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Survey says Sparano unpopular but with what constituents?

On the face of it, Tony Sparano is not a popular coach.

According to a Sporting News survey of 111 players on 31 teams, the Dolphins coach finished second to Tom Coughlin among coaches players would least like to play for. Coughlin, of the New York Giants, got 22 votes while Sparano got 21 votes.

Dang it, lost again!

You'll read about this survey elsewhere in the media today and I wouldn't be surprised if Sparano is asked about it at his Friday press conference. But before folks start pounding on coach in the comments section, I must tell you why this survey is flawed and it doesn't really speak to Sparano's popularity among his players.

First, I know that I know that I know Sparano is very well liked among many of his players. Yes, there are a couple that cannot stand him. But mostly, the players in the Miami locker room like their coach and practically all have respect for their coach. That is what I know of the Miami locker room.

Secondly, the survey did not tally votes of players who could vote for their own coach. Players, in fact, were told not to vote for their own coach. So unless Shawn Murphy or Matt Roth -- two avowed Sparano haters -- are back on the roster, no one in the Miami locker room voted Sparano least liked.

Thirdly, the survey is obviously tilted in that the Dolphins were winless when the survey was done. Who on the outside looking in would want to play for an 0-7 coach? The results were bound to be negative for Miami's coach.

I'm telling you this so you see how what looks like damning and feels like an indictment is kinda sorta skewed toward getting a bad result. Now, I cannot account for Coughlin's victory. Nor can I account for Bill Belichick finishing third with 15 votes. But I don't have to. I don't get paid to cover the Giants or Patriots.

I do get paid, and handsomely I might add, to write columns in The Miami Herald. And today I wrote about, what else, Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley and Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden. My column is here and gives you perspective on where the Dolphins are likely to pick and what history says about the result they're likely to get.

[VIDEO ANNOUNCEMENT: I will be discussing my column, Sparano's popularity and a little conversation I had with a very interesting Dolphins player on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, today. You can watch the show streaming live right here. We'll also be discussing the Penn State scandal, the University of Miami game versus Florida State, the Marlins and other topics.]


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Well last week I heard/read that Miami would probably not be favored in any remaining games this season. Which seemed to stand to reason. Has so much changed because of one game that we're 4 point favorites? Seems a bit odd.

Posted by: Chris in the 623 | November 11, 2011 at 09:44 AM

The answer is in the question.

People are asking, "Why didn't Miami play this well at the beginning of the season? If they did things would be different."

I don't get what all of the fuss is all about. If you look at the effort this team gave in the opener against New England it was not different than the effort they gave against Kansas City.
They lost games against Cleveland, Denver and the Giants because they didn't give the effort consistently throughout the game.
The difference in the Kansas City game wasn't that they played so well as much as it was that the Chiefs played so poorly. Both of Fasano's touchdowns were due to bad defense. On the first one he was wide open in the endzone because nobody picked him up coming off the line. On the second touchdown he was wide open again because there was no help deep.
The only bonafide touchdown in the entire game was made by Reggie Bush on a very good run.
Miami sacked Matt Cassel five times but he was sacked fives times three weeks in a row before facing Miami. The Chiefs offensive line had yielded 15 sacks in three weeks. After facing Miami it was 20. Does that mean the Dolphins are finally getting pressure on the quarterback?
Let's not start getting all tangled up in our underwear over this last game.

Posted by: Professor Lou | November 10, 2011 at 01:45 PM

I'll repeat myself

we often snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory! no other team could have lost the denver game with a 15-0 lead with under 3 minutes to go!

LOL, sorry Spiderman. I wasn't posting the guys who post regularly, just the ones who post regularly who I've seen followed by blog trolls (though I think Joe/Craig might call each other a troll).

I haven't noticed any trolls on you. But you're another one with opinions, so I'm sure you'll get yours soon too.

Haha, Chris its true. Never seen a team feel so good about itself for being 1 and 7. Its disgusting.

