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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.

Wow.

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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Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

@DB,

I suggest that an even bigger impact player with the 1st pick would be Julio Jones, WR, Alabama IF he were to fall slightly to the 15th spot.

The kid is big and fast. He instantly makes the WR corp very good opposite BM.

I would love to see it. Plus by adding Jones it really puts the pressure on Mr FG to actually open it up and pass the ball downfield.

Plus a suitable RB can better be found in FA.

The Jones type of WR is not availible in FA or if so who?

Oregon,

Rap against Jones is he drops far to many catrchable balls.

Oregon- Plus, because of this his draft stock has fallen way down and isnt expected to be drafted until late 1st or even early 2nd rd. We have Marshall so we dont need to overdraft for Julio Jones.

Especially if we can get his Bama mate Ingram. Mark's a huge upgrade to Ronnie Brown.

Even though fan house has him going #14 to the rams? Surprising that a player with a major flaw would be projected to high.

Having Ireland miss on Dez I'd really like to see an impact WR added to this squad.

Hartline is not a legit #2. Even if Mr FG thinks he's great.

Oregon- Also a guy we cut is a free agent this year. Remember Devin Aromashadu (CHI)? Would be nice to have him back and alongside Marshall right now! LOL...............

Where are you reading that Jones has dropped so far?

I believe the days of drafting a RB high or in the 1st round ought to be over.

Resigning Ronnie and adding a Reggie Bush would be fine by me.

This team desperately needs a good speed WR to balance BM.

Say what you like about Ronnie, they guy was dramatically underutilized by Henning. With a competent OC you could see a real resurgence of Ronnie Brown.

Oregon- Raiders TE Zach Miller is a free agent this year too. Huge upgrade to Fasano! LOL..........

Walter Camp is where I trust my scouting reports most. All the rest you may as well be taking the next door neighbor's opinion and using it as gospel. Walter Camp is usually closer to being on the money than most. Still nobody's perfect.

Nnandi Osomugha's contract has been voided by the Raiders. Not because they wanted to. But because of some stupid clause in his contract if he didnt hit certain incentives.

He didnt hit the incentives because no one throws at anymore. Raiders screwed themselves and now he's a free agent. Asomugha was targeted less than any db in 2010. He was targeted only 27 times and his guy only caught 10 of those for a 37% completion rate,

Asomugha also gave up ZERO td's in 2010. Can you imagine Vonte as the 2nd corner along side Asomugha? Plus Vontae would get even better a lot faster having Nnandi to watch everyday in practice.

Mr. Ross open up your wallet! LOL..........

Oregon,

Drafting a rb 16th isnt very high. Are you confused and thinking we're drafting 6th instead of 16th?

I know where we are drafting.

RB's are less important in the modern game.

I want an attacking aggressive offense.

Problem is I do not believe Sparano can bring that.

Heat win 107-100. If Lebron can score 44pts, Wade County 34pts, and Bosh has nothing better to do than chip in 18pts all in the same contest. The rest of the league can hang it up.

The Heat have won 22 of thier last 23 games. Even after a 9-8 start they still look like they may win 70 games. WOW!

Oregon,

Unless you have one of the top 5 nfl qb's you better have a really good rb with your attacking style pass offense. You also may wanna remember that attacking offenses have been around a little while now and DC's get closer to catching up with them every season.

They havent learned how to completely shut them down yet but each year they are slowing most of them down a little more. Even with an attacking pass offense you still better be able to run when you need too.

Empress, forget Aloco's fake posts! Cuban has sent me photos of your pineapples! They are perfect, befitting an Empress!!!!

Where the hell is Armando?
This blog is like two days old.
Armando - information on the new OC please!!

Oregon,

Also if you think rb's arent that important with a high octane passing attack look no further than Marino and Elway. Elway finally got his 1st then 2nd SB championship ring with Terrell Davis at rb.

Before you say it, it isnt everyday a the best rb in the nfl is chosen 7th rd as Terrell Davis was. Finding a rb in the 7th rd as good as Davis was, is 2nd only to finding Tom Brady in the 6th rd. It's a total fluke of nature almost.

