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The fallout from the Ireland staying, Sparano going column

So what is the fallout?

That's what the Dolphins are worried about today. Actually, that's what the Dolphins worry about a lot: The Fallout.

Today, the fallout comes in various forms but to discuss that, first we must establish the explosions that happened to create fallout. Sunday's explosions came first in the form of a 26-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

That game sealed Tony Sparano's fate as head coach. The Dolphins vehemently deny any decision on the coach's future has been made. But it is done. The coach will not return for the 2012 season, as I wrote Sunday evening.

I also wrote Sunday evening that general manager Jeff Ireland would be retained for the 2012 season. My column on both topics appears in today's Miami Herald. (Kindly check out the column and my take on the coach and GM.)

So why do I reference the fallout? Well, because Sparano has been concerned whether or not his players will be affected by the news and or speculation that he will go. I predict this news and or speculation will have zero effect on the Dolphins.


When asked about the topic Sunday afternoon, Jason Taylor answered with a question of his own. He was asked about Sparano's departure being on everyone's lips and he answered, "How's that any different than September?"

Um, well, it is no different. The Dolphins continued to play hard for Sparano when it was clear their season was over by the time September passed from the calendar's pages. They continued to play hard for themselves, for pride, for the sake of enjoying whatever wins they could muster and, yes, for their coach.

It will be no different now these final three games.

"We play to win games," linebacker Karlos Dansby said. "We got pride, man. Like that dude said on ESPN, we play to win games."

So that fallout will be minimal and manageable.

Then there is fallout from my report about the club's decision to retain general manager Jeff Ireland as general manager.

Fans have mixed reactions. That is part of the fallout. Some media is scrambling to confirm my report. So that's part of the fallout the club is handling. And then there's the truly important stuff:

Forget whether you agree with this or not, the decision is made. Ireland stays for 2012.

The questions are, what this means to the looming coach search. Can the Dolphins still hope to lure a "star" coach while having to hitch him to a present personnel man? Can the Dolphins truly become a championship caliber team with Ireland at the helm of the personnel department, a pertinent question considering they haven't done so in his tenure.

Will Ireland's return be part of a makeover in personnel, one that also includes the additional hire of a football operations czar akin to what Bill Parcells was? Carl Peterson, anyone?

More fallout?

Does retaining Ireland give he Dolphins an advantage in knowing, scouting, acquiring information on Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy winning QB from Baylor? Ireland, it should be noted, graduated from Baylor and has obvious ties to the school.

[RADIO NOTE: I know this is controversial stuff among fans in that you have opinions on the subjects. discussed. You may voice that opinion on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, as you watch the show stream live here at the Miami Herald. You may call into the show, toll-free from anywhere in the United States. The number is 1-888-640-9385.


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Simply can't understand why this bone headed guy we call an owner can justify keeping Ireland. I believe this puts the nail on the coffin in regards to marquee head coaches. This team can't even screw up correctly.

for no other reason than picking up turnstile dumbo Columbo Ireland should be shown the door

Ross will not get his "Star" coach with Ireland still the GM...He'll get a second tier want-a-be.
A "Star" coach is going to want his own man running the personal dept.

Ireland? Really? The guy is a "explative"ing joke! Well, maybe he'll get us RGIII because of the Baylor thing, which would be cool. But just wow....how do you keep this guy???

You think TS was bad you should check Jason Garret.

Yesterday, as early as the 2nd qt, you could see that the Game plan on offence wasn't working; but there were no effective adjustments made to it. Lack of flexibility has killed us all year.

What I fail to see is what 'star' coach is even out there? While many here think so, I don't believe for a second Cowher or Gruden will coach next year. Only time will tell, so that point is not even debatable right now.

The only two ex NFL coaches that we are certain are available are Fisher and Mangini.

Fisher - not a star coach in my book. Maybe a good coach, I'm not sure, but he had far more losing seasons than winning seasons, owner interference aside. Still his many years of coaching experience will make him a top candidate for several teams in 2012.

Mangini - has yet to have much success as a HC. He has experience in NE under Belichek, has close ties to Ross and his former OC Daboll. He would bring continuity in that Daboll would likely stay and maybe Nolan. Is he the guy for the job? I don't know, but I can see where he may be Ross's 'plan B' coach.

This is not the best offseason to be looking for a star coach. Looking for a star coach when there aren't any available is not going to make one magically appear.

