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The Saturday meeting with the media (w/ audio)

The so-called round table the Dolphins planned for Saturday is over. The idea of the thing was to set the record straight on what happened over the past week and announce coach Tony Sparano's two-year contract extension, which is worth approximately an extra $6 million

It had its moments. But it was not the Dolphins' finest hour, I'm sorry to report.

As a synopsis, I would tell you:

Club owner Stephen Ross says he never contacted either Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden. Jeff Ireland said he "never wavered" on his opinion of Tony Sparano and that he told Ross "Tony was still the right man for the job."

"In the beginning and in the end of all this, I believe Tony Sparano is the right football coach for this football team," Ireland said. "I've always felt that. That has never changed."

Ireland, however, was on that flight to California to woo John Harbaugh. And he never communicated to Sparano that he was going or what was happening. He did not address those specific facts. But did admit, "I was in a tough spot. And I put Tony in a difficult spot as well."

Ireland read his opening comments from a piece of paper. So did Ross for the most part. (You'll be able to tell in the audio.)

"I was asked by Steve if I thought Harbaugh was the right coach for this team. I told him Tony was still the right man for the job."

Ross did his predictable (read my previous post) admonishing of the media. We're evil and often wrong. He corrected the fact Carl Peterson was not on the flight to California to get Harbaugh -- which was reported by ESPN, NFL Network, The Miami Herald and practically every other media outlet out there. Guess everyone had the same wrong source.

Ross did admit some mistakes of his own. He said he should have told Sparano he was flying to meet with Harbaugh. "I shouldn't have been talking to coaches and seeking a replacement until I decided that I should make a change," he said.

Now, let me take you back a second. Despite saying he only talked to Harbaugh, Ross did talk to more than one coach and every time he spoke on the topic he used the word "coaches.' He "talked" to Eric Mangini when the former Cleveland and Jets coach called him about something or other.

And while Ross said neither he nor anyone in the organization ever spoke with either Cowher or Gruden, sources close to both men continue to insist he spoke with their representatives.

That doesn't make Ross a liar. But if that's how it happened, it makes him a master of nuance. When you speak with someone's agent, folks, it's like you're contacting that guy in my book. Anyone that doesn't understand that needs to go back to working with crayons. It is, in fact, the first or second step of trying to hire that guy.

Then there is something that wasn't asked thus not addressed: Suppose Ross is completely accurate here and everyone else is wrong. So Ross, who said he was trying to explore all avenues of improving his team, was doing so by flying across the entire span of this nation, but he completely ignored the two most accomplished and decorated unemployed coaches on the market?

Ross is clearly thinking of replacing Sparano but doesn't pick up a phone to talk to two former Super Bowl winning coaches, one of which has put your team on a list of teams he'd love to work for?

Sorry, you cannot have it both ways. Either the Dolphins did contact Cowher and Gruden (at least through their agents) ... or they really are inept about getting the best coaches possible.

If Ross maintains the media -- all of us -- were wrong about contact with Cowher and Gruden and if that is the actual case, then he is totally clueless about which coaches need to be contacted during a search. Wonder if he would be so eager to say the media was wrong when presented with that choice?

The Dolphins need help upgrading the offense and don't even reach out to Gruden? Really?

Ross also said he didn't think his search for a new coach would be a big deal. "This was my first time I interviewed and I never thought this would be national news," he said.


Sparano agreed with Ross and Ireland that mistakes were made -- by them.

"The communication problems, I felt like at the time, had it been said right away, that would have been fine and I would have been able to deal with it," Sparano said. "I do think the communication end of things that both Jeff and Steve alluded to could have been handled different."

(A little aside here: I was not at this meeting. I was not allowed in, in part, because the Dolphins limited media presence to two people per outlet. The Miami Herald in an epic failure of wisdom, in my opinion, decided it would use its slots on a reporter and videographer/photographer. The Herald offered me the one reporter chair. I turned down that reporter chair because I am not the beat reporter. I am a columnist that specializes on this beat so I wasn't going to ask someone not at the meeting to write the lead story while I wrote my opinion. I also am the morning show host of Armando and the Amigo on 640-Sports here in South Florida and that station had two slots. I could have used one of those. But the Dolphins forbad that, saying I would be taking advantage of a "loophole." Thus I was locked out. I heard the entire meeting on a speaker phone, instead. Not the best way to do it but did what I could with what I had to work with. You might be asking why did the Dolphins conduct this meeting in a room so small they would have to limit media access. They do, after all, have a team meeting room that seats about 100-150 people. I'm told some of the folks speaking at the meeting aren't comfortable getting up in front of large groups.)

