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Tony Sparano safe despite 'brutal' night

Tony Sparano is unlikely to be replaced this week, according to a source. And I'm starting to hate my job.

I hate that the Dolphins terrible 0-5 start is roosting directly in the doorstep of Sparano, a good man and a good coach who is not blameless for his team's record but also is not completely to blame for it either.

And so with each passing loss, the watch to determine if Sparano remains or goes grows more focused. And I am tasked with monitoring it.

And I hate it because I think a good coach is about to get whacked -- if not now, eventually, and almost certainly by the end of the season.

Monday night's loss to the Jets was especially harmful to Sparano's tenure. His team lost in horrible fashion. After a bye week. Against a team that had lost three in a row.

"Tonight was brutal," a club source told me.

And that is bad for coach because owner Stephen Ross, who last week gave him something of a midseason vote of confidence, was apparently very, very disappointed. Again. And the disappointment was augmented by the fact Ross sees it as something of another home loss because New York is his home.

"It is fair to say that the fuse is burning," the source told me.

However, the fact this is a short week, with the Dolphins returning to the field on Sunday only five days from now, makes a change significantly less likely, the source said.

So coach is safe for another week despite not being able to coax a victory from his team all season.

I know you guys don't care one way or another about Sparano because he's not a person to you. He's simply the guy you see on the sideline and the guy you see as not giving you something good to cheer about and feel good about. You transfer your frustration to him.

I get that. His team stinks. So he stinks.

But I don't believe he stinks. He's still the same guy that got the Dolphins to 11-5 in 2008. And he is a person. He has a family. And, unlike other Dolphins coaches that I believed to be somewhat inept and in need of replacing, I don't share that feeling about Sparano.

So following this story is not fun for me. Nonetheless the job will get done. That's the reason you come here.

(And now I'm sure your comments will discuss what a sap I am. So be it.)


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Being an HC is one of the toughest jobs in sports. It also pay very very well. He gave it a try but was unqualified from the start. Was a bad pick from Parcells, I think he wanted someone who would never question his authority. Ireland and Meatball share the blame. Hiring Daboll after finishing 30th in the league was dumb. Hiring Tony Meatball Jr as quality control coach was dumb. He probably is a decent guy to have a beer with but this is the NFL, a multi billion dollar business. Tony and Jeff have lost the team, lost the fans and it sounds like lost the owner. Its time for changes, Detroit and San Fran who used to be terrible are on the rise. We are still heading into the abyss, its all over but the crying and fist pumping now. At least Wannstache had the honor to resign when he knew he had lost the teams will to fight for him.

This whole franchise has a funk to it that needs some serious cleaning. This is a team where players come to bury their careers.

@Bootris: You're fired!

Cmon, Sparano is solely to blame. This team has no character, no identity, no trust from their coach they can win a game on their own. No confidence from the coach they can get a half yard on 4th down!
Cmon Mondo, don't make like the blame is misplaced...
Any other Head Coach with that home losing streak was fired midway of last season. And I think Ross needs to bring in the replacement immediately. Bring them in, hire them, give them a front office title while they start sorting the mess out and evaluate the talent on this team leading into next season.
That will also allow for Sparano and Ireland to start packing their offices a little more discreetly and they can get the boxes from their local supermarkets...
Honestly, Sparano doesn't deserve to be a Head coach, and by the play of the offensive line that he tinkered with all preseason, I don't think he has a future coaching anyones offensive line either...

Teams got no heart.

No heart.

A simple fact. The players are not playing for Sparano. You see them on the field and you see a group of people who can't wait for the game to be over and hit the showers. They're not playing for their coach to keep his job. Despite of what the players keep saying, Sparano has lost the respect of his team, and they don't believe in him anymore. A change is needed now, or the damage could be even greater. It's sad, but it's true.

The man is not going to be homeless trust me, he makes 5 mil a year

Ross should hire the new Head Coach now, bring them in, let them evaluate this team the rest of the year. The franchise will be that much ahead of the game. You've got Sparano on contract anyway, so he's getting paid, let him finish the season.
But give the fans some hope, some direction, and bring the person in to the front office under an assumed title and let the fan base know for sure that this team is serious about changing the mindset.
It had better not be anyone with any affiliation with the Cowboys, I think those lessons had better have been learned by now.

B marsh makes too much and has too much talent for the way he's playing IMO. I'm not sure how luck can help that.

