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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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Pennington is a great guy, I think we all can agree on that but there's just no way in hell the Dolphins will be attempting to get him back in the mix at QB...certainly not as a starter.

Just too many injuries and much too fragile a shoulder to hold up anymore. I'd like to see Chad stick around in some kind of coaching role, however, if he'd like to do that. I think he has exactly the right smarts and temperment for it.

My God the Hurricanes look abysmal.

"you play to win the game....you don't play to just play it.....when you start telling me .....it doesn't matter....then RETIRE!!!

Herm Edwards.....Next Dolphins HC

My motto for 2011.....it can apply to all walks of life.....but most notably it applies to football....SO GO GET HIM MR. ROSS...

Why does every one percieve that Chad P. can coach? Is this some sort of stero type? just because he was a mediocre QB in the NFL doesn't mean he is coach/coordinator material.....

I apperciate everything he has done...great season in 08...brought us back to respectability....but...where did CHAD P. place on the NFL list of TOP 100?

He's probably a hell of a guy but he has done ZERO for CHAD H. development....hasn't he been there every step of the way.....

Think him for 08 and lets move on......he has not shown any of us 1 IOTA of coaching ability....not if CHAD H. is his body of work




fake aloco @3;19 , aloco was right ,all i can say.


I agree we need to resign qb Chad P. We also need to sign another veteran in FA as Chad P is injury prone and draft a Qb early. I am not sure about Cam Newton though. I know a lot of people probably see another Mike Vick in him, but like Vick, Newton will likely take years to develop if at all. I am not sure if Newton has the passing skills to be an NFl QB.anybody remember Pat White?????? He was a star at WV. I realize Newton is much bigger than White, but Newton needs time to develop his passing skills. I love qb Luck, but don't see that happening! Ryan Malot is a great college QB, but I think he is a clone of Chad Henne. Has a rifle arm, but no mobility. I have read Christian Ponder will likely be a 2cnd or 3rd rounder. He doesnt have a great arm, but has speed and mobility and can move. Peyton Manning,Benire Kosar, and Chad Pennington all showed you dont have to have a gun to be a winning NFL QB! I like Jake Locker as well. Ponder may be the best answer if he could be aquired in the 2cnd or third round and yes, I am aware Denver has our 2cnd round pick for BM so we don't have a 2cnd rounder as of right now. Still Ponder could be a good value pick. I really wanted the Dolphins to take Colt McCoy last year and everyone called me crazy. Cleveland got him in the third round. Ponder is similar. We need a new GM and scouting department and let them determine this. I don't see Ireland's crew getting this done.

Because he is hungry Aloco....He needs to get to the promised land to soldify his credibilty...he will put in the work....he won't quit like JJ, and SABAN...his teams are tough......and "he plays to win the game...." plus he won't break the bank.....

I see waves and everything all scrunchy. it's so cool.

I Wanmt PIE

I don't think Soprano will be fired. I think he will have next year to finish his contract and if the team fails again he may be gone mid season. I do see a change at OC, QB and special teams co. He will be on the hot seat this offseason and will have to prove his worth. I have no problems with Tony. I like his enthusiasm on the sidelines and I think the players do too. Remember this, Bill Cower(sp) did not win many super bowls in his first few years in Pitt. Johnson got lucky in the draft and put a team together quickly for the short time he was there. We are just a few players from being great. Maybe Henne will shine next year or a new fresh face will take over. One thing I don't want is another teams hand-me-down QB (McNabb, Young or others) we need someone that will grow with this team. And with that thought if we do draft a young stud there is the likelihood we have another subpar year as he will have some growing pains as well. Just food for thought.

Edwards is a dumb sheet dude, no way he'll be a HC anywhere. He's a clown,

I like Sparano and don't think he's the problem. Trust me, star players will bring more fans than a star coach! Said it once and will say it again the Dolphins should seriously consider trading UP...UP...to get Andrew luck. If that doesn't work out we should trade Henne to Tennesse for Vince Young, if Fisher stays Young has to go. The phins passed on Matt Ryan a few years ago and it's time to redeem themselves. Bring in a good O coordinator, solidify the O line through free agency, resign Brown at least until we can get a playmaking back through the draft or free agency.

Fins have no ammunition to trade up. Without a second round pick its highly unlikely. Look for the fins to trade down.

I have a Cuban friend who told me that in Cuban culture a guy doesn't consider it gay sex if he's on the 'receiving' end instead of the 'giving' end.

