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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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What do you want me to do? Wack the guy? Off the guy? Well you can just wack me off right now.

The players should speak out

esp the WRs

The team cannot F!@#ing score points!

The Dolphins Suck

Henne is a F!@#ing stiff

Whats your point?

The Dolphins Suck

Right now

The Dolphins Suck

6.6 250 lb QB Cam Newton
New QB coach Chad Pennington

Whatever It takes
Do It

End of Discussion

That was well said. I guess the only thing that matters now is what Ross thinks, right?

Hardballs will sign in San Fran
They will give him everything he wants
His family is already comfortably residing 20 miles away from the practice facility

and come on
How cool would it be for dad to come in and save the local NFL Pro football team?

Ireland & Sparano stay

Whatever It takes sign
6.6 250 lb QB Cam Newton
New QB coach Chad Pennington

Find best OC available

Cam Newton * Ronnie Brown * Brandon Marshall * Simply The Bess * Brian Hartline

Sounds pretty F!@#ing good to me

Now build your O-line
Get the old phat guys healthy

Find a new RB to replace Ricky

Find a new TE

Lets Get Back To Winning Miami Dolphin Football

U Get That, Huh!

Bring Mike Shula home as qb coach.

LMFAO. You gus have way bigger problems than your HC namely your owner and GM. As long as Ireland is more concerned about draftees moms and keels signing the Gibril Wilsons and drafting the Pat Whites you will not win. Now your owner has thrown Sparano under the buss w/o actually firing him - what credibility does he have if he comes back? Anyway enjoy your red carpet and in stadium club while the rest of the league focuses on winning.

parcells bolted for the exits. now we need to get rid of the rest of his morons, sparano/henning/ireland asap! get a good nfl asst. coach with experience like mornhinweg of the eagles.

How do you know it wasn't already said in private during the season? To say it publicly during the season opens up a really bad situation, a la T.O.'s antics. The way Ricky handled it was the way to do it. Wait until the season is over so you don't cause more of a circus than already exists.

The best barometer of a coach is how he turns over his roster and replaces the dead wood with guys that can play. Belicheck replaced 25 guys from last years Pats team that got steamrolled buy the Ravens. This year they went 14-2. Think about that. Would Sparano be able to accomplish that? NOT!!!!!

This is a dumb position to take. All that control resulted in.....what?






Control is not the same as Regime of fear: see the USSR....
When you have control, you have control. Period.
The regime of fear works works until things begin to go wrong and people begin to complain...


I have to agree to disagree with you.

You have to remember we don't know what exchanges happend behind closed doors during the season.

Maybe these same people spoke to Sporano about it during the season and he never took it to heart.

If you're saying they should have spoken up to the media during the season and started complaining then that's crazy -- that would obviously cost them their jobs or playing time.

Is Jim Harbaugh our Head Coach yet???

Well, I don't know, but isn't it the head coach's job to get involved if there's some kind of beef between the QB'S coach, the QB and your best WR?? If you're the coach, shouldn't you have a meeting with all parties involved and resolve it on the spot?? Isn't that why you're the HEAD COACH and the other ones are COORDINATORS?? This is why Sparano failed, because of situations like this that get out of hand, frustration builds in with everyone and nothing gets resolved. And Armando, just so you know, several players aren't too happy with Sparano, not just Ricky Williams. He needs to go.



zonk-39, he's got to be our man. Ross has to get this done.

The players quitting on their coach was big. That spoke volumes. What spoke even louder was when they quit on each other, both on offense and defense. They went into self preservation mode. The Pats tore them a new one because of it. The Head Coach is responsible for that, period. Players NOT speaking out during the season is either control due to respect or over control. It looks like the latter was the case now. You never get the truth until after the season when people are free to talk. BTW: Henning was the biggest problem on the coaching staff. His approach was truly insane. David Lee, if he did what I have heard, may have truly ruined Henne's career. Either way, the Head Coach knew and did nothing about it! Also, I stick by my statements, they cannot evaluate talent! They do not have that skill set. Other teams are way above them in that regard! That had a direct effect on the draft coming up. Proof? Henne over who? Remember the choices.