I really have no idea why this had to come out now. I doesn't help anyone. Tony has been good man, a good coach, and a hard worker. Let the man leave with dignity after the season is over.

On yesterday's game. Now I know why Nate Garner never replaced Columbo. Horrible game. Losing Moore and Jake killed them. Miami def played well enough to win that game. Turnovers killed us and 3 4th and 1 no first downs. I blame Daboll for these play calls. Same every week. You can change it up, this wasn't playoff bound.

If we sign a Cowher, Gruden, Fischer or Mangini, I will stop watching this team. Period. End of story.

Had a bad feeling Ross was going to keep Ireland and now it seems to be happening.

Yes Sparano needed to go but he was only half of the problem. Somebody a blog or two ago listed the player (positions) we need. Among them were: QB, RG, RT, TE, OLB, FS, SS, CB....hope I didn't miss any. How in the name of all that's holy can someone justify a GM retaining his job after four (4) years and needing that many players?

I don't know where Ross has been getting advice but he needs someone else.


Hate to bust your bubble Amando, but you're not breaking any shocking news here..I, just being a fan, could have told you that Ireland would stay and Sparano would go..Just based on how he had Ireland with him when he tried to hire a new coach before this season...I, for one ,want Ireland gone, but knew I was stuck with him.

Eric Mangini at NYJ: 23 - 25 for 0.479.
Eric Mangini at Cleveland: 10-22 for 0.313

Jeff Fisher at Houston / Tennessee: 142 - 120 for 0.542.

All these "star" coaches are not the way to go, I truly hope we don't hire a retread, imo, I'm not sure Cowher, Gruden, Fisher, or even Dungy is the answer. I really don't have the answer who is, but then again I don't get paid to do that, the team management does, and if Jeff Ireland stays, rest assured that we will get some guy he can push around, just like Jerry Jones has. Hopefully Ross will get his sanity back and relieve Ireland of his duties and get a guy that's young, energetic and hungry for glory, then and only then will the Miami Dolphins return to the winning ways all of us oldtime fans remember. I feel sorry for the younger fans who really never had a chance to live and experience the pride and glory that we older fans have.

One thing to give Ireland credit for. He may be a horrible GM, but he has tirelessly spent time and resources protecting the team from players who have prostitutes for mothers.

Bloggers opinions aside, do any of us really know what other HC candidates will think about working with Ireland? I say none of us have the slightest idea.

Also, regardless, Miami is a big market town. These HC positions are precious. There are only 32 HC positions on earth and only a few available each season. The vast majority of candidates will see the opportunity to coach Miami as stellar, believe it or not.

Jeff Ireland = Dallas Cowboy rejects..


It is officially a basketball town now.


I think if Ross does keep Ireland it shows he (Ross) has no confidence in himself to find a replacement for Ireland. How can you seriously keep someone who has not been able to acquire any depth for this team after 4 years? Just about every time a player was needed for immediate playing time they had some tie to Dallas. I don't know how you can support that philosophy as an owner. Fortunately now a 4-12 record is likely and a franchise QB (RG3) is on the horizon.

The guy who makes terrible personnel decisions keep his job? He brings in all of the Cowboys' cuts and he's a top personnel man in the making? He signs Colombo(how many times is he going to be called a turnstile or something of the sort?) rather than Mckinnie or Gurode who would actually have been a good Cowboy cut, Burnett over Nick Barnett who was playing well before he got hurt. And that's just this offseason. this guy does not seem competent enough to turn this franchise around. This is very dispiriting in a football fandom/fanaticism sense. The whole house needs to be cleaned. Even the waterboys must go.

This team can't even screw up correctly.

Posted by: Finz Fan in Carolina

This says it all.

Dolphins begin their next 10 year building plan in January. It will be an exciting and fun losing team, according to Mr. Ross.

First we will hire some inexperienced coach from college, Kansas City, or Dallas. He will then trade away all our good players and draft picks for Payton Manning.

I can't wait for next year, so I can say "I told you so."

How did Nate Garner go from being so good a couple of years ago against Carolina when he had to play 3 diefferent position well to what we saw yesterday?? Talk about regressing. I don't understand how Columbo received blocking help from 1 or 2 TE's for the first half of the year & Garner was given virtually no help all day. That's on the coach folks. Just like trying a low percentage 55 yd field goal instead of pinning a struggling offense deep that essentially turned the game around. Philly was not going 80 yds or more against that "D" early on.