I don't care either way and have tried pretty much everything (even though I mostly dig chicks) but I found it pretty funny.

Is it true? Any Cuban guys here heard that before?

darrylo--agreed. Completely unrealistic for Miami to trade up with so little ammo.

curious--I actually have heard the same thing although I suspect you're just pranking here.

Look FishTards, your team has brought in all kinds of saviours over the past 15 years at every position from the HC to the front office. You can make all the changes you want. Can Sparano. Can Ireland. Draft this guy, draft that guy, but you don't win in the NFL with a lousy QB.

In case you haven't noticed you haven't had a QB worth mentioning since Marino. So go ahead keep trading draft picks, bringing in other teams cast offs, drafting in the late rounds and you will continue to be the team that hasn't won a playoff game in over a decade. Bottom line is that with a good QB you are probably a Wild Card team and this conversation isn't happening. But alas, is there a worse franchsise in the NFl at evaluating, acquiring, and developing QB's?

Can't comment on what 'curious' was asking, but having lived close to the Mexican border, its true many young Mexican girls freely give you their rear to preserve their virginity, even prudish religious ones.

Tortured, last I checked Sanchis has a lower rating than Henne. When was the last time the Jets had a good QB anyway? The Jets are old, if they don't do it this year, which they won't, they'll be done for a decade. Hey, thank Rex for me for the wifey photos...

we are witnessing only a glimpse of what's to come for the canes football program. that is a beat down. it truly is the end times for dolphins and hurricanes football teams!

I've been a FinFan since 1966, I have seen the dolphins rise from a no-name defense to high octane powered offense when Dan The Man was throwing to the Mark's brothers. This team has no HEART-SOUL-SMARTS-OR GUTS. And I can tell u this... teams mirror there coachs.. when Miami gets a first down inside the opponnents 20 yard line, we automatically call a time out, because we can't get a play in or we end up with a holding call or a false start. or is it we just dont know what the f..k we are doing. It is COACHING. Make the change Mr. Ross, b4 you lose what fans you have...

sorry but ratings don't mean sh%t obviously, the wets are in the playoffs, the dolphins well we all know where they are.

Tortured, go suk on ur daddy's DIK.

Pretty tired of a lot of the negativity that surrounds our team from some of you guys on here. I get that you're frustrated....we ALL are! We went into this season with high expectations and the season has for the most part been flat. We're unlikely to improve on what we did last year and that was flat too. However, I remind everyone that the Saints were 8-8 before they won the Super Bowl and a big part of that was bringing in a new DC, in Greg Williams. We did that last year and it helped the defence tremendously. We now need to change the offence. None of this is surmountable and I don't get all the negative nellies.

My hope is that when they clock strikes midnight a lof of you will change your attitude about this team and enjoy things more going forward. That's probably wishful thinking on my part but I'm trying to figure out if some of you guys are as down on this team as you seem why you continue to support them? There must be better ways you can spend your time and make your days more fulfilling.

For my fellow Dolfans who have more faith and say brighter days ahead, I wish a Happy New Year and here's to what the Saints did last year in 2011 for our Dolphins!

Aloco...whats the Kool Aid of choice today???

it's only reality craig, you have to start living in it.

Great post, Craig.

I'm just as frustrated as others but I also don't get the people who truly seem consumed by extreme anger over it. After all, it really IS just a game and completely meaningless in the bigger picture.

The way some folks take it personally is odd to me, even though I've been a Dolphin fan longer than some of them have probably been alive.

I agree the problems are certainly not insurmountable. We are fortunate to have a young defense that is clearly on the rise. That's a good foundation right there. If they can somehow upgrade the QB position adequately (it's not going to be easy) this team jumps to playoff level instantly, in my opinion.


I still say sparano does not have the mold of a HC in this league , he speaks out poorly, he manages games poorly, he allows bad playcalling, he backs poor OC's, yea, lets keep him for another year, just cant wait for his re-imagined staff to ignite this team to SB glory next year especially if we lose nolan...*lol* anybody from dallas available next year???!!!!

dr roberts-im a dolphan living in jersey,i hate the jets have alot of jet fans as friends,for the second year in a row the r in the playoffs n we r not,thats y so many fans take it pesonally

also tony s is a terrible head coach,i cant take another season of him being so happy after we gat a field goal

wait a minute mr kahn, you mean to say the Pats and the Wets are in the playoffs for the second straight year in a row since our 2008 glory days???*lmao*.......yea but dont worry were improving for next year or the year after...i forget which it is and how it goes....


