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Tony Sparano's words -- many subject to change

I suppose we all can change our minds. Women do it. Double-agent spies do it. Obviously, football coaches do it.


On Aug. 24, when it seemed apparent fullback Lousaka Polite's role was diminished within Miami's new offensive scheme, I asked coach Tony Sparano how that disappering role would affect Polite's roster status on the team.

“It doesn’t really affect (Lousaka Polite) in 21 personnel and we have not really gone into 22 personnel," Sparano said. "We have done it in practice, but we haven’t done it obviously we didn’t do it the other night. But 22 personnel is still part of our package. You have to have the fullback and I think there’s enough good things that Lou does right now that will help us and somebody’s really gonna have to do a heck of a job in there for me to think otherwise."

Two things: Seems the Dolphins don't "have to have the fullback" after all because you look at their roster following cuts to 53 and there isn't a traditional fullback in the bunch. Lex Hilliard can double as a FB, but everyone knows he isn't really one and Charles Clay is obviously not a FB even though he's listed as one on the depth chart.

Secondly, I guess the cutting of Polite means somebody did, in fact, "do a heck of a job" of helping Sparano think differently on Polite.

It is against that background that I present to you the transcript of yesterday's presser with Sparano.

During this press conference, coach compared rookie Daniel Thomas to a young Larry Johnson. (The clock is now ticking on Thomas authoring his first 1,700-yard season).

He said Nolan Carroll, who didn't distinguish himself in preseason games, had a "tremendous" training camp, and thus was a better choice to keep over Will Allen, who seemed to play well in his lone preseason outing. (Obviously, Allen lost his bid to make the team based on his lack of work in practices.)

Sparano says Marlon Moore basically made the team a couple of weeks ago and now that Miami has worked really hard to get some speed at the WR spot with Clyde Gates, Moore and some with Brian Hartline, the club isn't going to get rid of that speed. We'll see about all of that.

We'll see how long all these words stand up.

I should advise you to read quickly. Because everything is apparently subject to change.

(On the process behind the decisions of the 53-man roster) - “Well it was hard, I mean it was a good problem because we had hard decisions to make. But it was hard. I think there was a point in there where you’re in and around 45 (players) and you’re kind of grinding on the last eight or nine guys and who fits where and why and all that good stuff. I mean I think that the last ball game helped us a little bit you know to identify some of that stuff. It was really a total body of work here in training camp and you can’t excuse what went on for three, four weeks.

(On what was behind the decision to keep six receivers) - “I have six and I have six pretty good ones. So it’s a deep position and I don’t want to give up speed. I worked too hard to get it on this roster to give it up.”

(On if Marlon Moore was always on the roster) - “No I mean as of the last couple weeks it really wasn’t that tough of a decision.”

(On what he likes about Will Yeatman) - “Well he’s a guy we had on our radar for quite some time. Actually before the draft, in other words free agency all that kind of stuff and in the draft you know obviously went to another team. We seen him come available here and that was something we’d want to be involved in. He’s a smart guy, he’s a big guy, he’s a strong guy. It’s a little different than some of the guys that we have right now at the position and I think he brings a few different things to the table that way. He did a nice job in the preseason games for those guys.”

(On keeping five out of the six players from the draft class)- “I’ve said all along, I thought this was a really good rookie class. That being said they’ve had limited time out here to get themselves ready to go here and still not there yet, but I do think that each one of these kids has shown tremendous upside and can help this football team in a lot of ways. I see a lot of play eaters in this group, guys that will play a lot of plays one way or the other. Whether it’s Jimmy Wilson on special teams, (Clyde) Gates and his contribution or any of those guys so I’m just happy that our guys did a super job in the draft and I think it showed in training camp here and when the roster shaped up.

(On what kind of camp Chad Henne has had and where he is at right now)- “I think he’s had a really good training camp so I mean I think he’s way ahead of where he was a year ago. I think anybody that’s been watching us play can see that and I think that I would expect that he’s going to have a really good season.”

