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Sparano shadow fades only in the offseason

Me? The head is spinning because another offseason has dawned and a handful of Dolphins players are going off on coaches, on each other, on anything and everything they believe is wrong with the organization.


Over here, you have Ricky Williams whining because, in his opinion, coach Tony Sparano preached too much about scoring touchdowns in the red zone and not fumbling or making stupid mistakes. Of course, Ricky believes this was wasted energy of the zen demon screwu because the Dolphins clearly didn't need to hear about scoring in the red zone or fumbling.

Then Brian Hartline does a radio interview with former University of Miami quarterback Gino Torretta on WQAM and complains the Dolphins are apparently too regimented and stick to the game plan too closely and need to "make some plays off schedule" to be more effective.

And Brandon Marshall finally explains comments he made after Sunday's season-finale in which he said the offense was not speaking the same language and on different pages. I specifically asked him, by the way, to explain what he meant by speaking a different language during his press conference Sunday and he didn't wish to be specific.

But he got specific on the Michael Irvin show, explaining that in his relationship with previous quarterbacks the understanding was that even if a read called for the ball to go elsewhere but he had man coverage, the QB would throw the ball up to him and he'd run under it or outfight the cornerback for it.

Marshall's complaint is that quarterback Chad Henne wouldn't do that, but rather would go through his progressions as taught to him by quarterback coach David Lee.

"Henne, the way he plays the game is he goes exactly through his reads, no matter the matchup," Marshall said. "Then you get to the sideline, and it’s some conflict there because they don’t like it."

When Tyler Thigpen got in the game Sunday, however, Thigpen apparently blew off the proper read and threw it to Marshall anyway. And that made Marshall a Thigpen fan. And it also led to an argument between Marshall and Lee on the sideline.

And all that is fair to say, but I still think if men are men and they want to stand for something and actually help the team while the season is still salvageable, it should be said during the season.

Yet we hear nothing -- with the exception of a hint here or there from Marshall -- during the season. By the way, I respect that Marshall said what he said during the season. He made his points and no one argued or had the nerve to contradict him in public. So he gets a nod for some honesty and openness.

Everyone else ... where'd this stuff come from? Where was it all season?

I say all that to say this:

This is the second consecutive season Miami players go into open rebellion after the season is over. Last year, Joey Porter went on a scorched Earth campaign against Tony Sparano and his teammates that ultimately got him a one-way ticket to the waiver wire -- twice.

Channing Crowder also chimed in with certain complaints the genesis of which I can't even remember now and don't give any import to, anyway.

But all of Porter's and Crowder's griping came after the season.

And perhaps a surface analysis of this now two-year trend is that several players don't especially love the way the Dolphins are run and don't necessarily agree with the way Sparano does thing. That could lead you to believe Sparano has lost the locker room.

You'd be wrong.

It should lead you to the exact opposite conclusion.

The fact no one seems to have the guts to speak up during the season, while they are still under Sparano's supervision, says all those complainers and bitchers -- not including Marshall -- feared saying anything. They feared what Sparano might do. They were wary of crossing the coach while the season was still in flight.

It was only after the season ended and they were no longer under Sparano's control that they went off on the team or teammates or the coach.

Again: When the season was on and Sparano held the reins, no one other than Marshall said a peep and even Marshall tamed his comments. It wasn't until after Sparano was out of sight that anyone felt like they could, you know, speak.

That, like it or not, is control.

It isn't always like that in a football locker room.

Cam Cameron lost control of his locker room around the middle of 2007 and before the year was over, players were challenging him on the team plane and cursing him out in meetings. I know of no such incident with Sparano's Dolphins.

Remember that in Nick Saban final season, he lost control of the locker room. He got into an expletive-filled argument with quarterback Daunte Culpepper during practice and players were questioning his intentions the last three weeks as Alabama rumors swirled.

Dave Wannstedt lost the Miami locker room early in 2003.

Jimmy Johnson lost Dan Marino around 1998, perhaps earlier, and the two waged all-out war in 1999, with most of the locker room siding with Marino.

