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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.


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.  


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Hold the players accountable? Why?

How can you hold the players accountable when you brought in bad personel, dismissed the wrong personel, or overlooked better personel that was available to bring in to begin with?

Theyre only seeing the product of thier own decision making. Funny how that seems to turn on one!


D Man Canada,

Numerous people on the blog have mentioned Ireland............they have been for the past 3 blog posts

just sayin


R U KIDDING? Start off strong? Play with a lead? LOL! Who does that anymore?

Oh, that's right, every team BUT us. Ok, you're right, my bad.

I think Sparano won't go for that because it might deter his fist pumps. I mean, if we're winning, what's another TD on top of that? Nothing to get excited over. Sparano needs to feel like he personally delivered every point himself.

But, good idea.

I used to just beg for close games so we would at least have a chance.

I've changed my tune a little, screw that, I want a few controlling, masterful wins


Cowher or Gruden would not go to a team mid season there buddy. They would want a clean slate and start at the beginning of the season, not be stuck with the old coach's mess.

Think it through

dr. roberts,

imagine how Cowher, spoiled by a great organization like the Steelers, would be anxious to work for an owner who fired a coach a few games into the season (a coach who won a div. title after a 1-15 season).

78...I agree...progress is the key. If we are showing real progress throughout this season, then we may be OK. If not, I think everyone is in trouble. Patience is wearing thin, as it should be.

Sometimes Mondo I wonder what ure thinking with. Ross is holding up his end to how many millions of dollars in salarys to defensive players along with the entire offensive line. IF Ireland/Sparano wants it, they get it.
You havent been watching how the Dolphins lose. Everyone, including you said the Dolphin defense was a top 10 NFL team. Not even close. The Dolphins are out of shape, out of oil, out of go juice, out of sprit, and out Sparanos voice. They do not listen to what he coaches, and why is that? Did not Jason Taylor (you'lls) hero not tell u that practices were crap? Nothing is working except the kickers legs, both punting and place kicking. If the Dolphins are 0-4 at the break, then its time to replace Sparano and Ireland. Someone might come in here and lite a match that will catch fire under some of these players who are not giving a million dollars worth or effort or attitude.

dr. roberts,

imagine how Cowher, spoiled by a great organization like the Steelers, would be anxious to work for an owner who fired a coach a few games into the season (a coach who won a div. title after a 1-15 season).

Posted by: captncrunch | September 22, 2011 at 02:57 PM

I find this poist confusing.....you laud Sporano for a division title in this post...

and just a few post back....in response to me...

you DISCOUNT Gruden's Super Bowl....and talk about the Bucs being in a Tail Spin.....

question 1.....is a Division Title better than a Super Bowl.....

Question 2...aside from this Division Title that you appear to covet....what has Sporano done to earn your trust in him as the leader of this franchise....

Some people want us to win a bunch of games so we can make the play offs, if you can't win against the top 10 teams, what makes anyone think you can win in the post season, remember the Ravens anyone. Bill


au contraire.... did not discount win, said Gruden's old team (Raiders) then went into tailspin.

Dr. Roberts, if we started hitting on our draft choices, there wouldn't be a need for FA spending. Do you think any of us would care about being a player in FA if our own draftees make up the losses?

It took Cowher awhile, yes, but he was competitive & in the hunt from the getgo. Sound familiar? No.

Multiple Championship game appearances, instant playoff team. Disciplined, tough teams. Once he got a QB, like with almost every team, he won the big games.

Patience is deserved when results are being yielded & you can see good things. Like during his time in Putt. That is the complete opposite of what the situation is in South Florida.

dr. roberts has good points. After last years' drama, many "name" coaches probably don't trust Ross. We're just going to have to climb this mountain and hopefully watch this team grow better. There will be no silver bullet, coach or player...this seems organizational or cultural and it needs to come right. Honestly, the Dolphins have looked like a joke poser franchise for quite some time. And if we are being honest with ourselves...it's true.

