« An insider's view of the Soliai-Dolphins negotiations | Main | Brian Daboll on red zone, JT on kicking @ss »

Coaching hot seat needs to chill until after season

In two of the three newspapers that regularly cover the Miami Dolphins, today's editions include opinion pieces on how coach Tony Sparano is on the hot seat.

One treatment, in this publication, cites a friend of owner Stephen Ross as saying the owner is unhappy with the team -- join the crowd, Mr. Billionaire. The piece also quotes the mystery friend as saying Ross believes the team is not holding up its end.

(Hopefully when Ross promises to forever stop selling Jets shirts in his own team store, stops scheduling Florida Gator Lovefests in the stadium the University of Miami leases from him, and actually shows up on a week day to work around his team rather than just parachuting in on game day, we'll be able to say he's holding up his end.)

Anyway, the other opinion piece in The Palm Beach Post makes the point that if the Dolphins are 0-4 at the bye week -- which would assume losses at Cleveland this weekend and at San Diego the next, then Ross should fire Sparano. And hire Mike Nolan.


Where to begin? OK, how's this:


I know it is not the popular opinion. I know that even on this Dolphins fan forum, many of the team's supporters won't agree. But firing Sparano without letting him finish what he's started is exactly the wrong thing to do.

First, let's address this from a practical standpoint. History says that changing coaches midstream in a season solves absolutely nothing. Quick, tell me what NFL team in the past decade has fired its coach during a season and solved its problems well enough to make the playoffs?

Yeah, I can't think of any, either.

Secondly, who do you want to replace Sparano at the midpoint in a season? Jon Gruden is busy. So is Bill Cowher. Rob Ryan, whose name is making the rounds lately, is busy as well. Elite guys like Jeff Fisher don't take over teams at midseason.

So that means the Dolphins would have to go inside the organization for the solution. Yes, cough, that sounds like, cough, a solution.

You want Mike Nolan to succeed as coach? The same Mike Nolan whose defense is ranked last in the NFL? The same Mike Nolan whose best thinking was to ask Benny Sapp to cover Wes Welker man-to-man? I don't think so.

Yes, Nolan did fine work with the Dolphins last season. I get that logic. Sparano did fine work in hiring Nolan last season and took the team to the playoffs in 2008. So, I imagine you get that logic.

What else you got? Didn't think so.

The Dolphins are indeed 0-2 and there's nothing good about that. But the truth is they lost to New England. The Patriots are a Super Bowl contender. They lost to the Texans. That team is expected to win the AFC South. Disappointing? Sure.

Devastating? No.

The Dolphins play Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Washington, Oakland and others that they can and should beat this season. They will face up the Jets as they always do. Same with Buffalo. Yes, they have to upset clubs such as Philadelphia, the Giants to salvage a playoff berth.

But that is possible. You're going to say replacing the coach now and going with someone else will make any of this more probable?

Then there is this: Many of you have continually hoped out loud the Dolphins would not fare well this season so they can draft a franchise quarterback. I'm not on board with such thinking. But for those of you that want to "Suck for Luck" should probably want the Dolphins to continue their current course.

I don't agree with that thinking, but that is out there.

Look, Sparano and his assistants and players and front office will be evaluated after this season is over. That's how it should be. That's fair and right. But to pull the rug out now? Or in two weeks?

What will that resolve? It is change for change's sake.  


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Coaching hot seat needs to chill until after season:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Nice article, agree 100%.

Dolphins lost two games to real good teams. I'm not happy about it, and i was hoping they had improved enough to win those games, but they didn't. That doesn't mean the season is over yet though, it's a marathon, not a sprint.



Armando is not right very often but this time he is, even if the start 0-4, Sparano should be kept if for no other reason then to have the entertainment value of watching him twist in the wind AGAIN. We do need to be bad enough to get a top QB and that is going to take a top 5 pick to get that done. Only Sparano is capable of producing that. Imagine if they do fire Sparano and really the only choice is Nolan and he somehow wins a few games and that idiot Ross hires him next year, then we are stuck again with a losing coach. If the Dolphins tank this year it needs to be blown up yet again and started over and Nolan is part of the problem not part of the solution.


gruden awaits. bye week means buh bye spazano.lol

OMG ....."salvage a playoff berth." Are you nuts?

Firing Sparano sets a message that change is coming. The team is going nowhere with or without him this season so it wouldn't hurt a thing. It would be a message to the fans that things are going to change.

Armando, you make great points here. But here is my problem.