(On if it’s safe to say he isn’t done moving pieces on the roster) - “I mean I don’t know that we’re done necessarily. I mean I don’t know at this point in time with the amount of people that are out there. I mean let me tell you there’s a lot of guys out there right now obviously. Some people cut a lot more than we had to cut. But with the amount of people out there I don’t know you can say ever. But I would say we’re certainly coming to the end of it here. So I mean we got to get ourselves ready to play here and maybe a couple moves as we get going here. We always try to turn this roster at the bottom if we could.”

(On if Larry Johnson didn’t show enough in his time here) - “No, I mean, I thought Larry did a really good job I think it just came down to numbers and comfort. You know right now I kind of felt like at this particular time I have something similar that’s younger and a little faster and all those good things. But, I mean, I thought Larry did a really good job for us and it really came down to numbers at the position.”

(On if he was talking about Daniel Thomas in comparison to Larry Johnson)- “Yes.”

(On if the new rule regarding the game day roster come into the decision behind keeping two quarterbacks)- “Well I think the rule has something to do with it and I think also the rule gives you flexibility at the game you know for a little different body and I think it gives you the ability to bring in maybe somebody else that can contribute 25, 30 plays at the game some place. So I mean that helps us a little bit that way. To be honest with you, I felt best with two quarterbacks right now. And there’s a lot of teams that don’t do it but there’s a lot of teams that do it. Right now we are one of the teams that are going to play with two quarterbacks.”

(On if Will Allen’s health came into play)- “Total body of work. That’s all I can say there. I mean, I really, really like Will Allen and I really had a hard time with making that decision at the end of this thing. We’re deep back there right now with guys. I felt like Nolan Carroll had a tremendous training camp. I really thought Benny (Sapp) did good things you know and that group of guys and Jimmy (Wilson) and I had the least amount of work on Will right now. That’s where I was and that’s what really came into play is just a total body work with a lot of training camp and a total evaluation at the end.”

(On if the team has increased the team speed or playing faster)- “Nah, I think we’ve increased the team speed. I think that … I would say that’s a good question. I think we are playing faster. I think the tempo of things has changed tremendously in our approach on both sides of the ball. I think we’ve always played fast on defense but I think offensively we’ve been able to play fast and that’s kind of made our defense play a little faster if you will. That being said and there’s no substitute for having speed I think that we’ve created some speed on this team at a bunch of positions. The linebacker position runs better right now, the receiver position runs better, the running back position runs better, the line runs better so we have different speed right now I think all around.”

(On the conversation with Lousaka Polite) - “That was really difficult. That was a really difficult decision and conversation to have. You know both those guys Lou, Will Allen, just tremendous pros, really good pros and good people. Guys that have all the things that you really want to have on your team it’s just you have to make decisions that are hard decisions and these were hard decisions. We kind of went in a little different direction so there’s a little more flexibility right now with where we are then maybe where we were. All that being said those guys have done an awful lot for us and I appreciate that."

(On his thoughts on the running back position and its progression) - “My thoughts are, I think that we’ve helped ourselves a bunch here with Reggie (Bush). I’m looking forward to getting Reggie out there and getting him the football. Reggie is the starting running back. Daniel Thomas will be the next guy, pretty simple process. So I only have three of them and they’re on the roster right now.”

(On how much was a concerted effort to build the team this offseason with people not knowing what your pieces are doing) - “A lot, a lot of it was. First I had to find the speed and then we had to kind of start the chess game a little bit I think with the less predictability part of it. I feel like right now with the way that the roster is put together I’m not sure anybody really has an idea of how we might come at them one way or the other. So I think that’s a good thing. And I think the way we’ve been utilizing some of these different players has shown less predictability right now as well. We haven’t scratched the surface there yet. Obviously there’s a bunch of things that we’re practicing that we haven’t shown right now which we’re kind of looking forward to getting to do.”



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Mando working late reorting news...

I guess this is what the LaborDay weekend is all about.

Opps, another typo.

Hope Kris doesn't spring a leak...

Anybody heard from Cuban Menace? Last I read, he was sitting in his police car in NY amid the hurricane. He was not paying attention to the storm.