Captn....you are correct.....perhaps I mis-understood your orginal post...I thought you were reffering to the Buc..and not the Raiders......

DyingBreed all of your posts make an awful lot of sense. The ineptitude of this front office week in and week out make me scratch my head and say WTF. Sending Henne back in under center on 4th and 1 down by two scores with 8 minutes left and then waste a timeout to punt -are you freaking kidding me. Then all of the personnel blunders - I could go on and on. Thes clowns need to go - very soon!

"People keep bringing One thing I find curious about the Cowher fans is that the Steelers pretty much epitomize a LOT of things that you, as fans, don't seem to believe in at all."

"Patience? The Steelers waited 13 years for Cowher to finally win it all. You may forget it now, but there was a time Steelers fans were calling for Cowher's head...his reputation being a guy who "couldn't win the big games."

Dr. Roberts that's only a slice of the story. What you missed is this.

In his first year Cowher took a 7-9 team to 11-5 a division win and home field advantage in the playoffs. He took the team to the superbowl in his 4th season as head coach (not sure what the 13 years to win it all point is, isn't it good to get there and at least have a shot?) He was the youngest coach at age 38 to take a team to the superbowl. He is only the second coach in NFL history to take his team to the playoffs in each of his first 6 seasons. (We wouldn't be talking about Sparano being fired if this was going to be our 4th yr in the playoffs). The other coach was Paul Brown who is in the hall of fame.

So in the end, 8 division titles, 10 playoff appearances, 21 playoff games, 6 afc championship games, and 2 superbowls.

I don't know what your argument is about but that is one hell of a resume. Everyone is getting caught up on how many superbowls a coach has won. The goal is to get there and we're not even close. With Cowhers resume is there really that much doubt that we would be in the conversation every year? Not in my mind. We would actually have a shot every year if you go by his stats which you brought up in your first post by implying he hadn't done a thing the 13 years before the superbowl win.

I do not think in a million years any of the guys would not come here because we fired a coach mid year. All these guys understand winning is the ultimate goal. They as coaches did not keep sub par players all year because they were worried other players may not come for that reason...

These guys understand business and business decisions. JMO obviously.

people want to fire tony so we will keep losing and have a better chance at andrew luck

do i like losing ...noooo

do we need another qb .... yes

do we need coaches that will make better decisions...... yes

do we need some more heart around here... yes

2 back-to-back plays in the NE game summarize the gap between Miami and the elite.

1. Stuffed on the goal-line on 4th down.
2. A 99-yard pass play to Welker.

That's a 14 point swing that represents the difference between a team that's prepared to win and a team that isn't.

The Houston game comes down to blown FGs and dropped TD passes. Mentally tough teams make those plays, we don't....sick of watching it.

Poizen to add on to that point Sparano has never had a problem letting go of sub par players and coaches mid season. It IS a business and if the players can be held accountable than people better damn well know that the coach can be held accountable too. I totally agree. No coach in his right mind is going to turn down a chance to coach in the afc east, in Miami, because the last coach was fired after his 4th year of incompetence. First year we were the luckiest team on earth so that's not proof of anything in my mind. A good coach will jump at this opportunity.

I completely disagree. First off, we are not in the middle of the season. There is still time to salvage this season and getting him out of there will accomplish alot. We know what we have here, just look at the last two seasons.We have no reason or obligation to let him finish we he started.None. And, can we do any worse? No, you cannot be less than 0-2. The team is not prpared for games, and there is mass confusion everygame and honestly, it's a joke

Dr, my opinion is that the team that Tomlin is having sucess with is still largely made of Cowhers guys. The team that just lost the Superbowl less so than the one that did win.

Mentioning the point about the organization as possibly being the secret to his success...it's valid. With that said, don't you think he would want to continue what's worked for him? Bring the same model?