Mr. Salguero, your compassion for Coach Sparano is compelling, but misplaced. He has a family... that is wealthy due in part to his contracts with the Dolphins, who pay him to produce wins so that the fans will buy tickets. The Dolphins have stuck by him and his awful play-calling despite loss after loss. The Dolphins losing at home is as close to a lock as there is in the NFL right now, and another 1-15 season is not inconceivable at this point. Why stick with a blind coach who knows, after the trip-to-California-coach-interview debacle of last year, that his head is on the chopping block? What incentive does he have to produce wins? Doesn't he get his money whether we keep him or not (of course he does)?

I think Ross should order that the team plays without the logo or names on their uniforms for the rest of the season.
They have no identity anyway, so what's the difference?
Let them go out in plain white...

We don't follow football to care about the "family" of the head coach. That sounds real cold and uncaring, but at the end of the day, a head coach has one single job: Do the best they can to get their team prepared and ready to win games.

It's absolutely clear now that 2008 was a fluke, a complete aberration; They had a good game manager QB, a good misdirection in the Wildcat, and oh yeah, Tom Brady didn't play 99% of the season.

Two years of absolute mediocrity followed, and now we've nose-dived into the cellar.

You can cut/trade crappy players, and you can sign or draft quality players...but at the end of the day, the man who is charged to get them to perform best together to get victories is the Head Coach.

I'm sure Sparano has made plenty of money, especially after his financial apology after Ross chased Harbaugh that his family will be just fine.

We want to see a successful, exciting football team. I don't care how "human" someone is, really.

Sorry if that's not what you wanna hear but it's the truth.

This team needs a proverbial enema...Jack Nicholson, please help!!!

The team did play with heart tonight. It was a winnable game (Dolphins had more yards from scrimmage), but M. Moore and the WRs made too many huge mistakes

By the way, has anyone noticed since the Phins stopped the wildcat they can't win with a conventional offense?

Thought I'd mention it...

Abe, it must really suck for Ross to pay an HC $5 mil/yr to go 0-5. He could've hired a goat and gotten the same results.

I take your word that Sparano is a good guy, but his is not head coach material. The only reason to keep him on now is to continue status quo. The players play a very uninspiring brand of football and nothing I see is changing that.

Also, what's with the D line? They looked like people just standing around taking up space all game. 0 penetration into the jets backfield. Maybe we can start with firing the defensive line coach.

I really had great hopes for Sparano. I know he's a tireless worker and I know that he knows the game. But lack of team cohesion and execution on the field has to fall on him and his leadership abilities. Therefore, he has to go. He will land on his feet, perhaps to have a chance again (ala Chan Gailey) to take what he's learned and do well in this league. Right now the dolphins are back to square 1 and need to start all over...that begins with a new regime selected by Ross and involving Ross.

Goats can't do a FG fist pump...

i agree nick m.....bring SOMEONE new in now...it at least will create some sense of accountability..right now the players have no fear of reprisal for quitting since sparano and ireland are lame ducks...get this thing started...let the new regime evaluated whatever vestiges of talent remain and cut the remaining fat...

p.s. it was obvious that the defense tried in the first half, and gave up after realizing that the offense could not convert a third down, much less score.

I dont see Sparano as the MAIN issue...I see Ireland, and I see Ross...Ross promised to make money a non-issue, it was. Who did we get in the off season that mattered? Bush?? We would have been better off with Sproles, but apparently the Saints know that Sproles and Brees are better than Miami does...But Ireland and Ross tried to fire Sparano, couldnt replace him, so tried to double speak their way back to favor, fired the 31st worst OC in the biz, only to hire the 32nd worst OC in the biz...promised a QB, gave us Henne and Moore, who couldnt even start on the worst team in the NFL....yep, they gave Sparano all the tools in the world to fail with...he is nothing more than their ScapeGoat for the end of the year....sooo, how is this Sparano's fault? Cause the players dont play for him?? Look, everyone in the NFL knows he is Dead Man Walking...so why even try to work hard for someone who will be the Goat?? Sooooo...Sparano??? The issue?? Really?? Or just the Front office....??

There's nothing that says Ross can't hire Cowher or Fisher right now. He brings them in as a "consultant" and they let everyone on the roster know that their play is being evaluated by the next coach. How they handle things may determine if they stay in Miami or not...
For the fan base, its excitement, its hope, what could possibly be wrong with that?
Oh, then there's the poor coach's feelings and the GM's feelings...boo hoo...
Not too concerned with that.

...Does it matter that this is a short week? At this point what is Sparano going to do that will make any difference? This is what I would do. Promote Todd Bowles to interim head coach for the rest of this season. See if he can do anything to inspire this team. After the season re-evaluate the sitaution, and if Bowles is not the guy(he isn't the first choice, but is on the list of candidates of possible head coaches for next year according to Yahoo sports) Go after the guy that Ross really wants.

