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Sparano has no endorsement but gives one to Henning

Tony Sparano has not seen Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is some time and consequently has not received any assurances he will continue to be the Dolphins head coach in 2011. But, in case you're wondering, he is endorsing offensive coordinator Dan Henning as his guy.

Sparano was asked during today's press conference if he has met with Ross recently.

“I haven’t visited with him, no, and that’s not my problem right now,” Sparano said. “My problem is to get ready for the Detroit Lions. That’s what I’m charged with.”

For the sake of clarification, I asked Sparano if he's received any sort of endorsement or assurance from Ross that he will be the Miami coach in 2010. He has not.

“I just need to get my team to get ready to play this week," he said. "That's what I need to do. Everything is else is beyond my control. Let someone else deal with it."

Sparano must deal with picking a coach to run Miami's offense in 2011. I have reported previously that most people in the Dolphins facility expect offensive coordinator Dan Henning to retire. But if Henning were to get a wild-hair idea about returning in 2011 after his unit finished 31st in the NFL in scoring (where it currently ranks), Sparano sounds like he'd be fine with that.

“I think that Dan Henning, for Tony Sparano, has been tremendous,” Sparano said, using the often fatal third-person reference to himself in his speech. “I think the guy has done a wonderful job during my time here. I look at the entire body of work, you guys just look at the last three or four games.

"I look at the whole body of work and this guy has done a tremendous job. He’s the same guy that we were all talking about, ‘Man oh man, he finds the ways to use the personnel to the best of their ability.’ That was you people saying that not me. So I would tell you for Tony Sparano Dan Henning has been tremendous. It's easy to point blame, fellas, and I get it. it comes with the territory. That's the way it goes. I need to do a better job. Tony Sparano needs to do a better job.”

Here's my thinking: Sparano went overboard to defend Henning. I don't believe that was by accident. And I hope he fully intends to see Henning off with a gold watch or whatever the Dolphins give their retiring assistants who had terrible seasons.

Ultimately, Sparano will be judged by whether, in fact, Henning returns next year. I believe if he makes the pitch to Ross that he just made to the public about Henning, he will lose all credibility with the owner. I don't think that will happen. I think, I hope that was just for public consumption.

I just wish coach would realize we're not stupid. Dumb, maybe. But not stupid. We understand he's saying something that ultimately won't mean squat. So why say it and hurt your credibility?

... Unless, of course, he actually means this stuff with the zeal he used, in which case I would seriously worry about this franchise's future.


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Matt Ryan had another awesome game yesterday. Pis*** me off everytime...

If Sparano has just a slight endorsement for Henning, then he should also go... We do not need any more loosing thoughts in this already weak team ... we nedd wins, we need winners, we need playmakers..we need bright minds... otherwise, we will endup loosing the team for Miami... Sparano is not worth it ...Ross, get rid of all the trifecta waste ...

Look the way I see it TS has a bad attitude about the questions ask, he endorsed a OC that has full responsiblity of the offense rank 31st in the league and he has a attitude about it!.... Than he said thats Ross problem if he didn't endorse him, first TS didn't have the credential to be a HC in this league, the dolphin organization gave him a chance, his first year he won yes but let's see why...... Strength of schedule and a QB that is the most actuate passer in the NFL, TS doesn't bring out the best out of his players he relys on his coaches to do that, he suppose to be a good OL coach and he has fail on that also, he change a OL that was good to become poor. Gets out coach by the more experience head coaches in this league I'm sorry I don't know S H I T about football but the attitude towards the fans and the media is wrong! What the hell he has done to deserve a endorsement from MR ROSS the guy is a mediocre coach is time to move on and cut your lost!


I'll remind you that Dan Henning is running the same offence, or at least something very simlar to what we ran when the team finished 11-5, just two short years ago. I don't remember anybody complaining then or calling for Henning's head at that time. They started last season with Pennington again and it was working until he went down for the year with injury. We had to load up with defence in this draft because it was so bad last year and we weren't able to do much with the offence, outside of Jerry, Marshall and Incognito. The mistake Henning has made is Henne can't run this offence the way that Pennington could. He's not nearly as accurate and doesn't have the touch that Pennington has. I don't believe a Dan Henning offence works for Chad Henne. You need topen up the offence more for Henne and give him more weapons, no slow plodding possession receivers. Get him a pass-catching TE, another weapon at WR, an improved line, a consistent running game and open up the offence and it's a different team. Unfortunately, the offence that Henning is calling is the same one he's been calling for 30 years and Henne's not the guy to execute it. Two choices then....keep Henning and find a more accurate, quicker thinking QB or find an OC that can better suit the system to Henne's game. I know which I would chose, how about you?

