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Tony Sparano in his own words

Tony Sparano covered a number of issues during his press conference with the press on Wednesday.

As the Internet is not yet full, I've decided to share with you every word the coach uttered so that it comes to you unfiltered.

Notice he was coy about the health of Jake Long (things are looking good for a season-opening debut), he awarded the starting right tackle job to Marc Colombo "right now" -- I suppose leaving open the possibility the Dolphins add another player such as Bryant McKinnie or someone of that ilk.

And he really didn't want to get into any criticism of Chad Henne by any former players. His words:

(On how dropped interceptions would change the defense as a whole if they were caught)- “We felt like at the end of the year it was somewhere around 24, 25 balls that we thought we had our hand on you know that we could have made plays on, some harder than others, some routine.  But that was last year and this is this year and right now they’re catching ‘em out there so we got to take it into the game and catch a few in the game.  I mean we got one the other night, Benny (Sapp) made a nice play on the ball and came up with it.  So that was good.”

(On how much dropped interceptions that were caught would change things)- “It’s going to change it tremendously.  I mean I think at the end of this thing when you look at it teams that are playing in somewhere deep into January there’s teams whose turnover ratio is pretty good.  I mean rarely are you seeing a team whose flip-flopped turnover wise kind of the way we were that’s playing at that point.  It’s just hard to win those kinds of games.  You know I think that’s something that we talk an awful lot about here.  Some people think its micromanaging or whatever the heck that thing is but if it is I am gonna continue to do it because it’s not helping us in January.”

(On the value he puts on Bryan Cox)- “Well right now it’s been tremendous.  You know I think that some place out on the practice field during the course of our practice the pass rushers can get lost a little bit.  It might be first down day; it might be short yardage goal line stuff.  Unless it’s third down when they’re rushing the passer you know those guys can get lost a little bit and Bryan (Cox) is kinda like, he’s this home, this kind of island out there where they can go to to get this work during the course of these special team periods.  You seem ‘em working ‘em pretty good and individual Bill (Sheridan) and Bryan (Cox) will split those guys up to get extra work.  It’s starting to trickle down I seen that after practice today (Jason Taylor) and (Jared) Odrick standing out there and it’s starting to get in the younger players a little bit.  Bryan has a different way of doing things with those guys that way and part of it is a challenge and part of it is fundamentals and things that he’s learned along the way.  I think it’s very, very valuable a lot more valuable coming from Bryan than it is coming from me who’s never done it before.”

(On how Bryan Cox has handled the whole mix of linebackers, both veterans and young players)- “Well I think he’s done a great job.  The good news is Bryan (Cox) comes with a lot of stripes.  You know a guy like (Jason Taylor) who’s got I believe, he corrected me the other night, but 132.5 sacks.  I left the half out and he told me how hard it was to get the half and he’s completely correct.  But that being said a guy like (Jason Taylor) hearing from Bryan (Cox) he knows Bryan has done it you know and the two of those guys bounce ideas off of each other a little bit and then the young guys are looking at Bryan with big eyes and are understanding that he’s been out there and this guy has been a really good player in this league. I think that’s done nothing but help us.”

(On the level of satisfaction on the intensity with practice)- “I think that the practices have been pretty good.  I like the intensity. I didn’t like the finish yesterday; I liked the finish today. You know this is a grind much different than any place I’ve been associated with.  It’s hard than it was in Dallas, certainty harder than any other place, you know Jacksonville.  I mean down here at training camp this time of year and with the heat being what it is and yesterday with the humidity was really up it’s just a grind.  To think that you’re gonna be…the intensity is gonna be from start to finish at its highest level, that’s not gonna happen.  You know but I think the longer it goes and the more you can keep the intensity the better you see your football team gettin’ and I felt like today we took some strides that way.”

(On without excuses, how the team has gotten to this point)- “To be honest with you my first year here I had blinders on, it didn’t really phase me one way or the other you know I just kinda brought this but as I said to you before I think you gotta identify particularly with the veteran players on the team, the (Jason Taylors) and the (Marc) Colombos and some of the older players on the team that you’re looking at and watch their body language out here in the heat and then you’re seeing some of the guys on the team that are in the best physical shape like a Davone Bess is always in good shape or (Tyrone) Culver and I try to watch those guys to tell me when I need to back off.  Today we finished practice 14 minutes early today. So when you talk about intensity now they’re getting through this thing pretty good so that was good.  Where yesterday I had to, I seem ‘em kinda maybe hittin’ a little bit of a wall and I had to trim some plays off of practice. That’s something in the past I probably wouldn’t have done.”

