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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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The biggest problem the Fins have is talent evaluation. You can't make chicken soup outta chicken chit. Period. Any coach can coach good players. Talent acquisition is where this organization has faltered. Until that is corrected, the last 10 years of mediocrity will play on a continuous loop. The constant shuffling Sparano did with the lineup, especially the O line, showed negatively. Just as we all predicted it would at the time. Sparano is a good guy but over his head as a HC.

Oh , in case you don't understand my last post look up micromanage in the dictionary !

So another day of Ross publicly leaving Sparano hanging. Perhaps this is payback for losing to the Lions and Pats so badly.

Joe Buck announced that instead of playing the traditional songs at practice, he is interested in hireing live musicians. One of his favorite types of music is polka. He said he also likes groups like The Hansens especially the song Mmm..Bop. He thinks music like this will inspire and enlighten a depressed team.

"be real curious to know what kind of advice our "consultant" is giving the front office right now?"

Mike Dee : Gee boss where on the hook for 3 million and sun glass's for life with Sparano and and a little less money and hookers for life for Ireland.....either way its gonna cost us up the wazoo.

Soiled :)

westerfin ,

our HC didn't waste his time with his players,when you have, fasano,hartline and marshall who's the no 2 on the list of most players who drops balls in the league and fumbler fasano,what do you want him to do ?

One more thing we need this offseason. A new DJ for Sun Life Stadium. God the music sucks in that place!

Who is 6 inches taller & 60 lbs heavier than Pat White and wont Suck in the NFL

...... QB Cam Newton

Who would play great w B-Marsh, Ronnie Brown,Simply The Bess and Brian Hartline

...... QB Cam Newton

Aikman was asked by Armando what he thought of the new hireing of his best friend/confidant/childrens godfather. Aikman reportedly said he think Joe has all the tools to succeed at the next level. He said he likes to have fun with guys. When asked what type of fun, Aikman said "little stuff, like whipping towels at guys getting changed, putting used jock straps on his head for fun, surprising players and jumping on their backs in the shower...he is a very funny guy". He said he thinks he will make the locker room and field a fun place for the players.

Who Must the Dolphins trade UP for to get a real Franchise QB

..... QB Cam Newton


Mark in to in response to your 12:37, I hear ya. But if you want quality you have to pay. That's all there is to it.
Personally I don't like Ireland & think he can easily be replaced. I have been in favor for his firing, sparano's & hennings since mid year.

I consider missing on about half of who you draft & sign as a bad job. Why are we acting as if losing Ireland would be such a loss?

I'd pay for proven success. Ireland & Sparano have proven to be sub-par coaches & GM's with absolutely NO vision.

why not bring in dan the man to be the head coach? huh? thats smart dont u think?

Home, I told you earlier that size for a QB doesn't garantee success. You response was "Size is my language", you had never said or mention anything about it, but yet everytime you post about Newton you mention his size. I'm sure even Newton's girlfriend doesn't get as excited as you about his "size". What's up with that bro?

LAPTOP BANDITS....he stole my p orn bro

Joe Buck said after games he likes to hang out in the showers with players to get a "true feeling" of what they are thinking. Sometimes he said he throws a towel over his head and acts like a towel rack. Then he can ease drop on what the players are talking about in the shower. He said some of the greatest coaches ever used to do it and its an old school trick.

So, because the players didn't complain about Sparano to the media during the regular season that means he has control of the locker room? I think Amando is bitter about Ricky because he doesn't talk to the media. What Ricky said made a lot of sense to me and didn't seem overly harsh, either.


You don't fire a Head Coach because of two 7 - 9 Seasons.

Posted by: Yazzi | January 05, 2011 at 12:40 PM

This is laughable to me. Back to back 7-9 after 11-5, are you going the right direction? With more talent we have worse records as the schedule has gotten tougher. Tells me 1 of 2 things, OR both. A. Other teams are better than us &/or B. Sparano can't out-coach them.

Marginalize it or come up with excuses all you want, a few here will come up with any excuse to not look at their REAL record.

Change for the sake of change is worthless. I'm not for that. I want change because we get no results. In 3 years we still:

B. Have no running backs
C. Have 1 reliable o-lineman
D. Have a sporadic defense
E. Have the worst special teams in the NFL
F. Have 1 of, if not, the worse O in the NFL
G. Have failed every season to improve the offense in spite of wasting almost a dozen picks & millions $$$ on FA busts.