At least with Bowles we keep it within the franchise for now. This isn't a ringing endorsement because the franchise is a joke. But it makes sense because at least he is familar with the personel. Before anyone gets up in arms. This is an INTERIM tag. Personaly I don't think anyone that Ross may covet would be willing to step in this pile of poo. So give the young guy a shot to see what he can do. If anything it is a change. How much worse can it get?

Also,if I were Andrew Luck, I would tell the press that I am strongly considering staying at the collage level for one more year. There are what, 8 or so teams seriously in the "suck for Luck" race. Teams need to stop sucking for a reason and just play football. If they suck, then they just suck and deserve the first pick, wether it is Luck or someone else.

olympia, it was sparano who punted at the jets 40 on fourth and 1 during the dolphins first possession....it was sparano who decided to kick a 22 yard field goal...it was sparano who decided to run out the clock
with 1:10 remaining in the first half and two time outs (and bush fumbled the handoff anyway)...it was sparano who decided not to challenge hartline's catch (which was erroneously called incomplete) and then caused a delay of game as a result..and the list goes on.

Who the hell are you kidding?

He stinks.

How can you totally blame Sparano? He does not pick the talent, he does not make the trades, he does not alone evaluate the talent. So what does he do? He must put a game plan together utilizing the duds that have been placed before him, he has to try to motivate them, and motivate the good players to play with the inept players..tough task..Cant fully blame Sparano, has he made mistakes..of course..is there obviously conditioning issues with the players? of course. but he is not soley responsible for that either..So NO I can not blame Sparano for this teams failures..But he will pay the ultimate price for it..

Oh, and Armando, you hate your job? You hate getting paid to write about sports when 1 in 10 people in Florida (probably 1 in 20, in reality) are unemployed? Poor baby.







Hi my name is Nick. I like _ick. Great big _ick. I will be assembling all of the cast off Dolphin olineman that coach Sparano was saddled with and making an all pro oline out of them. Never mind that no one else wanted them I am really smart.

Dear Mr Ross hire me and I will perform oral acts on yourself free of charge.

Until tomorrow i will be sniffing my underpants.

You're not a 'sap' at all, Salguero. You spoke the truth in those comments.

Further truth? Miami would be a winning team--NOW--if they had an answer at quarterback. The fact they don't is much less an indictment of Sparano than Parcells, Ireland, and those charged with GETTING that quarterback.

And please don't beat yourself up listening to the fans.

Sorry, guys, but in all honesty there is no dumber group of people on the planet.

You're wrong on just about everything and your 'draft analysis' is the stuff of pure comedy.

The Dolphins need change top to bottom but hopefully they'll tap into a higher IQ base than their fans (who are somewhere between 'cactus' and 'chair' on the intelligence scale)

For what it's worth, I'd like to see Fisher as the guy in charge of turning this around.

Sparano may be a nice guy and he was given a second chance, he failed, plain and simple...

Time for change

Armando who is to blame?

Neither Cowher nor Gruden nor Fisher are coming here...
There is no stockpile of draft picks cleverly accumulated...
Andrew Luck saw the beating that Moore took why in the world would he come here?

Draft picks will start at the following positions next season: QB, RT, RG, NT, OLB, FS

europe, sparano has played a HUGE role in the personnel decisions...for example, he was columbo's position coach in dallas, and brought in the worst right tackle in the nfl last year (at least statistically).

Got to love it when someone posts on the board that there isn't a dumber group than those that post on these boards...and he's posting on these boards...lol...

Mando __ I don't feel sorry for him, he makes millions.. Besides I'm sure him and Ireland assembled this 53 man roster and Sparano has to make some of the decision..


Sparano may or may not be a good man, but that's not what he's being paid for. It's to win games and he is a complete failure at it. He's not a good Head Coach PERIOD! I don't even believe he is a good offensive line coach. Our offensive line is horrendous and as the Head Coach he can build the o-line anyway he wants. Hand the reigns to Nolan for the rest of the season and bring in a new coach.

This is a PR nightmare and Ross looks oblivious to what is happening on the field. He looks weak, indecisive and inept. The players don't buy in, the coaches don't buy in and neither do the fans.

The best thing about Sparano keeping his job is that I get to read more great articles like this about what a great guy and great coach Tony Sparano is. I loved reading these kinds of articles about Dave Wannstedt, too. Thank you for making my evening, Armando.

cowher has already met with ross, he wanted full autonomy, ross didn't like that because he had faith in ireland...that has since changed...
so cowher is very much a possibility now...