(On if he feels there is still untapped potential)- “Yes, I definitely do and that’s where I feel like Bryan Cox has been able to help a little bit there too.  You know again Bill Sheridan does a tremendous job, he and David Corrao with our linebackers, but having somebody to go to that can just coach him on pass rush and they can just sit in the room together and watch the pass rush film together you know I think is gonna make Cam Wake a much better player.  I think the way Bryan prepared for games mentally will help make a player like Cam Wake a better player.  You know in other words being able to share some of those things and what he look for in some of those situations.  Having (Jason Taylor) in the room with him helps make Cam Wake a better player so all these things I think are positive.  I think Cam (Wake)’s a pretty driven.  He’s not one to settle to where he was.  He understands there’s a whole different set of challenges coming at him this year with the way people are gonna approach him during the course of ball games and I think he’s starting to prepare for that out here now.”

(On Channing Crowder saying on the radio that Chad Henne cannot get the job done and if the rest of the team feels that way)- “He’s on the radio already (laughing)?  I’m not going to comment on that.  I’ve been around and round with this already before.  You guys know that.  You know my feeling on Chad (Henne).”

(On the defense’s conditioning with the lockout)- “I mean if you watch Jared Odrick run out here I wouldn’t call it a lack of conditioning I mean this guy is tremendous, in great physical shape.  Now some are in better than others, but I would tell you are they ready for game one right now from a physical standpoint…no, but they’re pretty close.  I like the shape that most of them are in, (Paul) Soliai, some of those guys came back in really good shape for where they are body weight wise.  It’s just gettin’ them into playing shape right now, playing football.  Eight plays are different than standing here running sprints.  When you play eight plays in a row at the level that those guys have to play at it’s completely different.  That’s where we need to be.  In the last couple of practices we’ve increased the number of reps that they are out there.  Before it was fours and fives and now it’s sevens and eights from a reps standpoint where they’re out there at one time.”

(On the uncertainty in the running game)- “Yeah sure I mean there is, no question about it.  I mean I’m seeing more and more out of ‘em every day in practice but I really need to see it in the games at a consistent level here and it’s hard because you’re running out of quarters but I mean we gotta see it.  We’ll get ‘em out there again this week, we’ll play some of these guys and see what we see.  I was pleased with what they did in the ball game last week although we didn’t gain a lot of yards on the ground. I am talking about total package protection, routes, all the things that are necessary.  Identifying the looks I thought was good but we got a little bit of a ways to go there right now.”

(On the uncertainty with the offensive line)- “I feel pretty comfortable I just think these guys just need to play together.  So they just need to keep playing together.  This is probably the most we have had a group together out there you know short of Jake (Long) not being out there right now, certainly since I’ve been here.  And I think that little by little they are starting to get better.  You know today was practice nine for that group.  So sometimes it takes 50 practices for those guys to get on the same page if you’ve played the position so we don’t have 50 practices right now.  They gotta figure it out fast but they’re gettin’ there and it’s not any different than probably any lines in our league right now.”

(On Jake Long’s progress)-“He’s doing well.”  

(On how Vernon Carey has adjusted since moving positions)- “I think he’s done a nice job.  I mean I think if you were to ask Vernon (Carey), Vernon would tell you it’s different because the speed is faster in there.  That’s a true statement.  I think he’s done a nice job to date right now. I see him everyday kinda getting’ a little bit better at something.  He’s a hard guy to move in there so he’s good, he can keep the quarterback’s feet clear between he, Richie (Incognito) and (Mike) Pouncey.  That core is pretty solid in there and hard to move that way.  We just gotta get ‘em playing just a little tick faster at the second level right now.  Those are the things that come with reps.”