If we do not do something drastic, our home crowd which has beed miserable only gets worse.

What are the benefits of firing Sporano mid year? How about this...

All the coaches on a wish list now have a half a year more to decide if they want to come to Miami and KNOW there will be a job. Ross can not court a new coach while Sporano is sitting there without it getting worse with the media.

Gruden, Cowher, Fisher, ect... all will know the job is open if they want to coach again, not have to make that decision between January through March and then have to be eady for training camp in April.

I must admit, I have jumped the gun on this also, and did actually post I want a new coach ALREADY. That is dumb on my part, but Ireland and Sporano just seem to make real bad football decisions. How can our o-line suck for 3 years straight when our head coach is a former o-line coach? I just cant get over it?

Nolan is another issue, but truthfully IF we are 0-4, it is nt like Nolan could have done worse as head coach those 4 games.

I think we will beat the Browns and the season has a chance to turn around so we are all overreacting early, POSSIBLY. But that being said Mando, some of us PHIN fans are loyal as hell, maybe some of the best fans in the world, because we are still here after this last decade of complete POOP.

So to be harsh, rash an quick to get on this coach seems pretty justified. And I think Parcells every interview on ESPN form this point on should be asked on NATIONAL TV, how did you get this job after somehow makeing a GREAT franchise even worse after a long struggle, then you quit mid season! EVERY TIME HIS UGLY MUG IS ON TV!

Allright then, you know best.

Me thinks Mando is trying to get in good graces with Sparano and the FO. You don't have to wait for season's end to evaluate the performance of the coach and the FO as fans have had two past years, and two games this year, to evaluate them. And the evaluation is negative by all standards. Poor tackling, poor conditioning and poor performance are signs of poor coaching and we certainly have had our good share of those.

And the FO hasn't fared better with its inability to get us a better QB, a better OL, better TEs, and better ST. And last but not least, a better coach.


owner ross is more to blame! you forgot to mention the fiasco he created by flying all over the country interviewing for a coach. he is responsible for creating this chaos now. he needs to stay way back a let the football guys do their thing. he has to stay away from scheduling 4:00 games...let the dolphins play the "heat" to their advantage as they did in the old days. He needs to stay away from the dolphin songs. He needs to stay away from all football operations.
Its a failed attempt all over.
Ireland and Sparano are looking over their shoulders and its only a matter of time they will be gone. If Ross felt that way, it needed to be done after last season...if he committed to going with them, then he needs to let them do it and STAY AWAY.

What is resolved Mando is it puts Miami in the #1 car for the new Head Coach. It's a joke that you ask for a mid-season Coach who's gotten to the Playoffs. MEMO: If you're even TALKING about a coaching change, you have no CHANCE whatsoever to go to the Playoffs. We've already gone through a 1-15 season, been there, done that.

A coaching change tells the team things will change, very soon. It allows the Owner to test out someone on the staff who might be an option. I believe that's how Minnesota and even Tampa Bay (I think) got their coaches.

With all that said, I wouldn't make a change so early either. I'd wait at least until mid-season, 3/4 way into the season. I would NOT let Sparano finish out the year if we're 2-6, 4-8, something like that. I would give it to Nolan, see what he can do in a few games (to respect him enough to give it a try), then put your feelers out (if you're Ross), line up your new Coach (so we don't have the fiasco of last year) and make it known this is the 1st place people need to look if they want a Coaching job in the NFL. If you wait until after the Season, you're fighting with all the other teams who need Coaches. This way at least you get ahead in the game (hopefully).

Wait a minute... where is Yeah! with his or her "First!"?

I totally agree with this article; We lost to the best team in the NFL and another playoff team in the first 2 weeks after a lockout-shortened offseason where we brought in a new offensive coordinator and a lot of new assistants.

We competed in those games, too! Obviously the Dolphins need work (the red zone offense should be a priority in practice until they get it right) but we compete. We'll win in Cleveland this Sunday, and hopefully in San Diego, but if not in SD, we lost to another eventual division champion which is nothing to be ashamed of. After that the schedule lightens up a bit and we'll win a few games.

I'm still optomistic that we'll finish the season 9-7.

Dear Mr. Salguero

What if the Dolphins replace Tony Sparano Sr. with Tony Sparano Jr.

Two years ago the Dolphins offensive quality control department was last in the league but when the Dolphins hired this young unknown out of knowhere to run there offensive quality control department they shot to #1 in the league ( speaking of #1....is "YEAH!" ok ? didn't see his long winded post this morning)

Tony Sparano Jr.s father is/was an NFL head coach with the Miami Dolphins so the bloodline is there.......sorta like a Buddy/Rex Ryan family tree without the winning/footfetish tradition.