Craigm, on henning taking Henne out & putting the Wildcat in under 2 min to go, essentially playing for the tie, this was Sparano's quote:

"Thought that was a good play and that was it,'' Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said by way of explanation.

That to me proves what I have already known, Sparano is NOT HC material. Defend him whoever you want, Sparano is a major part of the problem.

Question to everyone: If Sparano was just a line coach (not HC), would he deserve another year?

Just saying. The guy is a line coach. He can't even get the OLINE in shape. After THREE years. Highest paid group on the team. Not just bad, but atrocious, and getting worse.

I was all for Tony staying. Henne too for that matter. I think both are playing themselves OUT of Miami, quick.

In my last post I said 'the offence was working last year under Pennington until he went down with injury'.....that should have said it was NOT working.

Is Santa going to deliver us an offense, or maybe the Football Fairy is going to sprinkle Sparano with her magical Fairy Dust, wake up and smell the coffee boys. Things have to change, the talent is out there, go and get it.

CraigM: please tell me what good Sparano has done for this team? O-line? Offense? Play calling? Clock/Possessions management? Team/game preparation? What HC responsibilities or qualities have he excelled in?

So is consistency or continuity the only reason to keep him?

i told you guys

morono was a complete moron

fire em all

i said 6-10 or 7-9 but many of you homers didn't believe me...

I'm still sticking with what I had before the season started...8-8

T, I like it! LOL!!!


That's what Sparano says for 'public' consumption. If you know anything about Sparano he doesn't throw any of his players or coaches under the bus. He said kind things about Patrick Turner and Pat White, when in reality he knew these guys didn't have it and they were gone shortly thereafter. You don't know WHAT he is saying behind closed doors, so don't take everything he say so literally.

I'd like to say that I find Henning offensive but that would be a compliment.

Five weeks ago, I jokingly predicted that we would beat the Raiders and Jets, but lose to the Browns and Bills. I should've placed my bets in Las Vegas.

We'll beat the Lions, but lose to the Pats. 8-8

Ahhh, the last line of the blog is telling, I have been to every game and I just gave away the DET game, can't do this anymore...Parcell BFF has to go, and let hope Sporano was not seriously defending him, he has to know whats going on, its seem if you reed in btwn the line of all the players comments, including Henne, they know whats going on, but as of loyarty to Parcell and Henning they are going to let him retire, witch sucks for us fans

Steven Ross to Dan Hernning: Sorry Dan but we have to let you go. No offense, you understand.

Dan: Thanks Mr. Ross but I am still the greatest offensive mind on the planet. Did you see that reverse I devised to get Brian Hartline the ball? I am a genious.

HENNING is pathetic. Bottom line

all of the local media so far has turned on morono/ireland/henning/etc...

did armando this morning OR was he sucking it up for radio interviews?


Our romance was too short,you are wrong again.

"Get him a pass-catching TE, another weapon at WR, an improved line, a consistent running game and open up the offence and it's a different team"

Yes, in that you are right, we would be like the patriots, the best team in the last 11 years, a 1 per decade combination. Please.

You are asking too much for Henne to work, does Colt Mccoy has this weapons?? Does Fitzpatrick??.. open your eyes man please.

"The mistake Henning has made is Henne can't run this offense the way that Pennington could"

Wrong again.

If you are a good/average OC/QB, you can either design any type of playbook to improve your team play and explode your strenghts or you can throw any type of pass needed in any system.

Matt Ryan could be run and shoot as well as Tom Brady could be west coast. And that's a fact.

You have to improve your Qb/Oc play.


Boy, some of you guys have a VERY short memory. Tony is the guy who came in here and coached a 1-15 team to an 11-5 divisional championship. Never been done before in the NFL. I know....it had NOTHING to do with him, it was our EASE of schdule! Of course....the team won those games ALL by themselves. Last year, we lose our starting QB to injury and are forced to play a rookie who leads us to a 7-9 season (the rookie was 7-6, by the way). This year, we've got a guy calling the plays from the booth who I don't think has stood out in a single game this season. We spend ALL our picks in th draft last year on offence, except one and then what we now want to do it get rid of Sparano because the offence isn't working....oh yeah, and he's a line coach, and it's his fault that Carey's got hurt, Groves couldn't stay healthy, Long hurt his shoulder and Smiley couldn't stay healthy.

I don't know if Sparano is the answer or not but Like Henne, I would like to see what he can with a competent OC running the offence and some pieces picked up in FA and the draft. God knows we turned the defence around in a hurry. Can we not do the same with the offence?