Yet in-season, Sparano rides herd over Miami's locker room. Players may not like him. It's impossible to get 53 gifted people to like one guy telling them what to do, anyway. But none of them showed much desire to criticize Sparano or anything else until they got out from under his shadow.



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Get Cam Newton!

Doesn't much matter Mandy, you're beating a dead horse.

Don't leave out the fact that your WR and 3rd string QB were calling their own plays during a game.

That seems like a loss of control to me

Besides, only players that don't mind the unemployment line speak out in public during the season against their coach. I'm sure Marshall isn't worried about getting another gig. Hartline and Crowder on the other hand?

The fact that there's dissention at all, whether it be before, during, or after the season isn't a good sign.

Ironically, Marshall seems to be one of Tony's biggest fans.


All the stuff going on with the Dolphins right now and this is the best you came up with?

Shouldn't you be writing something about how f***ed the Dolphins obviously are based on the way Ross is handling this coaching/GM situation? The Dolphins are completely inept no matter what they do or who does it. This was the first time Ross had to roll up his sleeves and make an impact decision. The way Ross has handled Sparano and Ireland is beyond pathetic.

One moron shoots himself out of a cannon every time his team kicks a field goal and the other idiot is asking kids if their mothers are whores and the guy who signs their paychecks doesn't know whether to keep them or get rid of them or play both sides against the middle in case he can find someone better, blah, blah, blah.

Dolphins fans should be very afraid.

Your last 2 blog posts were outstanding Armando. Great work, that's why I come here.

Now on to football: I think Sparano is a good coach. But you aren't going to win consistently when you have one of the 5 worst QBs in the NFL. ANd that is simply what Henne was this year, like it or not. Even if the DOlphins just had David Garrard it would have made a big difference.

My Wish list

head coach Bill billick
D.C. Nolan
Bring in MacNabb
And draft Cam Newton
Fire the GM ASAP he no good!!!
Fire Henning ASAP!!!
The rest of staff let Billick do with them as he sees fit...

Henne wasn't even in David Garrard's league this year (David F&*%ing Garrard!). That's how bad Henne was this year. And THAT is why Sparano's job is on the line. Not b/c he cant coach.

Fantastic article Armando!

Marshall all balls no brain

Just give that kid his ball and he'll shutup

My God...David Lee totally messed up Henne's brain and career!

You make an excellent point as I was not aware of this. The problem, though, is now that players know he is a lame duck (assuming he returns), they won't be so timid.

Funny about Channing Crowder, we always remember the outbursts, the time he got his hair pulled, when Rex Ryan said he's walked over tougher guys on the way to a fight, the complaining in the media, but I never seem to remember many big plays or sacks during games.

As for Hartline, if he caught as many balls as he's dropped, let bounce off has pads and been picked, or fumbled, he could be a good receiver. Thats one mistake this regime made, they should have traded him to the Vikings instead of Camarillo.

As far as others complaining, its not exclusive to Miami. Every team that didn't make the playoffs has problems and players complaining to the media.

This story holds no water...that is a very narrow minded viewpoint...

where the hell is cowher ross!

Of course they're going to talk like this after the season... If they said this during the season, you would be calling them out for not being team players and rocking the boat... How can you stand for the HC when he clearly cannot manage the clock, out strategize, call plays, etc, etc, etc?!??!

Armando, Sparano may have had control of the locker room through fear, but the players had the final say on the field by quitting on him against the Pats. I wonder if they did the same against the Lions?

Parcells is like a shady contractor. He swoops in with all sorts of promises, lays down an impressive foundation and throws up a frame in record time. Then he skips town and does it again somewhere else and the house never gets finished unless you hire someone else to do it. It ends up costing twice as much and taking twice as long.

