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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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DB - seems like you are going sentimental here. Have you forgotten about all your game day management gripes which really have nothing to do with Ireland or control. Also, its a little far fetched to think the HC didn't have any say over what the OC was doing.

Regardless, I don't see the IreAno team ever being better than 3 steps behind the NE Empire. Hey, if we make the playoffs next year I'll be more than happy to come back here and admit how wrong I was.


Im sure right now we'll be looking for the best "AVAILABLE" OC that's also adept in sufficiently evaluating qb talent. Who that is right now none of knows not even the FO themselves.

One thing that is for sure, everyone's now finally on the same page on what we do need and that's the greatest bit of news out of this organization for over a decade now.

LET THAT SEARCH BEGIN! LOL..................


Phin4life@4:16 EPIC!!!!

Rooms too small and only two seats per media outlet, Mando, do you know what makes me sad? YOU DO YOU JACK WAGON! Maybe you should jog on over to manby panby land and get some some self confidence. Tissue? You cry baby!!


I wasn't really giving TS credit. I was just stating where most opinions stood in 2008.

The Bills Jim Kelly ran a no huddle offense that gave everyone fits for years.

The Fins need to find an OC that can bring that type of game planning combined with the Pats spread offense scheme.

Could Rich Rodriguez have a place in the NFL?

If not, who?



Kris you're right in that Sparano should have controlled Henning and Henne more efficiently. He is the General and if one of his commanders is not getting the job done he should replace him with someone that can. TS didn't do that and a lot of us lost faith in him as a result....just my opinion....



MassanuttenRef...LOL! I love that commercial...

I tell you, if TS is given more power over personnel he's going to turn this offense around pretty quickly. He's got the eye.


No doubt about it, I am a TS supporter and believe he definitely needs to prove himself in 2011.

My faith in him has waivered and needs some reassurances.

Aloco, if his own brother doesn't want him, why should we?


New coach or not, we probably are wildcard material at best in 2011. I believe Ross will evaluate TS and JI soley on what occurs this offseason plus is the team heading in the right direction?

10-6 will innoculate both against firing. 9-7 and seeming moving in the right direction should also get them by. 8-8 and moving in the right direction gets them by with a stern brow beating. 7-9 or lower and both recieve kiss of death especially if better personel's brought in.

Stephen Ross is an idiot. He needs to be replaced as owner.


Do you are part of the staff? Who are you trying to convice with this "there all on the same page stuff"?

Who are you trying to spin this to?

again why would any good ocord come here with a lameduck coach

Kris I wont make any firing predictions right now. Thats placing the cart before the horse and the 2011 season hasnt even begun yet. No one can successfully predict that right now, not even you. LOL.......

Seahawks are SHOCKING THE WORLD!!!


I'm a season ticket holder and havn't received that letter?

The Fins o-line is in desperate help.

They need to pick a center or left guard with their 1st round pick. Someone that can hopefully be around for ten years. If they're lucky, they can get one by trading down and regain their missing 2nd round pick.

Sign a FA for the other key o-line position.

Sign Vick, Young or McNabb (in that order) and a later round QB for development. Any of these three QBs would be an upgrade over Henne. Let Henne compete for the job this time.



Kris, 17 unanswered points by the Seattle, great game!

Redsky....well said.....that what I was trying to get out.....i could use an interperter

Todays kiss and make up session will last about as long as my last kiss and make up session with my girlfriend. About 3 weeks. People don't change. I don't believe TS has been given any more real power, perhaps some lip service phantom power. Either way, the stage is set for more soap opera entertainment, for better or worse.

JB give me ur email and I will forward you the letter. Maybe you didn't give them your email dude.

Aloco, just busting your chops man, couldn't help myself...,lol


Yes, a lot of clock management issues. Those are correctible, hopefully. However, there were still other things that attributed equally as well to making them critical situations.

If we can get better offensive structure and continuity finally into action. Those situations no longer become so critcal. The halftime offensive adjustments are amost exclusively on the shoulders of your OC. Nolan seems to do just fine with them.

Redsky...it is a great game....David and Goliath

0x80....@ 6:01....I don't think it can be put any better.....

No way Henne could run a hurry-up or two minute offense. Still we won seven games!

Other than the communication issues that appear to stem from cowardice on Ireland's and Ross' part (which is troublesome),the notion of a coaching search really is not offensive. One only has to think about how this season went and it is clear that Sparano seems over his head. If he can correct it, great, but he has not built a contender yet, not even close when considering NE and Jets. I wonder why it's OK to put a player on the spot with the threat of replacement for poor porformance and not a coach? I'm pretty sure Henne getting benched and not knowing how his career would turn out was uncomfortable for a few days as well. This isn't a big deal.


If Ross was just giving lip service the guantlet has been laid down then it wont last lone. Ross sticks to his .44 magnum and Clint Eastwood rules the day.

These announcers are saying what I have been posying for 6-8 weeks now.....

watch how these QBs get the ball out of their hands...1-2-3-balls out...1-2-3...balls out.....this is what offence looks like...


Yes they have my Email. I had already copied to a word doc but thanks for the offer.