I think you're full of baloney, or your source is.

No way Ross turns down a big name coach who demands Ireland be dumped.

Ross has to fire FAT Tony today! If he don't, Ross won't have enough a&&es in the seats to buy one hot dog. If he don't fire the idiot today it gives the players an "excuse" to play like crap because of the "strees" and they claim they like Sparano. Sparano is not only an embarrassment to the Dolphins but to coaching in general.He also needs to fire him today because he needs to send a message to the fans that he gives a damn about them and actually is committed to winning!
MY PREDICTION IS WE WILL NOT GET A BIG NAME COACH OR AN ASSISTANT FROM A WINNING ORGANIZATION!! The football people that the articles allude to are still Parcell's (PERIOD).

I'm sure this has already been said but what position coach on the Cowboys is gonna be our new HC? FML!

Columbo. Great personnel decision. I'd keep Ireland. :P

Only here can I find out that Armando didn't break this news but it was in fact a fan who told nobody and has no forum to say it to anyone. What a POS!

I like how Armando makes no mention of any source he uses for his information. I realize that journalists don't normally give this out, but he keeps reiterating the fact that he knows that Ireland as staying is FACT. Just like he knew Jim Harbaugh was going to be a coach. He just feeds us crap. I'm not saying that Ireland doesn't stay, because I think he does, but I thought that four months ago. He waits until it seems a good time to say what everyone else has been saying all along. This is such a joke.

On a side note, I like what the announcers said yesterday during the game. "I don't think there is a coach out there who can do a better job with this team. Who can have the team play as hard as they are playing." I heard it, I believe it, and I agree with it.

Just a loss. Relax.

I am not saying that I think Sparano DESERVES to stay, but I think this team responds well to him. I think we lack talent. We lack an O-line, and we lack a good quarterback. I don't think we need a better #2 receiver. I think if we solidified our O-line, got a consistent quarterback who can sense pressure, upgraded at corner and maybe FS, we would have a playoff team. Not a super bowl team, but a playoff team.

My point is, Sparano makes some questionable play calling decisions. I realize that Daboll calls the plays, but Sparano is HC, and yesterday I started to wonder, as I had previously, what they were thinking. One thing, I am not sure why we waited so long to run Bush up the middle. I learned in middle school that when a defensive is employing a wide nine, it opens up the A-Gap. Also, I am not sure why we were running short yardage situtations on the right side of the line, with Carey hurt and Colombo... well, being Colombo. I know Long was out, but Icognito is one of the best guards in the league, RUN BEHIND HIM.

ALL I CAN SAY IS. IF IRELAND STAYS WE STAY THE SAME!!!!! He is a terrible GM and if he stays we will get another coach that has to deal with a GM that doesn't know his job and can't pick players!!!!! IRELAND IS THE PROBLEM!!!! No good coach will come in under him!!!!!!

If sparano is done then they should just fire him now. Why keep him in limbo. It also allows them to do a better coaching search

Ross has been tricked by the rest of the league into keeping Ireland.
And you need to Wikipedia Ireland. Im not to sure his ties are good ones. He is most known for missing big kicks while a player there.
And no, no great coach is going to want to go to Miami with Ireland in place. So guess what the Dolphins suck for another 5 years

My posts seem to be lost. I'll try once more. Apologies if these all come up at the same time.

First, very good column and blog post Armando. Depressing news about Ireland staying on as GM, but quality work on your part.

Sparano seems like a stand up guy. I admire that and see why his players like him.

About Jeff Ireland. He's staying. Let that sink in and acceptance is followed by the following expectations:

Ireland will fail as a GM. Easy to predict given his track record. He and Parcells have fielded a team that has been worse each of the past three years. The Dolphins are expansion level bad. That is not all coaching. It's about the level of talent.

The four years of searching for "value" at QB, trying to uncover acorns, signing Dallas Cowboy rejects, over-investing in the offensive and defensive lines (without high quality results), and trading away picks have resulted in a 4-9 team.

This is no way to run a successful football team. Anyone should be able to understand this.

Elite coaching will not overcome inferior talent.

The Dolphins will probably try to sign a QB for 2012. Their best hope is to somehow be able to draft Luck, RGIII, or Barkley without having to trade too many draft picks. After that, their options are not good.