And with that ...

The thing that intrigues me most is the relationship between Ireland and Sparano. These two guys have to work together if the Dolphins are going to have any chance of winning going forward.

Ireland said Sparano would probably still have questions about what exactly happened this week. But he also said he and Sparano had a great conversation to discuss everything and that hard questions were asked and answered.

"... He knows how I feel about him and I know how he feels about me," Ireland said. "We've worked together for nearly seven years. We have a great working relationship and more important we have a very close personal relationship." 

Sparano put a good face on the relationship as well. He didn't say he loves Jeff Ireland but neither did he mention leaving a bloody, sawed-off horse head in Ireland's bed last night. 

"I tell my players we don't place blame, we solve problems," Ireland said. "The three of us are trying to solve problems and move forward."

Sparano on the offensive coordinator search: "We're going to open this thing up and try to be more explosive. We're going to hire the best man for that job."

The time frame for that?

"We're going to move forward as fast as we can," he said.

Ross ended the 40-minute meet by saying, "I will deliver a winner."

I was listening on a speakerphone. Maybe he said he will deliver a wiener.

Anyway, if you got an extra 45 minutes or so to spare, you can listen to the entire meeting. Just click here. There are a couple of seconds of empty background noise to start and at the end. If that link doesn't work, try this one:

Download Ross_Roundtable_Herald




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Yes, indeed, he will deliver a pathetic, limp "weiner."

The Dolphins need an innovative OC that will make this team dynamic. A vertical passing game is a must and with that more team speed on offense is needed. I hope with the search for an OC they seek out a QB's coach that will allow Miami's QB's to loosen up and let it fly. Enough of this offense from the 80's we need some excitement here we all know when the last time it was fun to watch this team and we all know who it was we loved to watch on Sunday's that brought as that excitement. I want those Dolphins back. Also Sparano better save face and improve the OL because that is supposedly what he excels at. His in game coaching also better improve greatly its why we lose close games. Onto the draft where this front office has a ton to prove. Lets get it done Dolphins.

Since we all think Ross is a D**K then it is a weiner.

This just in...



I'm a longtime fan, have never wavered and probably couldn't if I tried but this Ross guy is making it hard to be behind this team.

Obviously their trying to get Andrew Luck next year!Nice strategy, Ross is a genius!!!

Ok now that that's settled lets get this thing popping and hire McDaniels and draft/acquire some speed at WR/PR and RB/PR so we can be more explosive next year. Tweak the oline and settle on the starters sooner. Go phins!

I couldn't agree more kingsmith.

The Media sound like a bunch of high school girls. You included Armando.

Wow I go skiing for a few days and the whole orginization falls apart. Sorry Guys...Now Ross is going to have to oen u his wallet on a few fronts. 1 If you are a prospective free agent. Would you want to bring your talents to South Beach seeing the way this team is currently run? Money will talk. But middle of the road guys that are the infrastructure of your team may have to pass. 2 The offensive coordinator must be a home run. The more and more things are playing out(quarterback wise) The more and more it looks like Chad Henne will be a big part of the quarterback puzzle.

They better get one hell of a Offensive Coordinator FAST and 2-3 QB's through any means necessary. Not to mention 2 TE, 2 RB-1 speedy one-one bruiser-Speed receiver, lightning fast returner, decide on +stick with O and D line, add a safety/cornerback-one huge-but obtainable shopping list

Hilarious! Ross and Ireland claim Sparano was the man all along, but they offer Harbaugh $7-8 Million per year, and Sparano only $3 Million per year. Money speaks. Ross obviously thinks much more of Harbaugh than Sparano. What we have here is someone (Ross) who always gets what he wants, but, in this case, he didn't. HaaaHaaaHaaa, choke,choke, vomit.

I am starting to suspect Ross was planted here by Belichek to set the team back another decade.

I don't think Mcdaniels is a good fit here. Any good current OC isn't going to make a lateral move.

What is Mike Leak doing these days?

Gentle Ben,

Every major news source reported Peterson was on the plane and he wasn't. What makes you believe these same sources got that right either?