He was flooding this blog-site.

Hope he wasn't swept away...

Armando says:

He said Nolan Carroll, who didn't distinguish himself in preseason games, had a "tremendous" training camp, and thus was a better choice to keep over Will Allen, who seemed to play well in his lone preseason outing. (Obviously, Allen lost his bid to make the team based on his lack of work in practices.)

Awww look, the guy that chose to break down STILL PHOTOS of Henne's play instead of actual video is sarcastically preteding he knows more about player evaluations than the front office now. How cute, he's playing big boy again.

Yeah Armando, I'm sure it was all because of his lack of work in practice.

It had nothing to do with age, salary, being constantly injured, and despite making two nice pre season plays IN THE PAST TWO YEARS, he was beaten pretty soundly by 3rd and 4th stringers.

I like Allen, a healthy Allen, better than I like Sapp, but that ain't saying much.

The ultimate FACT is, the coaches, NOLAN included, know a little more about this than you pretend too.

Whats more, it's telling that you put this decision all on SpOrano and try and pretend like Coach Nolan and Ireland didn't play a role or have some very influential input.


Hello, Mr. SpOrano?

Since nobody mentioned it here, I was wondering if I might ask the obvious-Dooh!

What the hell are you thinking with Colombo and Carey?

Do you understand Sir that your job is on the line here, the O-line, LITERALLY?

Come on Coach, fill us in?

funny how so many are lamenting the release of ronnie brown and ricky williams who were the starters for this team a year ago but they are now the #2 backs on their current teams; ronnie behind lesean mccoy and ricky behind ray rice. it' a good feeling knowing we gave up such quality at the rb position. ronnie had some nice runs in the preseason - against the competitions 2nd and 3rd units.

Can't believe a word coming from Sparano's mouth!

So who is the startig free safety anybody??

doin a great job tony! keep up the good work!

Dang, can't be the first when you're posting stuff in the middle of the night Mando!

Anyway, interesting read here. Thanks.

Tony speaks out of both sides of his mouth because he doesn't respect the media and doesn't give a crap about fans. He figures its all about Ws and Ls.

That's great until the Ls start to pile up and then the media and fans he doesn't care about want him gone. It's better to make friends than to alienate people, coach.

Let me lament on Coach's thoughts so maybe these change also. "We think Colombo has done a heck of a job & not concerned that he hasn't been able to block anyone rushing the passer". "I believe we only need 3 rb's & 2 qb's because our OL is going to be so good that no one will touch them all season".

Fictitious thoughts by the coach of course, but you get my point.

Odin, what 3rd and 4th stringers are u referring to? The guy was by far the smartest corner on the team. So u say if Davis or Smith goes down, u trust Nolan Carol on the outside because Sporano told u he had a great camp? Haha. Can I sell u a bridge? How come we are just hearing about this "great camp" from Carrol? Who did he lock up? Name 1 WR, please?

Odin, what 3rd and 4th stringers are u referring to? The guy was by far the smartest corner on the team. So u say if Davis or Smith goes down, u trust Nolan Carol on the outside because Sporano told u he had a great camp? Haha. Can I sell u a bridge? How come we are just hearing about this "great camp" from Carrol? Who did he lock up? Name 1 WR, please?

we have one v.good cb,vontae. smith hasnt played up to expectations and the cb situation hasnt been addressed. if vontae goes down we are screwed.

To all my Dolphin fans out there. I will take care of this Coaching thing next yr.. So how about Bill Cower.. Yall Yall Bill.

The Will Allen cut will haunt us...Nolan Carroll? didn't distinguish in preseason but had a good training camp???..es-plaine that to me Lucy, as Ricky would say...what in the Sam Hill does THAT mean- a player didn't distinguish in pre but had a good camp? I just don't get it.
Guaranteed that our cuts are going to be another teams top players...shows our good our talent evals are. Sounds like getting Yeatman from NE us Spo's wanting to pick his brain for our beat down on Monday night debut-how did we luck out getting NE for our first game!?