(On his comfort level with A.J. Edds)- “I’m comfortable with what A.J. (Edds) has done so far. A.J. needs to keep coming.  You know we need to get him to keep coming.  He’s a young guy that hasn’t played a lot of football this way.  You know again he’s played out there in space but in between the tackles he hasn’t played a whole lot of football there and I think the more reps we can get him the better we’ll be.  I want to see him be able to put a couple performances together and maybe do some things in this ball game coming up this week that he didn’t do last week and see whether or not he can take another step coverage wise, another step with pattern reads and block recognition, all the things that good linebackers do.  

(On if Marc Colombo will be the starting offensive tackle for game one)- “Yeah that’s safe to say now.”

(On the story behind the hiring of Bryan Cox)- “You know it’s interesting.  When Bill (Sheridan) was here there would be several times when I would walk into Bill’s office and he might be on the phone with Bryan (Cox), ribbing him one way or the other as their relationship kinda is.  I’ve got to know Bryan (Cox) through Bill (Sheridan) and that’s the way I got a chance to meet him.  What I really liked about Bryan, talking with him a couple times at the Senior Bowl and at the combine and at those type of things and getting’ a chance to meet him is I just thought this guy is as straight as a straight shooter comes, he tells it like it is and I thought that from a player’s standpoint that they would appreciate that coming from a player.  I thought it would be valuable to have a resource like that on my staff because I needed somebody to say to me ‘hey coach, not in pads today…that’s too many.’ Or ‘hey coach…put ‘em in pads today.’  In other words I’m lucky that I have three or four of those guys on my staff at all different positions.  Ike (Hilliard) being a skill guy, and Danny Campbell being one of those semis.  It gives me a chance to bounce some things off of those people.  I got a chance to visit with Bryan (Cox) at the Senior Bowl this year and he and I just kinda sat and we kinda talked a little bit.  You know there was a point where he was obviously out of a job and that’s where it started.  But the vision, there was no position at that point and this was kinda of an idea that I just had and I thought would be somethin’ that worked out good.  I went to Jeff (Ireland) with it and I was fortunate that Jeff amen’d it.”

(On if he ever talked to Don Shula about Bryan Cox)- “I never really had a conversation with Coach (Don) Shula about him but when Coach Shula found out that I had him here and we seen each other at the Jim Mandich function he told me that it was a pretty smart thing to do.” 

 (On the practice schedule change after the preseason games)- “There’s not much I really like about it to be honest with you but I kinda felt like you see…you have to give the players one day off every seven days.  If you do the math right now and I don’t practice this week right after the game I have to give ‘em the Tampa Bay game off.  That’s probably not gonna work is it?  So I don’t think anybody would be too happy with that.   So it gets to a point where you give it to ‘em off in the middle of the work week or you bring ‘em in right then and there after the game which is not un-normal.  In other words in season you would bring ‘em in, they would lift, they would run, they would meet and all we did was bring ‘em out for kinda a 22-play deal here and got the first group a little bit of work.  So we’re gonna do that again this week and then we won’t have to do it the following week after the Tampa game.  We will be able to give ‘em the day off right after that because that’s a short week going into Dallas and then we’re kinda on schedule.  But having to give ‘em that one day off you know in a perfect world if that rule was in place before your preseason games were scheduled you would rather play all Friday nights or all Saturday nights, not a Friday and then a Saturday.”

(On if he has seen the impact with the training camp drop off)- “Not really that way.  Where the drop off comes is when you start to look.  I mean we’re all creatures of habit, I’m sure everyone is doing it around the league.  But I told my guys the other day both the team and the staff, and I told them this because of urgency, in other words time is not a friend right now, you gotta get your team ready to play.  I’m trying to make a point to the young players, you either got it or you don’t right now.  At some point the parade is gonna pass you by here.  So this time last year going into the first preseason game, we had 22 practices and this year we had 12.  And that equaled 1,167 reps and this year it equaled 744 reps so you’re 360 or 70 reps short of where you were a year ago going into the first preseason game.  You’re not gonna get those back, you’re not gonna make ‘em up.  So that’s where I see the greatest impact.  The walk through reps you really have to have the player’s attention in this walk through which it’s been good for us, the guys have done a nice job  but you have to have something specific that you’re gonna work on, maybe something that you wouldn’t rep out here in practice.  Whatever the situation is we do some coming out, we do some short yardage goal line; you know some of those kinda things.  The players gotta do a good job executing because they count.”


