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Tony Sparano fired:The press conference

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and general manager Jeff Ireland sat side-by-side at a desk in front of the Dolphins main meeting room moments ago and announced the firing of coach Tony Sparano and hiring of interim coach Todd Bowles.

Neither Sparano nor Bowles were at the press conference.

First things first, Ross confirmed my report from Sunday that Ireland will remain the general manager going forward. So secure is Ireland that Ross said the next coach must be able to work with Ireland and not have a conflict with Ireland.

Ross spent a lot of time praising Sparano, "who has really been a wonderful person and done a wonderful job with the Miami Dolphins," the owner said. Nonetheless, Ross cited "the best interest of the Miami Dolphins," as the reason for firing Sparano now.

Ross said there has been much "distraction and speculation" regarding whether Sparano would stay or go. "I think in the interest of the football team and the development of this team,' Ross said, "this is the time to make this change."

Ross said the final decision to fire Sparano now came this morning. He said Sparano "wasn't happy about" the decision to fire him now. Having said that, the Dolphins knew long ago that Sparano was likely out at the end of the season and Sunday's 26-10 loss to Philadelphia sealed the coach's fate.

Ross said the Dolphins record is "not indicative of what the team is capable of. The foundation is there to build a winning team."

Ross said Bowles will be interviewed for the head coaching job once his interim time is complete. Bowles, who is black, would help the Dolphins fulfill the NFL's Rooney Rule requirement for filling coaching vacancies.

"I'd like to find a young Don Shula if that's possible," Ross said.

Ross said he has not had conversations with Carl Peterson relative to his friend taking over the Dolphins as an executive vice president of football operations as ESPN report.

It was interesting to me that Ireland was so prominent in this presser. He has not spoken to the media this year -- a fact that has torqued me off quite a bit, as readers of this blog know.

Ireland will be part of the search for the head coach.

"Obviously, you're looking for experience and the best candidate out there," Ireland said. "I want someone who's been in the trenches before -- someone with some of the same qualities I saw in Tony -- a guy who is a tireless worker, a guy who understands both offense and defense."

Ireland had not until today taken responsibility publicly for the 4-9 team that Miami is today. Yes, Ross believes the team is more talented than the record. But, come on! They're 4-9!

"We all feel responsibility for what happened today, we all do," Ireland said. "This is a game of winning and when you don't win, you feel responsible for that. I have responsibility in it. Mr. Ross has responsibility in it. Our players have responsibilty. Ultimately, Tony had the ultimate responsibility."

Ireland said he's "not happy about being part of this decision that Mr. Ross and I made together." But added, he's looking to finding the next coach for the franchise.


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"G", I agree with your view on Petersen, but I believe his main responsibility will be to fill seats at the Stadium; he has a good track record at that. I also believe that the Cowher thing has been a done deal for sometime now.

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 12, 2011 at 08:31 PM

I concur with you OC... I also base the potential "done deal" on the organization leaks earlier this season that Ross was actively talking with Cowher.

I hope this materializes into hiring Cowher.

I mean, if I was Peyton, I would retire, and go into Broadcasting. Yes?

Thanks for the 11-5 season after the dreadful 1-15. Sparano is not the only problem just part of the bigger problem.............poor uncommitting ownership. Our culture has never been the same since Shula left. As a lifelong Fin fan i hate to say it but were in for a long ride to mediocrity. I will also support my team to the dire end win or lose. Good luck to Sparano he did appear to be an honorable man and to me thats more important than winning and losing.

It's been fun gents but I'm out of here for MNF.

We will get another opportunity of what a stable organization the Steelers are and hopefully bring that to the Dolphins.

have fun.

NY "G"

Hi Odin:
I have a different opinion, I think Ireland will not have a total control in the search and hire of a new HC, because of Carl Peterson. Take for instance Colombo. May be his acquisition, was on Ireland, But not to cut him, or worst, starting him, was on Sparano.

You guys shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that every potential coach out there shares your own opinions on Ireland (or anything else Dolphins-related, for that matter). It's likely they don't at all, actually.

I know the tendency on a blog like this is for people to project their own views onto situations they have no say or involvement with, but the reality is that the NFL is a pretty small club that you and I are decidely not invited to join, and never will be.

These guys all know each other, and it's likely to near certain any candidate out there already knows Jeff Ireland---and quite possibly still thinks of him as the rising young brain he was viewed as just a couple of years ago.

And then again, maybe not. But don't assume you KNOW, because the truth is you don't.

Just kidding on the Steelers part..

OMFG Ross is a totally clueless idiot!! You dont fire the only reason the players are playing well, you fire the idiot in the front office. Sparano made his mistakes, but damn it he will be a great HC sooner than later and now it wont be with us, BUT we're stuck with the dumbest, worst GM in the NFL and his job is secure.