ALoco, in my opinion (for whatever it's worth), the players underachieved so they get their share of the blame and the head coach failed as well. Both these things combined resulted in another season with no playoff appearance.

if 4 guys are speaking out that means half the barrel could be rotten;just like apples. all is not well in dolphin land. most of us woke up late last year and during the course of this season. too many strange happenings during this regime's reign of secrecy. ireland drafted 2 guys with broken legs in college while bellichek quietly reloaded in the draft for a super bowl run. out with the regime!

Sparano may have control of the team, but he doesn't have their respect. They keep their mouths shut to collect a paycheck while going thru the motions; and it shows on the field.

Hey Armando, as soon as you can peel your lips off of Sparano's johnson, write something worth reading.

You don't have to be openly rebelled on to have lost your lockerroom, they could just not play hard for you because they don't believe in you anymore, like the New England game.

I don't think this team believes in Sparano's philosophy, "play to not lose" creates a certain uninspired level of play.

What Marshall said explains a lot. That offense was too regimented. They didn't read the defense and adjust accordingly. That's why teams like the awful Browns knew what plays they were running. Does anyone think Tom Brady or Peyton Manning doesn't change plays once they get to the line and read the defense? Peyton changes the play 2 or 3 times at the line. Should the Dolphins offensive issues have been addressed internally? Of course they should but as a fan I'm glad someone spoke out so that we know what the issues are.

Has anyone considered the players speaking out could be a cry for help.They know the fan base is pissed and the owner is trying to decide what to do.What better way to get a better Coach than go public and get the Fans behind you.Waiting till the seasons over or waiting till the owner has finally decided to make changes.I think i would listen to a player before i would a reporter who evidentley gets a front row seat at press conferences.

Of course if players said this stuff during the season, they would be regarded as Diva's, Me only folks who are causing distractions for the team when they should be focused on winning, yada yada yada.

I especially love the part where you pointed out you didn't get the answer to the question to Marshall but the player went somewhere else and told the answer. That must have really jerked your chain, you always seem so childish about stuff like that.

BTW, losing "control" of the team is different then losing the locker room. While you can usually see one with the other, it's not always the case. You look at the effort at the end of the season and try to tell me with a straight face he had that locker room backing up him.

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Armando...I notice a pattern in your reporting. Player talks to you gives you little info (ala the basic company line)...and then, talks to another media person and drops some real info.

You always then denigrate the player for not sharing info with you. You are clearly a company man and the players KNOW IT.

You remind me that I miss Jason Cole.

Control Mando, However he could not contreol the will to play for these guys. they quit, ran through the motions, missed tackles, honestly looked like they could care less in New England. If we are going to call that control it is terribile control.

Kubiaks guys didn't quit, Fishers guys didn't quit. I think Sparano lost this team in November. That is not good at all.

Home, Cam Newton is a project at best. great college talent at college speed. His release is deliberate and somewhat slow from what I have seen. Kinda like Leftwich, He is big and mobile so that is good, but I am not sure his arm speed and delivery can make it in the NFL. that is the #1 hardest thing to teach a QB, delivery.

This article is good reading....when did you start writing comedy Armando?

Email these blogs to Ross, he will see the light, we the fans (just like the players) will not take this garbage anymore. Ross...if you want my money in '11 you need to oust Tony, Jeff, Lee, and whomever else caused this debacle. We want our beloved Miami team back! We want to be a winning respected team again, not this laughing stock of underachieveing coach's and staff. Jeff Ireland IS part of the problem, he needs to go. Otherwise you will not get my money for apparel, Sunday ticket, game tickets, ecr..
We are sick of it! Heads must roll for this!


No more waiting, do whatever it takes to bring in a new HC and get us back competing with the stinkin jets and NE!

