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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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Look, Henne has been exactly the type of QB that Sparano demanded.

Many of you love to bash Henne for all the things that the coaching staff drills him to do every day.

Henne is captain check down because that is what Sparnao wants.

Also he has a putrid O-line that T Brady would look bad behind.

Henne is a good solder who does what coach wants and then gets thrown under the bus by the coaches at every opportunity. Let alone the flack the 'fan base' gives him.

Stop complaining Mando. Nobody cares about the media's plight. Report stuff about the team. Nobody cares about your media pass.

I barely have enough money to get me through the rest of the month. Save me the sorrow.

I can't believe ANYONE would defend the team front office or the coaches.Are you guys spending too much in the fins club instead of watching FOOTBALL!?! Look at the season we just had-look at the pathetic QB we have been stuck with without anyone in the wings, look at the bungling of a coach search and failing in that but succeeding in pissing off your existing coach. Anyone who thinks Ross should be given a break is a JETS FAN!


Fins want to much order and they r booooring on offense !!

ireland, peterson, ross are all snakes! at least have the guts to look TS in the eye and fire him already! the players will not pay any attention to whatever he has to say... what a sorry bunch on clowns!

Oregon - There were a lot of people pulling for Cowher the SB winner to come here, but I often wonder how much they would have been pulling for him had Pitt not 'officially lucked out on bad calls (as admitted by the refs)' to win that game. He'd have been labeled a two time SB loser. Oh well. He did keep his team competitive for a long stretch so I will at least give him that much,

Pete Carroll has Hasselback looking like the second coming of Joe Montana to Jerry Rice! LOL.............

Bobbyd12..You don't believe that statement do you? If Harbaugh woud have agreed to his terms what does Ross' statement read? Sparano was a pawn in this whole negotiation(even though they deny any offers were made) He was plan B,C or D this whole week. If he wasn't why were no statements made before this whole debacle as to Ross' support of Sparano, and his job security moving forward? It may work out great, and yes stability is important to any winning orginization. But I don't buy Ross' statement for a second.

Ireland would throw his mom overboard to save his job

The one thing that upset me the most about Sparano was that the o-line was as bad as it was considering that he was an o-line coach.

No o-line means no running game, no passing game unless your name is Manning or Marino.

Thats...say it with me...


Herm Edwards

Armando is douche

Dolphins have a virus on the ream

Hasselback has been a fine QB for sometime, only injuries and age have slowed him the last few years. Smart, effective QB though, a gamer, the complete opposite of Hanging Chad Henne.


Ireland already threw Dez's mom under the bus and it wasnt even to save his job! LOL............

0x80, America loves a underdog....Las Vegas has them at 125-1 to win the SB. Wouldn't that be something, unlikely, but awesome nontheless.

Yet another whining pathetic article. Please. Can't the Herald find you anything else to do? What exactly did you report here? Nothing. Gee, Ireland is no longer Tony's buddy because he flew to California because his boss told him to. Imagine that, doing as you're told to keep your 6 figure job. You moron ... maybe you need to get a real job with real responsibility instead of getting paid to spew nonsense.

ESPN has reported that the real reason we didn't land Harbaugh is Ireland asked him if his mother was a prostitute. When is Jeff gonna learn?

Ps. Mando, you whine more than my three year old.


I agree about Cowher and never did I want to see him coach the Dolphins. Way too conservative.


We can agree to disagree. I F ing hate the wets AND I have ZERO problem with Ross taking a look to find a better coach. I only wish he had made the change.

Mr FG has only delivered mediocrity.

IMO Sparano is a clown, coaches scared, takes zero chances and the Dolphins will never beat good team with his prevent offense approach.

It just amazes me how quickly people forget about how poorly this team was coached all season long. Instead we feel sorry for the way Tony was treated. He brought this onto himself didn't he?

His conservative, too scared to fail, attitude has no place on a wining team. Take risks and let the chips fall where they may!!! Look at Seattle for god's sake. They go for a 42-yd TD pass on 3rd and 2. Sparano would have handed it off to polite. We are so predictable its not even funny.

I could go on and on on why Sparano is not NFL head coaching material.

Smh we passed over Earl Thomas , dez Bryant , Ryan Williams , smh thanks alot Jeff Ireland

Sparano and Ireland played their cards... Ireland failed in getting a new HC..
Ross had no option but to get back to Sparano, leaving Ireland with his loosing hand ...
Sparano, knowing his patience paid off, asked for a contract extension , more money and Ireland's head ...
Ross accepted the first two conditions but reply on the third one with more personnel decision for Sparano and asked mercy for Ireland : "let him stay as GM , with no power until he fades next season ..." (putting Ireland on ice, so to say ..)

Sparano, said OK !

Now, they are a happy family ...

Back to reality : FOCUS ON

2)Put Henne in his place : not a #1 QB
3)Solve B. Marshall situation....it is coming ...
4) Get rid of Brown/Williams duo... They are neither the present nor the future.. And by doing so, open two places ... get the attention of the market !
5) Get more draft picks by getting rid of the talkers and the underachievers .. there are a lot of them within the dolphins organization!

By doing so, we may fill the stadium ...

By doing so, Dolphin Team starts regaining its lost credibility.

By doing so, We can buy (again !) the work-in-progress phase we have been in for the last 40 year ...

Final word : Sparano, you control the dolphins now : Ireland, Ross, Coaches everything... You have been given a unique opportunity to be somebody in NFL... Your patience paid off.... take advantage of that situation ... and start delivering the change everybody is waiting for.

If you do, you will get the lost locker,the team, the lost fans and your credibility within the NFL.