The Redskins offense is 28th in the league in rushing and 17th in passing yards. They rank 27th in total points.
Their defense is 20th against the run and 11th against the pass. They rank 7th in points allowed.
Contrast to Miami which is 15th in the league rushing the ball and 24th in passing and 25th in scoring. The defense is 14th against the rush and 27th against the pass and 11th in scoring.
Looking at that one would expect the offensive game plan would be to give the Redskins a heavy dose of Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas and the defensive game plan would be to put major pressure on John Beck, who has proven nothing to this point, and force him into making bad decsions.
We'll see how it plays out on Sunday.

Glad to see Daniel Thomas play 2 games in a row

I always like to say, "If you're patting yourself on the back about what you did yesterday, you haven't done much today."

Here's another one Lou. A pat on the back is only 18 inches away from a kick in the arse.

Here's another one Lou. A pat on the back is only 18 inches away from a kick in the arse.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | November 11, 2011 at 10:36 AM

....and, for some, it's even closer than that.

The blog is slow today.

This is the problem with our fan base. The team puts an entire game together, almost to perfection, and STILL don't get any love.

What more do you guys need to see to believe? MULTIPLE GOOD GAMES? What, Moore leading the NFL QBs in QBR 2 weeks in a row? Bush putting back-to-back good games together? Sparano and the coaching staff outsmarting the opposing team TWICE?

I mean, geesh. Have some faith. Hasn't this FO done enough to at least deserve that?

Also Mark, you're not looking at it right. Sure, we're 1-7. But we put up 31 points last week. That means if we duplicated that all season, we'd be 7-1 instead of 1-7.

Now doesn't that sound a lot better?

And if it rained candy and nuts then every day would be Christmas.

I'm just wondering how we can snatch defeat from the hands of victory this week...

BTW, Armando, you forgot to mention Ricky Williams is the dislike of the FG Fistpumper!

Only half of us want the Dolphins to look like a winning team right now anyway. We are currently a very confused fanbase.

A winning culture is everything. I would like the Dolphins to be known as a team that busted their arses off everygame going into next season, so when we are starting fresh people might actually want to play on this team next year.

And before I get attacked......save all the "Needing a franchise QB" attacks. I want to draft a QB with our first pick too, preferably one of the top 2 QB's. If we play hard and still get that, I would be thrilled. I just want to see the team playing hard to the very end, with heart.

The top 2 QB free agents this off-season will be Henne and Orton.
Who else?

Ohio, double-edged sword though. If they play hard, and STILL get beat (like 3-13, something like that), then you would expect the new HC to clean house (and who would blame him thinking there's no talent on the team).

If they throw in the towel (if we go back on a losing streak), then the next HC might think this year was an anomaly and might retain the serviceable players (which you and I probably believe there's a decent amount).

Of course, nobody can replace 53 players in 1 year, so the turnover can only be so large, but I'm not sure how many players on a 1-15, 2-14 team deserve to come back anyway.


Can anyone else see Henne going to Washington next season as free agent?

A team without a good quarterback is like a hand without a thumb. You may pick up a quarter every now and then but it will be difficult to do it consistently.

...Looking forward to a fine birthday celebration tonight. Here is a tip for anyone that finds themselves in Montana wanting a steak.. Land of Magic Supper Club in Trident MT. By far the best steakhouse in the state. I cannot wait to sample tonights board of faire. Also discard any that tell you Sir Scotts Oasis is the nuts...It is the tourist destination..And has no top shelf scotch.

Football talk.. Lets say the unthinkable happens and the Dolphins win out. They still miss the playoffs. Does this save Sparano's job?

Football talk.. Lets say the unthinkable happens and the Dolphins win out. They still miss the playoffs. Does this save Sparano's job?

Posted by: Darryl Dunphy | November 11, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Only if Ross wants to file for bankruptcy

Darryl, Thats like asking will Sandusky be analy rape in jail.

Happy Bday DD!!!

If I ever find myself in Montana, I WILL BE THE STEAK!!! I'll leave the heartland to you fine people.

I'm a coastal boy, always was, always will be.

However, I currently see absolutely no way Sparano keeps his job. No matter what he does. He pretty much knows it too. It's just a matter of time until he's relieved of his duties. I don't give him past Jan. 2.