My fellow Phins fans,
It has been an ongoing problem that has to be addressed. The personnel moves that we the fans of this team have had to endure is terrible! Pat White in the 2nd round? Did anyone in the player personnel department actually take a good long look at Henne? Did those words about Dez Bryants mother really come out of these people mouths that look (or attempt) to look at talent? Until changes on this end of the spectrum change, this team will continue is spiral into NFL laughing stock!

I just want this coaching search to be over theres a new rumor everyday. It truely seems that no one reporting the news is correct and contradicts the other report. I think Sparano goes either way Ross is just looking for the right person. Regardless of what the source says I still dont think Gruden is out of the hunt. I have a feeling that regardless of the coach we are going to have a top 5 pick next year :(

Dear Mr. Salguero

Has Armando lost the blog ?

Are the editors looking for a new writer ?

Now that the season is over the fans seem to be showing there discontent.

The fans want an offensive minded writer....no fans = no blog hits.....editors concerned.

Sure during the season its Mandy this and Mandy that....but now ?

I'm just tired about hearing how the Pats blog is this and the Jets blog is that....well fans unless the owner of the Herald gets rid of the Editor and the current writer staff it will be another season of the same old same old

Different perspective

Soiled :)

I commend Marshall for his honesty and accept comments from most anyone except Crowder. I've yet to see him make an impact play during his tenure with the Dolphins. He should just shut up and keep under the radar (impossible for him). If you look at his carrer stats, its a no brainer that Tim Dobbins should start in his place and if Crowder is fortunate, maybe he should be a special teamer at a reduced salary as his cap # doesn't justify his place on the roster. He's constantly out of position and contributes more to the injury report than to the team. Hopefully the "blueprint" takes this into account.

Spearmint is the answer

Tim Dobbins should not be starting anywhere, Maybe for a guaranteed running play coming in his direction. beyond that BLEH!

Whats this country coming too when people are being criticized for speaking out? Unreal. The media is doing a great job of programming the general public into thinking its best to keep your mouth shut, not speak your mind, and what next, accept a military government?

The governments plan to frighten the public into submission is working too well. When I was a kid, speaking your mind was promoted. Now 'politically correct' is promoted, which sure seems to me the exact opposite of freedom of speech. Scary.

man you hear all the bs coming out of the Dolphin camp and it feels like wasted energy rooting for this team. this season they were so far from focused on being a better winning team.

how in the world can they play w/the Pats and evening the f'ing Jets.

this is 2 years in a row the team layed down. they have failed w/high draft picks, they have failed to help develop their young QB. play calling has been horrible.

MAKE THE MOVE NOW ROSS!!! all of them... i once was a supporter of the Trifecta, but you really see what went on in the inner circle, Sparano is not head coach material, Ireland? i am not impressed.. and since Tuna is gone, hand out pink slips to his guys as well!

No more waiting, do whatever it takes to bring in a new HC and get us back competing with the stinkin jets and NE!

Posted by: cowkilla | January 05, 2011 at 08:20 AM


Competing with the Jets won't be that difficult.

Competing with New England will be impossible for a few years. They are clearly going to dominate the entire league again.

Neither the Jets or us will have to worry about winning any division titles.

After I perform a miracle or two, would someone rub suntan lotion on my back? Careful with those "wandering fingers," fellas!

Soiled...perhaps the best perspective.....lighten the mood.....

I'll never put it past you Mando to neglect the elephant in the room.

Nice story you posted, of course your take is Sparano is King of the Mountain and should continue.

What I took out of it is what we've all seen ALL season long. Everyone was asking why Marshall didn't get more balls thrown his way (especially when he's single-covered). And why Chad Henne would throw it to a rookie TE (Shuler) or an RB (Cobbs, Polite, etc.) when he probably would have a higher probability throwing to a single-covered receiver. Now we know. David Lee's STUPID "progression" and Chad Henne's inability to understand situational football.