Should I go on? You want this kind of stability? This track record? Have a blast, Miami fans deserve and can get better than this. Like I said, there are 50 coordinators & assistants in the NFL who can get these results.

Stop holding Sparano on a pedestal, he has proven nothing. The only reason he is in the NFL is because of who his friend are. His record & accomplishments on Miami is backing this up.

since their is no chance we get Andrew Luck, can you imagine Cam Newton under the guidance of Jim Harbaugh, believe me we will get it done. Cam is better than Vince Young. lets take a chance lets go for it, Harbaugh will bring in fresh attitude and fun atmosphere, i believe he will get along with players more than anyone else.

JS, I'm sorry but i'm partial to harbaugh and after Parcells, Saban, and JJ I'm really afraid of big name, have done it all at the NFL level coaches coming in here, asking everything to be torn apart and then leaving it incomplete - NO MORE!!

All year we talked about the wolf, the wolf is at the door and his name is harbaugh. This guys is young and driven - this is the guy I've wanted all year and I can't believe that we are in the race, I will be really let down if the difference between getting him and not getting him is $1m or $2m a year. I mean, what can you buy for a $1m or $2m that is really going to improve your team? NOTHING! This is money well spent - LET'S GO!!!

shefter just said harbaugh is interviewing with 49ers tomorrow

Joe Buck on finding a new OC "I am going to suggest they find someone young with lots of spunk who will bring new life to the offense. Possibly my good friend Justin Bieber. Most people don't know it, but he knows a lot about football. He has been collecting football cards for a long time now and is really good at Madden. I will bring this up with Mr. Ross at our next meeting."

Mark, I'm not against Harbaugh. I'm just not sure about him. As I just said in my response to Yazzi, anyone can be the coach here & get the results Sparano has. We should be striving for better. If Harbaugh is that, great. I can't see anyone, aside from Rich Kotite coming in & being worse than Sparano & Ireland.

Whoever becomes or stays coach has my support. Even Sparano, but he has a VERY short leash.

Armando has been missing the mark with his last several articles.

Ever think that the trifecta tried its best to clean house of anyone who might speak out? Ever think that these players are professional and chose to keep quite until the appropriate time like Ricky?

The players know the Sparano approach is loser football and they are tired of it. Sparano is a clown. I have been saying it for a couple of years now. This team will go nowhere under Mr FG.

The Dolphins current 'approach' can not beat good teams. Now they are so predictable, over coached and over tinkered with that they lose to bad teams too.

I love the Dolphins but Sparano has brought just another crappy offensive era. It can't be over soon enough.

D-Imposters, D-Fin-ished!

Nfl titles and dvision championships were once all they knew. A long hall of fame name list amongst all of the those famous who's who. Whatever happen to those championship Dolphins teams we all once knew?

We dominated by ground, we dominated by sea. We were one greater than any team would ever come to be. 17-0 was once status quo!

We even once rule the air, defend us if you dare. Marino did it greatly with little matched flair.

Even had a Dick Anderson performing greatly with very little hair.

Who are these new imposters that are now trying to fool us. What the hell happened to all of the Don Shulas.

These are not the Dolphins we all once knew. They should even have thier names changed to the D-awfulins too!

We've come a longs ways from our great beginish
Our present day team looks very d-fin-ished!

"I can't see anyone, aside from Rich Kotite coming in & being worse than Sparano & Ireland."

Sparano and Ireland have won half their games here and you can't see anyone worst than them? are you kidding? If there is no one worst than them they why are we drafting 15th instead of 1st.
sparano and Ireland are not the worst.

Boulder, you missed the broader point....THEY ARE AVERAGE & we can do allot better. They only exist because of Parcells & no other reason. Sparano fired Bonamego & kept Henning. Why? Like flapjack1231 said earlier, we need a HC, not friends protecting friends!

As I told Yazzi, you wanna know why we are average & will continue to be? In 3 years:

B. Have no running backs
C. Have 1 reliable o-lineman
D. Have a sporadic defense
E. Have the worst special teams in the NFL
F. Have 1 of, if not, the worse O in the NFL
G. Have failed every season to improve the offense in spite of wasting almost a dozen picks & millions $$$ on FA busts.

I could actually go on but why bother? Any Comments? Excuses? Care to defend them? I'd love to hear a coherent defense of their "accomplishments".

7 mil is to much for Harbaugh right now imo. Most coaches for that matter.