I think everyone would KILL to have a coach & FO similar to Pittsburgh. Who can argue their success?

FYI, about Fisher, you should look at his record closely & compare it to Cowhers when discussing winning consistently. Ownership aside, it's not very accurate.

6 10+ win seasons, 6 losing seasons & five .500 seasons. Cower had 3 losing seasons and never lost more than 6 games. I know the Titans had some cap problem years but Cowhers resume is far more impressive.

If' I'm going after an established coach & I think this team needs one, no doubt I'd take Cowher over Gruden & Fisher. To me, it's not even a contest.

Posted by: ALoco |

Absolutely right on the mark comment!!

Ross sided with Tony S over Parcells regarding the QB postion prior to the 2010 season.

By the end of that season, he was hunting for a substitute for that very same coach whom he supported.

As a result, this owner is reaping what he sowed, and deserves everything he is receiving.

Unfortunately, the fans are feeling the pain as well.


"Ross sided with Tony S over Parcells regarding the QB postion prior to the 2010 season."

Do you have anymore details? Aloco wasn't very clear either!

Bill Parcells drafted Pat White when Ireland wanted no part of him. Parcells drafted Henne saying he reminded him of Phil Simms. Parcells took a fast team and turned them into a slow lumbering team of big guys who can't move. He did this in a time that the whole league was going to a pass first aggressive fast attack offensive style. He did this stubbornly not listening to others who insisted that particular way of thinking was outdated. Parcells Hired old man Henning to install his 1950's NFC run first SYSTEM. Parcells left with time left on his contract, taking the rest of the money he didn't earn, after not being happy with the coach,gm, and QB all of whom he handpicked! Can we please slow down with the Parcells is a God talk?

The owner is reaping what he sowed? He didn't side with anyone because the owner had no say, absolutely no say in what went on with the football side of the business. And it was written in Parcells contract that way because he didn't want to work for a meddling owner. So the notion that Ross had anything to do with the QB situation is completely and utterly false. Don't worry guys, it's okay to blame the guy who left a sinking ship after running that ship into the rocks and bailing out in the only life raft.

Phins78 makes some good points

whos thinking about playoffs mando???

We wouldnt expect or hope that nolan can take over and turn this team around this year...but at least it would open the facts about sparano as a head coach, the man has no answers and no solutions to what goes on with his own team....

He's one of those guys that just beleives that things are the way they are and questions nothing about the teams personal moves through the front office....how does 36 year old Jason Taylor who is trying to recycle his been there and done that career have more answers to how this team performs or lack of than their own head coach....

Sorry, but at this rate....sparano has to be given the axe....rather sooner than later if we continue down this sad losing streak that were expected to.....

Phins78 is correct...the last thing Parcels said as he fled town was:
"I'm disappointed in Henne's development"

Nuf Said.

Guys, come on here... Fatcells was not staying no matter what. Now people are blaming Henne for why Parcells left...

Fatcells was exposed as a fraud. His drafting philosophy for the most part was crap. His bigger is better philosphy was literally passed in the fast lane.

All other teams got faster and smarter, we got bigger and dumber.

We were duped by a name, and that name made his money took no shots from the press and walked off with a golden parachute.

Sorry guys, I am really down on Fatcells, he does not deserve one bit of respect. His idea of the game died a long time ago.

henne must go with tony.

"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"?

Posted by Armando

Armando....this may be among dumbest statements/comment I have ever read.....

Lets rephrase the question....

Has ANY COACH in the playoff hunt ever been fired???

That is basically what you asked.....sounds kinda dumb right....who would fire a coach mid-season when it a team is in the playoff hunt??? NOBODY..thats who....

Coaches have been fired for not going FAR ENOUGH in the playoffs....but that is how you phased your statment....

Marty Schottenhiemer wasn't fired because he went 14-2 and was on the CUSP of the play-offs....He was fired because he wasn't winning playoff games.....

