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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.

Wow.

Where to begin? OK, how's this:

Wrong.

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.  

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DD,

Did I mention the horrible decision to draft Vontae Davis? Under achiever was his label in college. Now going into his 3rd season evidence keeps emerging this was true.

Sean Smith? Sparano raved how being a former college wr Smith's ball skills would be impeccable. Instead we've found out why he was moved from college wr to corner. His hands are pure crap!

IMO, with Davis and Smith at corners we're still a disaster waiting to happen. I dont believe either one will ever acummulate more than 3 picks in one season for the rest of thier career. Both are way overrated.

Darryl Dunphy,

including Clay we still have four TEs.

dolfanSF,

Every year under this regime it hasnt been the fact of losing a game. It's always the way we lose them under these clowns.

Since this regime has been here it's always been a huge problem in how we lose games. Not that we lose.

Out of all the coaches we discuss here, and really think about it. this is to the Gruden dislikers.

Which of the coaches did the most with the least?

Gruden, Tampa and Oakland?

Cowher, Pitt

Fisher with Tenesee.

Now, I think Gruden wins that hands down.

I look at the teams we have had, and compare them to the teams Gruden had, and those teams with his philosophy and coaching WON!

He won a superbowl with Brad Johnson for god sakes! The only other amazing performance was Billick (also available, with Dilfer, but the best D ever.)

considering we never have the best players, I like Gruden, and what he has done with less than most.

JMO.

may not be the guy for the job..

not that it matters, but bengals would have been smoked by New England and Texans, They beat, Browns and lost to Broncos without Champ Baily, and Brandon Lloyd

just saying

Dying...You are right. I should have included the GM in that grouping. I loosley included him within the coaching group(in my head) Which is wrong..He must be accountable as well, as he is responsible for accumulation of talent..

I just see teams that are deficient in areas that get covered because the coaching on one side of the ball is outstanding, as well as the quarterback play.. Sometimes these factors can cover up some fraudulant parts of a team.

Let’s say Miami won on Sunday, then they even go on a mini-streak after that. What would that prove? Yes, they would be winning again, but the quality of the teams that they would be facing then aren’t THAT good. And unless they beat teams that are upper-tier like say, the Giants and Eagles, they would still be considered mediocre. It would be like 2008 all over again, when they won many games in the second half of the season, but against bottom-feeders and banged up teams.

You know the saying: “To be the best, you must beat the best.”

GO FINS!!

Poizen,

Think of it like this:

Which of those 3 hc's do you think the players will most buy into? Gruden is a last place finish when considering this.

Gruden is already well known as not being a players coach. He inherited a SB ready team from Dungy in Tampa(dont know how you got least talent from this). Then after winning a SB with the SB ready Bucs, he proceeded right to driving that franchise right back into the ground. While being fired because the team was in full mutiny.

Cant believe you guys would wanna bring a guy like that here. But I do believe dumbass Ross would probably bring him next. That's why Im no longer preparing to celebrate the next Dolphins SB victory for the next 30yrs.

It would be my luck I'll fall from my walker and break my hip in celebration.

PLEASE NAME A COACH IN THE LAST 10 YEARS WHO HAS BEEN TO A SUPER BOWL WITH LESS THAN 3 YEARS ON THE JOB??????? OH, SOMEONE WHO DID NOT INHERIT A SUPER BOWL TEAM SUCH AS MIKE TOMLISON.
------------------------------------------------------

Sean Payton?

Captcrunch...We could have 10 tight ends. We don't have the ptrototypes that other teams are using so affectivley in the passing game. Great they can all block...My point is that the 2 tight end set is morphing from a run formation to a pass formation..Do you think Bellicheck cared that Hernandez isn't a blocker? Nope. The Pats even use 3 freekin tight end sets. Using one as a primary blocker, and the other 2 in pass routes.. When they do run out of this formation.. It is almost like the wildcat because they can overload one area and have a man advantage as far a the blocking scheme. The teams are expecting pass now..So the draw(see our game where they killed us 5 plus ypc) comes into play because their play action is so affective.

We can have all the tight ends on the roster in the world...How are we using them to our advantage?? We don't

See some of guys have fully forgotten why and how Gruden left Tampa Bay. It was a REAL MESS folks!

