air quality, which was deemed poor by the Farmer's Almanac.

So you see, Tony really only had 1 minus last Sunday, that he was Coaching the team.


A-R.BROWN NEEDS 35 YARDS TO REACH 750 .......................





I agree the team is probably 4-5 players away from being competitive and to me the biggest ADD will be a new co-ordinator for the offence, in the ame way that Nolan was probably our biggest add last year. I'm looking at someone for our OL, a running back, another WR, a pass catching TE and probably someone to replace Crowder. Is that players Epps? Maybe. You're not going to get the quarterback you want. You're going to get a journeyman like Bulger or Derek Anderson....maybe a Matt Moore. This guy is not going to come in and be the automatic number one. Realistically, if Henne doesn't wotrk out we target a number one in the 2012 draft.

Someone has placed a flamingo liver on my robot.


As Home said b4

Bill Cowher will put fannies in the seats but
being aware of the huge financial loss
Believe Ross has spent way too much on his investment toy already and is very disappointed on the return in pride & equity

Believe the only real change is new hopefully real good OC and offensive strategies to actually score TDs (what a concept!)

have a HAARPy new year :(

I read this blog a lot and a couple of you guys are ok but most of you are really stupid.


Sure we may only a few pieces away. But one of those pieces is a huge one. It is the one position we all have been debating, and the most important position on the field. Quarterback! I don't know how we solve this problem. We can hope to sign a quality veteran, of find a quarterback via the draft. Even hope that Henne gets stung by some strange form of African I know how to play quarterback bug. This is so much easier to talk about and wish for. Then in reality doing, or finding.

I would think that we could realistically add two guys in FA that would be starters and three guys in the draft. I still think we will end up getting our second round pick back, so I think that realistically we could end up with our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd or 4th starting the year for us. Somewhere in there we need to get a RB, OL help, a pass catching tight end, a WR and either another ILB or CB.

Miami is one of the worst NFL towns in the league says Jeff. Truer words were never spoke. I grew up in Miami and can tell you the fan base never supported a losing team. Only when Shula came on board in 1970 and built a rock solid team did the fans show up. Everyone knows what happened then. But honestly, the bulk of Miami fans have been the fair weather types.

I also believe this will be a deeper FA crop, mainly because of the CBA and the uncertainty that surrounds it and the fact that a lot of guys last year who should have been UFA were kept as RFA. That will change this year.

If Ross waits one more season to see if Sparano has it in him to turn this around it won't cost him jack to move on if it don't work. my bet is Ross takes that route we will be way more aggressive this year with the coach and GM drafting and signing with their jobs at stake.

Mando, I think it's not a wild idea to say the offense is five players and a new OC away.

CraigM, the only way Sparano can redeem himself (if he's retained) is if he denounces his overall outlook to this team for the past 3 years. He/Ireland need a new vision of the prototypical football player (with speed and football smarts being the biggest factors). He needs to become more aggressive in his overall game planning. He needs to improve his game management. He needs to stabilize the ST and realize that is one phase of the game's 3 phases. And, since he IS an oline Coach and that unit IS the highest-paid on the team, he needs to greatly improve the oline.

And, MOST importantly, if he DOES something to TRY to fix some of those things, and they DON'T work, he needs to be more proactive to CHANGE quicker, instead of waiting all season to see the same movie again and again.

That's a lot to ask someone to do, it's fundamentally changing who you are. Tony's done it with his weight, can he do it with his football intelligence? I ask you.

Armando...nice follow up....glad to see your still reading the blog and answering your critics....

Finheavenblow....or whatever your name is.....there is your proof that you don't have to kiss Armando's ass.....this is a blog we don't have to agree with Armando.....this is why we are given this forum to voice OUR OPINIONS....respectfully.....

I would have more to say but NOT fighting on the internet is one of my news years resolutions....debate yes...fighting with those who clearly have no reasoning skills NO.....

Happy New Year!

The co-ordinators are more important than the Head Coach - I'd rather spend the money on on the field talent and co-ordinators. That will make the biggest difference to season ticket sales and the bottom line.