A teams with NO CHANCE of making the play-offs fire thier coaches...and imo...the sooner the better....

SO the sooner Sporano is mathmatically eliminated.....the better for ALL Dolphins players and fans....

Phins78, I equate Parcells to a modern day carpetbagger, schlocking his snake oil from one football town to another. Many of us (myself included) thought his wonder tonic was the cure to all that ails us. Four years later, we are still left with the putrid, vile aftertaste of his potion. Sadly, he was smart enough to hitch a ride right out of town just as us folks started wising up to him.

I keep thinking of that conning Lyle Lanley character in the Monorail episode on The Simpsons.


Dear Cleveland Browns:

I would appreciate it if you could please bring your C-game to Sunday's Dolphin Vs. Brown Contest. Please Leave Your A Game and B Game In The Locker Room. I promise to continue my best to propagate an anemic offense...I will do my best to play conservative and keep the game close..You do know how much I love field goals..Anyways I hope that you can accommodate me..My coaching seat is getting warm and I kind of like my 'coaching' gig.

Fist Pumper
Tony Sparano

The worst thing that can happen is is Sporano gets to stick around after being mathmatically eliminated from the play-offs.....

wins the last 4 meaningless games.....

and gets a 10 year contract extention from MR. Ross

I have an idea. Let's do like Green Bay, and buy the team. Then we'll have more of a say on who's Coach. We pool our ideas on here, and we have like a Security counsel that can override any stupidity we may come up with.

Then, at least if we lose, we do it Sinatra-style, MMMMYYYY WAYYYY!!!

Who's in? I can scrape up a dollar. Who else got snaps on the petrol?




DC....a "Menance To Society" reference....REALLY......

Great movie BTW....

one of my favorite of all time.....

Ross needs a little O-DOG in him.....

the dolphins runs like the stock market , they sign a player when he's way up in price (( soliai )) and sell under panic (( welker )) ............

ireland manages the fins like an auto shop ...

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.


Mando, i would also point out that if even beating those teams listed above would gain us a playoff spot which isnt going to happen, why must we only beat teams not playoff ready and lose to ones that are playoff ready...is our whole goal to relive 2008 yet again in anguish as we recieved a premature beatdown exit from a team like baltimore.....Yea, No thanks!!!!

And I noticed you used UPSET When reffering to beating teams that overall are better compared to miami....so basically the point would be that we need to UPSET better teams instead of winning straight up.....just to get bounced from the playoffs again by not UPSETTING another team legitimately better????*lol*

anyone who types the words "suck for luck" is a moron


Parcells also left the putrid, vile aftertaste of his potion with the Pats, Jets and Cowboys.

Maybe we should fire anyone who came with him- or even knew him- just to be thorough. As it is, we've already canned his OC, DC and a special teams coach.
Is there anything we could do about any residual Huizenga stench?


I give Armando his due respect when he post something I feel is outstanding....

Its only right that I voice my dis-pleasure when I feel he is deliberatly slanting the article.....


Flimflamfinfan - great name! Can't say that 10 times real fast.

Due to purposeful NFL policies designed to encourage parity, each season is a brand new season. A team can go from 1-15 to 11-5 (and win the division) from one year to the next. It's a whole new team every year. None of this rebuilding stuff is necessary. The Patriots win with totally new players (except Brady) every year.

Therefore, the coach is the problem. In college, it's about the top 10 teams having superior athletes. In the NFL, it's about coaching.

The Phins are going to blow out the BrownStains.

Price Master crashed the blog...lol



I don't want to hear we lost to this team but it's ok because they are "Superbowl Contenders". Oh we lost to that team but they are suppose to win their division so it's understandable. Are we settling? I'm not.
Three things stick out in my mind this week. 1. He states he has no answer for the recent home record (loses). Not what I want to hear from the HC of my team. 2. A player says that they practice like they play, poorly, and it's backed up by other players. Where the HC? 3.The two players brought in this week to help. One is another Dallas reject (getting real tired of that), and the other we cut a couple years back and was cut by Denver who is one of only a hand full of teams who might be worse then us. Hot Seat? HECK YA you better believe it.