@Fire Coach Spo...I am glad he doesn't give a crap about the fans...b/c most fans are morons and know only what their fantasy football team or Madden video games tells them.

Carrol may have had a great camp, but he didn't look particularly good in any of the games. W. Allen looked great against Dallas. I'm not sure why they would get rid of Allen, apparently out of concern for his durability, and make crystal Reggie Bush their everydown back.

I thought I was the most pessimistic person on this site a few months ago. But something happened that I never thought would, change I could believe in. I see people lamenting Will Allen, Larry Johnson, Lou Polite. You know what those names symbolize...THE PAST!

This is a new team. New blood, new direction, new focus. And I think some here recognize the positive direction the Dolphins are moving in. For over 2 decades, year after year, I've watched a team with pretty good defense, and BORING, SLOW, INEFFECTIVE offense. 3 yards and a cloud of dust as they say.

Those days seem to be gone (thank GOD). Tony Sparano has FINALLY seen the light. Brian Daboll has put in a fresher, sleeker offensive philosophy, and that's step 1. It's the MOST IMPORTANT STEP to becoming an elite team. If you don't have the right system, who cares who the personnel is, they'll never accomplish squat.

I believe this year will be the start of a system in Miami on BOTH sides of the ball that works. That will win in today's NFL. But that's not it, work isn't done. There's still putting in the right personnel to make that system as effecient and effective as possible. That can't happen in 1 year (especially a shortened offseason like this). That will take another year or 2 to get right.

I understand Sparano doesn't have that long to prove himself. The personnel and execution still worry me. But I'm thrilled to finally expect to see a team playing 2011 football, not 1950 football. That should excite ALL OF US. You can criticize the personnel, the head coach, the GM. But, I'm not sure for those who criticize the system what you'd rather have. I'd love an explanation if there's anyone out there who does. This is the right system to win. If we get a new Coach this year, I hope he keeps at least the semblance to the system on OFFENSE AND defense we'll see this year.

God bless America and God bless the MIAMI DOLPHINS!!!

If Tony Sparano ever sits in a bar beside me and starts talking, I will definitely shoot myself in the head. He isn't the Gambler, he is the Rambler.

What happened to "Cut him, he didn't fit into our current scheme or he was beat out by someone faster?"



Armando, Most of what Sparano says is for public consumption. The offense seems to be creative and not having a traditional fullback or having a blocking tight end makes sense. The only thing I would worry about is the right side of the O-line. Perhaps the Dolphins will either trade or get some help from those players waived.

Nobody is talking bout the draft classses the last 3 or 4 years we are stock pileing talent open your eyes people were stacked bring on the Paties who by the way have had horrible drafts leaving them desperate trying so sign whoever they can to fill holes they couldnt in the draft why am i the only one who see this PASTIES=DESPERATE OVERATED TEAM

Justin, Pats already signed Waters.


Everyone was upset w/ Ross looking for a new coach, blah,blah Tony, all we was doing was churnining the bottom of the roster looking for an acorn.

dc d

i'm with u dc d, but we need to show that progress in results this season with 9-7 min stay-on criteria, ts has left himself with little time having been constrained by the bp and play it safe philosphy he's had for most of his tenure, he should be given that time if he gets beyong .500

a healthy will allen would be a no-brainer against carroll but its a reasonable call not to take the risk and cut carroll only for allen to blow his knee again i agree with those saying we're in trouble if davis gets injured unless smith takes a step forward esp on tackles

1 week to go before the 2011 fins show what they can do

The bottom line truth is that Allen, Polite and Johnson will we there in the unpaid waiting room if we need them due to injury.

Think of it as a Vetern PS. Don't worry the chances of other teams grabbing them is very low

Bull crap at the press conferance and it will be the same on the field. Sparano is a Gem !!

But then, what does a fan know.

there is always renewed hope at the start of a new season with a clean slate. hope then fades quickly as coaches usually revert to who they are. sparano isn't a go win the game coach. he is a don't lose the game coach. i like dabolls offense if tony "stays away". ditto for nolans defense.