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ArmandoSalguero Redzone work: Shotgun, Henne hits Bush down the sideline wide open behind Misi. Ball in hands. Drop. Nice throw, tho.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/football/#ixzz1VIylDGfk

Doesn't it seem like NONE of the recievers can catch Hennes passes? Does he throw with a triple reverse spin on the ball???

faster, against

He throws with idiot drool on the ball!!

I think most the Matt Moore lovers are really Henne Haters, but there maybe a few that think Matt Moore can bring something to the table, from his 7 starts he had in 2009 for the panthers where he posted a QB Rating of 98.5 with 8 Td's. 2 Int's and a 5-2 record, they could make the point that in 2010 I think he had a concussion & other injury problems & was horrid, no excuses there he played terrible... Were the 7 games he played in 2009 where he looked like a good QB, who he was or is he the guy in 2010 who was down right terrible.. or is he somewhere in between like henne... Just so you know I would prefer someone not already on the team, but that won't happen, & I will back whoever they decide to start, just hope they start whoever gives the dolphins the best chance to win, whoever that maybe.. I think we have a chance to win the division, if we are able to find ways to score points, defense will be strong & defense wins championships...

ArmandoSalguero From the 8 yard line. Shotgun. Safety blitz, Gates runs a slant, Henne throws a fade. Incomplete. God, this is ugly.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/football/#ixzz1VJ0WWRiQ

Or pee on me.... :P

I can't go by "broadcasts" from live practices. Too many variables involved.

I believe this next pre-Season game(and maybe the next one) will be key in Coaches and most Fans knowing where the Miami Dolphins are headed in 2011.

So Fins.

what your saying is, in all the Miami dolphin victories that we had the last two years where chad Henne started.

there were NO reads to be made.

How did we win again?


7-9 is not what I call winning.

Going into our second game now we only have had 732 snaps where as last season we had 1287 snaps at this point so thats 312 snaps short. 2+2= 0.0071.

He throws with idiot drool on the ball!!

Posted by: FINS ARMAGEDDON | August 17, 2011 at 12:42 PM

ROTFLMAO-Thanks, I needed that!

too much time on everyones hands to comment about an unfinished product. Wait till after week two when we have had a chance to see them perform against a good team and a not-so-good team. Then we will be able to make a safe assumption about the rest of the season. Truthfully, if Henne can keep his interception numbers down, the defense will win some games for us this year. My prediction 10-6. Anyone care to chime in on the record prediction?????

Week 2?! We don't have that much Time.

10-6 is my thoughts also.

The o-line needs to be solid though

we have nothing but time. There are really no more aquisitions to be made here. We must work with what we have and hope for the best. The only move I would like to see is for them to get a TE that can catch once one is released by aanother team. Henne will be fine this year. If you paid attention to Bob Greise on Friday night, he admitted that even he didn't know what he was doing until his fourth year in the league. Historically, a good QB doesn't become a good QB until his third or fourth year. You can be good your first year, then most have a dropoff their second year because all the other teams have a full year of film on you. This is Chad's year. Give him a chance with a better Offensive Coordinator and a few more weapons. I'm telling you, this is a very deceptively explosive offense we have this year. YOU'LL SEE

8-8 at best. oline is too new, rb situation suspect. no te. henne suspect.

people saying 10-6 are in total denial, probably said the same last year.

JSJ, no offense but every time I predicted or heard someone predict that the Dolphins will finish 10-6, they fall flat.

I don't think they will be a bottom scraper, but they may be 7-9 for the 3rd year in a row. That wouldn't surprise me either. I really have zero expectations for this year other than to get a final verdict on Henne and the front office. 4 years is enough time to form an opinion on a country's leader is it not? No reason to not assess a sports' team front office by the same time.

fins4life, is Rosario still on the Panthers? because if he is, he will probably not amke the team with Shockey and Olsen there.


Acorns taste bad, anybody ever try one?

Mark in Toronto | August 17, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Your probably right given he is a terrible blocker after all he was a converted WR but he is faster than Fasano and has good hands, made some nice catches I caught on Sports Center for them working the middle of the field. The problem is when they took there other TE King off the field the D new they were looking to pass. He is a RFA though who`s still working his rookie deal and with Shokey`s injury history maybe sticks as the 3rd TE, giving them at least on papper a very good trio.