Ross gave Ireland money to spend and he spent it on: Dansby, Marshall, Bush, Solai.
Salary cap reached.
No more spending.

...You have to put the blame on Sparano. Ultimatley it is his responsibility to get his players ready to play, and he has failed. This goes back to last year when this team folded in the second half of the season with a favorable schedule, and has continued. Each week the product is getting worse. Whatever coaching techniques, or motivational tools Sparano has tried are not working.

The team continues to struggle in the same areas, and get worse in spots where they were at least efficient. As mentioned earlier. Our marquee players have become non factors, almost liabilities. This fall squarely on the Shoulders of Sparano. Fair or not, this is life as an NFL head coach

i think salguero's point is that he is personally conflicted having to deal day-to-day with a man he has some affinity for, all the time knowing he is going to get the axe. i say, it would be a mercy killing to relieve sparano of his duties, and increase armando's satisfaction with his job in the long run.

Got to love it when someone posts on the board that there isn't a dumber group than those that post on these boards...and he's posting on these boards...lol...

Posted by: NICK M | October 18, 2011 at 01:34 AM


Good point.

Then again, I actually have a life and don't LIVE on these boards like somje folks apparently do.

And are they dumb? Yes. Spectacularly so. Their 'analysis' is the stuff of pure comedy (and the fact they actually take it seriously just elevates it to an even funnier level)

Great article Armando. Tony is a stand up guy and should have gotten coach of the year in 2008. He is still that coach- good point.

End-to-end or side-by-side?

Who wastes the time outs? Is it Jeff Ireland? Who decides to run out the clock with over a minute to play in a close ball game, with a timeout available? Jeff Ireland? Who punts the ball on 4th and 1 in Jets territory? Oh, that must be Jeff Ireland?

Sparano is a bad coach, but I can understand why you might think otherwise. You've been covering Dolphins football for so long that you forgot what good coaching looks like. It's okay, Armando, your buddy is going to get axed on January 2nd and you can write his coaching obituary and cry about what a great guy he is then.

this is totally a joke but i couldnt let it slide, but you sounded like Cam Cameron explaining why we drafted Ted Ginn and his family.

But i do see your point, but someone has to go and the whole fo top to bottom needs to be replaced. everyone needs a fresh start

I say keep him. It's the best chance we have to finish 0-16 and get Lucky.

Ross needs to put his big boy pants on and take control of this team once and for all. Al Davis would run his team into the ground but you know what? HE DID IT HIS WAY!
Ross needs to take on the same persona, his way or the highway, screw people's feelings, MAKE A WINNER OUT OF THE DOLPHINS ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Not worried about the nice head coach that can't win a quarter, never mind a game. Never mind the brown nosing GM that wins the owners affection and sells his so called friend Tony up the river.


cowher has already met with ross, he wanted full autonomy, ross didn't like that because he had faith in ireland...that has since changed...
so cowher is very much a possibility now...

Posted by: NICK M | October 18, 2011 at 01:36 AM


Please verify all that with links. Thanks.

Austin...no disagreement there either...as I said, Dead Man Walking....but he is set up for Life with all the money he has made, and probably catch on as an OL coach somewhere, some small college...I like him, but dont understand his calls, or Ireland's, or even Ross...unless the plan is to truly Suck for Luck...which has to be a major money loss for Ross...so i have a hard time believing that he is truly on board with losing so many fans on the hope that one guy will even be there for them at year's end...I just dont even see a small glimmer of light at the end of tunnel...we have become the Detroit Lions of old....

Yeah, it's Ross's fault for trying to upgrade his coach. Totally Ross's fault for trying to replace him with someone who isn't a complete buffoon. Clearly. If only evil Steve Ross hadn't tried to upgrade the head coaching position, Sparano would be leading an inspired Dolphins team to a 4-1 record right now. Absolutely.

well, it was widely reported that ross met with cowher...could be false is suppose...but it sounds like a reasonable conclusion on the part of nick m..

Have to agree. I am a joke. The fact that I think I know more about football than the pros is pure comedy. Hey maybe someone from the NFL will read this and see how smart I am. Now I will get back to sniffing my underwear.

..Nick M.

You may have your favorite guy. And you have an opinion about what we should do. But of the coaches you mentioned above. Which one of them in their right minds would come here in mid-season, into this dumpster fire? All of those guys would be an upgrade. But you have to be realistic about the situation. These guys are a fraternity, none of them would agree to come here on those terms.

It will either be Sparano for the remainder of the season, or an interim coach.

Darryl you need to be in my pants.

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