Miami has nothing to lose in this first game. No one expects them to do much this season. No one expects them to beat the Patriots. That means WE have the advantage. All the pressure is on NE to start strong and make waves. Miami can open it up and take chances. We MUST protect our home turf this year. We have 2 home games to open the season, we need to go 2-0. That'll go a long way to getting fans on board. If I'm Sparano, I forget all tendencies. I go for it on 4th-down, I start fast, keep the pressure on, try to get a lead early. It's not about who we're playing, it's about PRIDE in YOUR HOUSE. This isn't just wishful thinking, this is a distinct possibility. In the end, these are MEN with hearts. They understand symbolism. PROTECT THIS HOUSE!

our hope for the season rests on dabolls offense and nolans defense. tony will contribute doubletalk gibberish soundbytes throughout the week.

DC, i like your idea of pride and home field. the fins arent a team yet;they are a bunch of young guys just trying to learn how to win, the problem,as i see it,is the fact we don't have many established veteran leaders to mentor those young guys. polite and will allen were guys looked up to in the locker room. i'm not saying they needed to remain but i'm noting the lack of these veteran leaders/mentors. teams without a veteran presence can unravel in a hurry,much like the past 2 seasons. JT's value is as impt off the field as on the field. thats why we brought him back(and to sell tickets).

greg z,

i'm with u on ts being useless at pr/verbal communication but if the team succeeds this season i think it would be unfair not to credit him as well as nolan and daboll

our hope for the season also rides on henne's execution of daboll's offense, a 2:1 td-int ratio seems plausible (i think it will be even better than that this season)and should get to the 10-6 and maybe playoffs combined with our d

i'm all in on fins going 11-5

We should be reading articles about Pouncey vs Wilfolk the Pasties steady decline do to horrbile drafts,or Bradys offseason gay outbreaks and how it affects his leadership i lost all respect for the man after watching his gay ass dance, anything but all this second guessing just move on.

I like to stay positive usually, so I'll just say that drying bleed is positively an asswipe that needs to be flushed. Judging by your responses, many of you feel the same. How long do you think you can call people 'idiots' before they get tired of it and you? Do you think by ending EVERY post with LOL... cancels out your rampant obnoxious demeanor? Not a chance. It is there for all to see. I think this behavior is actually indicative of a rampant inferiority complex. Perhaps this explains why his vocabulary, grammar and spelling suck so bad. I guess he thinks he's above using spell-check, just like everything else. In order to be superior, you must first find something that you're good at. Good luck with that. Being king turd of s hit mountain here is the only pinnacle to which you will ever attain. This used to be a nice place to talk about our team, now its just the fiefdom of dribble bleed. You serfs enjoy your penury.

Posted by: JaxDolphin |

I second this. Dying Breed is out of control, he used to be kept in check when the great NJ PHIN FAN was here, does he still come around? I wonder hmmmm....

But what does Sparano mean? I mean really can he just say what he means...

Who cares about the cuban cockroach? This blog is better w/o that POS

Can't say it better than kindry at 8:09.

funny how so many are lamenting the release of ronnie brown and ricky williams who were the starters for this team a year ago but they are now the #2 backs on their current teams; ronnie behind lesean mccoy and ricky behind ray rice. it' a good feeling knowing we gave up such quality at the rb position. ronnie had some nice runs in the preseason - against the competitions 2nd and 3rd units.

dm1dolphan | September 05, 2011 at 05:47 AM


I don`t really get your point here Bro, L.McCoy and R.Rice are 2 of the very best at what they do. I`m sure if you asked 9 out of 10 people on this blog would take either one with Ronnie or Ricky backing up. I loved R.Bush coming out of USC but facts are facts and he hasn`t had it translate to the Pro game yet, be it injuries or in some cases dancing around at the line of scrimmage to much when he needs to hit some holes with more authority on this level, he needs to finally understand that this ain`t College and those aren`t PAC Ten Conference teams he can out run to the corner week in and week out.