In my opinion 3 years is long enough to evaluate our current management team, and what the 3 years has proved is that with the current staff in place we are "just good enough to lose" We play conservative, with no killer instinct. Staff has no confodence in Henne, and although i blame Henning's play calling, I can't blame him for being conservative that much..When in a big spot Henne stinks. Plain and simple. Hate to compare to Marino but even though we didn't win a title with Marino you never felt out of a game he kept you interested, this team is boring to watch, when we are behind I have no confidence we are coming back. Memo to Mr. Ross "it's the product on the field that counts" fans aren't stupid. win on the field and the rest will fall in to place.

Still Armando, its just too difficult to say 5 players away. That assumes all the good players we have this year play just as good next year, and that never happens, players fall off (Henne, Ronnie, Starks this year), some pick up, too many unpredictables to quantify it. Could simply be 2 great players get us over the hump, could be 8 won't do it. It can also be said that the difference between a really good team and a really average team is smaller than most people realize. We could have so easily won an extra 3 games this year, and the Jets could have so easily lost an extra 3.

Please be part of the feather carnival in China! You will extend your rubber plantation across the squirell and speak French to miniature lesbians on powder cakes! The square will dissolve the arrow and my pineapple floats on shaved hyenas.



Got to say I'm leaning toward agreeing with Marshall on this one. Keep Sparano, OC - gone, QB - must be upgraded to compete in the AFC East.

Actually I think you are all either very stupid, very young, or have no life experience whatsoever. You have just no clue how things work in general. It's like listening to a 8 year olds view of the world.

Funny, but retaining Sparano is probably the best thing that could happen to people who don't want to see Henne as the starter next year (so it's like, who do you want to see gone more?).

Think about it, Sparano OBVIOUSLY has no confidence in Henne. He/Henning are basically sh**ting in their pants everytime the offense goes on the field. So, if Sparano stays, he'll move MOUNTAINS to find a replacement for Henne. You really think he's going to place his career in Henne's hands for ANOTHER year? Not a chance.



The fact of the matter is you are fabricating the entire thing. You don't have any "sources" any more than you have secret x-ray vision.

Stop the nonsense. And please take a remedial English class. You communicate at the level of a 4th-grader.



I'm not exactly sure what you would have liked to have seen Sparano do differently this year. The reality is he didn't have the troops on offence. Outside of Marshall and Long, name me another potential Pro Bowl player on the team. Name me a guy on the offence who had a career year? And you can't put all of that on Sparano. The play-calling was conservative because we don't have the troops to get it down on offence. Let's look at the offence. Hartline and Bess....average to above average. Fasano....very average! Offensive line, outside of Lon, pretty much a mess! The running game, pretty much non-existent. You look at our backs and you've got a 34 year old Williams and broken down Ronnie Brown. What is it you think we should have been doing this year that we didn't. Where's the guys to stretch the field? Where's the pass-catching TE? How many double TE schemes did we use that the Pats used successfully this year?

Not sure I agree. I think between Sparano and Henning, Sparano is the Henne guy. After all it was Sparano who proclaimed Henne graded out last week higher than in any game in two years. If that's the case God help us all. I think Sparano will go out and get QBs because he will be pressured to do so and not because he wants to. In any event don't see Henne going anywhere in 2011, except maybe the bench.

As frustrating as this season has been, Armando is right. We have a core of players alot of other teams would be jealous of. Long, V Davis, Marshall, Wake, Dansby and a few others are all amongst the best in the league at what they do. We also have some up & commers in Solai, young DB's (if they could hang onto the ball), Jerry. And a really good D-Line as well as very good K and P. Its really not that hard of a fix:

1. New OC. Looks like Kubiak is staying in Hou. Hope there is someone of his caliber available
2. Cobbs must go in favor of a speedier, shiftier version. (why this guy is involved in so many key plays is a mystery to me, he is neither fast or elusive)
3. Ditto for Hartline. I like the guy, but he is the wrong compliment to Marshall/Bess.
4. Another good LB wouldnt hurt
5. Hope that a new OC and/or QB coach can get Henne to turn the corner. It'll be his 3rd year as a starter and thats usually the time frame good QB's make the leap and have the game slow down for them. I know the Henne lynch mob will shudder at the thought of Chad for another year, but the alternatives are McNabb, Palmer or an 8 year project like Cam Newton. I'll give Chad 1 more year with a new OC if those are my other choices

You have "sources" that tell you Henne and Marshall "nearly came to blows" after the Lions game?