They could trade for an aging and damaged Manning. As a long-term fix, this is a joke of a solution. It could fail as a short-term fix too, giving the Dolphins the worse of both worlds - a short-term disaster followed by a long-term rebuilding nightmare. It would be a "splash" and perhaps help sell a few tickets.

The Dolphins could also draft a QB in the second round (again). They could then claim that the selected QB was "internally" rated nearly the same as Andrew Luck.

Other options include trading for another team's backup QB or going with Henne or Moore again or a free agent reject.

The Dolphins also need help at RG, OT, TE, WR, DE, OLB, CB, and FS. They may could use a return man, but hopefully not with a top ten pick.

After missing the playoffs with a winning record, Dave Wannstedt once said, "We're closer than people think. We're just a couple of players away." He was wrong.

Ireland has convinced Ross that, AFTER THREE LOSING SEASONS, that a couple of players and a coaching change will bring excitment and championships back to Miami. That such changes will overcome four years of personnel mismangement.

Does anyone really believe that?

Anyone ever heard the line, "bad things happen to bad teams?"

I know some of you drank the Kool-Aid last few weeks, but Miami is a BAD team (good teams aren't 4-9). And they have limited talent, and cannot overcome mistakes and injuries like we saw yesterday.

But, even before he got hurt, Matt Moore proved why he's a backup QB at best. Look at Tim Tebow. Winners win, even when everything says they shouldn't. They make exactly the right plays at exactly the right times and get it done. Moore showed that he couldn't do that. I'm not saying he cost us the game, I'm saying nobody should be looking to him to run this team next year. We need our franchise QB. And that will be Ireland's ONLY goal (or should be) in 2012. He gets that done, and he should be revered in Miami. If not, then he should be reviled. Easy as that.

If Ireland stays then I will not renew my season tickets and good luck filling the stadium Ross. Ireland in his tenure as GM has proven to be a weasly little man that has offended everyone that he has dealt with. The big three came in together and should go out togehter. Ireland needs to go or my business will be lost. It is terrible when your home stadium is filled with opposing fans and you are a minority in your own stadium. Make your decision wisely Mr. Ross your client base is watching and we all do not want Ireland anymore. Remember he picked Henne and White, so how is he going to pick our next franchise QB????

Not sure what the attraction is to "star" coaches. Is Mike Tomlin a "star" HC (or was he when he was hired)? Or how about Mike McCarthy? Or even Sean Payton?

No they were not. These were position Coaches who had a "system" that they were experts in. A system that works in today's NFL.

I'm much more interested in getting a HC with a proven system for today's game, that they can bring here and install (like Rex Ryan) and will instantly improve the team. Maybe that's a known quantity. Maybe not. But I don't remember ever hearing about Sparano's "system." That's what's most important to me, not if the next HC is a "star" or not.

Testify DC, I agree whole heartedly. I basically said the same thing earlier, about a "star" coach. I just can't get behind bringing in a retread.

I predicted this way back in Oct...go read my post if you can find them.
I noted that Ross & Petersen are hitched at the hip.
I noted that Petersen gave Ireland his first job as a scout for the Chiefs.
I noted that Sparano would be gone no matter what because Ross wanted him out last Jan.

So...we move forward just like we've been planning since we started 0-2.

My only concern is this...our defense is pretty damn good and tossing Nolan out with the baby water will unravel all he's built over 4 years.

Finish 4-12, grab RG3 & best HC on the market and get us back into contention!

ATTENTION MR. ROSS (because if you're smart, you're reading these comments):

Ireland MUST GO.
He's just as clueless as the rest of the staff.


Enough is enough with "finding acorns" and throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks.


Again, nobody is saying who these 'star' coaches are. The only star coach out there is Cowher and he has given every indication he plans to stay in TV. Forget rumor, gossip, leaks. Until it is known he is open to coaching next season, there is no star coach out there to hire.

People's allegiance to Sparano here is mind-numbing to me. For what? Because players play for him? How do you figure? 11-5, 7-9, 7-9, 4-9. How's that playing for a HC?

People have no sense of history. We got rid of Dave Wannstadt after he won TEN games for us. How'd you like to get to 10 games with a HC? Would be nice.

Look at Denver. They had this one QB (Tebow). Not conventional. They didn't want to do it, but Fox changed the entire offense to cater to what he does. And they've lost ONE game since. THAT'S how you Coach. Making something out of nothing (or very little). Other than the few things here and there, what's Sparano done to make you say, "this guy gets it, he's a master strategist?" Probably hasn't happened, because he's not. He's a hardworking blue collar guy, who can win enough not to be a joke, but can't compete with the big boys.