If you guys want I can set Henne up with a couple of prostitutes and invite him to hang out with me on my yacht. Maybe that will help him play better.

Mark: I have tried an acorn but do not like them. They bind me up.

DING DING DING and the winner of the most accessible anus is ....... ME! Damn I'm smart.. It's only a matter of time until Ross hires me.

fin4life-withabigboner | August 17, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Instead of hiding behind some stupid rip on my handle why don`t you put up your real screen name and debate every point I make that you feel is dead wrong. Like I posted yesterday you never debate facts or points of view, just go off on your homophobic rants were your theme is always man hugs, erections, interenet sites to meet men and the Patriots, hmmm?? Maybe you can sneak your way into there shower room and bend over or drop to your knees in hopes of getting gang F U C K E D by the Pats who you obviously have man love for instead of jerking off your PC. You never know stranger dreams have come true.

Mark, it really doesnt matter if it falls flat.

What happens is what happens. My 10-6 is if everything wroks perfectly. More the RB situation and the prayer that coach can finally put a solid line together.

I have no clue if those things will come together. So it is really just a hope at this point.

The fact is, we can predict until we are blue in the face. Who ever gets it right was the lucky... or errr the unlucky one. :)

Yeah, Bob Griese didn't know what he was doing because Shula wasn't here. Right, Bob?


According to what I read Rosario signed with the Broncos on July 31st. Don't believe he is there starter but he will battle for time.

Everybody knows that professional Football, besides being Entertaiment, is also big Business. Howevwr, the modern Fan(at least here in Miami) will not put out his $ for a subpar product on the Field.

I think one of the things I need to see in the next two weeks is whether Hiliard and/or Sheets can get it done. I have some real doubts that we'll be able to run the ball should injuries happen and if we can't run it I think we can forget about doing anything this season. I know that's contrary to what a lot of thinking, that by passing we'll win more. While I've always been a supporter of Henne, I've never said I think he can carry this offence. From my thinking if we can't run the ball, we can forget about the passing game and pretty much forget about winning.

fin4life: the guy with the big boner who rips on you actually tried to hit on me. I "chit" all over him of course.

So, cure your ailments and start winning Football Games.

I predict 7.5 wins. That's what Vegas says and they're usually right. In one of the tougher divisions that would translate to 8 or 9 wins outside of the AFC East. I think we should have a solid read on this team after week 4.


According to what I read Rosario signed with the Broncos on July 31st. Don't believe he is there starter but he will battle for time.

Craig M | August 17, 2011 at 01:53 PM

Thanks Craig I didn`t know it seems like the right spot for a TE with his particular skill set. We don`t get guys like him we prefer real slow guys with suspect hands who can block. In Miami we don`t really have TE`s just glorified elijable Tackles

fin4life: the guy with the big boner who rips on you actually tried to hit on me. I "chit" all over him of course.
RexRyan's Bowel Movement | August 17, 2011 at 02:04 PM

Rex`s bowel, I hope it was beans and tacos in guacamole and hot sauce.

..About the situation at Tight End. Fasano does nothing really exceptional. We would have all loved to see an upgrade, and can all probably agree that the FO whiffed ignoring the position.

I have been trying to wrap my mind behind the reasons why nothing was done. Allergies,phobeias, disease, or locusts were the most common reasons. Then I started thinking outside of the box. Here is what I came up with.

The formations we are going to use this season will be totally different then last year(this took no genius to uncover) A lot of these formations are going to include multiple reciever sets, where we use spread action. With Clay in the H-Back, and R. Bush in the backfield. It is going to give whoever is playing tight end a huge expanse of field in which to operate. So, as nice as adding a dynamic playmaker. The scheme is going to dictate how the tight end operates. And, it looks like it should be "tight end friendly" which will be huge for Henne.

Also. Look for more 2 tight end sets. We don't neccesarily need world beaters for theis formation to work. Most NFL teams you couldn't name the second tight end because he is used primarially as a blocker. If he catches a few passes they are usually wide open in the end zone for a fantasy buster..The 2 tight end set does rely on the quarterback being able to execute a ood play action fake. So perhaps this formation isn't built for this squad. BUT!!! Much like the tight ends who don't have to be perfect. In this scheme, if Henne can draw the attention of the linebackers for just that moment. It should give a huge advantage in the middle-seem portion of the field..