In the last 15 years, they've tried the "sexy former Super Bowl winner"-guy, the "2nd time will be the charm for guy who failed somewhere else"-guy, the "college whiz-kid"-guy, the "highly regarded assistant for years"-guy and the "Parcells University"-guy. They've never tried the "diva wide receiver with a big mouth who's never won anything"-guy, so why not give Brandon Marshall a try as new head coach?

add Tony Sparano to the long list of losers we've had as Head coaches in the last decade and just foget about it

Its like that PARIS HILTON said about everthing SO HOTT! that is like the fans with HARBAG THE QUEEN we used to SACK HIS BUT ALL OVER THE GRASS!!

Does it really matter if they said anything or not? If they were thinking and feeling that way during the season, did the coach truly have control of the locker room?

QUEEN HARBAG SUCKS!! i remember JEFF CROSS torn his HEAD OFF one time stuffed his BUTT INTO HIS MOUTH!! HA!!!!! gotta have the BEER TIME NOW!!! playing the WHO the WHOOOOO!!!!

I think it would be the right thing to do. I support this.

This may be wishful thinking, but, if possible, I would aggressively go after the Pats' offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and QB coach Bill O'Brien.

Armando, too, must go

Bill Cowher, yeah right, that's all Ross needs to do is hire a person who want's to tell him what to do. It's not going to happen. Extend Tony S. for another year and let him sort this mess out.

Maybe he controlled them from speaking out, but he certainly lost them. That was already evident in their last games performance. Sparano is not a NFL calibur HC. The players have spoken.


Armando just suggested we have a team full of cowards! LOL................

YW, Armando I know you were also to coward to say it yourself. Like I always say, "youre always the pot calling the kettle black! OMG...... LOL........................


I disagree with your take for the following reasons-

I have to wonder how this Control is being taken around the NFL? Can't remember the Safety from Pitt that turned the plane around? But maybe there is a stigma here? The Roth thing, handling of ZT and JT? Bringing in a powder keg like Marshall? The constant roster movement in season?

Sparano's lack of track record/championships etc., to pull off ruling with an iron fist?

The money disparity on the team seems to have affected it? Marshall, Long and Dansby are in another hemisphere. I know the old get hungry earn your money thing but?

I don't have an up close read of Ricky like you do so I'm assuming you see the "me" thing more with him? I do think the quitting thing was very selfish and BS. He does seem to come to camp in shape, practices hard an plays hard on Sundays.

I too wish the new generation had the respect of the old days. Unfortunately with the money and the self promoting nature of these spoiled brats. They only respond to progress, a track record or money of course. Not sure what they are doing up in NE but he seems to be highly respected and gets the most out of his players. Super Star vet, practice squad kid or reject FA?

I don't think Sparano handled game days right at all or the Henne thing either.


Send Marshall and Hartline to Carolina for a switch of the first round pick, if Carolina is stupid enough to do it. Malcontents, both of them.


The only reason Armando has the banna up the tailpipe with Ricky is because he wouldnt share his man love with Armando. Plain and simple!.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Enuff said. LOL.........................

Daily Special - Rotisserie Sparano with two sides.

If Armando quits acting like a little winey b!tch the players would stop treating him like one. LOL.....................

Players wont give Armando good interviews or in some cases even give him an interview at all. Is because the word's out around Davie that Armando's a backstabbing winey litte b!tch.

Being a player and hearing this about Armando would you want to give him a decent interview if not completely spurning being interviewed by him at all? LOL.................

What a classless organization, conducting a search while your other guy is still on board. How in the world will he be able to maintain his dignity. Sparano is in a lose lose situation now. Regardless of how well he performed, it looks like he tried his best, so he at least deserves better treatment than this.

Everytime Armando isnt reporting "real fins news". It's always a nail scratching hair pulling b!tch-fest he's spewing accross.

Man up and grow a pair Armando, Guys dont catfight with other guys! You greatly underestimate your reading audience. This isnt a girls football or knitting club audience. LOL..........

I'm an avid knitter. Armando what brand nail polish do you use?


Most of us are of a road warrior tough as nails mentality. That's why we love football.

We dont wanna read about how pink cookies in a plastic sack got crushed by a tall building. We also dont give a damn that Barbie and Ken recieved the national citizenship award at the White House! We want raw manly manly damn it! LOL...................