ALoco, you asked what is Sparano to do about the poor play of Hartline and Fassano.

You plug in other guys. Did you see the nice play the rookie TE made in the final game? How about putting the younger and more importantly fast WR's that have been sitting on the roster all year.
Sparano didn't do any of those things because he coaches scared, has zero vision and possesses no clue about how to create a dynamic offense. in other words Sparano is a clown and has no business coaching the Dolphins. IMO.

Joe Buck on if he has any new schemes for the offense for next year. "I'm mixing up a couple ideas in my head right now, we will change it up a bit. Maybe have one guy go on the deep out, one guy do a button hook(my favorite play), and the rest of the guys just run around the middle of the field and try to get open. We might even have Henne punt it once and a while on first downs, just to see what would happen. Plays like that would help this offense tremendously."

Ross has the potential to make a lot more than 7 mill back by creating a quality product for S Florida.

Making Ireland the deal breaker obviously Ross is very happy with the talent level brought in the past 3 seasons.

This alarms me guys. This suggest we are now working with another clueless owner! Prepare for another decade of mediocrity. LOL............

How much is Mike Tomlin making in Pittsburgh? I'll take him over anyone except for Belicheik. That's what the Dolphins need to do. Find the next young, hungry coordinator who can become the next great coach. Easier said than done of course.

Can we trade Ross for Robert Kraft or Jerry Jones?

DB, Ireland did not make the decisions the last 3 years, only last year. Parcells was havily involved in the draft the fist 2.

Your point is taken, I am not sure what ross is so happy about with Ireland.

Ireland to Cam Newton: Hi Can, great we can have this time to talk. Is your mother a prostitute? thats all, and thanks.

Joe Buck announced that talks between he and Doug Flutie are heating up. There is just one thing that can break down talks now. If the cereal giant Kellogs doesn't bring back Flutie Flakes, the talks will die. Coach Buck said that will be the deciding factor as he loves his Flutie Flakes and his personal supplies are running low.

To diehard old school title town Dolphin fans the bar of mediocrity will always be set at 9-7 or lower.
New school Dolphins fans you can set it lower if you wish. We do understand because of all the championships you missed! LOL..............

DB is right. If they had drafted better & signed FA's more wisely, they'd be in really good shape today. Probably even a playoff team.

Just think if we had hit on even a COUPLE of these guys! Grove, Wilson, Wilford, Smiley, Turner, White, Incognito, Berger, Jerry etc...

Meanwhile the Pats, Ravens & Steelers continue to draft & sign FA's well. It's not a coincidence that they are always in the conversation of elite teams.

I don't know why Ross is so dead set on Ireland!

What the heck is this stuff about Joe Buck?

Agree with Joe and DB, our decisions have been more bad than good on this team.

In case you just joined us and have not read it yet, Joe Buck was hired by Ross to be our new HC. The deal was $6 million and one year supply of snow cones.

Ross being even remotely happy with Ireland scares hell out of me and Im already preparing myself for another mediocre decade of Dawfulins football! LOL..........

i hope no matter what we do we keep nolan. at the very least the entire offensive staff needs canned.

I also have strange feeling we're going to end up keeping Sparano for a lameduck year and the team will crumble like we've not seen since 2007.

It will be a HUGE mistake for Ross to keep Sparano for a single lameduck season. Its either keep him and give an extension or fire him now. It's either all in or all out. Straddling the fence on Sparano will be disasterous. Just wait and see guys!

Where's Dan Henning ?

Dan Henning...just like an Angela Lansbury who dunnit

Sparano reminds me of Tom Coughlin. He's not the most Socially Gifted guy. I don't mind the micro-managing stuff so much. I mind bad decisions, though.

This offense was dreadful this year. It wasn't like the injured-plagued season that doomed Wannstadt. Sparano would talk about wanting to run the ball more(like Wanny did)... and then they didn't run it. Yikes.

For an offensively-pedigreed coach like Sparano, this offense was awful... and there are some good players here. This is not the injury-plagued 2003 team, with AJ Feeley handing the ball off to Lamar Gordon, with an injured full-back, a crappy Left Tackle, and 2 injured o-linemen... and yet this offense was worse than that one.

On the bright side, we've got cap room to fix some problems and almost a full draft.

DB, I don't think he'll make it through the year next year.

You have to want to improve. What is Ross even thinking at this point? The fact that he is on the fence is disturbing. I don't ever recall a coach being left in limbo like this. Leave it to Miami!

