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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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You have got this one completely wrong. Why are you kissing Sparano's butt? He has lost his locker room and the reason they don't speak up during the season is because it would be a distraction when they are trying to win games. They are speaking up now because the season is over and they want Sparano out. Oh yeah big bad Sparano is so scary he got punked publically all last season by Joey Porter. Sparano is a clown and has no direction. All his preaching that Ricky said he does, he was right on. Sparano sucks. I will not be going to another Miami game until they rid themselves of this mumbling, bumbling idiot!

If that shadow was so strong during the season, then why did they essentially quit on him on Sunday? Your theory does not compute.

G--this is also a blog where people think you can just sign a coach without adhering to the Rooney Rule or required protocol, trade three years of draft picks for Andrew Luck, and desire a creative, wide-open offense while asking for freakin' Bill Cowher in the same breath.

Welcome to Dummyville!

DC, Armando is very bitter, comes through in so many of his blogs. He also is quite hypocritical...he ridiculed Ricky for years then is bitter that Ricky doesn't talk to him...yeah right...On American holidays he praises our freedom of speech, yet censors his own blog...the list goes on. Then of course there is his condescending holier than thou crapola....

Dear Mr. Salguero

As your spin doctor I recommend another article STAT.....something to do with the demise of Dan Henning should calm the mass's

Soiled :)

Poizen, that makes me dislike Henne MORE, not less. If he's so soft, so weak, so "willing to please", such a "hall monitor", then who's to say the next Coach won't pull him into another wrong direction. This kid said he never sat on the bench. 4 year starter in high school. 4 year starter in college. You're telling me he doesn't have a "feel" for the game. That he's willing to just go out there and do what some Coach wants? That's not a player to me, that's a robot.

If Henne, as the leader of the offense, can't ever think for himself in a 16-week season, then we don't need to see anything else from a guy like that. The most important thing to develop in a young QB is their thought-process. Since Henne has given that up for a year, he's just as good as a rookie. Let's get someone else and develop them (it'll take just as long and hopefully bring better results). I'd trade Henne to the Raiders at this point. Let him do what Al Davis' crazy *ss wants.


tim- it is amazing reading some of this stuff

If Mr. Ross wants the fan base to get excited about the fins again then dip into our past. First sign Dan Marino to a position similar to the one that Elway just recieved from Denver. Then sign Zach Thomas to coach the MLB's. He could show Crowder once and for all how its down. Make Mike Shula the QB coach and Don Shula a consultant instead of Parcells. Fire Sparano and find the best available. Draft a QB if one falls in the draft if not trade back and draft OL in the 1st. That is a good start MR. ROSS

Sorry fake Kris @ 8:51...now go create a sign in name in BLUE....that should give you something to do for a few min....

if anybody would have watched henne in camp the last three years like i have they would agree he should have been no more than a 3rd string benchwarmer at best. i would have cut him or traded him for a 6th round pick. thats how badly he performed in camp. he doesnt interact with anyone except penne or coaches;never receivers or team mates. he definitely cant think for himself.

Once again you make sophomoric conclusions based on your "vast" footbal knowledge. Quick question - forgetting to show up and play against New England after a week of gushing about Sparano; is that control?

If Mr. Ross wants the fan base to get excited about the fins again then dip into our past. First sign Dan Marino to a position similar to the one that Elway just recieved from Denver. Then sign Zach Thomas to coach the MLB's. He could show Crowder once and for all how its down. Make Mike Shula the QB coach and Don Shula a consultant instead of Parcells. Fire Sparano and find the best available. Draft a QB if one falls in the draft if not trade back and draft OL in the 1st. That is a good start MR. ROSS

Posted by: bk | January 05, 2011 at 09:06 AM


Wow. What a staggering list of completely inane ideas.

Great idea. Let's hire a bunch of people with ZERO experience in thos respective jobs to do them. I'm guessing that's how Belichick gets it done, right?

Let me guess. You're also one of those guys who thought Marino would be a good coach because...well...he PLAYED good. Right?

Jesus, save me from these dim bulbs.


Having a great career in the NFL DOESN'T MEAN you could be a great NFL exec. Mike Singletary is one of the best linebackers ever and looked what happened. It's tempting to give Marino a front office job, but I'm afraid it would be just good move PR wise. Having said that, I don't want Ireland running our upcoming draft.

Dear Mr. Salguero

Broke back Quarter back

Why can't Tony Sparano Quit Chad Henne ?

Ahhh nevermind I'm going fishing

Soiled :)

Sounds like Sparano's house is divided.