Until you understand why your audience loves football you'll never become a great sports writer. You will remain stuck in the bottomles abyss of erron boy blogs and meaniless extra earlier morning radio shows.

Any fool can parrot "real" breaking news. That's not what will make you great. keenly knowing your audience and giving them exactly what they want will! No more good advice for you. LOL................

Dolphins a classless organization???

More like Karma...Sparano waiting around the way he made JT wait around????

Feed the Wolf!

Tired,Just sooo tired...mmmm sleep must have sleep......wake (pun)me up in september OOOHHHH my head

Sparano was in over his head to begin with. He had absolutely ZERO experience other than O'line coach. Not an experienced coordinator on either side of the ball. This year it became way too apparent the job was too big for him.

Why not us!

Mando, I just don't understand why you think it is so bad for players to speak up honestly at the end of the season, to the public. who knows what they were bringing up during the season, behind closed doors. Isn't the end of the season the time to reflect and point out what is wrong with this team?

Us true Dolfans are BEYOND STOKED and grateful for players to speak honestly about their opinions. Most of the time it is towing the company line. You know what I mean Mando. AND us fans can see what is going on on the field. The QB sucks, the play calling is scared and conservative. Yet you Mando are consistently sticking up for the poor performance of this current phins administration while ripping players that are telling fans the TRUTH!

How's this for humiliating...
The Dolphins longest winning streak this year was.. TWO GAMES, and that was the first two games of the season. And yet we're still waiting for Sparano to be fired why exactly?

It gets even worse. How hard is it to win back to back games in the NFL? Not that hard actually. In fact BOTH Buffalo and Cincinnati doubled the Dolphins feat, each with their own TWO two game winning streaks. And both of those crappy teams finished 4-12. So'd the Browns and they finished 5-11. Hey, even the Titans won THREE in a row at one point. In fact the ONLY team that didn't post back to back wins at least once in 2010 was the 2-14 Carolina Panthers. So the teams that managed back to back win isn't exactly exclusive company.

All of these teams and a few more have something in common, they'll all draft ahead of the Dolphins this year.

But that's not where I'm going with this. Sitting down? Good, because here comes the most humiliating point for Phins fans. Remember the Detroit Lions? Perennial league doormat? The grounding stake/lead balloon in the bonnet of Red Wings fans? The team that makes losing a birth right?

Those guys finished on an epic FOUR game winning streak. Think about that. Let it sink in for a minute. The Lions are a team on the rise. Moreso than Miami. They beat three division opponents during their streak and the other win came against? Yep, Miami. So even though they started the season 2-10 and had nothing to play for except drafting position entering December. They saw Miami's meager 2 game winning streak to open the season and raised with their own four gamer. Imagine what it's like to feel good about your team for an entire month, especially around the holidays. Must be nice huh?

If Ross still has any questions about whether or not to keep Sparano he should consider that. He (or whoever is coaching this team in the future) should also consider that with Henne as a starter the Dolphins haven't won three games in a row even once. Unless of course, he wanted to buy the league's new doormat.

are you f'n kidding me? Hartline? seriously? who the f^%* does he think he is? he has about two seconds in the NFL and he's calling out people? Yeah it shows they are all P's!! Tony still has control of the locker room.

and hell no to Brian Billick!!! if it wasn't for his defense he wouldn't have won crap in Balitmore!!

I cant even believe Ross is even contemplating keeping Jeff Ireland. Seems Ireland has been the deal breaker thus far in the outside coaching search.

Ireland himself represents 50% of all of problems because as gm he is responsible for all of the other problems that exist. The 3 biggest splash as far as talent acquisitions are Jake Long(Ryan would have been the better choice) and the Dansby/Marshall deals. He also gets 1/2 point for Vonte Davis because I could see Davis as a #2 corner on a top 5 nfl team.