Wish I was a Sparano......Nepotism rules

Soiled :)

If Sparano is fired midway through the season after piling up losses, rest assured the team will not be in the playoff hunt BUT do you think if he is kept that will help?

Come on Armando. You know better than that...

And please before anyone pulls out that Parcells came here after a 1 win season and brought us to the playoffs... CAN IT!

Go back and look, it was the #1 EASIEST schedule in the NFL, and we were close in the majority of those games for that 1 win season.

If that is what Parcells has to hang his hat on, Im taking the hat rack and shoving it up his arse!

I DON'T want Ross around the team more. What are you thinking?

But it's quite telling when a fan (this one specifically) listens with eager anticipation to the injury report on the radio, and hoping to hear, "Tony Sparano was concussed in a freak accident in practice. He'll be out a number of weeks." Tells you things aren't looking so hot with your ball club.

Hayden, We can't fire Ross, that is the problem, and let me say one thing.

the fact that he publicly allowed his dissatisfaction to get out now is at least saying he knows we need a winner.

Not saying he is a good owner, but at least he is in his own way putting pressure ion the pieces here.

Not defending, him really, just putting a silver lining on a very dark cloud.

yeah poizen. phins lost 6 of those games by 3 points or less..... 3.. 7-9.

oh, and fat tuna sux.

Sometimes its not that you lost, its how you lose. I saw less than stellar effort particularly in the second half of the Houston game. Mental errors and half effort is the coaches domain. The players may practice in a bubble, but don't live in one. They read the papers and listen to radio & TV. They know that their coach's future employment is directly tied to their efforts. If they lay a huge egg in Cleveland, it won't be the fan's fault that Sparano is fired, it will be his players. On a side note, I think Jeff Fischer, who you described as "elite" was an interim coach with the Oilers when Jack Pardee was fired.

Come on.....lets not blow up the season now. Even discussions of a new coach, throws the season out the window.
On paper and looking at the schedule this is an 8-8 team!!!!
Yeah, Ireland made some mistakes,and Sparano is not to be confused with Belicheck, but teams that recycle their coach/gm, will never win. Its another 3 year changeover.
Parcells had the belief and faith in these guys, but they know they are on short leashes, and that affects their draft and decisions they make. Ireland is not drafting a QB because he knows he wont be here in the coming years, New England drafts for the current year as well as the coming years, because they are not on any hot seats.
The OWNER is the BIGGEST PROBLEM...because he is one of those that thinks he knows how to run a football team and wants to make the decisions. He is trying to build a "glitzy team", but needs to stay away.
Thats the biggest problem,,,,and its going to be here a very long time, because the owner wants to control it and we are not able to get rid of the owner.

Cleveland is a much improved Team and we cannot concentrate on stopping Peyton Willis, or we'll get beat even worse than last year.


Armando, the Raiders and Redskins are much better than the Dolphins at this point. I would put them as equal to Denver and Cleveland, and if attitude is the issue, they're right their with the Chiefs. Sadly, my 4-12 prediction rings true, including a sweep by the AFC East teams...
But Jimmy Carter brought us Ronald Reagan, so here's to a true rebuilding with competent people next year!

ITs gonna be very hard for ross to attract a big name coach after what he did to sparano last year behind his back. I think its part of the reason Jim H fell through because he saw what ross was doing. If yr doing it to him you will do it to me too!!! no thanks!! and thats exactly the way gruden cowher and fisher are going to feel.

You are right Armando, all is not lost at 0-2.
But we can hope. I mean with a couple of fair opponents coming up on the road, maybe - just maybe we can pull out losses and go 0-4 and get some momentum going into the bye to start a landslide. Anyone have Andrew Luck's #?

Ireland is the problem...Sparano works with what he's got...the fact that Ireland was on board with the Harbaugh nonsense tells me that he does not want or need input from Sparano...so the problems lies on Ireland

Forget the coach, Lets replace the whole team.

agree with ericat.
Owner Ross is a huge problem!! No big name will come here. We will be going through similar to the Redskins years and their crazy owner, until they locked him in closet to attract Shanahan, (but shanahan wore out his welcome as well in the nfl)

Both Ireland and and Sparano have been elevated beyond their respective level of competence. That much is crystal clear. You want proof? Check out the W-L record at home. Further proof? Check out their overall wining %. Impressed? No? Then why let the farce continue.