Why do you want to retain that? What in that tells you this guy can turn a team into a dynasty?

How about Rob Ryan in Dallas?
He has a system and comes from a great football lineage?


But think about how successful the Harbaugh family is in the NFL, all the connections they have.

I'd be willing to invest in the Ryan family heritage...

I'm not a big fan of tony sparano. However, he was given no help by Ireland at all. No significant additions in the skill positions on offense or defense, no quarterback, one pro bowler in 4 years of drafting. Yet he deserves an extension and sparano goes? Poppycock.

I think a top coach in this league wins maybe one or two more games a year but they would then be mediocre instead of poor. Not good enough.

Ireland is a lot more to blame. He's provided sparano with knives when he's attending a gunfight. At least sparano will to out with credibility and his head held high. Something Ireland while maintaining his job does not.

Fukk you Ireland.


Many people inherently don't like change. Many have fear of the unknown. They get endeared with someone, and despite their shortcomings, prefer to stay attached rather than change.

Rob Ryan is a moron. I don't want him anywhere near this team.

Looks like DC ate his Wheaties this morning!

NH, I'm not so sure Nolan himself would want to stay on as the DC. He might feel slighted if he's not given the opportunity to interview for the HC position. Then, if he is given an opportunity, and is passed over, it would be weird if they said, "but we'd still like you to stay on as DC." Doesn't usually work like that.

But I wouldn't mind him interviewing for the HC position. I personally only want to see one thing out of the HC (don't have a candidate in mind), as my earlier post alluded to, someone that can come in here and implement a winning "system" (either offensively or defensively) that will become the backbone and identity of this team. That's what I want to see.

Hey Toronto...Ross sees it from the other side.

Ireland HAS provided Tony with the proper 'guns' for a fight, and its' Tony's "lack of genius" that has us sitting at 4-9.

Tony must go....

I believe the late, great Vince Lombardi sums up my feelings about Tony Sparano:

"Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate".

-Vince Lombardi

NH/Mark, while Rob Ryan does have a defensive "system" that seems to be better than what they had at Dallas before, is it as potent as the one Rex put together. Sure, it's the same base, but it doesn't seem to be on par with Rex's defense (for the Ravens or Jets). Also, a HC needs good organization skills, and does Rob have that in his repertoire yet. I just think Rex is much more polished, and that's why he was given his shot first, and Rob might need a few more years still to get up to that level.

DA, agreed, people are tired of the merry-go-round. So am I to be honest. But I just can't see continuing mediocrity just for the sake of continuity. I would have done it with Saban, because I felt he was leading to something (had he stayed). Just don't see Sparano leading us anywhere. He's always reacting to situations, instead of LEADING the team down the path he wants them to go.

DC...I agree, Rob Ryan needs more time in the trenches and some polish before becoming a HC in this league.

Ireland is a leftover from the disastrous Bill Parcell's regime. Parcells was a Huizenga guy. Ross needs his own people not the leftovers.

How about Mike Martz?

I think with Ireland, unfortunately, it wasn't ever so cut and dry. He HAS improved the bottom of this team. He's good at finding late round players that help the team (the Jimmy Wilson's). Where he's not so great at is finding the playmaking talent in the "money" rounds (1 and 2). That's where he'll need to improve if this team will ever become contenders again. We need more playmakers at the skill positions (but that's nothing new to this blog, just re-iterating it).

grondz, I'd personally love a Mike Martz type (that's why I'm so high on Andy Reid). I'd rather have an offensive Coach than a defensive one (especially with the likelihood we'll get our franchise QB under this FO). Martz is exactly the kind of Coach I'm talking about, a guy with a proven "system" that works in this league.

Martz does have some baggage, I know there were problems between him and players (personality issues) in the last few places he's been. He never really fit in SF. Took him a couple of years in Chicago to get it right.

But he's a smart guy. Takes chances. Could compete against Belichick/Ryan 4 times a year. I would strongly consider a candidate like that.

My gut tells me that Martz & Ross would rub each other the wrong way.

How is the reaction mixed? It's 90/10 everyone hates this decision and thinks Ross is doing serious damage to the franchise. I know you have to somewhat cover the Dolphins back to apease your sources, but come on man.

Rob Ryan also needs a haircut. He looks foolish out there. You're a grown man!!!

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