Complete and unadulterated BS, dude. You're COMPLETELY full of it.

Are these the same "sources" that communicate to you from the home planet through your tinfoil hat?

Assuming that the draft goes exactly as needed, and that current management/coaching can greatly improve their history and select the right players and not keep missing on the very few selections that we have available this year...and assuming that we can put together a good O-Line.... and assuming that Sparano improves his game management, preparation, and halftime adjustments....and assuming somehow that the Pats and Jets regress, and the Bills don't improve...and assuming we can defeat San Diego, Dallas, KC, and the Giants on the road...oh, and sneak out with one road win against the Bills, Pats, Jets...and beat Philly at home....

BACK TO FOOTBALL, happy new year dennise .

sparano will stay


I think you're reading into things too much. 'Move the mountains' to find another QB for next season. Like what? Has he become a magician or something? Tell me who is MAGICALLY going to help this team next season? Henne will be the starter again next year unless somebody clearly shows as a better option in camp and I don't see someone like Derek Anderson or Matt Moore beating him out.

5 pieces away from a Super Bowl ... what team in the NFL isn't 5 pieces away? I would point out that one of those pieces has been missing for ohhhhh, I don't know, about fifteen years. So yeah, get yourself a QB, which no regime in the past 15 years has been able to do, and four more great players and you will be a contender. Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo are about 5 pieces away too and they just swept this "Empire of Dirt" (or is it just a team that is not a disaster???).

Dennis...Aloco also told us for sure Gruden was going to the Miami Canes and Aaron Rodgers was retiring with brain damage...don't take him too seriously. I think he just gets carried away with his imagination.

DC...This isn't about Henne. or Sparano as individuals. I see your point, but disagree. Here is why. We aren't in a position to make an earthshakin trade. So the leftovers at quarterback are looking a little unappatizing. Sure there will be a few retreads signed. But all will most likley be in a new system. All will be starting over. And maybe the system is like freshman math, and it becomes Hennes favorite class. The other quaretbacks brought in hate math, and Henne wins the job. There are to many variables to just think that Sparano has to part ways with Henne. If your statement is true why wouldn't he release him?

Not so fast, ALoco.

I think the good folks here deserve an explanation as to why you feel the need to fabricate imaginary stories about the Dolphins.

The fact of the matter is that you have NO sources. There never WAS any blowup between Henne and Marshall.

You simply sit there---a grown man, mind you!---and make up juvenile little stories and then pass them along as if they are fact.

What a sad little man.

Dennis...Aloco also told us for sure Gruden was going to the Miami Canes and Aaron Rodgers was retiring with brain damage...don't take him too seriously. I think he just gets carried away with his imagination.

Posted by: 0x80 | December 31, 2010 at 11:56 AM

He's impossible to take seriously, agreed. I just hate it when people are obviously fabricating things and try to get people to believe their nonsense.

x80, i also told you that sparano had a meeting w/ross that he will stay as HC

Guys, you all know I'm still a Henne backer. I've said time and time again that most of the problems this year aren't his fault. 2011 is the wrong year to be drafting a QB in the first round. The quality and depth isn't there and there are too many other needs that have to be taken care of and we're still missing our second round pick. If things don't get better with Henne QBing this year, I will concede that we draft a QB in the first round in 2012. I want to se what a new OC can do with Henne and after other changes have been made before I write off a 25 year old QB.

The story that Ross and Sparano met was in the freakin' paper, dude. Do you actually think you're breaking news to people?

Maybe you can breathlessly report that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, too.


How about YOU "do your job right" and provide some actual LINKS to this story?

Oh, that's right...they don't actually exist when you've FABRICATED the entire thing.

Everybody sees your BS, dude. Give it up before you just embarrass yourself even further.



I don't see how Sparano returns if this is all true.

I'm with you Craig - there isn't a Drew brees in free agency this year so the best shot Miami has in the Qb department is if Henne's lightbulb goes on.

What the hell is the "contend" of a meeting? You mean CONTENT?

Fine. So now we're to believe that you know the actual words that were exchanged. Care to tell everyone how you know this, or is this also from a "secret source" of yours?

As for Sparano staying, I think that's likely as well. The difference is that I don't need to make claims of being some "insider" (which you are surely NOT) to say it.

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