Daniel Thomas was billed as a younger and faster R.Brown and so far he maybe faster but hasn`t shown the wilingness to run anybody over at the line for the tough yard, his play at the goal line Vs. Carolina showed that in his limmited play so far. I know it was Pre-Season but I expect a Rookie coming in to make his statement on those plays early. It`s also worth monitoring how he looks around week 10 even if he shows us more in the Reg. Season given that most Rookies hit the wall around that time not use to the grind of a 17 week Season.

I also have some misgivings in cutting Polite and keeping an ineffective Mustrad because he was our best blocker in the backfield (picking up the free blitzer and chipping away at the DE`s or OLB`s) Bush and Thomas have miles to go in order to be the players those guys you mention were in these roles. I believe you have a valid point in that there faster at the position now with loads of potential but really wonder Bro if we won`t suffer to an extent from a lack of experience or leadership here this Season with these RB`s. I would have been alright with some insurance at RB and keeping Polite for one more Season while we saw what we really have.

Read kindry, Coach TS. Around here, we like it better that way.

Clay didn't play a whole bunch in pre-season, okay, but it wasn't a hard decision to make to keep him on the roster, okay, because we increased speed team a whole bunch. As the coach has said all along, okay, he's felt Clay helped himself a whole bunch during training camp, so it wasn't a tough decision, okay, to keep him. In other words, Coach felt Clay a bunch during practices. Okay?

Is Clay a guy we should have on our radar for a few stealth surprise plays on Monday?

Thanks Sparano, under your guidance and direction, the Phins are guarenteed a shot at Luck and Cowher in 2012!

we sit back on our lazy ass and let solid players like taylor,merriweather,waters,morris sign elsewhere

Not a matter of who gets cut or who is kept; Coaches should know better than us Fans. It's the way this whole process is being handled that we don't like.







Hey Justin you still on here boy??

If and when we start out 1-5 will sparano be fired???

he should be fired by midseason

I think we're paper thin at running back. It's a long season and that may come back to haunt them. First game should be about getting in Brady's face and keeping off the field. You keep him off the field by being able to run the ball and a short passing game. Big test for Thomas and Bush in week one. Will they be up for it?

I wouldn't be surprised to see a guy like Politte back after week one and Will Allen too.

will it matter craig, pats should destroy us on monday. vegas says 7, i think probaly more


Why don't you go back to your Bill Connors name again?

I agree with DC, I think the fact that nobody gives us a chance will be something we can use to our advantage.

craig how so, come on man your smarter than that. u cant win that way, talent and coaching wins games.

Remember the 2nd pre-season game against the Panthers?
That's how we're going to look on the Monday night opener....lots of Bush & Marshall with some type of crazy play with Clay coming off the line for a mis-match and major chunk yardage.
Tony knows his job is on the line and Daboll is trying to showcase his talents for a HC job down the line.
This is a completely different team from an offensive perspective from last season.
So throw away all those lame stats from last season and strap yourself in for a lights-out, high octane offensive output against the Pats.

You run the ball when you're winning, Craig. We have to get the jump on them, otherwise, it will be a long Night for us.

The offensive success this year rides on the teetering vase on the glass table, Reggie Bush. If (once?) he goes down, that changes (eliminates?) they dynamic side of our offense and we are stuck with slow rb's that will not worry and DC. Henne is no longer the make or break player for our success in 2011, its Reggie staying healthy.


We can't compete with the Pats head to head passing. My hope is that our front seven can get in Brady's face all night and cause him problems, similar to what the Jets did to them in the playoffs. We can't get into a shootout with them. Brady's too good and Henne's not good enough at this point. Pressure Brady all night, confuse him with some different looks and blitzes and then do our best to keep him off the field. It's the only way.

vs the panthers, vs the pats, hmmmmmmmmmmm

Hey Devil....every team worries about their star player going down with an injury.
There is nothing you can do about it other than hope your back up can "step up" and earn his paycheck.
On the "glass is half full" side...Bush can play all 16 games and have over 2K yards from scrimmage this year and make the pro bowl.

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