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Dolphins, Sparano will talk contract 'adjustment'

And now it is time for the other shoe to drop.

With the Dolphins and their ownership turning their attention back to keeping Tony Sparano as the club's head coach,the idea now is to find peace within the ranks before presenting a calm, happy, united front before the media in a press conference that is planned for today but whose exact time has not yet been determined.

Well, to get that family portrait just right the Dolphins must make coach Tony Sparano a happy camper. And after a week in which ownership said some things and did others, kept Sparano employed but also sought ways to replace him, bringing the coach back to a state of joy is going to require some hard work.

And that is the work that is happening at this hour.

A source in the ownership group tells me the team is working on ways to soothe things over by, among other things, discussing the "adjustment of Sparano's contract."

I suppose in regular everyday English that means the Dolphins are going to talk with Sparano's agent Jimmy Sexton about some sort of contract extension or pay raise or some guarantees of some sort.

I also have been told some of the conversation in today's meetings are supposed to involve Sparano's coaching staff. I reported to you Thursday that offensive coordinator Dan Henning and the team have parted ways. So, obviously, names of possible replacements might be a topic as well as the job security of various other assistants.

All of Miami's assistants are under contract for 2011.

Another topic that would have to be broached is the relationship between Sparano and general manager Jeff Ireland. They were once joined at the hip. They were part of a trio, including Bill Parcells, that was supposed to turn the Dolphins into champions.

Well, Ireland disconnected from Sparano in recent weeks and found a way to find favor with ownership that Sparano did not. And Ireland was on that team that went to California to seek out Jim Harbaugh as a possible replacement for Sparano.

So there are some frayed feelings there. No, the relationship is not broken. But it definitely is different now. There are issues there now.

Those issues have to be addressed.

This is probably not going to be a one-sided conversation. So perhaps ownership will have items it also wants to vent about to Sparano.

I would be careful about venting too much, however. Otherwise, that happy family portrait the Dolphins are hoping to unveil later today might not look quite right ... or might not get unveiled at all.


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You need to get a new OC, so you are talking about a min 2 year deal for him. The staff contracts are usually tied to the HC deal so that they are all coming/going at the same time, so I would expect to see at least 1 year tacked on Sparano's contract so the coordinator position can be filled. This would also remove the "lame duck" tag but still make it pretty easy to fire him without losing a bunch of money after next year if he doesn't do well enough.

Contracts are made to be bought out. It's a PR move, nothing more.

So is the rift between Ireland and sparnao hear-say, or assumptions? Or did a "secret source" tell you?

I keep looking for info saying harbaugh turned the offer down, havent found one scrap of proof.

Just Sources of Sources said a Source said so crap.

.... and the best thing about this is that it will continue to be the easiest road game to tickets for. Thanks Mr. Ross your half empty stadium looks great when there are 15,000 Jets fans on hand. Go ahead season ticket holders get those 100 level seats up on Stub Hub!!!!

oooo Roth is another personnel blunder I have not mentioned. Good call oscar!

Martin, from a football angle, I can blame him. It looks like a pretty good opportunity for him. He likes big teams!!! Do any teams come any bigger? Hhaha, but seriously, there's a pretty good defence with teh best available 3-4 d co ordinator running it, and there is a chance to build an offense from scratch in his own image.

SF doesn't offer that, neither does Denver.

From a family standpoint - can't bother him one bit - although I'd move from Toronto to South Florida in an instant!!



It's amazing that guys keep saying that Sparano should have taken over the playcalling. Sparano has never been a playcaller. He was a line coach. Why would a guy who has never been a playcaller take over from a guy who has been calling plays for over 30 years? It makes not sense. You don't have to like Dan Henning and we all know he didn't do a good job last year but he must have done something right to coach in the NFL for over 30 years. Sparano and company knew things were broken but how does having Sparano take over the play-calling make us a better team? It NEVER would!! It's not what he does. Why not have him take over the defensive play-calling while you are it. Again, it's not what he does.