PLEASE NAME A COACH IN THE LAST 10 YEARS WHO HAS BEEN TO A SUPER BOWL WITH LESS THAN 3 YEARS ON THE JOB??????? OH, SOMEONE WHO DID NOT INHERIT A SUPER BOWL TEAM SUCH AS MIKE TOMLISON.
-------------------------------------------------------

I know the meat of your question is SUPER BOWLS.....but....

Rex Ryan and his BACK TO BACK AFC CHAMPIONSHIP apperances...that pretty darn close.....

Gruden also wants full control but his draft track record maybe worse than this regime.

Gruden wouldn't be an answer in my book, he really lost his team bad in Tampa and made some real bad choices along the way...we need something better here...gruden is more of a lateral move

We need something of the big bang caliper to come to Miami..weather that is a coaching vet or a young not well known superstar... We need huge in Miami next after 14 plus years of mediocre...

PLEASE NAME A COACH IN THE LAST 10 YEARS WHO HAS BEEN TO A SUPER BOWL WITH LESS THAN 3 YEARS ON THE JOB??????? OH, SOMEONE WHO DID NOT INHERIT A SUPER BOWL TEAM SUCH AS MIKE TOMLISON.
-----------------------------------------------------

Bill Belicheat...2001....2nd year on the job.....

just meets the 10 year window...

I do not want a coach fired mid-season. That being said, I have watched a team in week one that was horribly out coached, and in week two was emotionally unprepared and does not look like a team that even wants to win, much less knows how.

If this situation does not get fixed Tony deserves to be fired. Quit talking about the Miami QB situation, that is the least of this teams problems!

Sean Peyton had Brees and Belicheat had Brady

...One thing that may satisfy some of the base. If Sparano is fired, and Gruden named the guy. I would imagine his first priority would be finding a quarterback..This would probably involve drafting a guy in the first round.

The ironic thing..Could Chad Henne become next years "Kyle Orton".. Say Henne improves, and plays at a serviceable level? We get a new coach, draft any of the available first rounders next year..They are penned by the media and fans as the future. But the regime knows that they are not ready...Is Henne saved by circumstance, or is he done here ater this season?

Yeah GOD it is part of the problem...it's everything, you cannot excuse the QB because he's playing "decent"...remember Henne still can't buy a TD in the red zone and thats a huge problem. You also have to focus on the big picture here...we are a mess all the way around right now, a lot is needed to get us back to getting respected in this league...

Hasnt the deadline to to sign players to extension contracts come and passed?

If so its going to be a very interesting offseason with Chad Henne. If he plays well but not great, we'll end up franchising him. If we dont franchise him he'll become a unrestricting fa.

At worst, I do believe Henne will be signed by someone as a career #2 backup. Could you blame him for wanting to go somewhere else to start anew? Can you also imagine going into 2012 with Matt Moore #1 on the qb depth chart?

Short of drafting Andrew Luck thats exactly whats likely to happen.

Dying Breed,

That is a scary thought. I would have Henne starting over Matt Moore every day of the week

PLEASE NAME A COACH IN THE LAST 10 YEARS WHO HAS BEEN TO A SUPER BOWL WITH LESS THAN 3 YEARS ON THE JOB??????? OH, SOMEONE WHO DID NOT INHERIT A SUPER BOWL TEAM SUCH AS MIKE TOMLISON.
----------------------------------------------------

Jon Gruden....

DD,

Gruden the supposed qb guru drafted Phil Simms son in Tampa Bay. We all know how well that worked out.

Also, he brought in one mediocre qb after another before drafting Simms. Cant believe you guys memories are serving you so short when it comes to Gruden.

Maybe I remember so well because I live in Fla. and am so close to fla nfl news. I remember very well. But Ross will probably give you guys your wish for yet another nightmare in Gruden.

As I stated before, Im no longer expecting a Dolphins SB team for the next 30yrs.

Sean Peyton had Brees and Belicheat had Brady

Posted by: Ohio Dolfan | September 22, 2011 at 01:45 PM
------------------------------------------------------

Oh....I didn't know there were additional disqualifiers to this "fixed" question....