Ive been saying for while now Chad Henne doesnt seem to think quick enough or process info fast enough for a quick paced offense. That's why I say he's our next franchise backup qb. Definitely cant move forward with him as starter especially if we're planning to move onto a faster paced more vertical offense.


The Bills Jim Kelly ran a no huddle offense that gave everyone fits for years.

The Fins need to find an OC that can bring that type of game planning combined with the Pats spread offense scheme.

Could Rich Rodriguez have a place in the NFL?

If not, who?

Posted by: Swamy | January 08, 2011 at 05:48 PM

Yeah, who can bring a more wide open approach to the Dolphins.

But the bigger picture problem is ..... Sparano.

To play fast is totally against everything we have seen from Mr FG the last 3 years.

Sparano will not allow it.

I'm pulling for the Seahawks here. They were robbed in that SB against Pittsburgh. The refs had even come out this past year and admitted they made some bad calls that indeed affected the outcome of the game. Can't see Seattle getting to the championship, but at least Hassleback beating the reigning champs in the playoffs is a little bit of poetic justice.

These two better get over what ever happened and get on the same page. Sparano had no choice in the matter. If he walked away I doubt there would have been any suitors for his services as a head coach. So since head coaching is a position he covets it would make sense for him to move forward. Now, he gets to have a voice in his offensive staff. He can go out and get a guy that he thinks will help himself, and more importantly this team. As far as GM goes. Ireland has proven over and over that he has the sense of a dying mule. Like I stated before. Ross better get ready to over pay for some free agents. Why in a good players right mind would they want to even deal with this team? The whole culture of the way this franchise does buisness needs to improve. Not just the relationship between head coach and the waterboy GM.

Henne has been programmed to throw the ball only where the play call says throw it. Doesnt matter whether that guy is open or not. Or if one of the other reads were open or not.

David Lee's doing an awful job and if we draft a young qb Lee has to go first!


Others here have pointed out, Henne doesnt seem to have any comaraderie with his teammates. He is aloof on the sidelines, doesn't engage them. He seems like a punch clock employee, punch in, punch out, work over.

Just to be clear, I totally agree with you Swamy that a wide open style is much better for the Dolphins and what I have wanted to see for the last 10 years.

Sparano is simply not the guy for that.

I am hoping got V young to land in Miami. He has the greatest upside and could be a long term answer at QB.

That is IF he can be kept off the blow and party's of south beach.

Yet, the Sparano problem remains. Look at how Sparano has destroyed and mismanaged Henne. I have zero confidence in Sparanos ability to develop a QB.

What we have seen so far is only QB destruction under Sparano.

Go Steelers! That's my backup team. I can't take my Dolphins hurting me each year. I wonder how many season ticket holders will be at Joe Robbie Stadium this Fall. Also, I agree with Angry Elf!


You are so correct! Henne seems like an "I did exactly what they told me to do" employee and "If you dont like it dont blame me blame them" guy. It's sickening!

West Coast Offense please!

Stepen Ross: "I am obsessed with winning and will do whatever it takes to make us a perennial Super Bowl contender. Many of the model franchises over the course of NFL history have been built on a commitment from ownership to chart a course for the organization, select the right people to execute that strategy and allow them the time to finish what they started. Stability and consistency are two of the most important virtues of ownership."

Dying...A great examle of what you just said was the Chicago game. It wasn't Henne, but Thigpen. He audibled to a pass and hit Hartline on the sideline for our biggest gain of the evening. After the game he was awarded a famous minus on the grade sheet for that play. According to the coaches, the proper lay was to stay with the run. So even after a positive play that gained 25 yards he was told that wasn't the right choice. It's no wonder that the quarterback play was so bad.

Marshall and Dansby were expensive but have delivered. The Truth.


I am with the seachickens too. That SB theft was disgusting. What is with the Steelers having the refs in their pocket all the time?

Also in this game we are watching WR #17 Williams who Carroll had the vision to pick up.

Williams had a break out year and could have been landed by Ireland. Another FA whiff.

Most important words "Time to finish what they started" AND "Stability and consistency" Smart man, he gets it

Someone needs to sit Henne down and tell him that greatness isnt programmed into you, its embedded into you. If the fans were interested in watching robots. We would in unisom petition to bring back the "Lost In Space" syndicated reruns!

"Danger, Danger, Danger!" Will Robinson!

That was called progression...

I am relieved this strange week is over and to celebrate I will relieve MYSELF.

My plan is to urinate in the produce aisle at the Coconut Creek Publix this evening.

Since I have had a considerable amount of coffee today, it promises to be a grand urination tha leaves a very large puddle.

I should also be able to leave a smaller pool of urine at customer service.

Please join me for an evening of urination.


Marshall said he and Thigpen did the same thing 3 times in last game against Pats with positive results twice. Marshall said he dropped one pass that would have been a positve.

All of this led to his verbal exchange with DAVID LEE even though he and Thigpen playing totally off script led to our on td of the game. LEE MUST GO TOO!

Let's players be themselves. Just a thought but if the fins let pat white keep his gloves would he have played differently????

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