Cowher was knocking at our door but we told him to go away because we wanted to keep Ireland and now we are going to extend Sparano? Tell me again how Mr. Ross is a billionaire because he is not coming across as very intelligent with his business decisions. The funny part is he wanted to attract more fans with his circus he brought to town and instead he's alienating them. Bring back Wayne! I wish as fans we could fire P.T. Barnum.

If I was Sparano I would smack Ireland before I take my extension!

An excerpt from Jim Harbaugh's interview...

"Now..in Miami we believe strongly in giving the fans a feeling that they're 'brushing elbows' with real Celebrities.
In fact, our GOAL is to TRANSFORM Sun Life Stadium into a LIFE SIZED VERSION of 'US MAGAZINE' on Game Day!"

"Its all part of our 'Entertainment before Football' Marketing strategy --

As Head Coach of the Dolphins, there will be times, on Game Day, where Fans and VIP's will walk up to you on the sideline just to say Hi! Some of them might even want to give you advice and offer tips.
Also...If you happen to play an instrument --perhaps the Drums or something....that would be good as well!

We need a Head Coach who can handle all of that and NOT go 1 - 7 at Home."

Do you think that you're the man for the Job?

What the F-_-c-k are you TALKING ABOUT !!????

He has more patience than Job.

I'd make Sparano outline the changes he envisions before giving him squat. Don't reward ineptitude. Reward results.


Really appreciate your football analysis, but your articles of late concerning player comments and the coaches/owner politics look more like melodrama than reporting.

I believe this kind of reporting is divisive of the fan base; no constructive reason for the fans to feel bad about either players or the owner.

Calling Ross "whathisface," I believe, is beneath you.

For what it's worth; looking forward to reading about football again.

Do you REALLY think in the NFL you're going to have more success with a guy who has NEVER been a playcaller than a guy who has called the game for 30 years? If he'd done that you guys would have taken him to task for it too. The reality is the system under Henning was broken and we all know it. why he wasn't reaplced last year, I don't know but I can only assume that Parcells was protecting him. If you want to blame anyone blame Parcells. It hasn't been Ireland and Sparano's show until the Tuna left town this year anyways.

Wow This Just Seems Like A Big Circus, Plus The Media Is Prob Not Helping, Most Of These Columbs Are Like A High Schooler Is Writing It, The Writers For These Should B Embarassed For Themselves, Well See Though, Nolan Came In And Turned Our D Around, A New OC, QB coach, QB, and We Could B In Buisness, Dont Know How TS authority Will Hold Though, Perhaps Im Just Optimistic

They will likely give him a contract extension so he won't be labelled a lame duck coach. How I wish we had Shula and Marino back; it wasn’t perfect but at least at times it was exciting.

John in the Springs,

Doesnt take long to bring back the fan base. After consecutive 7-9 seasons, a 10-6 season would bring the fan base back so fast and begging more it will make your head spin!

How fast a fan base returns is based solely on wins and losses. Nothing else!

Let's see now that we are stuck with Sparano we will hear about this awesome coaching search for an offensive cordinator where they land a no name positional coach with no experience as an offensive cordinator.

At QB Miami signs Matt Moore a 28 year old never done nothing QB. Henne wins open competition in camp,

At RB Miami signs Ronnie Brown to 3 year deal. Miami drafts a RB in the 6th round.

At WR Miami drafts a guy in the 5th round but gets cut.

At TE Miami stands pat.

At O-line they draft a linemen with thier 3rd rounder and expect him to compete for a position.

At FS they bring in a no name FA who has 5 NFL starts in 6 seasons.

Miami finishes next season 5-11 but on the plus side of Sparano's brain Miami goes 4-4 at home on the minus side of his brain they go 1-5 in the division

Sparano rebounds just fine and lands a job with as an assistant while Miami has to start over next year.

Really, Sparano didn't want to lose Grove or Smiley? Wasn't it Sparano that kept flipping Smiley for Garner and Berger for Grive in 2009 when both were healthy? Wasn't it Sparano that gave Grove very few looks as the #1 C in camp?

The higher up kept making those decisions????

John in Springs,

I respectfully disagree with your opinion. I think and Ross thinks that the best way to success is to have Sparano back with different coaches and players. You're right winning will bring the fans back. I felt this was the best way to go along. Let's see how they make out.