As my grandfather says:

"If it aint broke, dont fix it"

This does not apply here cause it is BROKEN!!!

Time for the wrecking ball.
_story of a Fins fan life.
Yeak okay, wildcat on 2nd and 10, so we can miss the field goal

Here is the bottom line. Any NFL coach who would call a play that hasn't worked all day and removes the quarterback from the game when the team needs to score, should be fired. There is no excuse for what happened and hoping Sparano will be a better coach next season is a waste of time. The Sparano huggers need only look to what happened with Wannstache. He played to score field goals like Sparano and it didn't work. If you watched the game last night, you saw Green Bay ATTACK New England and with their backup quarterback. Sparano has Henne so afraid to make a mistake he's scared of his own shadow.

And for the guy that said Sparano doesn't get much from his players, two years ago Chad Pennington was Comeback Player of the Year in this league and THIRD in MVP voting. This after the Jets dumped him because they didn't want him and thought Brett Favre would be better. He's also the guy who has helped Jake Long to two Pro Bowls in his first two years in the league. But again, I'm guessing none of that counts and they did that all by themselves.

The players love Sparano and they love playing hard for him. To me that's half the battle. Fix the offece and it's a different team.

LA, as for me, yes, I WAS thinking consistency/continuity were more important and that's why Sparano/Ireland/Henne should be kept.

Now, after the miserable last few games, I'm seeing what good is continuity if you're continuously lousy?

So I've changed my thinking. I'm now thinking these last 2 games (since there's nothing to play for) are basically dress rehearsals for Sparano. If he continues on the path he's on and doesn't adjust anything, then I think Ross should definitely be looking for a replacement. If Sparano changes things up some and shows "signs" that maybe with more personnel, people back from injuries, and a new OC that maybe he'll get it a little better, then maybe he'll earn another year.

Tuna = Sparano = Henning = Wannstedt = Sparano

Henning's simply implementing Sparano's Neo-Wannstedtian, Take a Knee, Play for the FG philosophy.

Get rid of Fist Pump & The Ball Boy & Henning's gones too.

Send henning and Sparano to Canada. they need to learn in the pee wee leagues first.

Posted by: shaggy | December 20, 2010 at 01:40 PM

Yeah right, every team in the CFL averages more points than the Dolphins and you want to send him there? Just ask Cameron Wake.....lol

Craig, he HAS the ability to over rule the coordinators. He wears a headset. He could have overruled the call. Problem is, he isn't even an x's & o's guy so he can't change the play. He goes along with whatever Henning does right or wrong because he has to. He doesn't know any better. Knowing how many reps a guy takes in practice or how many snaps a guy plays in a game does NOT make you HC material.

They haven't tried to change anything up all season. Publicly, not publicly, behind closed doors...Where is the improvement? It's been getting worse. Whether he is doing nothing about it out of respect or is trying to.... either way, he isn't getting results. 1st time HC experiment is OVER.

Sparano defends the ineptitude of Dan Henning or is critical behind closed doors, nothing has changed. Either he is gutless or he is clueless & I think a little of both. This team does not go anywhere with Sparano as coach.

We have another Dave Wanstad all over again! Let's keep it close in the forth quarter to give us a chance to win! Is that what you TS DH CH fans want? Well that equals Mediocrity, the words of Jimmy Johnson the enemy of great is good, and good is mediocre period! I'm not happy being good I want my team to be great and win a SB, MR ROSS needs to react now make a change because we have a great defense that's going to get better let's not waste that talent we have on defense because in the NFL it doesn't last long!

Craig, do you know what Sparano is saying behind closed doors, if you do that would probably mean you are a staffer or friend or relative of one, just not wanting to upset the applecart so you get those comp tickets to another pathetic season. In Florida high school coaches are routinely fired for going 8-8, that being said there are high school coaches that can prepare better game plans than these clowns, hell bozo the clown could coach better and he's dead as is Sparano. The only things that Sparano has done is cure insomia!


Colt McCoy???.....is this the standard we want our QB to be? What's he done in this league? How'd he do yesterday pal? Check the stats? Lost to the lowly 2-11 Bengals. Great performance, no doubt!! Mark Fitzpatrick???....did he eat us up yesterday or what? Wow!!...that would be the 4-10 Mark Fitzpatrick, right? Are these the guys you want Henne to become? I'm really not getting your point. Isn't what you really want from your QB to win in this league? Great comparisons, pal!


Are you a son of Sparano?

I mean by the way you are defending him it seems. Does he gives you presents for your A's?