I hate the Jets, too, and will enjoy seeing them BOUNCED from the playoffs very soon.

Still, sure I get angry and frustrated at times but I can;t get consumed by it. This is still, after all, a child's game when you distill it down to its essence. I'm not gonna drive myself batty over it even if I follow the game closely and could converse about it with anyone.

Besides, the sad truth is probably this. Forget the Jets. Their fans AND us will likely be fighting over who is going to finish second to the Pats for years to come.

Bring back the old TD song and let the "fins up" crap die....we have sucked at home since the fans can't get into that......

Besides, the sad truth is probably this. Forget the Jets. Their fans AND us will likely be fighting over who is going to finish second to the Pats for years to come.

Posted by: dr. roberts | December 31, 2010 at 04:37 PM

Too true, but the ? is how many times are we going to be finishing third behind the wets...and right now i wouldnt discount the bills as not being able to move up.

dr roberts- im not a rex ryan fan but he is a way better coach than tony,its time for a change,jon gruden is my choice

also retain mike nolan at all cost

Forget it Mr kahn.....

Nolan wont pass up a HC position, not even for $$$ which im sure needs to spent elsewhere this offseason....

then maybe we make him the head coach


Nolans been great as DC.....but 13-37 as a HC....zero seasons of at least 500 football....sounds like we would be keeping him in desperation more than the need to have him here as our DC...just sayin!!!!

scuse me 18-37 as HC

Thanks for some sanity Armando, the Fins are just 4-5 players away, but you would not think so based on fan and media reaction that last few weeks.

We have a solid D that will only get better as most of those guys are very young.

A bad QB and a couple lousy O lineman can make the entire O look absolutley terrible. Fix those positions and everything turns around.

Sounds easy, but...

How do you find a good QB when 20 other NFL teams don't have one either?

Filling the QB void will be the biggest challenge.

But nothing new there, everyone was saying before this season started that success or failure in 2010 rested with Chad Henne. The QB position is the key, and finding a good one is exceedingly difficult.

please mr. ross do the right thing, fire this "average staff" and lets actually try and win games instead of playing not to lose.

That settles it then, team Tuna stays. Mr Ross can't afford to make the unnecessary changes anyway. YIPPEEE!!!

Ross is a business man mando, if he felt that his investment would pay off to further earn better grossings for this team down the line, theres no question he would make the move....its all about the future and tony sparano aint it, weather he's here 1 more year or 10 more yrs....


agree super, this guy will never be a head coach again. look forward to a new staff and a team that will score tds instead of fgs

I question your football knowledge if you think one of our "5" starting position needs is running back. C'mon man! We are DEEP @ running back. Ricky (our best running back) is healthy and has a couple of years left in the tank. We have Cobbs and Hilliard. Ronnie I don't believe will be back. My point: Instead of wishing for another running back, how about 2 more quality starters on the O-Line @ left tackle and left guard (move Incognito to center). With good blocking, you saw what our running backs can do. Good blocking makes average backs look good and REicky is not an average back. Hope we keep him and give him some blocking.

Hiyas fella's, looking for new years eve date, likely candidates out there are






superphin...this team, like any NFL team is going to only grow in value, just like a prime piece of real estate. Wayne H saw the team only decline for a decade and he still made 100's of millions in profit. Ross bought in as an investment. Sure, he'd like to win, but he is going to always consider whats in his best business interests first. The last 3 hot shot star coaches were total flops, (JJ, Saban, Parcells), so no way he is thinking merely chasing yet another star coach is going to help much.

I think what Mr. Ross should do is take that 24 million and buy the Green Bay or Denver fans to replace you guys down here who don't go to the game and spend all day pizzing and whining like little girls. That is what Mr. Ross should do, buy a REAL FAN BASE instead of the trolls he is stuck with.

maybe, maybe not 0x80,

But i cant envision sparano being anything more than what gailey is to ralph wilson in buffalo....a USED tool...with strings attached!!!

Please mr. Ross do the right thing and keep this staff together

I saw where the fins brought Julius Pruitt up to the main roster. I wonder if he is the speedy reciever that we have all been looking for. I wonder if the fins are planning on trading or releasing any of our starters on offense and starting from scratch like the defense was done this year (IE Fasano, R. Brown, Williams, Carey, etc). Espn has something on their site that Henne's time might be done in Miami already as well.

dont know about green bay, but you should go to denver sometime bobbyd12, i've lived there and they are ten times more pissier and obnoxious than us but just with more seats filled...just sayin

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