The fact that Ross is on the fence shows me just how ill equipped he is to be an owner. You have to have a plan & be ready to execute it. It seems to me the plan was drawn up 2 days ago on a sandy beach in Miami.

Plan A. Keep Sparano around like a chooch Plan B. Look for a better coach in public view

If Plan B works out, cancel plan A. If plan B doesn't work, stick with plan A. Ross is looking like a chicken sh*t owner!

"Sparano reminds me of Tom Coughlin. He's not the most Socially Gifted guy. I don't mind the micro-managing stuff so much. I mind bad decisions, though."

Rich, you may not mind it, but 3 current players & 1 former player have come out & said they do mind.

Harping on basics all the time is what you do when that's all you know. Sparano treats them like babies. Like having your dad tell you don't drink & drive everyday. Some things people just know, you don't need to rehash it every single day. He just doesn't have the knowledge to be able to teach anything other than basics.

That's why we haven't improved. Sparano's ceiling is only so high. Sadly for him, he peaked in 2008.

Sparano isn't the issue. Henne is the issue.

The Cheatriots would have missed the playoffs if they had Henne as their QB. The Dolphins would have had the #1 seed if they had Brady.

QB's win games, not coaches.

mikejohnson, the Pats won with an unknown Brady as a late round rookie. When he got hurt, they won 11 games with an unknown Cassel. It's NOT always the QB. Sometimes, the coaching & team your on HELPS ALLOT!

We may not like Fat Rex bec. we're Dolphin fans, BUT, you have to say he's got is player's backs and they his....they love him! Why wouldn't you love a leader that supports you? Why wouldn't you love a leader that has confidence in you, even if he is putting himself on the line and you know he is,so you work your hardest for him bec. of that. He shows his players his not afraid of anything or any team..That my Fin fans is confidence that the players pick up on and it becomes personal for them. I thought Sparano was going to be that kind of coach, turned out he's not.

Then ol' Tony should take all the blame then for this crappy team. The more I hear about the Phins the more I suspect Tony is the problem. He is to rigid for the NFL, does not have the ability to adapt on the fly. He thinks 3 FG's and defense wins in the NFL...it doesn't.

Henne had a bad year and Sparano, Henning, and Lee have a lot to do with it. Think of great QB's like Marino, Farve, Elway, Warner, these were not rigid players. They read defenses and then took some chances. Henne is asked to score 1 TD and then sit on the ball, even with almost no running game and just an OK defense. Then in the 4th quarter when we lose the lead he is asked to bring us miraculously back when the opposing "D" knows we have to throw the ball now. This is called setting someone up for failure!

Watch a Philly game...you know when Andy Reid takes his foot off the gas pedal? When the game is over. In the NFL you have to score points, Tony and the offensive staff have not grasped this concept yet and it is why we failed this year.

The rules in the NFL favor the offense and they will continue to trend in that direction. Hello...Miami...any body home...offense...score points...touchdowns...anybody home?

Now that JT has gone on record as saying that Ricky was right do you still think that Sparano has control of the locker room and that RW is just a whiner?

I was all for Sparano getting the HC job and giving him every chance to grow into the position of head coach but something is missing....he may lack the authority of confidence needed to relay to his players...he had 3 yrs. to learn how to manage the game clock and he also had 3 yrs. to learn that he can override the stupid plays sent in by Henning! (Henning's office I hope has been cleaned out by now.) I didn't see Sparano do what I was hoping he would do as head coach. The players are unloading now and there's a reason why they waited.

Im wtarting to get sick of reading all ur articles. U seem to be a complete moron. First they had hope durin season to make playoffs so y would players speak out. Second y should the players care to tell u how they feel during season so u can write bs n let the rest of the league know their plans. And finally who in their right mind would jeopordize their job to speak up when ur not making millions the nfl is a privaledge to play in. Todays world is too politically correct for nyone to say whats on their mind

Saying things internally during the season could help the team. Complaining through the media during the seaosn may help you guys get easier stories, but it's not likely to make the team play better.

I think the comments of the players are honest and open evaluations, not slams. I find nothing inflamatory, egotistical, or unloyal in the remarks made.

It is unproductive to voice such in public during the season given the need for a united team front, and support for the coach, when entering a game during the season.

After the season, publically expressing reflections on areas of concern with the team can be helpful for analysis during the off season.



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