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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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I would be concerned that Cowher or Gruden would pull a Jimmy Johnson. Johnson loved Florida and he treated his time in Miami like he was more concerned with his retirement than with coaching the team.
Go after someone who is going to be hungry to win and will be a leader. Chudzinski as well as Moss would be good choices. Of course, everyone knows my choice, David Shaw, but I would rather see guys who excel in their positions be given an opportunity.
We've been down that road before with Wanny, Saban and Johnson. Then they bring in Parcells and blow the roof off the place. The names haven't worked. Go with someone new.

Why keep Ireland. He hasn't drafted anybody or brought in anybody.

Anyone who thinks this coach or that coach won't come here because of who the owner is or who the GM is are living in a dream world, these coaches are just as greedy as the players and they will go anywhere the big dollars are no matter who's in charge

ALoco, at least Flipper Breed doesn't type the same old thing for six months at a time.
Think of something new to say.

And go make all of us some mint tea.

HC picks if available.

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

Posted by: Swamy | December 12, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Herm Edwards?

The crack heads have arrived!

All is vanity.

"So secure is Ireland that Ross said the next coach must be able to work with Ireland and not have a conflict with Ireland."

I know this isn't a direct quote from Ross. But doesn't this imply that Sparano and Ireland didn't see eye to eye?

HC picks if available.

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

Posted by: Swamy | December 12, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Herm Edwards?

The crack heads have arrived!

Posted by: Stop smoking crack - it's killing you | December 12, 2011 at 10:28 PM

May as well throw Jim Mora into the mix.

Hopefully the next coach isn't some shut-in, smelly, semi-literate lardass like most of you guys.

The Rams are probably happy they have McDaniels as their OC. They are reaping the rewards of having a Belichek disciple as a coach on their team.

The Rams kicked two field goals tonight and I didn't see a fist pump on either of them from Spagnuolo.

Blah, blah, blah...Ireland hires Rob Ryan because he's a "personality" which takes the focus off him. Right now Miami Dolphin fans need to worry more about teams like Washington and Seattle finishing above them in the draft.

Trade for Tebow!!! Our #1,5,6,7 SHOULD DO IT! We will be the BIG WINNERS! Elway doesn't believe Tebow is the answer and will look to deal him! If we offer up a top 10 pick with some low rounders it will get it done! We don't need to get OL with Tebow running everything in front of him over, we keep the 2nd rounder and get a T.E. We can also get R.B. in FA with W.R. The Defense is fine get TEBOW!! TEBOW!! TEBOW!! TEBOW!! TEBOW!! TEBOW!!

Urban Meyer would be the perfect new HC for the Dolphins after we trade for TEBOW!! TEBOW!! TEBOW!!



I Know Youre All In Denial But:

1. The Dolphins died when Joe Robbie died.
2. The Franchise's funeral was Shula's firing
3. Garbage Magnate Wayne huizenga did what he does best. Disposed of the garbage.

Guys, the signs have always been there. We've just chosen to ignore them!

I love that BIG Goofy Bible thumping Jesus Freak!!!!!!!!!!TEBOW!!!!!!!!!!!TEBOW!!!!!!!!!!TEBOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seattle won't be finishing ahead in the draft. Washington probably will and no doubt is also looking QB.

By the way, there is NO consensus on Robert Griffin. I've seen some rank him top 5, others saying he's a total project who would be a HUGE reach that high.

I'm not saying you guys are right or wrong about him, only that you really don't have a clue. If you did, Brady Quinn would be an established, rising star right now!

Ross looks like a junkyard dog on crack in the face. Looks like a seriously undernourished pit bull.

Joe Robbie would have traded for Tebow and had the forsight to see that Urban Meyer and the spread are the wave of the future and here to stay!!!!!TEBOW!!!!!!!!!!!TEBOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!TEBOW!!!!!!!!!!

Ross, you made one good move but also a bad one, you kept the most inept GM in the league: ireland. he needs to be fired now. there is a reason why there is no great talent on this team

Ross looks like Inspector Gadget's Dad on Acid, GO GO Tebow boosters!!!!!!!!




Mr. Y. Gone,

Your wrong 110% Sir, we will trade the pick for TEBOW!!! You watch, Elway will draft the next USC bust in the real clown face Barkley while the Fins get some divine TEBOW intervention!!