It's pretty obvious why you make this move now. Two teams have already fired their coach this year. Ross was late to the party last year with Harbaugh and has learned you don't conduct a coaching search while still having a coach under contract. Why let these teams get a jump on the interview process when you know you're firing Sparano anyways. Make the move know and start the long process to get the next head coach.

Tony, you're a class act and you took this team from 1-15 to the greatest tournaround in NFL history. Unfortunately, there weren't enough wins to keep you around further. Good luck with all future endeavours. Be proud of the '08 accomplishments.

We might as well trade away that second round pick. It's going to be a shizz acorn.

We were born of Intrigue and raised by Conspiracy, dan.

Last week was the first week we had 3 TO's going into the 4th quarter. I couldn't believe it.

Never generalize on Internet, dan. Lessee, instead of people say most people, or you will get your a-s chewed.

Awful game tonight that I just can't muster the interest to watch, but I have to say Seattle may have the best home crowd in the game.

That place is bedlam for a 5-7 also-ran team. Truly great fans. I wish we had half as much enthusiasm and noise in the stands.

Good point, Oscar! And agreed.

BTW, Arrrmando, in the Big Scheme of Things, Football is only a particle. But not so is Internet and its free flowing expressions. But I guess you know what you're doing. No?

Pastor Gladstone, sorry, but I'll be dressing up as a traditional 'Christmas Wolverine' this year. No erection for you, I'm afraid.

Idiots all!!

Loss to Philly ended the respectabilty run for Sparano and the team after a dreadful start. We don't totally suck. Now, Phins can go back to the business of losing to improve draft selections. Sparano fired now out of respect for the guy as ownership wants to tank for the rest of the season. 2nd and 3rd stringers from here out "to see what they can do." See you at the draft . . .

My cousin Clorox Jones be coming out in the draft next year. He good. My other cousin Listerine Davis also be coming out. He good too.

Fu-k you, Pastor.

Oooh. Would you?

It is my firm belief, dan, that if you put a consistently winning Team on that Field, Dolphin's Fans will out# the "others".

To piggy back on the previous posters entry, the people saying that no one will want to coach here because of Ireland are all fools who obviously know little about NFL coaching.

1. Cowher doesn't even want to coach. So of course he's going to turn down any team that needs a coach that isn't in the playoffs. It's already been stated that even if he were to come backt he would lean heavily toward a ready made team. He obviously doesn't have the patience for any kind of project.

2. How did Ireland get this label of being a GM that no coach will work with? Only in here do I read that nonsense so it must have something to do with Armando's dislike for Ireland. You guys DO realize this is an OPINION based blog right? Armando has written plenty of opinions and plenty of facts. I think some of you guys are getting the two mixed up.

If he stays we will still get a good coach. There are only 32 jobs to head coach an NFL team in the entire world,,,,,,32! Of those 32 jobs there may be,,,possibly,,4 at the most open at the end of the season. You think a head coach or hot young assistant is going to turn down the chance to bring Miami back to it's former glory? An organization with history like our Dolphins? For pete's sake we're not the Seahawks! This is the Miami f***ing Dolphins!

I don't care what they've done for the past decade, that doesn't erase ONLY 12 LOSING SEASONS IN 45 FREAKING YEARS. It doesn't erase 5 conference championships, 5 superbowl appearances and 2 wins, 13 division championships,and 22 playoff appearances, and the only undefeated season in NFL history! Sorry, as much as some of you want the Dolphins to be a laughing stock they are not. They are a still respected organization with tons of history.

We will get a good coach and he will be psyched to take the job. And I really think Fisher is the right guy at the right time so I hope Ross is already talking to his agent.


Awful game tonight that I just can't muster the interest to watch, but I have to say Seattle may have the best home crowd in the game.

That place is bedlam for a 5-7 also-ran team. Truly great fans. I wish we had half as much enthusiasm and noise in the stands.

Posted by: dan | December 12, 2011 at 08:58 PM

And they are still 3-3 at home.

I really like Fisher as well, Phins. I've wanted him in Miami for YEARS as a matter of fact.

Super disciplined and smart guy. There's no guarantees with ANYBODY, but I think Fisher is about as close as there is to a sure thing.

Cowher? He'd be fine but I also think he's not long for the sideline IF he returns. I don;t want someone with one eye on returning to the cushy TV booth if everything doesn't work out perfectly at first.

I talk to Fisher first if I'm making that call.

Stephen Ross and Jeff Ireland are jokes! I suggest to all Dolfans,go find another team to root for GO TEBOW!