Ricky saying Sparano is too focused on the basics & harps on them too much. (DUH, THAT'S ALL HE KNOWS. WHAT ELSE CAN HE TEACH?)

Hartline seems to be uttering same things as Ricky so, there must be some basis to it.

Marshall stating no one is on the same page

Simply put, A House Divided Can't Stand.

Why leave Sparano hanging in the wind like this? He doesn't deserve that. If he had any decency he'd quit. As for Ross, stop protecting Ireland. He has far from proven his worth to your franchise. To retain him instead of allowing Cowher(Proven) to do his thing, shows a lack of...I don't know what you'd call that. Ignorance? Sillyness? Foolish?

How can that be greg? Sparano is so detail-oriented I thought? You, a dumb fan, saw Henne perform badly at camp. Yet, Sparano/Henning/Lee/Ireland/Parcells, the supposed Intelligentsia of the NFL, couldn't figure that out in 3 years. Were their backs turned the whole time? Was the Sun too glaring to see?

Why should we believe you over Sparano? Oh, 29th in scoring. 2 year 7-9 record. Most boring, nonexplosive and creative offense in the league. Is that all you got?

If so, sounds good to me.

Sorry, meant non-creative, but I think everyone got the gist.


Dan Marino is no more qualified for that job than he is for Ambassador to Finland.

This whole mindset that great player = great coach, executive, whatever is something fans desperately cling to despite the fact that it is almost NEVER true.

I get it. It's the only names they really have knowledge about and their thinking tends to go in very simplistic terms, but still...

The only hope for Chad Henne is called Jim Harbaugh. He played QB, knows what it takes to be a great QB, and coaches QBs. Henne needs Harbaugh to salvage his career. The Dolphins need Jim Harbaugh. They need help offensively and he's the guy who could help. What's Cowher going to do to fix our problems offensively? He's a defensive coach. Our defense needs a bit of help but it's much farther ahead than our offense. We stink offensively!

ALoco, Thigpen is a free agent already, don't worry about waiving him, he is already gone

Aloco, I love your enthusiasm but how does that solve issues? We still have no RB's, no LG, no C, no RG, a gimpy RT, no speed at RB, TE & WR.

well my fingers are crossed we can get harbaugh. a young hungry fired up coach. cowher would be huge also but sounds like hes out. and im very happy tony is gone, but i think ireland was a huge problem also. he should of been fired. they have made awful moves in free agency and the draft.


tim, Your so right plus Wayne already gave Marino that job and he bailed after what, 3 days or so? Took to much of his time. Some of these people are ridiculous, they think these former players and coaches would jump out of their great retirements to come right back.

Bill, Ireland is as big a problem as Sparano. Why Ross can't see all his blunders far outweigh his successes is beyond me. But don't get your hopes too high yet, Sparano isn't gone yet...

If you were Harbaugh, looking at our QB, O-line & RB position & look at NE in our division, would you want this job?

Wondering how long the last few die hard Sparano supporters here will last. The only argument they ever make is that since it took Cowher 14 years, we should give Sparano 14 years, or they refer to the fluke 2008 season and completely ignore the other 9000 stats showing how seriously he has failed.

i wasnt very impressed with mallet last night. i had hoped miami might have a shot at him. ive now switched to wanting gabbert for miamis first rd pick or blackmon from ok st

Aloco, Thigpen is a FA in 2011. NEWSFLASH: It's 2011, Happy new year!




ALoco, somebody put out a Free Agent list the other day and Thigpen was on it. Guess it was a mistake, I just assumed it was right, sorry

Bobby, thigpen is a FA. He was signed through 2010 & up for FA in 2011.

thigpen like ricky and ronnie are all gone. free agents who nobody will want

I believe the players, I've said it before, the coaches don't adjust to the game. Couple of weeks ago I posted that chad was getting killed by the pass rush, why not put him in the shotgun and or roll him out. They keep doing the same game plan. At N.E. it's 38-0 with 2:00min. left in the game and you've got the QB under center running play action ! Who the Hell are they trying to fool, not the N.E. defense there all coming, why waste time with play action at that point. You should be in a shotgun spread formation, do they even have one of those ? With Wanny it was run,run,run, punt. With Tony it's, dump off, dump off, dump off, punt.

tony is 100 percent gone fellas, no worries there. just sick knowing ireland will probaly keep his job

Thks Joe, I usually check before I post but it's too early but he is a FA, good.