I guess Christmas came early for Dolfans. Hallelujah sweet Jesus!

Now, WTF is wrong with Ross for keeping Ireland around? I don't like Tony but I don't like Ireland throwing him under the bus either. They both need to be thrown under a bus towing a bus.

Let's look at this realistically. I'm not a big fan of coaches who have been out of the game more than 2 or 3 years. Fisher never got it done either with the Titans.

So who really is out there worth getting? Do the Harbaughs have any more kids?

Next year when TEBOW is the Q.B. we will have Christian ROCK at the stadium during games also some good Baptist choir hymns, OH HAPPY DAYS!!

I'm gonna throw this out there. I would entertain Rob Ryan as the new head coach. I think discipline is what this team needs.

Jim and John Harbaugh have a dad or didn't you see the Thanksgiving day games Suckrano?? The next HC will be Urban Meyer though, watch Ross will get it right and trade for TEBOW reuniting him with his Coach, OH HAPPY DAYS!!!

LOL Smoking the Tebow Pipe. Funny thing is, they already preparing the superbowl halftime show to honor Tebow. Its all rigged for ratings.

Why have Madonna singing at the half time show without singing "Like a Virgin?" They already planning on Tebow being in the superbowl next year.

Its all rigged!

That's why I asked if they had other children. I would take Jill Harbaugh if they had one.


You mean TEBOW will sing Like a Virgin while wearing his purity ring?? That would be so inspiring for todays youth!! They should invite the Great Christian Rock bands like A Band called David, Big Tent Revival, Echoing Angels or Halo United!!


Yea, a young Don Shula. Not the old one who got soft and kept Tom Olivadotti around when Marino and company were putting 35 to 40 points a game only to be outscored by the oppontent 36 to 41 points a game.

Mr. Y.Gone,

We need some divine TEBOW Intervention

TEBOW 3:16

I think Tony Sparano earned the right to be fired, but you'll have to excuse me if I don't join some of you guys in the hatefest directed at him.

Sparano is a good and decent man who clearly poured his heart into the job. Maybe that doesn't mean anything to you, but it does to me.

And despite some of you calling him a "moron" or "clueless" or whatever the fact of the matter is that Sparano simply joins a LONG list of assistants who couldn't get it done as the head guy. A list that includes Dolphins legends like Bill Arnsparger, by the way. There's no crime in that.

Tony Sparano will have a job in football next year. You won't.

Rob Ryan?

Yeah, that was some "discipline" the Cowboys defense showed last night in a crucial game when they gave up FIVE HUNDRED YARDS offense to the Giants and blew a 15-point lead with three minutes to play.

Oh, that's right. He's on TV a lot and has cool hair.

Preach it, tj! Ryan is a fraud, totally agreed!


Like you, Im not celebrating Sparano's dismissal. Yes he partially deserved it, but how can anyone in his right mind say Ireland gave him the very best pieces that have been available the last 3-4yrs.

How the hell can anyone in thier right man think Ireland deserved a reprieve?

Im not celebrating Sparano's departure because he has class. I will be celebrating When Ireland finally gets the boot.

Ireland needs to go! He is responsible - Sparano- did what he could and I wish him all the best!

Sparano get damaged goods Grove and the other linemen we ended up having to cut. Get the fa bust Wilford, Gerbril Wilson, Columbo. drafted Henne, brought in a a qb from a 2-14 Panthers team.

The closest thing to a real qb was noodle arm CP. Yet the blame for all of the failure has been dumped squarely on TS. Infvckingcredible!

Ireland's being made to take absolute ZERO responsibility for this total trainwreck the last 4yrs.

So, who is our guy gonna be?

I want Fisher for myriad reasons (mostly his intelligence, consistency, and discipline) but I also think he's probably headed to either the LOS ANGELES Chargers job (get used to that name) or possibly Dallas if they can Garrett. Uphill battle for Miami to get him.

Cowher, I fear, isn't long for a secong gig on te sidelines. I'd be VERY wary of hiring someone who has grown accustomed to the cushy life he has now.

Not a "Chucky" fan AT ALL. To me, he's more smoke and mirrors than substance and has the same Cowher issue with being able to bolt the job at the first sign things aren't working out perfectly.