"I'd like to find a young Don Shula if that's possible" REALLY? Ross just fired him!!! Dumbass didn't even have the balls to let Sparano finish the last 3 games with his team. This isn't about Sparano being a distraction. It's about Ross wanting the tean to lose the next 3 games for a high draft pick. ROSS HAS NO HONOR NO PRIDE NO RESPECT... GOOD LUCK MIAMI WITH THIS TOOL CALLING THE SHOTS. NOW IT"S GONE FROM BAD TO WORSE

So you're 2-10 and you decide that you are going to play your starting quarterback who just came back from being injured and risk the chance of him getting injured again in a game that means absolutely nothing.
Spagnuolo will be next.

In 1983, Fisher had suffered a broken leg on a punt return[1] when he was tackled by then-Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Bill Cowher, the future head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coincidentally the two became rivals as head coaches beginning in the AFC Central in 1995; Fisher's Oilers/Titans squads came out with an 11-7 record against Cowher's Steelers.

Fisher is going to SD as soon as they let Norv go.

Cowher and Luck is what this team needs.


With you Phins78.
Old timer like DB / YG but still believe in the Fins.

Ireland's plan for next year - give Dallas all our draft picks and then sign whoever they cut

Lastly, we are currently in the 6th spot of the 2012 draft. The Redskins are the only team that truly needs a QB. Indy,Minny,St.Louis,and Tampa Bay all are set or just drafted a qb.

Bradford is the man in St. Louis, they need to surround him with better talent. Tampa Bay has Freeman, no need to draft a qb that high. Indy in no way is positive they will draft a QB with their 1st. When they get Peyton back they could go to 4 more championships before they even think about getting a replacement. They could draft an impact player #1 for defense or trade down and pick up two first rounders and a third to restock the trenches.Nothing is positive in Indy.

Washington and maybe Minny, even though they just drafted Ponder are the only two teams that would take someone and Minny isn't even for sure. So we could end up taking the 2nd to 4th best qb prospect in my estimates. Anything could change but I just wanted to point this out for the naysayers who think ALL of the QBs will be gone by the time we draft.

Rams,Minny,and Indy will stay 1,2, and 3. The Dolphins could still end up with the 4th pick if they ,,,,lose out,,,AND Carolina,Clev,Jax,TB,and Wash all win at least one of their last three.

Tony Sparano is going to be the next head coach of San Diego. Who the hell would want to go to Kansas City?
I took a flight to Kansas once and, when we were coming in for a landing, I thought we landing in a wheat field.
We passed the stadium on the way to the hotel. There's nothing there. The hotel we stayed at had a bar in the lobby. It was the strangest trip I was ever on.

Allllllllriiiiiiight Moneyman13!!!!!!!!!! :)


Stephen Ross --- get rid of this buffoon. You are embarrassing yourself announcing the firing of your head coach when the man sitting next to you is worse then the coach you just fired!

You think ANY coach would want Jeff Ireland to be their GM?

Jeff Ireland needs to go. The fans are MAD. Keeping Ireland around has made us ANGRIER. Good luck selling tickets next year.

Sizing up the competition:

Browns 4-9 and heading into games with Arizona, Baltimore and Pittsburgh are set to go 4-12.

Jaguars 4-9 and heading into games with Atlanta, Tennessee and Indianapolis are looking at one more win to go 5-11.

more later.
Redskins 4-9 played admirably against New England but they pulled out all of the stops and probably beat themselves up going into the game against the Jets at New York. With their last two opponents being Minnesota and Philadelphia they look to go 5-11.

Posted by: Professor Lou | December 12, 2011 at 06:27 AM

You think ANY coach would want Jeff Ireland to be their GM?

Posted by: IrelandSucks | December 12, 2011 at 09:40 PM

You have no idea whatsoever which coaches would or wouldn't work with Ireland. You are just a mad fan on a blog with no perspective or inside knowledge. Getting an chance to be a Head Coach is pretty sweet. Many may know Ireland and be comfortable with him. You don't know jack.

Cowher comes from Marty Schottenheimers coaching tree.

People come armed with opinions based on nothing but blog chat and soon believe they know the scoop.

Hey Dilbert,
Cowher would be coaching the Dolphins NOW if Ross would have fired Sparano last year and told him he didn't have to keep Ireland.

Sure maybe some coach with no coaching experience would take Ireland because it is the only chance they have. But NO ONE like Cowher, Fisher, Gruden, or anyone else of any stature is going to come coach the team with Ireland.

Ireland is a loser, a complete buffoon and has no people skills. Plus he is a terrible evaluator of talent. That is a fact.

Get real.

I don't know who I hate more: Tom Olivadotti or Weasel Ireland. They both got that type of face you want to punch.

I'm so pissed at Ross for keeping Ireland that I hope Cowher and all those "star" coaches stick it to him - telling him that they won't work with that weasel!

You don't know that at all. All you know is a rumor that contact was made about discussing it. Where it would have gone nobody knows.

Cowher has not interviewed for any coaching position since he has been in tv, so who is to say he would have come here when he didn't even go anywhere else.