I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

See, reporters have to be very careful in general of what they publish. A few months back I caught one of the reporters from the Palm Beach Post putting something I had already read out of context in his writing; to me, that reporter is totally discredited and I wrote it there as such(and you wonder why PB does not talk to the Press!) With Internet EVERY PARTICIPANT is a potential investigative reporter. So, lookout Press, you are also being scrutinized!


Nice try at some spin, Armando, but it remains a fact that you and others had a LOT of this story entirely wrong and made some assumptions based on faulty information.

Let's not forget that a LOT was made of Carl Peterson's "role" in this. Turns out he had no role and was never on that plane.

A few mea culpas from you guys on the reporting end are in order.

Can we move on a get a good OC!!!!!!!!!! Make a QB choice by draft or FA!!!! I am sick of whatching playoffs without Miami in them. I live in Mass. so i have to listen to Pat fans all the time and it makes me sick because they r good and we r bad!!!

1) The check's in the mail.
2) I never kissed that girl.
3) I didn't have sex with that women Monica Lewinsky.
4)I won't c*m in your mouth.
5) I didn't offer Harbaugh a contract.
6) I didn't contact Cowher
7) Carl Peterson wasn't on the plane.
8) Tony Sparano is my guy.

what a load

Nothing like team spirit. We should now be SB favorites going into next season.

I'm glad for Tony but I have no illusions that Ross will not continue to meddle in football affairs only he will not do it through Ireland this time.

What a terriable organization. You can't keep a coach who lost 7 games at home.

I will deliver a wiener. That is really good Armando!!! Original.

you may have wanted to encode that to mp3 before posting. i can't connect to your dropbox, and it might be because of the size of that WAV file.


A big-boned man, his Football personna appears as ill-tempered, impulsive and irresponsible.

oh, NVM my last comment. it's working now.

I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.

You guys who support this coach amaze me. He lost 7 games at home which is unheard of. He not a nice guy to the fans or media. It will be another 7 and 9 season.

'I will deliver a winner' Stephen Ross.

Yeah steve, I love franchise mode on Madden too.

I now TRULY know what it feels like to be a Detroit Lions fan.

We, the fans, the team, the coaches, the owner, and even the herald media, are a JOKE. Even after a 1-15 season I wasn't this ashamed to be a Dolphins fan.

Sparono will NOT be the coach, Ireland will NOT be the GM, and Ross will NOT be the owner when and IF the Dolphins ever are Champions again.

what a moron. joke of a franchise

Tea Party lunatic being held in shooting of Arizona congresswoman. She is in critical condition and near death.

ANYTHING SAID ABOUT AN OC????????????????????????????????????????????

Just because ESPN & the NFL network report something it doesn't mean it's true or accurate. They constantly make up things or use the sources excuse to report crap and stir up controversy.
Armondo if your sole intent is to continue to report on rumors from other networks and smear the organization every chance you get than I think it's time you find a new job cause it's freaking old. Talking to someones agent isn't the same as talking to the person they represent just like you talking to Fergie's agent isn't the same as you talking to Fergie.

"Maybe he said I will deliver a wiener." Best ever, Mando!

They're currently searching for a new OC. I'm sure names will surface as that process unfolds.

Horrible about that congresswoman. Some of these radical right wingnuts are truly frightening people.

Could Ross at least admit he could be wrong about a few things? Like 'the atmosphere I have created at Sunlife stadium hasn't been received or worked out the way I had hoped. We will make changes to a more normal, exciting atmosphere like most NFL teams have'. Or ' asking the league to make sure no games are played at home in the 1 p.m. time slot until November takes away maybe the biggest home field advantage in the hot summer months. This was an error on my part, and will no longer make those request'. Those, would be nice things to here. The team HAD something like an 88% winning percentage in those 2 months over the past 10 years. But hey, what do I know. He's the smart billionare here.

Oh and it should go without saying that Henne will NOT be the QB when the Dolphins are Champions again. I can't believe there are those that still think that it's only coaching that is holding him (handcuffing him??? please) back. He had NEVER shown a HINT of leadership ability that being a winning QB in the NFL REQUIRES.

Well the fist pump is back. I would like to see an arm swirl first with that fist pump. And maybe a jump and a curtsee.