And why did Week 1 look just like Week 16 (offensively)? Because the game plan is static. No creativity, no changes, no re-evaluation.

But let's not actually talk football Mando, God help us for doing that. Let's not talk about what really LOST games for us. Let's talk about personalities like this was Real Housewives or something. That's what you want to do, NOT improve the product on the field.

I hope Tony Sparano is put out there to sway in the wind for MONTHS! Let him just sit there. Until there's an agreement signed, it doesn't matter what happens, so no rush Mr. Ross. Go through your selection process thoroughly. If Harbaugh gets snatched by S.F., keep going through the other choices. Sparano should be the bottom-of-the-barrel last resort (before like a homeless guy on the street).

My take now, if Harbaugh is going to S.F., it to dump Sparano and Ireland and Nolan and get Cowher. Who cares about control when you got sh*t for brains. If dumping Ireland/Nolan is what it takes to get rid of Sparano, then to me it's worth it.

DB....were you extremely drunk last night....My Lord man....

Just asking.....

Trying to figure out why anyone who wants a dynamic, wide open offense would want Bill Cowher as coach.

That's like saying you hate vanilla ice cream just before ordering...vanilla ice cream.

The Dolphins will adhere to an extremely conservative, run-first style of offense if Cowher is coach. That's his philosophy and it won't change.

this isnt the 1st year the players quit. it happened the end of last year when porter was larger than sparano. these guys are pro's but they need leaders who are usually grizzled veterans. we dont have any because of our youth movement;there's no one to teach the young guys. we sacrificed speed to go get size. the regime pretty much put us back 3 years and a whole lot of $$$$$! maybe ross can see it but i doubt it if he keeps ireland (the ball boy and interviewer).

Dear Mr. Salguero

"Sparano should be the bottom-of-the-barrel last resort(before like a homeless guy on the street)"

I was just contacted by Mr. Stephan Ross...wonder what he wants ?

Soiled :)

DC.....Sporano is is being made an example of....its a message to the league that PARCELLS SUCKS....he can't to Parcells...but he can send a message through his whipping boy.....

I said about a week ago when the report came out that "Parcells convinced Ross to kep Sporano"...that this was his chance to embarrass Parcells....little did i know he would go mafia style with it

Plers used to routinely complain about Shula (yes, including the playcalling).

Maybe some of you have shot memories. I don't.

Also, I saw that Marshall press conference, and wondered who was the guy who irritated Marshall. Now I know. After you asked the question Mando (about explaining the communication statement he made), he grimaced and said something like, "you haven't asked a question all season and...(inaudible)...next question."

What I take from that and other posts from you Mando is players don't like you much. You're like the spurned nerd is high school. Always trying to get yourself into the "cool group" but never having the personality/character for it. I think it's your conservative nature, athletes just don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling from you.

So, I take everything you say about players with a grain of salt, understanding that you almost show a jealousy towards young men who are more talented at their craft than you are at yours.

daying breed= fake aloco

I know everyone seems to be hating on Henne now, and I again AM NOT SURE he is even close to our answer.

However, what Marshall said really plays into maybe why Henne sucked so bad.

Henne has been looking over his shoulder all year, being threatened not to make a mistake. Not one NFL QB is successful that way.

Just throwing it out there as food for thought that maybe our QB situation is not as bad as it seems, it could be the puppet masters blowing this.

Come on with the season was over for the Dolphins that's is when they should of experimented with the offense with plays and see where they went wrong they had nothing to lose and were still trying to win. I agree with Marshall in changing plays to motivate the offense against NE what else was there to do out there in a lopsided game...I lost Sparano in the Detroit game when they muffed up the time clock like we are a bunch of rookies play football.

I can't believe people on this blog thinking we can 'sign' Cam Newton. You have to draft him. Have you seen our draft position? Dream on....
If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we'd all have a happy Christmas.

Can't wait for beach volleyball later today! That guy Jim is super hot. I think I'll perform a few "miracles" on him!

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