Armando is OFF for the weekend, his phone service is taking his calls. If you have an emergency call 911!

For all the arguments about getting a QB in the 1st round -
I hear ya.
Not sure if that will solve our problems.
Here's a thought:

Take the Dolphins roster and give it to New England.
Take the Patriots roster and give it to the Dolphins coaching staff.
Do this for one year.
Q: who ends up with the better Win-Loss record?

No answer is elicited.
Point is that the Dolphins problems lie deeper than harvesting the #1 QB pick in next year's draft.
Is it ownership, the FO, the coaching staff, the culture, or a combination of these things?
I hope we get the QB that you all want but it is imperative to understand that our issues are all-encompassing.

R&R,

I'M not even looking to see that we've found a new OC until after the SB at least.

LOL at redsky.

IMO the O-line is the most important. Then skill position players.

And of the skill players, i believe that the RB position is the easiest to fill.

I'd be happy with a O-line pick in the 1st. or trading back IF possible and adding an O-line pick 1st.

However, if the Dolphins can be aggressive in free agency and add O-line talent there then I'd love to see the 1st pick go to a big speed WR to balance BM.

DB, that's why I don't want to trade down, if Newton is available grab him, if Ingram is, grab him...FAs can fill in as stopgap for 2011, if they play next year.....

DB - understood.
Probably can't talk to some of them based on current rules.

Thx R

2011 NFL Free Agent Offensive Linemen
By: Roshan Bhagat

Tyson Clabo (ATL) – Clabo has formed one half of Atlanta’s dominant run-blocking right side. He’s a nasty, physical run blocking tackle who has developed into a steady pass blocker as well. Though the Falcons have several key components of their offensive line set to hit free agency this offseason, none will be more important than ensuring that Ryan stays upright than Clabo. Entering the league as an undrafted free agent, Clabo will be set to strike a lucrative deal.

INTERIOR LINEMEN:

Carl Nicks (NO) – Both Jahri Evans and Nicks made it to the Pro Bowl this year, but it was Nicks who had the better season. The Saints run game was best when backs ran it up the middle and over left tackle, both partially attributed to Nicks’ success. The organization also just recently made Jahri Evans the league’s highest paid guard so it’ll be interesting to see if New Orleans also has the highest offer on the table for Nicks if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. They also have Bushrod and Jonathan Goodwin becoming free agents, so if they re-sign Nicks, it almost definitely will mean letting go of Bushrod at left tackle.

Logan Mankins (NE) – The return of Logan Mankins has reinstalled some more nasty into the offensive line and bolstered protection for Tom Brady who has been able to sit back in the pocket and not force throws. With his return, the Patriots have sustained success in the run game with Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, an unlikely tandem. Though he isn’t playing at quite the same level he was the past three seasons, Mankins continues to be one of the top guards in the league and will be handsomely rewarded this offseason.

Davin Joseph (TB) – Davin Joseph was playing terrific football for the Buccaneers before he fractured his foot in November, sending him to the IR. He’s an excellent run blocker and a good pass blocker, who will one of the top guards if the Buccaneers allow him to reach free agency. Don’t expect them to just let their best offensive linemen go without a fight though.

Harvey Dahl (ATL) – Ask opposing players who have faced Harvey Dahl and they’ll tell you that the right guard brings some extra nasty with him every week. He and Clabo combine to form a physical, dominant right side for the Atlanta Falcons, which allows the offense to control the line of scrimmage. Expect both to re-sign in Atlanta.

Ryan Kalil (CAR) – The Panthers have an uphill battle to return to the playoffs and seemingly have holes at nearly every position. However, center is not one of them, with Ryan Kalil playing consistently good football for them for the entirety of his rookie contract. Re-signing Kalil is the biggest no-brainer the Panthers have this year outside of drafting Andrew Luck if he decides to come out. Just don’t expect the team to use the franchise tag on him as offensive linemen are grouped together for the tag values, which means he’d be making the money of an offensive tackle.

These are the best and better fa o-linemen available.