Ross needs to fire Irland now and publicly state that anything less then 8-8 is unexceptable and changes will take place. Give us, the fan, something to hold onto. Show us that you care Ross. The ship is sinking.

They are who we thought they were!!!!!!!

I don't want to hear we lost to this team but it's ok because they are "Superbowl Contenders".

Posted by: SullysPhins | September 22, 2011 at 04:40 PM

Some even say...."houston is a playoff team"....so now that makes a loss OK as well.....I think Armando wrote it as well....

WTF have we become.....

The punchline will be that even after Tony Sparano is fired/quits/walks away, etc....there will be many posters who have yet to spell his name correctly since he took over in 2008. Tony Soprano, Tony Sporano, Tony Sporono, etc....

It was Lombardi who said:

"I can take my team and beat you on Saturday, then take your team and beat my team on Sunday."

Now that's a confident coach.

Who cares how he spells his name....

The punchline is that someone actually does.....

Excellent debate was going on in here. I learned many Football facts I didn't know.

When the Miami Dolphins had the No. 1 pick in 2008, they spent considerable resources scouting the draft’s top three quarterbacks, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Chad Henne.

They looked at their college resumes; physical attributes; arm strength; leadership; and character. But one other measureable made Henne the most desirable pick.

“Not quite as expensive,” Bill Parcells, the team’s former executive vice president of football operations, said Tuesday night in his 90-minute ESPN special.

2008: Jake Long: 5 years, $57.5 million, $30 million guaranteed
Matt Ryan (No. 3): 6 years, $72 million, $34.75 million guaranteed
Joe Flacco (No. 19): 5 years, $30 million, $8.75 million guar.
Chad Henne (No. 57): 4 years, $3.5 million, $1.4 million guar



Gruden NEVER accomplished what COWHER has which was 2 super bowls, 6 AFC championship games, 8 division titles, 10 playoff appearances, 21 playoff games and MOST OF ALL...

The Steelers and Tomlin and the Rooney Family are STILL winning today and into the future.

A GREAT team needs a solid foundation. COWHER built that foundation and believe me with his experience he will rebuild the Fins.

Come On folks.. We been through the mill with all the experiments since Shula and they ALL failed. We did it the wrong way and look where it got us today. WE, the fans are stuck with diaper Coaches and diaper GM. They get a 2 year contract extension reward for back to back losing seasons.

PURGE the team of ALL the parcells crap starting with Soprano and his Kids, Ireland and the reject Cowboys and ALL the asst coaches including the water boy and MOST OF ALL, PURGE HENNE OUT.

Hand over the keys to COWHER and bring in a REAL GM. I mean a REAL GM who KNOWS talent and will draft REAL talent. Bring in REAL scouts who know what the potential draft choices are.

Dez was available and the Fins passed on the kid and all because Ireland asked the kid if his Mama was a ho. What about ALL THE REST that he passed on that are out there running up the numbers...

In closing, If ireland Sparano and Ross are still here come draft day next year AND if we get the @1 pick AND IF Luck is availiable... They WILL NOT draft Luck or any QB. Remember thier mentality? Trade away the #1 for VALUE PICKS and look for those ACORNS.


Cosmodo, I hear that thing is awfully loud (it glides as softly as a cloud), Is there a chance the track could bend (not on your life my Hindu friend), What about us brain dead slobs (you'll be given cushy jobs) Were you sent here by the devil? (no good sir I'm on the level), The ring came off my pudding can (take my pen knife my good man I swear it's springfields only choice, throw up your hands and raise your voice! Monoraillll, Monorailllll,,,,Monoraillll!

That episode was great back in the day! Gotta go people, see ya.

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