I am merely answering the question the way it was asked.....

and I believe the originall question was name somebody OTHER THAN MIKE TOMLINSON.......and I believe I have.....

Whoops...I mentioned MIKE TOMLISON....well...add that to the list...

I'm not a gruden fan. But you know who else will be available at the end of season? Coughlin. If we can't get cowher I think we should go after coughlin.

Guys you can debate this to death but it doesn't matter. In the end it comes down to luck and being in the right place at the right time. There is probably the perfect coach out there to take this team over and immediately turn them around but the chances we find that guy are slim. Everyone can throw their guy in the mix but who truly knows if that person will succeed. We made the point earlier that if Bill Parcells and Jimmy Johnson could be so wrong, who in the organization could possibly make the RIGHT pick? It's a crap shoot. Cowher,Fischer, Gruden, Shottenheimer, Ryan, who knows. One of these guys could be the perfect fit or they could all crash and burn. This debate is futile.

But I'll tell you this, if we get Ryan get ready for another influx of Cowboys players and the constant comparison and subsequent story of how Rob just isn't as smart as Rex. Shottenheimer should be the assistant the assistant crew would want. If he brings people they're coming from a 2 possible 3 time afc championship team AND the guy is an offensive genius hamstrung with Sanchez. Hell he even makes Sanchez look good!

kris,

didn't Chucky win the SB his very first year? Over his old team which then went into a never-ending tailspin?

personally, I'm at the stage of acceptance. If the Dolphins will finish 0-16, then that will be the 2nd best outcome for the team this year other than winning the super bowl. Get to start fresh, with new beginnings, and the franchise qb I've been waiting for 15 years to come. And if I'm Ross and whoever is the GM even think of interviewing the top offensive lineman or defensive player during the draft process, I can him right on the spot.

PLEASE NAME A COACH IN THE LAST 10 YEARS WHO HAS BEEN TO A SUPER BOWL WITH LESS THAN 3 YEARS ON THE JOB??????? OH, SOMEONE WHO DID NOT INHERIT A SUPER BOWL TEAM SUCH AS MIKE TOMLISON.

Who's talking superbowl? We would just be happy with a winning record at this point. SOOOOO

PLEASE NAME A COACH IN THE PAST TEN YEARS WHO HAS HIS TEAM IN THE PLAYOFFS EVERY YEAR OR AT LEAST IN THE DISCUSSION WITH LESS THAN THREE YEARS ON THE JOB???????

It's an endless list of names.

kris,

didn't Chucky win the SB his very first year? Over his old team which then went into a never-ending tailspin?

Posted by: captncrunch | September 22, 2011 at 01:58 PM
--------------------------------------------------

Captn...

Arn't we in a NEVER ENDING TAIL SPIN...NOW....

and no SB to speak of since 1970 something.....

c'mon man.....

those that live in glass house's shoudn't throw stone.......

Guys,

Im waiting for Ross to either die or sell the team. Until that happens garbage manate Wayne Huizenga's stinking garbage stinch will never be off of this team!

DB, I can not argue parts of your argument. I must say, you have points.

I still however look at the team you are talking about. One of the most mis managed teams in NFL history.

2007
NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
9 7 0 334 270 64
2006
NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4 12 0 211 353 -142
2005
NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
11 5 0 300 274 26
2004
NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5 11 0 301 304 -3
2003
NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7 9 0 301 264 37
2002
NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
12 4 0 346 196 150


From bottom to top is his tenure just at tampa. He won a SB, team went through struggles, got them back to 11-5, then disaster, gets them back to 9-7 (The same record dungy left them before the SB win)

BTW, the last column of numbers is point differential. I don't know DB, it does not seem as bad as a picture as you are psinting in my opinion.

His players started to hate him in the end... well guess what that happens to 75% of the successful pig headed coaches before they leave. And the reason it happens, they are pig headed and have conviction and passion for what they do. Jimmy Johnson was hated in the end of Dallas and Miami. But they played hard for them in the beginning and middle.