Wake wasnt a find. At least 5-6 other nfl teams were trying to negotiate with him the same time we were. So I hesitantly give him 1/4 of a point for that one. Everything else Ireland did far more harm than good. LOL.......

Our stinking team has become an embarrassment...boy I miss the Shula/Marino days.

I like how they shut the offense down against Pittsburgh instead of putting their foot on their throat!

You make it sound like players' ideas and opinions and concerns don't count. Last time I checked, slavery had been abolished a long time ago. These are PAID, PROFESSIONAL, CONTRACTED players, they have every right to have their concerns heard.


Whats your deal Bro?

Ireland is astute at the Draft! Especially the interview process! Keen insight is his calling card! "Hey Dez, is your Mom a Dope slinging Ho?"

Glad he kept a kid like that away from our beloved team *wink*

Oh and for the Guy on the last Blog Ranting to Armando about the language here. I apologize that we Bloggers came up with Ireland's prostitution reference, Ricky's got balls reference and of course Armando's complainers and bitchers reference. You might also want to shield your son from Favre's Penis pic and details of Kobe's, Ben's and Tiger's activities. The reality of Sports is way worse than this blog. Just sounds different when it's Dan Rather saying Monica Lewinsky had Semen on her dress than when Howard Stern or a Rapper says it?????

Because of the hush policy I bet that the players did bring this stuff up during the season, and Tony and Jeff said that if the players say anything that they will be heavily fined and suspended without pay...all these guys are not making 5 mil per year...some guy making 500k per year and a 100k fine is a big deal to them and their families...but rich marshal had the balls and money to say what he wants...100k fine is nothing compared to 50mil, pocket change folks.. The writing is in the wall guys, it's all there to see...

I miss Shula and Marino...


One for sure thing about blogs are they're free lunch for every overly sheltered nutjob out there still living in mommy's basement. LOL.........

Like Mr and Mr Aloco-Home lol

The players are frustrated. Simple fact. And the reason for their frustration is lack of wins.

The game plan designed by the "I'm not that smart coach" and the "I'm all there ever was and ever will be" OC didn't work. The players are really upset and are looking to provide guidance to the leaders.

The leaders in turn have done nothing to disprove the players remarks. Not on the same page is very obvious. Marshall is right. Hartline is right, Williams is right and Crowder should shut his mouth because he sucks.

Don't mistake passion for mutiny.

Sparano Apologist.


Come on man. These spoiled, overpaid gasbags can talk all the shyt they want. Until they actually start winning some games, I ain't listening to NONE of it. F-cking crybaby rich fuchs.

Ross has three months to try and remedy a MULTITUDE of problems. 3 months before any of his decisions even matter. They playoffs havent even started yet-WTF.

At this point I don't care what future plans Roos has, as long as they don't include Dan Henning or David Lee.

Getting rid of these two improves our offense INSTANTLY!!!!

I think Marshalls comment on Henne is right on the money. It's proof that Henning and Lee are detrimental to young QB's specifically and the passing game in general. I don't believe it's just Henne either, Thigpen never looked this bad in KC.

It's one thing to waste a second round pick on a QB like Pat White.

It's a completely different thing to waste a QB that we spent a second round pick on.

The Trifecta managed to do BOTH. F-cking BRILLIANT!!!!

If Tony Sporano was a mafia boss, he would have gotten whacked this season. Offensive play calling was terrible, 2 min offense terrible. TS needs to play some Madden football to learn how to manage the 2 Min offense. I hope we get Harbaugh but I doubt we will, the team quit on Tony Sporano, its time to move on. BTW if Fat Tony and Ginger Ireland saw the video above they might not have picked Henne for the new Marino. Yes, he sucked in college too.

I like your article
If Bill Belachek said to a player do what I say,and (we will) win.They Win!!!
If Sparano said to a player,do what I say and we'll win, they Lose!!!
Which coach well lose the locker room? If Pennington had not fallen into there laps in 2008,Sparano would have had 3 losing seasons.
Sparano has been doing the old rope-a-dope, or fake it till you make it (at being a head coach).He almost made or did he?

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