Steve, they can sign him to a lifetime deal. It doesn't matter. Everyone in the NFL knows he's a lame duck. No matter what they give him, he has been rendered meaningless.

Lets just hope the rift between the 3 of them does more harm than good. We really don't have any room for more errors than we've absorbed.

That's because the average Fan is Fickle...
Both when the team Looses and when the team Wins.

jesus christ!!! we are done!!!

John G,
In case you haven't noticed, were not playing football anymore. This IS the news with our dolphins. I look forward to blogs about real football again as well however I never checked this blog so often as I have the last two days.

Craig M,

Exactly if a Head Coach isn't capable of taking over any facet of the game then why is he a HEAD COACH. Sparano an NFL head coach can't see Miami needs someone to take over play calling and can't do it as the HEAD COACH. What good is he then? At the very least you give play calling duties to Lee or another offensive assistant. There is no way anyone thinks a WR reverse on your own 30 yard line on 3rd and 10 will work.

More strength than Samson.




Craig, AFTER Ross failed in his bid to replace TS w/3 big name coaches, he NOW thinks keeping him is the best course? LMAO that's almost delusional.

I think everyone on here is a fan of Nolan's. Do you really think Nolan wants to be a part of an organization in total turmoil? Not a chance! Why do you think he came here last year? Do you think he saw an organization that was beyond repair or a Head Coach that had one foot out the door. No, I think he saw a defence that was abysmal but an organization that was commited to do what it needed to do to get better. The woner spent the money and the organization drafted and brought in the players. That's what the new OC will see. The offence, like the defence last year only has one way to go. And one other thought, of all places Miami isn't such a bad place to work or live. Have you tried living in Buffalo or Cleveland before?

Aloco, my suggestion to you is lay down the crack pipe & take a few days to sober up

This is great news!

First, Ireland will screw up the 2011 draft.
Then Sparano will coach the Dolphins to the first pick in the 2012 draft.

Then we can pick up Andrew Luck and get a new coach & GM all at the same time!

why the hell do they need to smooth things over with Sparano? He should feel extremely lucky to have his job after back to back 7-9 seasons once the Dolphins lost to Baltimore in the playoffs 2 years ago. They owe him nothing except what his contract calls for. And who knows what was said in the meeting between Ross and Sparano? Maybe Ross made it known he would be conducting interviews. I have no issue in bringing him back. In fact, I do not believe in paying over 8 million for a man who has no HC experience in the NFL. Let Sparano work the last year of his contract. If the team has made improvements, them sign him to a contract. If not, get someone else. But please, do not reward Sparano for leading a team that has not improved under his direction. This does not include the Defense. That credit goes to Nolan. Sparano is, after all, an Offensive coach.

I wouldnt care if we were 7-9 again in 2011 as long as we shored up a few starting positions on both offense and defense. I've said before we need to shore up at least 2 starting defensive positions in this draft or will possibly witness a defensive decline in 2011 too.

Our 2011 1st rd pick should be neccessarily be limited to an offensive player if a higher grad defensive player is available to be a starter at a sorely needed defensive position. No matter what the entire offense wont be correctly fixed in one season anyway. So lets be smart about this draft.

Nolan has no choice, he IS on an organization in turmoil.

Does nobody read the sports pages anymore?

Go sparano it's ur birthday yes he is back. I told all you losers he would be back

The Peter Principle is the principle that "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence".

Sound familiar?

So the idiot who brought us this season gets a raise, this gets more unreal by the moment.

Go Tampa!

Man, does everyone in Florida have a bomb shelter? They must because every time a blog goes off, everyone acts like the end of the world is coming.

Mando writes something ...

Then it's followed up by 18 pages of "oh my Lord, it's over"

Well, you know what? It isn't over. We are in the middle of the pack, been there for a generation because we haven't found a quarterback yet. We are not the Pats but we are not the worst team in the league by a fair margin.

All the upper echelon teams have a good QB - we don't right now.

That's it, that's all.

man, you guys wouldn't cutt it in Toronto - too weak. The winters and the Maple Leafs would have killed you all by the age of 30.