As far as coaches?
-Gruden is a team cancer that will bring down the phins even further.
-Cowher is fat and happy right now, with a great gig. Plus I'm not too keen on former SB winners, they tend to lose some fire.
-Fisher is the same run-first (which is dead in the NFL) type coach that Sparano is, granted with more success, but Ross wants butts in the seats, rush, rush, pass doesn't do it.
Enough with re-treads, albeit successful ones (Jimmy Johnson). Enough with hot-shot college coaches that would rather remain in college (Saban). Enough with 2nd tier coordinators that no one was interested in (Sparano, Cam Cameron).
Go for the HOTTEST coaching name out there. Throw elbows against other suitors, Ross, use your business acumen to knock out the competition.
Go for Rob Ryan, Brian Shottenheimer, Russ Grimm, Perry Fewell...
You know, instead of whiffing on Rex Ryan (gag), Mike Tomlin, etc...with those listed above!

Armando, you forgot to mention this regime had 4 years to get this team a playoff contender. 0-5 start, At least fire jeff ireland.

my heart is not in this...

2 Watt, Did'nt you hear The Exuce factory has been closed for two now..

Mando-love your stuff, but you're off on this one, by a mile. If the Fins come back from San Diego sitting at 0-4, then this season is over. Sparano isn't going to pull them out of that nose dive.

Making a change and installing Mike Nolan as HC for the rest of 2011 isn't going to make it worse. In fact, maybe the players will even respond better to Nolan, much the way they did when Jim Bates took over for Dave Wannstedt in 2004. Not saying Nolan is the long-term answer, but if they're 0-4, 1-5, whatever, and the fan base is dwindling more rapidly than Donovan McNabb's skills, make the change now. There's nothing to lose at that point, except more butts in the seats on game days.

If they continue thier current futility on this road trip, then Sparano will have already "finished what he started"; developing a team that is tired of his rhetoric and unresponsive to his coaching.

(Oh, yeah, and send Jeff Ireland packing, too.)

Come on guys...lets get off the coaching merry go round...
yes, its too late and sparano,ireland will never make it here anymore.
but you cannot win with coach/coordinator/gm changes every other year.!!!
like i said before, ireland knows hes gone...and thats why he's not drafting for the future.
Someone needs to keep ross in ny and totally away from all football operations.

"(...)to salvage a playoff berth. But that is possible. "

Puffpuff, yo, good stuff you've been smoking there!

Seriously, fire TS and Ireland after the SD game, put Nolan there for the rest of the season and rebuild this team next season. Apart from Long and Wake I would fire 'em all. Get a guy like Cowher, Gruden or Hoke as HC and get Luck at any cost. Somebody that really can build a team up from scratch. Hoke did that at SDSU. Team was as bad as the Phins for years. In his 2nd season he won the Poinsettia Bowl. But he signed at Michigan this year, so it would not be easy to get him...

I never understood how fans could accept mediocrity as much as the last few years with the Dolphins. Going back to Saban. Everyone was all upset he left. Someone correct me if I'm mistaken, wasn't Saban 6-10 that season?

Sparano was ALREADY given a chance. The fact he was back this Season was his chance. He had ONE directive: WIN HOME GAMES! He had 2 chances. Maybe you suckers say it's ok to lose as long as it's to elite teams, but I don't say that's ok. I say, all other teams seem to defend their home, BUT US! Sparano lost 2 home games, we're likely to go into the bye week winless, and people CARE what happens to him? People actually THINK him being on the sideline is any better than any other human being with a pulse?

I need help here, I am not a Ross supporter and am angry at him for this mess also.

But many posts here say Ross is the problem. I AM NOT SAYING YOU ARE WRONG, in fact youmay be right. I just do not understand why.

Help me. Here is what I see. I agree the owner is in his own way making this a side show. celebrities and concerts and crap like that. But why is that bad for the team? that would bring in more fans, just because they are fans of those people. trust me a Marc anthony fan who comes to his conerts who never saw a sport in his life is not going to come to a dolphin game just becaseu he is a fan of Marc Anthony. how ever a DOLPHIN fan who is a casual fan and a fan of the entertainer might.

Also, hasn't Ross opened his check book for anything we want as players go? He is letting the football people manage the football operations, so who cares what he is doing to help build revenue on the side?

Like I said, I probably am missing the point as to why he is the problem, I just can't see it yet, so PLEASe help me out. :)

Lord Have Mercy on us, the fans, please give me the strength to answer the person who persecutes me for wearing my Dolphins hat and shirt.