Ross can't be that stupid. He knew what he was doing and what he was doing was forcing TS's hand. Monday meeting. Ross asks TS to step down. TS says no way, fire me. Ross upset. Goes to other potential candidates and asks some questions, leaks info to the media hoping that TS will quit.

TS won't quit and nobody will touch the job with a ten foot pole. Ross has to keep TS and now give him extension to save face. Reason for all of this is that Ross is a house of cards. He has no real money and that explains the cash injections. Armando, you should really dig a little deeper into Ross's finances. If I knew where to look, I could make it a hobby.

It depends on the definition of what 'is' is.

As a suck-cessful business man and an NFL owner, how in the world would Stephen Ross not expect it to be national news if he pursued another coach? Ross is a clown. As a season ticket holder, I'm embarrassed. And the Miami Dolphins are the laughing stocks of the NFL. Have I missed anything? Oh, yeah, Ross said he will deliver a winner. So now I'm expecting the Rolling Stones to play at Sun-lifeless stadium.

what a mess. next yearwill be awful. ts will def be fired, most likely in mid season

We won't have to worry about any primetime games for the next several years. The sun reflecting off of all those orange seats at one o'clock in the afternoon. Cam Newton is not the answer. We still, after three years and alot of money, need an o-line worth a crap or it won't matter who you draft or sign. Which is limited at best. In reality, the way these people evalute talent, we won't hit on anyone any time soon. Also no second round pick this year. Come on people.

sully just go 0-16 and draft luck. thats honestly the best thing that could happen to us. there will be some in here who act like we can win next year, but no chance. so lose every game. draft luck and turn this garbage around. another 8-8 would be the worst thing ever for us

Anyone that listens to this audio and believes Ross instead of what was reported is a total moron.

The only time that man doesn't lie is when his mouth isn't moving.

Smoke and mirrors man...that's what Ross is all about. It's a truck load of horse pucky if you ask me...1-7 at home..sure we got the right people hired already...this doesn't sit well with me at all..

We don't all think Ross is a D--k.....

I happen to like the fact that the owner wants to make HIS TEAM better.....who woudn't???

He failed....but he has the balls to do it....

But I could be wrong....Maybe 7-9 gets it done for alot of you guys....NOT ME!!!!


Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Agreed Bill but the way Tony got this team motivated for the last few games of the season this year and this abomination that just took place I'm thinking 5-11 or at best 6-10. And 3 games blacked out.

kris, it's not JUST the QB. Yes he SUCKS as a NFL QB because he as ZERO leadership and decision making ability but Sparano also has FAILED to prepare a good game plan or his players for most of the games and is constantly making illogical decisions during games. AND the ownership and the organization has shown proved to do that for over a decade.

More mediocrity, mismanagement and disappointment.

Armando..your scathing articles and, lack of respect for the owner, and line...."Maybe he said I will deliver a wiener".....is among the most childish things I have ever read....

Yesterday I had a TYPO and called yo Asmando....when I noticed it I wrote a 2nd post and apologized for typing Asmando....and said that I meant nothing by it.....it was a typo.....

Today...no apolpgy...Asmondo

Just keep on playing for Tony, guys. The other Stuff will take care of itself. Guaranteed.

A few observations, in no particular order:

1. Ross is the owner. He can do whatever he pleases with his team, even if he does it ineptly. The press needs to stop with the mock moral outrage. Its not like you gave a flip about Sparano during the season.
2. Unlike Sparano, Ross does care what the fans think. I can forgive him for his bumbling in light of that.
3. Sparano is a millionaire. Ross has made him a multi-millionaire. Only a fool would cry for him.
4. Sparano kept us out of the playoff this year. When so many other teams were playing down, the Phins could have made it, had Sparano had the nards to fire old man Henning and bench the village idiot who played QB this year earlier. Its all on him. He's the field general. He failed.
5. The good that will come out of this is that Sparano has been put on notice. Maybe he will pull out the stops this year and stop playing not to lose. Otherwise, Ross will be on the plane again next year--perhaps before the season is even over.

I'm not exactly sure why so many people are angry with Ross.

He made an attempt to make this team better as he did last year by landing two of the biggest FA on the market and had no problem opening his wallet.

Could he of done a better job of how he went about it? Sure he could have, as he admitted. Everyone should be happy, he is trying to make the Phins a better team and has no problem doing whatever it takes to do so, including spending money.

Liked they played for Tony at NEW England.

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