Also DD, far be it from me to tell you, but steak isn't good for you bro.

Do like me, give up the red meat for good! Pork too.

Chicken, turkey and fish. Your arteries will appreciate it.

Yea I see that DC. And I'm fine with whatever cleaning house the next group would want to do.

I just don't want our mediocrity over the past decade to turn into the next decade becoming the next Lions of old, with multiple years as a downright horrible team.

I just think as fans we should be careful what we wish for when hoping to lose.........we may just get what we want, but for much longer than we wanted it

DC....Thanks for the tip.. Actually I don't eat a lot of cow. Hardly any actually. I do eat a lot of game meat which is not pumped full of hormones, and is rich in vitamins minerals, and heart friendly. The Land of Magic buys and butchers their own cows. they are all local and have not seen a shelf in a wherehouse..Good stuff. Oh they do have fresh Maine Lobster, and duck..lol

I don't know if Sparano doesn't deserve to keep his job if he wins out. It is easy to say now because the scenario is so unlikely. But remember Fisher started 0-7 a few years ago, The titans won like 8 straight to just barely miss the playoffs. He saved his job that season. I know it didn't work out(some may say they should have fired him anyway..you could be right).. I'm by no means supporting Sparano. I just think it makes the choice difficult should he pull this off.

...@11:37. I don't know if Sparano doesn't ????Sorry about the double negative..That sounded bad.

Miami's Schedule the remainder of the season after Washington. Not sure if winning out should even be discussed right now.....



Another excellent post. You are really becoming the blog king. I kneel down to you.

Maybe I'll start my own blog for the Dolphins :) ........I hosting the current blog I have going


What's bad about red meat is the hormones and antibiotics. Cows are not meant to eat corn, when they do, they develop infections, so they are injected full of antibiotics. It's sick.

You can find grass fed beef and organic beef which has far less fat, much easier to digest, and much healthier overall.

No way Sparano deserves to keep his job. No way does running the table from here make it remotely difficult to fire him. He held the longest losing streak in the NFL and the worst home record as well. He is routinely outcoached. He plays too many games with no guts. 2008 was a fluke. He has gone 3 losing seasons in a row and the team routinely under achieves. He is a total and complete loser that will never get another HC gig.

We wasted another 4 years with this FO. Time to move on. The risk/reward ratio of keeping Sparano is extremely low, possibly zero.

Did aby one know where Dying Breed is ?

Did any one

Nothing personal against Sparano. Just not qualified.

Ohio, that was a fake DC @ 11:57. The gay one I guess.

But I concur anyway with what fake DC (troll) said.

Ohio, that was a fake DC @ 11:57. The gay one I guess.

But I concur anyway with what fake DC (troll) said.

Sorry, that was me twice (the real one). Mac issues.

Why would a loser read posts on a blog that he feels come from a bunch of jobless/underemployed/unambitious aging losers?


AND THAT'S REALITY, LOLOLOL!!! Too bad for you loser.

12:15, post of the day!!


I didn't think that sounded like you DC.

Thanks anyways though.

PS: The blog seems to be a little out of sorts today

They should poll people that matter. OUR players, OUR fans. But when you do so, give them a choice. Don't just say "DO you want to play for Sparano?". Say, would you rather play for Sparano, or Fisher/Cowher/Gruden/Whoever. THEN see what the poll says. Players are loyal and stand up for each other, and most players will tell you losing is on the players, and they control their own destiny. But that's a warrior's code thing, and not necessarily the truth. Give them a choice, and THEN see whom they choose.

Oscar you are an idiot for those comments wrong is wrong punk.

was a big supporter of TS from the beginning but a 10 game regular season skid is ridiculous. Time to move on.

JS, it's a dumb idea to poll the players ANYWAY. If Coughlin was most disliked to play for, then that means players only care about getting off easy and getting paid. Because Coughlin is only one of a few coaches who's won a SB this decade (or last actually). So players obviously aren't saying they want to win a SB.

I don't get to pick who my manager is. Or my CEO, so why even ask the personnel who they like as their boss? Just a dumb idea all the way around.