We need to base our whole approach on dethroning the mighty Patriots.
Then we need to focus on whippin' some NYJ a s s on a consistent basis.
After that it's about keeping Buffalo in the AFC East cellar.

DB-

Yeah - Logan Mankins (NE) - good part of why when Tom Brady drops back to pass, he has time to eat three course meal before throwing the ball.

2011 FA RB's

Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) – While sharing the run game with Brandon Jacobs, Bradshaw put together his most impressive season yet with over 1500 yards from scrimmage. Still, there seems to be some sort of hex on Giants’ running backs who just can’t protect the ball. Bradshaw lost 6 of 7 fumbles this year.

Leon Washington (SEA) – The dynamic returner will surely receive a long-term offer from the Seahawks after his sensational year. After getting his legs back, he should expect an expanded workload on offense in addition to his special teams duties where he’s single-handedly kept them in several games.

These are the best available that can be classified as speedy.

Brandon Jacobs may become available.
He might be rather pricey.
Him and Bradshaw to replace R & R?

Best 2011 FA WR's For Us:

Vincent Jackson (SD) – The Chargers still have a lot of progress to be made in retaining their own players. Philip Rivers found great success even without his big name receivers earlier in the year, which seems to make Vincent Jackson more expendable. Coach Norv Turner has paid complements to his star receiver, saying he’s a better player this year than he was last, which sends a message to the front office that they shouldn’t hesitate to bring him back in 2011 and onward.

Sidney Rice (MIN) – Coming back from a pretty serious hip injury, Rice continued to impress with his athletic ability and added to his highlight reel. His per game numbers didn’t mimic his dominant 2009 season, but that’s expected with lesser quarterback and offensive line play. Rice figures to play a large role in the organization’s future, making his re-signing every bit the priority of finding a playoff-caliber quarterback.

Steve Breaston (ARI) – The Cardinals know the health of Breaston’s knee better than any other teams. If it checks out clean, they also know his abilities better than anyone else. He’s a breakout star in the making and would form a formidable duo with Larry Fitzgerald if the team could get their quarterback situation untangled.

Interesting list of FA O-lineman DB.

I suspect that most of those will be retained.

GM's know better than we do how important these top tier O-linemen are.

The Dolphins would be doing good to land any one of them looks to me.

I found

http://waltercamp.org/index.php/teams_and_awards/


but did not see any listing for mock drafts or player ratings.

DB - how about best OC's available?
Need someone to put it all together and make it go.

I'd be stoked with any of those three FA WR's.

I just doubt that Ireland would be willing to go after another FA WR. Hence why drafting a WR makes sense to me.

R & R,

I totally agree with your earlier post regarding how the coaching is the biggest handicap facing the team.

I recall reading a poster last week saying that Belicheat could beat the Dolphins then take the this Dolphins squad and beat his team the next week.

I just do not see how Mr FG is going to 'open it up'. I do not believe that ability is in him. He is going to totally change who he is? I just doubt it.

And what innovative OC is going to want to work under Mr FG?

Oregon,

http://walterfootball.com/draft2011_1.php

You can also click on any subject you like at the left hand sidebar.

With no 2nd pick theres a huge possibility we come out of this year's draft with only one starter. We have to draft a guy that can start rightaway. That has to be our approach, like we'll only get one starter. If we get 2 starters chalk it up to luck.

I say we need to sign at least 3 top calbre or at least very high grade free agents to be a solid playoff team in 2011. Even if Henne is still qb. LOL...............

Thanks! Nice site.

I sure hope the Dolphins do not pick Locker! Yuck!

I'd be happy if the Dolphins:

Sign Ronnie, sign a good FA O-lineman, find a way to land V Young, Draft the Nevada kid later in the draft and then draft or sign a #1 Wr to balance BM.

Of course problems still remain at TE, Safety, LB and a defensive player to cover TE's.

A lot of holes to fill IMO.

Of course if the Dolphin coaching staff does not add a strong voice to override Mr FG instilling FEAR into the offense then we will see more of the prevent offense.

Oregon, Isaw them having us take Locker and my reaction was the exact same. LOL...........