Chad pennington won that price before, why? Because he was great but injury prone, nothing to do with Tony. (Unless tony was on the jets when he won the other one, which HE WAS NOT)

Helped Jake to 2 Pro Bowls? Is that your argument?? jajaja. HE IS A #1 NFL DRAFT PICK!! HE HAS A 50 MILL CONTRACT!!

HE HAS TO GO TO THE PROBOWL EVERY YEAR!!!! Nothing rare on that, the mayority of the players that are picked between 1 and 3 are regular probowlers.


Craig, I know you're a Sparano guy and I respect your opinion. But I'm afraid Ross will clean house. This was the year Sparano had to get it done. He had the highest payroll in the NFL. The owner was claiming before the season had even begun this was a SB team. Ross has a vision of the Miami Dolphins and that vision is he wants the team to be a great show to go to, somewhat similar to the Miami Heat. Right now, unfortunately, the Florida Panthers are more exciting to watch than the Miami Dolphins. That's not what Ross had in mind when he bought the team. Now is that all of Sparano's fault? Probably not. But in today's world of pro sports, with all the millions being spent and all that, the coach is always the first to pay the price. Not always fair, I'll give you that, but the reality nonetheless. I hold Sparano accountable for making bad changes on our o-line and also not getting rid of Henning and replacing him by David Lee. He'll need to explain all of these things to Ross when they will have their meeting after the season. Not sure what he can say to convince Ross that he should be back for 2011. I wouldn't be surprised if Ross has already made up his mind to be honest with you.

The M must stand for minion!

Anytime anyone goes so far overboard with the praise......you know the opposite is true.

1-6 at home and 6-1 on the road equals COACHING, not players.

Matt Ryan would do no better than henne with the band of clowns he has blocking for him.

Damn it's Monday at 2:53 and Sparano is still the freakin' head coach!!!!!!

another draft under the trifecta (less the big fat tuna) ? C'mon ! they will make sure we never get back to the playoffs !

Matt Ryan will always be better than Chad Henne. Has nothing to do with clowns. The only clown in all this is you dude. LOL!

Should have had a sushi chef take a sniff before hiring, they can tell when the tuna has gone bad.


I don't know what is said behind closed doors and neither do you or anyone else. I took exception to Joe saying that Sparano was OK with the Wildcat call. I made the point that becasue Sparano says something for public consumption doesn't mean he ACTUALLY feels that way. If we want to argue the facts on here then great but let's not make things up. The reality of this regime is that they say things for public consumption and they do other things (see Tutner, White or even Ireland's comments about Gibril Wilson right before they released him last year). I believe when the time is right that they will replace Henning at OC, as they did with Paul P last year. Not once did you hear Sparano come out and rip the DC last year and the defence was awful!! He wants to win and the results aren't there. Changes are coming. You guys think the answer will be to get rid of everyone (great strategy!!), I'm saying Henne, Sparano and Ireland deserve another season to turn things around. Let's see who's right.

Ross not talking to his HC...that spells TROUBLE.
Ross is the Boss...and the Boss don't like half empty seats.
Tony has peaked as a HC
Henne has peaked as a QB
Time to clean house and build a solid foundation that will last for 10+ years...just like every other winning team.

Matt Ryan is better than Henne behind any starting o-line in the league.

I realize we're all clinging to hope that Tuna did at least one thing right, but trying to downgrade Ryan, or attribute his success to ATL's talent, is myopic.

Ryan's a heckuva QB......and we've gotta live with that for the next decade.


If Sparano coached like he did in '08, then I wouldn't be dogging him. But he's changed dude (you've gotta be able to see that). In '08, Sparano needed a change (things weren't happening by themselves), so he tagged David Lee and they brought out the Wildcat. That wasn't end of season, that was like game 3 or 4. Sparano CHANGED midstream instead of just accept the way the team was playing. That hasn't happened this year.

In '08, Sparano went for MANY 4th-downs. Not JUST 4th and short either. He gave his team MANY chances to overcome their deficiencies and win. This year, he's ultra-conservative and hasn't given his team almost ANY chances to win.

In '08, Sparano had Bill Parcells behind him, kicking guys out of the training room, scaring them to play better or get shipped out. Today, a player was put on IR even though he felt he would be fine to come back midseason AND a player was put on IR for a freakin' finger injury!! I don't care if that's a WR. Big Ben has a broken foot AND nose and is STILL playing. Players had multiple concussions and are STILL playing. You're telling me a player (who was supposed to be a core offensive player) couldn't have played a few more games with a broken finger? That's a joke.