Sparano is loved by his guys (that's well documented). He's also not been to the Playoffs since '08. So what if he's loved, he doesn't know how to produce winning teams, and for the fans, that's all we care about.

Superlative Flying Totally Under The Radar vs Chiefs:

Anyone noticed Sparano called not one bad timeout?

It's amazing how great overall team play covers a many coaching sins!

Guys my 40 hour coffee break is almost up. But I can squeeze in some more blogging still.

To wrong is Human, you MF; Justice is something else, you Classic As-hole.

Chiefs Game Proved One Most Important Thing:

When the team plays well even Sparano cant fvck it up!

Please, let me concentrate on playing my Ponies(I have enough in my mind trying to prevent a nuclear conflagration that will erase the Middle East from the Map and so increase temperatures here that we will have to swim for survival).

f**k YOU IMMIGRANT.Go let Fidel molest you.

Today's Armando article was about being able to take the 2nd best qb in the draft.

My problem with that is if Dansby/Burnett truly have finally gelled together. The defense will be far more formiddable than earlier. Even despite what should still at times be shoddy fs play.

Now add that with what could be above average offensive play. The coaches have finally figured how to best utilize Bush, the oline as a whole seem to be emerging as a unit, Daniel Thomas is now healthy, Clay's becoming billed as expected upon drafting him.

Im not even going to mention how all of this translates into possibly making Matt Moore much improved(147.3 qb rating; Afc Offensive Player Of The Week). Guys, nothing's yet written in stone, but this could possibly lead to a 5-3 final 8 game record. Meaning a 6-10 2011 final record.

So that may translate into 3rd best qb in the draft at best. For this I would trade down for an extra 2nd rd pick and grab Kellen Moore.

The SMF,

I think Henne will wind up either in Denver, Seattle or Washington as a 1 year starter until the QB they draft is ready to play.

Or, in Indy, Jacksonville or Arizona as a backup.

Remember You heard it here First:

Kellen Moore could possibly emerge as the mostb consistent and well rounded qb of this entire draft. You cant coach what he has and being 3inches or more taller doesnt give it to you.

Sparano is the same kind of Italian trash that makes so many parts of the Northeast unlivable, like most of New Jersey. These are Southern Italians, from Sicily and Cambria, and they are a lower class of people with less education and culture.

The Northern Italians know this. It is tragic that so many Southern Italians came to this country.

Posted by: Termini

Has anyone told you lately, that you're an idiot? Just curious!

The next jersey I'm buying is Andrew Lucks.


Trade up and get a QB to root for the next 15 yrs.

Joe your a idiot.


I agree that the polling itself is dumb, and has no value, but I was making a point that virtually NO players ever bad mouth their own coaches, and are always behind whoever the guy is currently wearing the headset. And the QB jersey for that matter too. The warrior code is upheld. You hear locker room rumblings, and it usually ends there.
I could care less if the coach is liked personally as long as his players understand him, and play for him. And the coach is actually good at being a HC. Sparano isn't. He's good at something, but I don't know precisely what it is.

Don't you need to wash Hennes car or something?

Andy Luck is the only definitive day one starter as a qb in this draft. Barkley's 50/50, but overall you might be getting a Mark Sanchez clone.

Landry and RGIII definitely both need to sit and learn the nfl game at least one season.

So if at best, we get Barkley(could be a Sanchez clone), and Landry/RGIII definitely have to sit. Why not trade down to get a guy(Kellen Moore) who has a great chance to be as good or greater pro than all of these are?

Especially if we can at least grab an extra 2nd rd'er to boot.

Yesterday's Gone,
K. Moore is Flutie, plain and simple. Accurate, smart, consistent, and valuable enough to try if he's cheap. But I seriously doubt a 5'-11" QB can see past 6-6 linemen under duress. He'll have unconquerable limits and will not be capable of being a Hall-of-Famer. That's the guy you pick up in the 3rd round and say what-the-heck. But not a first rounder unfortunately. But yeah, he will be successful somewhere. Just always a notch below, though, I predict.

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