Not saying your wrong DB, just my view.

garbage magnate

Sean Peyton had Brees and Belicheat had Brady

Posted by: Ohio Dolfan | September 22, 2011 at 01:45 PM

And this somehow diminishes what they accomplished? Btw, who was Brady when he stepped in for Bledsoe? A nobody!

Beli drafted him & considering the guy had ZERO experience, protected him, coached him & the rest of his team up & won. Usually teams collapse when losing their franchise QB. Beli took what he had, a total unknwon at the time, & thrived in the face of adversity.

Peyton went out and acquired Brees after he had an up & down career in SD witha label of not being truly elite or able to win big games. It's no coincidence Brees thrived there, won & has put up the best numbers of his career.

Both coaches above were innovative & were staying on top of the NFL trends with innovative offense & play design.

Both those coaches displayed the coaching skill, talent acquisition & evaluation that this team hasn't had in a LONG time.

Dying...I wasn't pleading my personal case for Gruden..Just sayin he likes to tinker with the Qb spot...I'm on the fence with who may be the best choice for head coach...Should we go that direction. Is there a perfect choice? Only if that person can change the culture here..Not sure that man is out there.

AJ EDDS GOT CUT BY THE PATS AND GOT REPLACED BY HIS UNDRAFTED COLLEGE TEAMMATE ..OUCH!

kris,

imagine the complaining if Al Davis owned this team. Or if we'd gone through everything Denver have since they fired Shanahan. Or if Ross hired Matt Millen to replace Ireland. etc etc.

PLEASE NAME A COACH IN THE LAST 10 YEARS WHO HAS BEEN TO A SUPER BOWL WITH LESS THAN 3 YEARS ON THE JOB??????? OH, SOMEONE WHO DID NOT INHERIT A SUPER BOWL TEAM SUCH AS MIKE TOMLISON.

Posted by: joeywatts | September 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM
----------------------------------------------------

To FULLY answer your question....40% of SUPER BOWLS....in the LAST 10 YEARS have been won by a coach on the job less 3 years or less on the job.....

including Tomlinson.....

Joe,

I wasn't hating on the coaches, I love Sean Peyton, and i respect Beli, but talent does affect what a coach can do.

But you are right, the coach has to know what to do with the talent and how to use it, and they did great with that.

Poizen,

Even when Gruden's Buc teams did rise a little. It was only because he still had very talented defensive players inherited from the Dungy regime.

Remember, Gruden was a supposed offensive guru. Yet his buc team's struggle mightily offensively, not defensively. If not for Gruden's total yuck offensive philosophy the Busc could have been a perrenial playoff team during his tenure there.

This where he's really similar to Tony Sparano. Sparano the supposed oline guru cant get a superior oline generated here. Gruden the supposed offensive guru couldnt get offense generated in Tampa Bay,

These are facts not opinions.

Gruden's doing fine just where he is now. TV announcing and grilling future nfl college qb's.

DB what is the problem with Ross? Orange carpet? Nothing to do with playing football. As a matter of fact the only way he's contributed to losing football is this supposed "home field advantage" thing the media keeps throwing at us. Apparently they weren't around the past 5 years of no home advantage at sun life due to sucky teams. If we had a good team and coach we would have a home field advantage because we would win. Also home field (heat) advantage for a team that practices in a dome is non existent. And try taking that dome away now, won't happen. The league has been pussified. That's not Ross' fault.

Ross also tried to replace the coach we all want replaced so I don't see that as a bad thing. He made a mistake in the way he did it, a rookie mistake.

I just don't see Ross being the big bad villain in all of this. He will do the right thing for us in the end. And the reason I believe this is because he's a guy that wants the fans to like him. He's not a Jerry Jones type with a huge ego that thinks more of himself than he is. He understands his mistakes and regrets them. Everyone that knows him says his number #1 hope and goal is to bring a winning team to Miami. He needs only to let the money flow and probably doesn't want Ireland to be in charge of the check book.

I'm seriously not arguing because I could be missing something and was hoping someone would step up to the plate and tell me why Ross won't be able to bring Miami a winner. I asked earlier but the only response I got was about t-shirts. I want some concrete proof that Ross doesn't care about this team or about the fans.

sorry folks...we're going to have to ride this one out and have some trust for a change. Sparano inherited a team that was 10 years in the trash...maybe more if you consider the dysfunction of Marino's last years. This has been an unstable organization for too long. The grass is greener mentality around this franchise has hurt it's progress. Yes, everyone can be frustrated, but great teams build in trust and commitment from the top through the fan base. I see a real genuine effort to getting better happening, let's see what happens.