Kyle Orton is NOT a free agent. We already don't have a 2nd round pick. You want to give the Broncos another draft pick? Good teams are built with good drafting, that's the key. I wouldn't mind Orton, but the idea of giving away a draft pick when we have so many holes on our roster is NOT very appealing to me. Get Kitna in here with a rookie QB and Henne and see how everything unfolds. The market doesn't have much to offer unfortunately.

Poizen | January 05, 2011 at 08:15 AM


Same thing was said bout my boy Tebow
Who was only one of the best players/QBs to ever come out of college football

Whatever it takes
Dolphins NEED 6.6 250 lb Cam Newton


U Get That, Huh?

I think the Bills or Cardinals may make a play for Thigpen. Teams with a lot of holes may go with a stop gap kind of QB just to build up with first. I wouldn't be shocked to see a team in the QB worthy part of the 1st round take a shot on Thigpen and trade back to acquire more picks.

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!

Im with dc dolfan here. players hate you, douche

Cowher aint happening
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

i would draft gabbert at qb and sign kerry collins.

#1 fan, greetings. I'm glad you warmed up to my Kitna idea. For 1 years, he can mentor Henne & another young QB. They have to bring in another young QB though. Kitna can still wing it & I think he could sneak us into a Wildcard next year.

There is NO need or chance we will trade a high pick.

gailey wont want thigpen over fitz anymore. and the cards are suppose to be making a deal for kolb

Armando, please let me know the last time a coaching staff changed their entire approach b/c a player made these suggestions you are crying about that they didn't make?

Look no further than Brandon Marshall, who you praise for speaking up during the season. And what exactly did that do? What changed? What improved?

These guys are frustrated and rightly so. Henne was a robot and Henning/Sparano were stubborn and had zero killer instinct.

These players are 100% correct, and there is no doubt that if they expressed any of this as you are saying they should of, nothing would of changed. Actually...Brandon Marshall did, and look what it did.

I still missed the point of the article. So because sparano had 'control' of the team, that makes him the right coach for the team? just because people didn't speak during the season? REALLY? we don't know what caused the silence - could have been fines or policy or guys not wanting to rock the boat (ie being professional). Once a coach loses the faith of his players, it's a done deal. Bottom line that's what was happening. I agree with the players - they were too 'by the book' and never adjusted to anything! that's why sparano and his staff are in jeopardy! HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PLAYERS THOUGHTS OR WORDS!!!

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he deleted my post that was critical of him. COWARD!!!

Bill, you're for Harbaugh, I'm not so sure he's the right guy. He has pro's & cons.

I'm just wondering, if you were him & knowing our RB, Oline & QB situation. Knowing NE will reign this division.....would you want this job?

Hey Joe...I've been saying Kitna for a while. Orton would be nice but we're NOT in a position to give away draft picks. We have a lot of holes and we can't rely on free agency to plug in all these holes. That's not the way you build a contender anyway. The Dolphins need to be smarter with their decision making. That's been part of the problem for quite some time now.

Ricky will end up at NE and thrive.

Kitna can lick my balls

6.6 250 lb QB Cam Newton or NOTHING!

Now Get Your Shine Box!

If I remember correctly, Marino called his owen plays and could change a play at will. Why, because Marino had control of the game. Thats whats missing in the NFL today. A good QB knows what the defense is doing and whos doing it, be it a DB or DE. He knows what plays will work and which ones will not work. The QB KNOWS if his WR can out junp a DB or not. The OC isnt on the field playing, he cant hear whats going on the field like the QB. Get a smart QB who understands the offense and let him play. The OC gets paid to call plays, if the QB can do that more effectivly, then theres no need for an OC.



Awesome idea folks. Let's save our 1st round pick to draft a guy that will play one game and go on IR. SuperBowl, here we come!!!

#1 fan, we need to draft better. No Question. But sadly, with all the holes, we won't have enough quality picks to fill more than 2-3 areas of need.

We need to rebuild the O-line in FA. No way around it. If whoever comes wants to win & not rebuild, you have to go with vets & not rookie mid round picks. QB, I think Kitna can hold it down for a season.

Rb & TE you can get in the draft but we need to get WR & Rb depth in FA too. We still need ILB, OLB rush & DB help too. We have some adequate pieces but if we ever wanna Challenege NE, we need better than adequate.

anyway, he deleted the post where I told the EDITORS of this paper that I would NEVER again read a single word written by this bitter idiot. that any other journalist covering the team was preferred, and that I hoped that one of the cheerleaders were to beat him up because he called the players cowards for not causing a mutinous spectacle during the season. and finally added that his future as a meaningful journalist would be severely limited by his lack of access to these players, not because he called them cowards, but because he does not deserve any respect, muttering such imbecilic chatter!

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