Forget the sports pages, I wouldn't be surprised if this Dolphins stuff is making its way to TMZ.com

Go sparano it's ur birthday yes he is back

Go sparano it's ur birthday yes he is back

lol @ Mark

Go sparano it's ur birthday yes he is back

yeah sparano for OC theres a great idea a guy thats so happy to get field goals he practically shreds his rotator cuff for every 3 points NO THANKS!

The Peter Principle holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their "level of incompetence"), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions.

The People's GM,

It's Sparano's job to make sure the players are prepared, to make certain they put the time in practice and in the film room. He makes final decisions on who plays and who sits. He with the help of his co-ordinators discuss how they are going to play that week and they plan accordingly. On the day of the game, it's up to the co-ordinators to call the plays. It's in very rare instances where the HC takes over the play-calling and in very rare instances will an HC be the only play-calling. It's Sparano's job to decide when to gamble on 4th down, when to call time outs, and whether to punt or try a field goal or whether to go for it. The play-calling is all on the co-ordinators. Because a head coach isn't a good play-caller doesn't make him not a good head coach. Parcells was considered a good coach but he always surrounded himself with good co-ordinators. Same with Jimmy Johnson.

Adam Schefter reports 49ers sign Harbaugh to 5 year deal

Maybe there should be some notice that SparaNO's name was not mentioned with ANY head coaching rumors, when allegedly Harbaugh was going to take the Miami job? Even Fox gets canned, and is mentioned as a possible replacement elsewhere. Is SparaNO even considered in the MID-LEVEL range of NFL Coaches??? Ireland is dead last at GM at this point...

Mark in Toronto,

I was just thinking the same thing.....these guys would have a FIELD DAY being Leaf fans.

I'm out guys....have a good one!

HARBAUGH A 49ERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ROSS IS SUPER STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Somebody coulda yelled NEW BLOG???

I was in the old one just talkin to myself!

I am enjoy a delicious home made leftover meatlof sandwich and a Shasta though (insert smiley face)

I don't think it was Sparano making all those decisions at the beginning of the season, Mark in Canada; he had not full control of personnel until the firing of John Bonamego(strictly his decision). My opinion.

ITS TRUE, HARBAUGH A 49ERS FOR 5 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read between the lines people.

Here's the real deal. Sporano has been overshadowed by Parcells, Ireland and Henning.

When it was time for Sporano to prove his head coaching worthiness, he failed.

He put up with Pasqualoni for far to long and didn't even fire the speacial teams coach until it was apparent to everyone and their Grandmothers, that the guy needed to go.

He continually bowed down to Hennings ineptness and seemed clueless in that regard. In this case he really exposed his inadeqacies as head coaching material.

He defended Henning until the bitter end. He sided with dolt over the players and even seemed content to go into next season with him.

This is the straw that broke the camels back and this explains Ross's actions of the past week. Ross was allset to keep Sporano and find a new OC. Ross eroneously assumed that because this was OBVIOUS TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET THAT STILL BREATHES, he assumed Tony knew this as well.

After Ross and Sporano's first post season meeting in which Sporano was still willing to defend Henning, Ross was incredulous. He wasn't prepared to fire Sporano, on the contrary. But after realizing Tony wasn't even aware of the dire need for a new OC, Ross was taken aback, absolutely stunned if you will.

Ross's only recourse at that point was to say OK Tony. Then he started desperately seeking a new Head coach.

Ross is a self made millionaire and the guy just can't be this stupid.

Read between the lines people! Tell me I'm wrong and don't forget to explain. The fact is, there's just no other way to realistically explain away the events of the past week!


The peoples GM, don't waste your time. Trying to talk sense in here makes no sense. I've learned this.

If it' true about Harbaugh to SF, Miami looks RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!! What a slap in Ross's face. Money can't buy everything. This aint real estate. If I were Harbaugh, I wouldn't have taken the job either LOL In South Florida, dysfunction & ineptitude reigns supreme!


SHAFTEDDDDDDDDDD!!!! Harbaugh to the Niners LOL

I an 49er does she just get to the belly button???


That was tasteless and uncalled for!!!

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