Sizing up the competition - part II:

Carolina 4-9 is the wildcard. With games remaining against Houston, Tampa and New Orleans could they win the first 2? Wishfull thinking. Carolina goes 5-11 with a win against Tampa.

Tampa 4-9 has remaining games against Dallas, Carolina and Atlanta and wins none to go 4-12.

Buffalo 5-8 looks to go winless in their last 3 with games against Miami, Denver and New England. How pathetic has Buffalo become? They lost to San Diego 37-10. Buffalo 5-11 and they win the tiebreaker against Miami. Anyone think Fitzpatrick is a franchise quarterback? Now the Dolphins have to compete against Buffalo for a qb.

Kansas City 5-8 has remaining games against Green Bay (loss), Oakland (loss) and Denver (loss) to go 5-11.

So, it is going to be a big cluster. The situation becomes extremely murky with the scenarios above.


Instead of blowing smoke show us one piece of evidence that says Cowher Gruden and Fisher won't work with Ireland. YOu are pulling that out of a hat.

Show us some verifiable source of information instead of wild guessing based on your emotions.


Instead of blowing smoke show us one piece of evidence that says Cowher Gruden and Fisher won't work with Ireland. YOu are pulling that out of a hat.

Show us some verifiable source of information instead of wild guessing based on your emotions.

Posted by: Dilbert | December 12, 2011 at 09:55 PM

I don't think someone like Gruden carries enough weight to demand he work with a different GM but you can see Ross giving someone like Cowher the keys to the franchise should he request it. Cowher is the type of guy who would like to control the situation so, if he works with Ireland, he probably gets first right of refusal on any players brought in through the draft or free agency.

Hey Dilbert,
Thanks for the compliments! I can tell you are a real fan. Of course everyone wants to be a coach for the Dolphins with me as there GM! Since I fired Tony this morning, I have gotten calls from hundreds of candidates. I can't of course reveal their names, but I promise you they all have at some point and time been members of the Dallas Cowboys organization and their mom's wont be prostitutes. I promise everyone the real problem with this team is the coaching. Columbo should have been an all-pro this year. I ask Sparano (an offensive line Guru) to get him back to the pro-bowl and he doesn't. Epic fail. It is all Tony's fault. See you later Tony! Why isn't someone on here called "SparanoSucks!" I figure you all would be throwing a party!

Anyways, thanks for the support and go fins! And don't give up on Chad Henne yet. He is a future hall of famer. See how good Ted Ginn is playing now? Don't give up on Henne, let's give him another 3-4 years. Oh, and I won't be drafting a QB in round one. Everyone is expecting us too! I will show them how smart I am!!!

Fins Up!



P.S. Thanks to Mr. Ross for all of the support. I also appreciate the knee pads you got me for the Holidays! Happy Holidays everyone!!

Ireland! you should be next on the chopping block!!

So let me get this straight: Ireland defended Sparano last year when Ross went to Harbaugh with flowers and chocolate. He told Ross that he believes Sparano was the best man for the job. So now Ross cuts Sparano but keeps the guy who gave him the bad advice. I think Ireland prostituted his mother to save his behind.




Yahoo! Sparano is gone!! We are going to the Super Bowl now!! I am so happy!! Yahoo!

Miami Dolphins,
Miami Dolphins,
Miami Dolphins #1


(No, this isnt anyone from the Dolphins organization)

#1 owner in all of sports!!

Thanks Stephen, you are the best!!


So glad they are keeping Jeff Ireland. He is such an awesome GM. What a great pick Mike Pouncey in the first round. Rock solid. He is building the foundation of a great nucleus of players. Jeff Ireland is the best!!


Keep up the great work!!

FINS #1!!

Arrowhead Stadium is in Missouri, not Kansas.

I think you need an atlas.

WTF?!?!?! Did we get a living version of Al Davis to run our beloved team into the ground?!!?? No wait it's the Jones family giving us advice and sending us more losers in trades!!!!! F**K we'll never see a winning team in Miami again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Missouri, Kansas; who gives a rats azs. It's all the same to me.


HC picks if available.

1)Tony Dungy
2)Herm Edwards
3)Rob Chudzinski
4)Mike Shula

If you want the Dolphins to have the best opportunity at getting a "name" guy like Fisher (my choice) or Cowher, then you need to keep an eye on what other jobs may open as well.

Don't discount the Cowboys in the mix. If Jones dumps Garrett I GUARANTEE you he will make a push for Fisher. As a matter of fact, he tried to hire him away from Tennessee a few years ago.

The Chargers job would also be attractive. It doesn't take a genius to figure out inheriting Philip Rivers over a total unknown situation (barring Peyton Manning coming in) makes that a better situation---plus the fact that franchise will very likely be relocating to Los Angeles and the excitement of being part of a fresh start in a media center.

Just saying from OUR perspective, there are some jobs we need to hope DON'T open up.

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