So for me, Fisher OR some great young assistant ready to become the next BIG NAME. No idea who that might be (neither does anyone else here) but it may come down to that.



Im think9ing they may go after big name guys. But I have a gut feeling they end up settling for Eric Mangini. Ross' "so called football consultant".

I think he and Ireland both have been sticking knives in Sparano's back with Ross. Makes sense to me.


Ireland did really good without sunkist tuna around in the last draft. Why do so many of you talk out of your Arses, Sparano was given players but didn't have to start them. You mean to tell me he couldn't have played Carey at RT with Jerry at RG ? Ireland was not the one who put Colombo on the field and probably was Sparano that cried for that player and the other Cowboy offense linemen

Fat Jonah,

Your an idiot, Sparano played the hand dealt by Ireland, how Boss Ross gives Ireland a pass is beyond anything acceptable, must have picks of Ross with gay escorts or something.

Fat Jonah,

Im sticking with the Dolphins died with Joe Robbie and the franchise funeral was held at don Shula's firing. Garbage magnate and former owner Wayne Huizenga disposed of the corpse when he sold the team to Steven Ross.

Maybe now we dolfans will wake up and realize what the stink we've been smelling the last few years really is.

I don't think Mangini is on their list, YG. Strictly a guy they've been bouncing ideas off of. Far as I know, plenty of owners do the same thing. If I'm not mistaken, Huizenga used to talk with Marty Schottenheimer all the time.

Ross is addicted to celebrity. I'm sure he wants a "star" coach unless he just can't get one.


From Ross' own lips:

"Im looking for a young Don Shula"

Rules out Cowher, Fisher, Billick. Gruden aint working with Ireland.

So my best guess is Ross is telling us "Eric Mangini" is own the way. He highly respects his football mind or else Mangini wouldnt be his football consultant.

In "Ross'" mind eric Mangini is his "YOUNG" Don Shula. Add it all up. Ross virtually told us in the presser today.

There was no speculation when Huizenga fired Shula. Everyone knew JJ was coming right away.

Talk about disrespect, Shula was fired because JJ had already secretly told Huizenga yes!


It would have been far more concealing had Ross only said:

"Im looking for a Don Shula type".

He let the cat out of the bag expressing "YOUNG"! Mangini will probably be our next hc. Even though only Ross may think he's a "young Don Shula".

I don't put much stock into parsing each and every word Ross and/or Ireland says. To me, the Shula reference was just an "ideal scenario" comment, rather than any kind of concrete statement with any real meaning behind it.

I'd bet my last dime Mangini isn't on their list---either the long or short version.

Actually, Ireland made allusions to wanting a guy with "experience" which would actually veer somewhat away from that scenario and put guys like Fisher and Cowher more in the crosshairs if we're going to pry apart every word spoken.

Im a great feeling Ross, Ireland, and Mangini have already had a sitdown pow-wow. Mangini probably has already agreed to work under Ireland.

I also believe he may have "slight more" personel veto powers than Sparano. Or at least Ireland will respect his input more.

You're right about JJ and how it was a done deal when Shula supposedly "retired."

That said, it would be disingenuous and a complete rewrite of history to say that 99% of the fanbase wasn't THRILLED when Johnson was hired. You know it's true. It was the FANS just as much as Wayne that rode Shula out of town. I think we get convenient amnesia about that sometimes.

One thing to also remember is that Shula and Huizenga actually remained close after that. Wayne made sure he was VERY well compensated...and I mean VERY well!

Been a diehard Phinatic since 1965 when I was living in Biscayne Park near North Miami....I was a NM pioneer....obla di obla da life goes on brah lala how the life goes on...Hire Gruden, Golden, or Butch Davis or Mike Shula or Billick, Tonys days are over ....no more fist pumps for field goals....by the way I'm a humble Christian....I'd love for Tebow to be our QB...some things are more important than a football game...read 2 Chronicles 7:14



Mangini's an experienced hc. I'll put it this way. Hope you're not shocked if Mangini does become hc. You'll remember back to the "young Don Shula statement and say YG was right!

YG--I'd make one of those Mitt Romney "ten thousand dollar" bets about Mangini if I could afford it, lol.

Totally respect what you're saying but I GUARANTEE you he won't be the guy.

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