A tight end upgrade is always nice(ha.ha.ha) but if the scheme works properly it should be a non-issue, and IMO Fasano could have a career year.

Does Winning cure everything? Almost.


You're right on about the TE situation. They just don't seem to value the TE as a pass catcher in the offence and I just don't get it. To me and others it seemed like a glaring weakness that could have been addressed through the draft or FA the last two years. People will say that failure by Henne will cost the coaches their jobs and while that's may be true, a good pass-catching TE really could have helped whoevr was playing QB be more successful. I just don't get the love affair with Fasano.


I'd like to share your optimism with Fasano but I just don't see it myself. He's too slow, his hands are average at best and he doesn't make that catch when you need it most, the way guys like Witten and Clark do. I really hope I'm wrong on this one but I'd just don't see it in this guy. The wildcard might be Clay and I don't know enough about him to have an opinion on him.


I`m not disputing your point especially in the two TE set but rememebr in 08 when we worked the position more successfully the #1 option was David Martin who was a solid route runner with great hands since his injury Fasano who is more of a glorifed Tackle and last option has struggled in the lead role as the featured TE.

I get not spending 6.5. Million on Zach Miller but the 4.5 base salary Boss got seems reasonable. I liked Cameron Jordan coming out of USC as well to be a #1 option but we passed there to late 4th Rd. were we could have made a move up packaging say our 5th pick and a #7 and still took Clay Rd.6. It appears this was Ireland`s doing if your to take Sparano`s account of the position into consideration.


I would have found a way to make Zach Miller's contract fit. You don't get the shot at a 25 year old TE with the type of potential that Miller has very often and they whiffed by not getting involved. I like to think I'm pretty fair with the guys running the show but they dropped the ball on this one. You make his contract fit, even if it means chopping a guy like Bell and/or Carey and Fasano. They took the easy way and did nothing.

can someone please tell ireland to get a TE and a sign Bryant Mckinnie to a league minimum w/ incentives... Columbo is god for saken horrible......... MAKES ME THINK THAT IRELAND AND SPARANO ARE DONE ALREADY AFT 2011-12 AND THEY KNOW IT ALREADY

Craig M,

When you put it that way then I take my previous statement back your right, they took 2.5 off of Carey`s contract and Fasano I believe is on the books at 3.5 off the 12 Mil/3 year deal they gave him last year which is a head scratcher and they would have had 6 Mil to play with right there, DAMN!! You just soured the HELL out of my mood.


Sorry bud...LOL.

I think they still had about $8 mil to play with under the cap too. They went half way on this thing and didn't jump in with two feet. Disappointing!!

Craig M,

The TE position has become a very important safety valve in the NFL for young Q.B.`s and I agree that they will live to regret ignoring the position. There is no denying Fasano can`t run away from the MLB`s alowing the Safeties to play deep contain without a care in the world for the underneath routes but don`t you get the impression that Ireland sort of went this way on his own because if you read between the lines at what Sparano said you get the impression he wasn`t to thrilled with the TE`s either.


I expect you are right. Maybe it's the influence of Parcells through the years. Regardless, it's a mistake.

Only thing we don't know for certain fin4life is whether they ever did talk to Miller. Maybe they did and he told them he'd hae no interest playing in Miami under the current set up. I'm not saying this is the case, just throwing that out there. Regardless, he would have been a really nice add to the offence and for my liking should have been the target from the beginning.

2012....Morono and Ireland A Distant Memory....Chad Henne Can Join That Boat...3rd best Team In The AFC East...I hope were at least better than the Bills...Light Years Behind The PATS....

I was reading in the "Other" Miami paper that the centers were screwing up many, many Snaps. Is what they said about "Pouncey" and his issues with snaps rearing it's head or was it the other Centers who screwed up the snaps.

Anyone know.. How about you Armando?

It does make ALL the difference if we cant snap.

I like how he always says "You know how I feel about Henne" Why doesn't a reporter ask a followup question: WHY do you feel that way about Henne? Why do you support a QB who always throws the ball to the wrong team?

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