If you don't, next year you won't be as lucky as this year ...

Now, it is in your hands....

Every one of Seattle's nine losses was by 15 points or more this year.

Had it been Miami, people would have talked about what a lousy team and season it was, along with wondering if Carroll was a wise hire.

Amazing how a few quarters of good football can change people's perception.

Posted by: FB | January 08, 2011 at 06:38 PM

Totally agree. Mr FG is a clown. He pisses me off actually.

Sea Dat' scores a td here and the Who Dat' run may officially be over! LOL.........

Dishpan, still calling Mando a douche? Some things never change. Mando is really chafing my balls, and I am close to writing my own blog. I could write a recap after being denied access too.

Swedish_fish, does that make Mando a whiner, or a wiener?

Sea Dat' doesnt execute 3rd down conversion!

Quarter fist-pump from Carrol

Swedish_phish, does that make Mando a whiner, or a wiener?

Mando, what is it that you have against the Fins...every article you do is laced with negativity against the fins....give it up, move to NY, Atlanta, LA, Chicago...we don't want you and your anti-Dolphins work here...thank you.

Kris, this Seahawks team is playing great football, on both sides of the ball. Amazing!

I saw Heath Evans name called in this game, yet another cast off Fin in the playoffs with another team. When you get released by the fins, your chances of going to the playoffs the following season increase dramatically.

My offseason depending on CBA

Sign RB M.Bush, QB R. Grossman, C R. Khalil, DB C. Bailey
Resign Incognito, Solia (probably wrong spelling)

Draft mock 1

If QB's are not taken
1 Jake Locker QB
3 Rodney Hudson G
4 DJ Williams TE
5 Derrick Locke RB
6 Speedy WR

Mock 2
trade down
1 M. Pouncey G/C
2 RB Ryan Williams RB
3 C.Kaeperick QB
4 DJ Williams TE
5 Derrick Locke RB
6/ 7 BPA

NFL should not allow any division champ go to playoffs with a losing regular season record.

They should have at least a 9-7 record.

The Bucs should have been in the playoffs with their 10-6 record.

If it were up to me, I wouldn't allow field goals in the SB. If a team can't score a TD then they just don't score unless it's a defensive TD.

Our receivers are better than the Seahawk's.

Redsky...don't forget Special Teams....

Great Stop on 3rd DOWN


How do You sell this Team for Next Year?
The Players Quit
He won 1 Game at Home???
The Players Know he is a Lame Duck Coach...
No Thanks for My $$$ Next Year to see this MESS...

WOW! Who Dat' stuffed on 4th and inches! LOL..........

Deliver a wiener. I love it, and true.

Peytons gamble cost the game. A field goal will seal this one. I think the Saints celebrated their SB victory about 6 months too long.

Sea Dat' offense comes back onto the field already in fistpump range! LOL...........

This Looks Like Dave Wannstedt Part 2 and look how that all worked out for him???
Desparate Moves to get to NUTHIN,,,
I give Tony 5-6 games next year before he is fired or re-signs...
The John Fox sag in Miami....


Per NFL: "Field goals are now to be officially recognized as FIST PUMPS!"

So tired of reading Dolphins fans opinions and this stupid whiny "columnist" and his agenda-driven crap.

Dolphins fans are the same people that were chanting Brady Quinn's name at the draft a few years ago. As bad as the Ted Ginn pick was, it turned out better than Quinn....the fans choice. Dolphin fans wanted CJ Spiller last year.

You guys want all of these old washed up coaches. Gruden turned Tampa into a mess by the time he was fired, and it took Cowher 20 years to win a Super Bowl. But hey, they both make mean faces.

You guys crush the village idiot Ross, but if he came back with Harbaugh you'd be calling him the savior. Then you guys all act like you are offended.

Nobody wants to come to Miami. Gruden turned down the Hurricanes and Dolphins. Harbaugh took a pay cut not to come here. Saban couldn't wait to get out of town, and went back to college ASAP. Cowher wanted to clean house and be on a vacation at his job in the sun with his buddies like Jimmy Johnson did.

Sparano has a winning record as a coach in this hell hole with a terrible fan base, terrible beat writers, terrible stadium, young QB, and terrible owner, and you can't wait to get rid of one of the better young coaches in the game.

If we had it your way it would be a washed up Bill Cowher coaching Brady Quinn and CJ Spiller. And guess what? The stadium would still be half empty, At least they'd all be honest.

Swedish, indeed, somethings remain constant, and as you've read all week from the guy, his douche-factor is always turned up

Kris, duly noted, special teams as well. Bad break with that penalty.


Wookie, so is your own whining exempt from the whining you deem so deplorable?

Nobody has told the Seahawks Defence about the FIX....

Sounds if Wookie needs some Nookie. He greatly exaggerated Cowhers 15yrs to win a SB, calling it 20yrs instead of 15yrs.


Would Wookie like to have a Cookie or a little Nookie today? LOL.......

Breeze is carving them up like a Ginsu

Think maybe wookie was denied access too, like Mandouche

rumor on espn is that the pats are going after ingram in the draft. maybe they will trade with us i believe they have the 18th. Im not sure about the point system but if we move back 2 to 3 spots and get a 2nd back we can still get a good quality player in the 1st

Those Seattle LB's are very active.

Seems Breeze now stating recess is over! LOL..........

By the way, still LOL @ Armando being denied access. How many NFL players can you name with the first ane Armando or last name Salguero? When do we change his title to Wannabe Jr. beat Writer for the worst team in the league?

Can't stand these Southern refs with their horrible accents.

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