Before I took Jon Gruden I would give his brother the former Arena League hc a shot.

LOL.........................................................

Soprano is good as gone. The only question is, when? Prospective HCs are like FAs.....wait too long and the choices dwindle. So, Sparano will not be in Miami in 2112 but what about Ireland? I believe Ross likes him for some reason. Our only hope is the next HC will not agree to it.

captn....those are some things to be thankful.....

Living here in VA....i get to hear a lot of Shannihan news (redskins radio 106.7)....btw his nick name here is Shanny.....

He just as easily could have been on the hotseat....but winning cures all....

Ok all you people, How about holding the players accountable. Has anyone thought about that? It is my belief that a team is only as good as they work together.. And that is after all what we are talking about is a Dolphins Football TEAM! One person ( no matter how it is) does not make a TEAM!! First and Foremost the right and fait thing needs to happen....... I will always support Coach Sparano-- He is a great Coach..

DB it just reminds me of all of the Yankee haters that screamed to anyone that would listen, "The New York Yankees will never win a world series as long as A-Rod is on the team". Those same peoples fathers used to scream "The New York Yankees will never win a world series with Steinbrenner as an owner". And they had better arguments than anything you could say about Ross. They still won.

Phin78,

2 Thing with Ross:

1. Possibly severely under advised
2. Could be as big an idiot as he seems.

Personally I think its a combination of both!

Like I said DB, you have good points, I will not discount them.

Dr Roberts, you also bring up some fine points

some good stuff in the herald blog today.

Good point TC. I would only argue that we should be seeing some signs of improvement by now and we haven't. There are tons of other teams that have had bed decades that seem to be turning the corner while we stand still. I'm all for continuity but our players are unprepared and under worked. This shouldn't happen in a coaches 4th year. This team good or bad should be a well oiled machine by now. They can lose but they should be showing progress and I'm sorry but I'm not seeing it.

CocoaJoe,

No matter what happens this season I believe this regime should get the boot. I see no way we get the playoffs. The Texans game showed me this team maybe out of thier element even playing the borderline playoff teams.

Also this is yet another season we come into the year looking under prepared. It isnt only sub-level coaching. Its sub-level personel decisions too.

He definitely needs better advisers but it's a stretch to call a self made billionaire an "idiot". If only I could be as dumb!

Armando, as Dr. Phil would say, "What the hell are you thinkin'?" Tony should already be gone. This reminds me of what happened when Wannstedt ran the team into the ground. All you pundits felt remorse and started writing about how you liked him personally and that he should stay for the sake of continuity. Tony ain't no tiger and there's nothing in the tank.

Mando,

You're right! Firing Sparano mid-season makes absolutely no sense! And, that's exactly why it'll happen.

Heres my opinion. If they lose in Cleveland (which they probably will) I dont see why we need to keep coach or Ireland. Why is no one talking about Ireland. He built this team. Good work trading Ginn for a fourth. What is het have like 4 return td's since he left. Another draft miss. There are so many draft misses by Ireland and if I see one more ex Cowboy get signed Im going to eat my hat. Listen, the formula is not working at all and you can feel it on the field watching the games. Im guessing if we lose in Cleveland this week that we need to blow this whole thing up again and look for better brain trust, better coaching, and better players.

D Man Canada Out !!!

DB,

apparently Ross is a big fan and follower of Michigan Wolverines football, so he probably feels he's a bit of an expert- just like some of us!

And here we go again. Nolan Carroll or Will Allen? Well Tony is making them battle it out in practice so he can make a decision. And the problem is the coach doesn't ever have a feel for practice players over gamers. He picks players due to how they practice and doesn't seem to have a grasp for what the gamers offer. In experienced players are rewarded because they play well against their own teammates in a closed practice. So if Nolan beats Will in practice he will be the starter. He's already proved he's not ready so why is he even getting the chance? Baffling.

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