The players LOVE playing for Sparano? Did you SEE the 1st half yesterday? Did they look like they LOVED playing for Sparano? They loved him so much they came out flat, AGAIN, in a MUST-WIN situation. Not sure what you're definition of loving to play for a coach is, but that's not my definition. I saw players who HATE this offense, trying to get excited but can't because the offense is so vanilla and boring. That's what I saw. And if Sparano KNEW his team, was a PLAYER'S COACH, he'd have SEEN that by now, and FORCED Henning to change his offense. But, Sparano didn't. Why? Because to me, he's checked out.

Oh, that one play, where Bess (I think) caught a ball, and it was low, could have been challenged, time for the offense to hurry up the next play so Buffalo doesn't have time to challenge. They can't hurry up, time's running down, and Henne ends up calling a timeout.

Is THAT you're idea of playing for a coach, or embarrassing both yourself AND your coach? To me, that's an embarrassment.

FYI, I haven't felt this bad since Cam Cameron was here. I was one who thought like you Craig, keep Sparano, keep Henne, let's give them another year. But they are making it harder and harder to keep that position. I rethought. I'm wishy-washy now. You should rethink too. I mean seriously rethink what you're asking for. Might change your mind too.

Craig when a player is going to be good in this league 80% is the players talent that's why Jake long is good Chad Penn is had more football IQ that TS will ever have and Penn has a heart of a champ. I want to see TS develop players like the Shulas Belichecks Marty shott. Broncos old Dan R come on Craig! Is not TS fault the guy never did this in this league before he is just a good OL coach at best, I'm sorry but we need someone at this time with a offensive mentality TS doesn't have that, we need that now because of our top 5 rank defense that's getting better and defense wins championships!!!!

Craig stop defending those bozos. Been on sparano van wagon...not any more..look at my post @ 2:05. Been a dolphan for over 30 years. If the return I'm really sorry I'm going to miss them next year. Cause the results will be the same. Another pathetic season

And most people are saying absolutely not, Sparano needs to go back to being an asst. to someone coaching in the 21st century, at least Jone's had the good sense to fire Wade.

ESPN reported on it's crawl last night that Bill Cowher's 2nd choice of teams if he returns is Miami, after the Giants.

If Sparano wants to lie to the public, he should become a politician, we could then vote him out of office.

wow...I thought Cowher wanted to go to Carolina?

Perhaps Marino will woo Cowher to South Florida since they work together at CBS.

All I want for Xmas is bill cowher

#1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal,

I respect your opinion too. Couple of things.....the Dolphins didn't have the highest payroll in the league this year. they were actually 15th....about $40 million less than the Cowboys (how did that work out for them?).

Secondly, you said something about Sparano could have/should have got rid of Lee and Henning at the beginning of the year. What makes you think Sparano had any authority to make those changes at the beginning of the year? Lee and Henning are old buddies of Parcells. You don't think Parcells was going to stick around and protect those guys for another year? Of course he was. Parcells used to say 'If you want me cookcoach) in this league you should at least let me buy my own groceries'. My question for you guys, has Sparano being allowed to buy his own groceries or have most of the ingredients been forced upon him? Is he the guy who really wanted Pat White or Patrick Turner or Ernest Wiford? Again, I respect Sparano and I'd like to see what he and team can do with the right pieces in place.

I could live with the following:
HC - Cowher
DC - Nolan
OC - Cowher's Pick
QB - Newton

Hey I dont for a minute deny Sparano's a great coach to play for, but that isnt what winning is all about. Sparano is proving to be a horrible gameday coach. However, I do believe lack of HC experience plays major role.

Still there remains the problem of halftime adjustments. Seems Nolan is adequate on his end, but Henning rarely seems to have a great first half nor 2nd half adjustment schemes. Further complicating matters are blindly obvious play calling gaffs.

Worst of all, Henning refuse to take any credit at all for any of the offensive woes. Blaming everything and everyone else. Like Armando says, we may be dumb as fans but we are not stupid.


Please get rid of the whole Cowboy posse. We need new blood. This so reeks of the mustache era. God I think this offense is even worse then that one! A quarterback with no balls or brain, a coach who is more interested in friends then winning games. Please Mr Ross get us a young savy energetic up and coming coach not someone else's puppet.

henning is a gonner and if he's not then sparano is a gonner also.
I doubt no matter who the HC, OC is that henne will be cut. whoever runs the team will get a new OC that fits henne and also draft a qb and even bring in a veteran to compete with him. Cutting henne at the end of season is not going to happen. Lets get a new OC and HC and see how henne performs.

My question to you Craig, is why Sparano should even be allowed to cut his teeth on this franchise, Parcells was a mistake. Cut him loose, let someone else pick up the deal of a lifetime. As I'm sure you know, most deals of a lifetime, usually are not.

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