Please lord lift the curse that was placed on this franchise when we betrayed shula, Marino and many others.

Please lord give us something to cheer for. This is my prayer to the football gods and all who want to start over from scratch again.

Go Dolphins!! Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fire Sparano? Fire Jeff Ireland as well...OMG!
These two individuals couldn't pick talent if it jumped up and bit them in the rear!
Terrible drafting and horrible personnel moves are why the Fins sre where they are today, period...Couple that with suspect coaching and you have the results...below average team.

Sorry, Excuse Factory...

Well said Armando

No to Nolan

DC, With Saban, I think I speak for many when I say that we were more upset the scumbag lied, and ditched the team when he calimed he had a "process" in place. and we all know it takes 2-3 years to get all the pieces in place and get them working.

that scumbag changed our team brought in his pieces for his philosphy then just f'n quit, leaving us to START OVER again.

Not saying he would have been any better going forward, but no one likes a QUITTER! I still hate that Saban guy.

Yes, you're totally right Mando - why pull the plug after 0-5. We really need to "Suck for Luck" and go 0-16. What better chance do we have to accomplish that goal than with Tony Sparano at the helm.

"Sometimes you gotta destroy the village to save it..."
Gen. Westmoreland June 1968, 2 months Before the Tet Offensive

Dear Mr. Salguero

I agree with what 2 Watt says in his very well thoughtout concise post @ 8:50 am.......almost as good as YEAH!....but YEAH! is #1

2 Watt has givin us a blueprint on how to undo what Bill Parcells has done to this once fine franchise.

I hope I'm not reading to much into 2 Watt's post but I also gathered from it his disatisfaction with the current ownerships meddlesome ways and 2 Watt's distain for Mike Dee's

Soiled :)

I just want sparano fired because I jsut can't stand listening to his excuses anymore.
If you want a team that had a chance for the playoffs if they fired their coach midseason? Last years cowboys. The only thing is they waited too long. If phillips was fired at game 4 then they may have had a chance to get to playoffs.

"Suck for Luck" 0 and 16 here we come!





Anyone else think Mike Nolan is pulling a Hilary Clinton manuever? I feel as though after watching the Jets beat NE last playoffs and Jason Taylor was a big part of that not letting the TE's get off the line for a couple seconds before rushing. Whjy did he not use this and continued to allow a free release of the TE's.

Armando, I agree with your points. There's nothing to be accomplished by firing the coach mid-season. It's not going to do anything but put a bandaid on the problem. Ross make the decision to go with Ireland this season, then stick it out with the guy. Do I agree witht he decisions he's making or think he can turn this around? No. Bt he and Ireland made this mess, let them figure it out. Sorry guys, I don't see the players laying it on the line for an interim head coach for the rest of the season. Let Sparano live in the Hell he created for the last 4 years.

He shouldn't be on the hot seat...or Ireland. Why? BECAUSE THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIRED LAST YEAR WHEN ROSS WANTED TO!

NOW, because of procastination, ignorance, gullability, whatever you wanna call it, Ross's Dolphins have a dilema.

Why on Earth would they not fire Sparano if he goes 0-4? For fear of missing out on the razor thin playoff possibilities? LOL

Fire him, make players know there is accountability! If you hadn't noticed, firing Bonamego last year & Sapp this year really hasn't accomplished much.

If you're 0-4, why do you need a playoff caliber interim waiting in the wings? Like an 0-4 team should even talk about or dream of the playoffs?

Change for the sake of change is pointless, I agree. But changing when it means righting the ship & moving FORWARD is worth it. Sadly, Ross is probably now realizing this is all happening a year too late.

If the Bye-week was around mid season I think Fisty would be 86d, But sinse it;s week 5 of the season he aint going nowhere., Again JMHO..


I think he knows he is next in line and is sandbagging so much Sparano might need to hire a groundskeeper to follow him with a sandtrap rake.

I don't care who said what. This team is a mess. This FO has only proven it can't get it done. Dumb move after dumb move, when is it enough? We are the laughing stock of the NFL again!

Please Dolphin fans tap your heels three times and repeat this phrase over and over - "Suck for Luck - 0 and 16, Suck for Luck - 0 and 16, Suck for Luck - 0 and 16, Suck for Luck - 0 and 16, Suck for Luck - 0 and 16, Suck for Luck - 0 and 16, Suck for Luck - 0 and 16, Suck for Luck - 0 and 16."

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »

The comments to this entry are closed.