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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.

Again.

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.

Control.  

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ANY PLAYER WHO CAME OUT AGAINST TONY SPARANO ISN'T A GOOD HUMAN BEIMG AND THEY SHOULD NOT RETURN TO THE TEAM . JUST ISN'T A GOOD TACTIC .

Armando actually DEFENDING the Dolphin's head coach is the worst possible Kiss of Death concievable. ;)

this is becoming a joke. ross keeps screwing around and he will have to coach the bad news dolphins. get on with it, either fire sparano or keeep him, do something a##hole!

talk about a joke
the ss "MOB"

that blog has hit the end of the end

I can't believe Henning is still employed by the dolphins. Either retire or get fired- it's up to you.

Wait . . . when persons under your leadership go behind your back and say that you're awful in public forums it means that you have control over them? What kind of asinine doublespeak is this? Who's teaching you to write this? Big Brother?

Isnt't this exactly an example of Sparano's inability to motivate and coach the players? Good intentions don't cut it. Players who play for good coaches don't complain. They are happy to be part of the teams that have good coaches. They are proud to be part of that team. If the coach can't motivate, then who's going to do it?

He might have control, but at this point I think it's fair to call his current grasp over the team shaky.

If next season comes around and we get off to another bad or even mediocre start, I could see things going south for Sparano very quickly.

The fact that it's known that the organization is looking at other coaches now certainly doesn't help his authority.

Hey Lee, call me. I'm sure we can find another QB to chop his n*ts off and another offense to ruin!

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