We already have a Chad Henne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oregon,

Doubt we'll even sniff at VY. Once he's cut then he has to clear waivers and getting him at bargain basement price he'll be snatched up long before we get to kick the tires! LOL.....

Doesn't VY come with a contingent of psychiatrists?

AJ Green out of Georgia would be nice but he'll be long gone.

Oregon,


Of course problems still remain at TE, Safety, LB and a defensive player to cover TE's.

A lot of holes to fill IMO.

Of course if the Dolphin coaching staff does not add a strong voice to override Mr FG instilling FEAR into the offense then we will see more of the prevent offense.

Posted by: Oregon Dolphin fan | January 10, 2011 at 01:15 AM

The LB unit is still one of the better in the league. Despite some fans saying dump Crowder.

Best fa TE is Zach Miller, still a moderate upgrade over Fasano.

Have you heard Nhnandi Asoguha now available in free agency? Overall it wouldn cost Ross quite a bundle to land 3-4 starters in free agency but we badly need it since we cant realistically expect to land only one starter via draft.

We could maybe land 2-3 starters via draft but I'm talking about realistic expectations with no 2nd rd pick to boot.

Ev1 will wait for VY to get cut because no one's going to take on the money Titans owe him. LOL.............

Speaking of TE's, can we draft somebody to defend against TE's.
I am tired of seeing TE's blowing it up against us.
Sheesh!

So VY will not be a FA.

Too bad. I know he has all the baggage but man, the guy is loaded with talent. He would look good in a Dolphin uniform.

I doubt Ireland would have the vision to go after VY anyway.

Sparano would ruin him in a week.

Isn't nice how they treated Armando? This organization has become so unfriendly to the fans and media it is unbeliable. Why should I support it.They also on Friday kicked the media off it property. They have kept a coach that lost 7 home games this year.So sad!

How come when you start getting tired and sleepy you dont see your typos until after you have posted! LOL............

Stick a fork in me.
I'm done.
Peace to all true "aqua blue" Dolphins fans.

yeah R&R, I am with you about finding a player to cover TE's.

Who was it Edd's is supposed to be that guy.

The rookie TE had a nice play during the last game. Perhaps he could be an answer.

About Asoguha. He is amazing. I hope Ross opens up his checkbook and signs him.

I recall a poster pointing out that the Dolphins must find a way to defend the spread offense of the pats. Asoguha would go a long way to solving that.

I wonder if Smith could be utilized to run with TE's.

Next game should be agood one..

R&R,

I'm hoping Jones can beat out Y-Bell in camp. I believe Jones maybe a bit more of a ss than fs. Bell is awful covering TE's.

Oregon,

With Asoguha and Davis Nolan would began to dial up blitzes far more often. Maybe then some nut gm out there would be willing to give up a 2nd rounder for Sean Smith. LOL.........

I just hope we dont trade down to get a 2nd rd pick. This draft is weaker than last year and trading down we get 2 potential starters(more likely backups) instead of one true starter.

Sitting at 16th give a very great chance of landing a true starter. We need true starters not backups. We already have backups starting that's why we were so awful in 2010. LOL......

The Mark Mcguire mock draft on walterfootball has Julio Jones going to the Dolphins at #15.

Jones could be that 1st round starter. Maybe he can train with the CB's to learn how to catch the football.

Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State would not be bad either.

Ross should immediatly open his wallet and make every attempt starting today to sign Kevin Kolb from Philly as QB. He would be an immediate upgrade & he is young enough to be our starter for years.

Why hasn't anybody mentioned Pat Devlin? That guy has the quickest release and is probably one of the most accurate guys coming in this this years draft. Tall, athletic, and run for the first down and is shifty. I'd rather have Devlin that Locker or Mallet of Kolpernick or whatever his name is.

The Phins should aim for Matt Hasselbeck (i'm well aware of what most people think of him, but he's pretty underrated) since he's headed into FA. Draft a rookie. Have the rookie learn from Hasselbeck and win a few games on the way.

Shark my whole family is eagles fans and I have to watch them play every Sunday. Kolb is definitely not the answer he is garbage.

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