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The answer to the question you ask more than any other

Amid the good times the Dolphins are currently enjoying -- four wins in the last five games -- the question I get asked the most is whether the end of this season can somehow erase the beginning of the season for coach Tony Sparano.

Folks that love Sparano ask me what he has to do to save his job. Folks who hate Sparano ask me (with trepidation) if the first seven games and three seasons without a playoff berth will be considered ahead of the current winning trend.

Folks ask me for scenarios in which Sparano stays ... and goes.

Even as the Dolphins are enjoying the current success, folks want to know what coach will be responsible for this franchise's future success -- Sparano or someone else.

There is no definitive answer to that yet. But it's close.

My column in today's Miami Herald tell you the odds of Sparano keeping his job are nearly insurmountable. The column goes through the scenarios of what the final month of the season -- starting today with Philadelphia -- might bring and how Dolphins ownership views and will respond to those scenarios.

I also tell you of a possible pitfall in the manner the Dolphins will go about their search for a new coach, if Sparano cannot complete the Hail Mary he must complete to save his job.

Please check out the column and discuss in the comments section below.

We can also add that to your live blog discussion of the game that will be held on this blog as the Dolphins play the Eagles today.


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Game day. Beer? Check? Munchies? Check. Wife at the mall? Check.


On the same subject, there was an ongoing debate here yesterday as to whether or not a change in the HC automatically means a change in both OC and DC.

Do you have any insight on that? Any chance at all they both could survive a coaching change?

Forget about Luck. Bring on RB3!

The Field is wet and it might change the complexion of the Game.

LV's line hasn't moved a quark either way throughout the week, and that has significance.

Armando I'm an original Dolfan 1965 when we awarded an AFL team. this isnmy first time posting on this site...I am currently resing in GA having left North Miami in 1972 after 21 years as a native Miamian....I've read most posts since Nov of 2010...I live breath and die with every Dolphin win or loss. I am a homer for sure...I read the In depth, sun sentinel, pb post and phinsider daily...thanks to you and all who support our Dolphins...I say Ireland needs to go and let the new GM decide which coaches stay or go....for what its worth Stepen

mando, I can't read the second page but I agree with you. If we close out 8-8 and that is a big if Ross has a big decision to make. Anything else the decision is easy. Sparano is gone. The only question is does Ireland follow him.

So RGIII won it? All the potential is there, just not the first year or two.

The Field is wet and it might change the complexion of the Game.

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 11, 2011 at 09:37 AM


Yeah, Albert, but in which way?


Tony can keep his job for one more year.

Dear Mr. Stephen Brown

Welcome aboard and look forword to more of your posts.

Soiled :)

P.S.... A post in the style of Mr. Oscar Carnosa.......A fart can be silent, yet people know its there.

Sparano has to go. Hes the main reason the Dolphins have experienced losing seasons the past 3 yrs. Had Sparano allowed a QB conpetition between Moore and Henne, Henne might not be injuried and Moore, winning the QB competition, might have the Dolphins in or close to playoffs. Dont believe that, then you dont believe the Dolphins are 4-8, a sinking ship. Sparano cant evualate talent. Our last two drafts have produced not much. Drafted rookies are expected to contribute to the team. Pouncey is the only draftee to fall into this catagory. Clay has been hit and miss all season, hes made a few catches but at the end of the day,,not much.
Clyde Gates, nothing. Thomas, nothing. It took 7 games for Sparano to begin using Bush the correct way, etc, etc. Sparano may be a good, nice fellow, but he aint no head coach.

Excellent post Mr. Einstein

Why can't they just get rid of Ireland. He makes terrible draft choices.

Nolan is an excellent couch.
What are the chances of a new HC keeping him, and him deciding to stay in Miami under a new couch?
Obviusly it will depend of who the new HC will be.
I think Nolan has done an excellent job so I hope next year will still be a doplphin.
Jeff Ireland has done to many and big mistakes, so he should be let go, but only for a proven one.
Your thoughts?

Stephen, pirate - food for thought:

Former Raiders and Cleveland Browns executive Mike Lombardi believes that Ireland has built a credible roster.

"They've never been a team that's devoid of talent," said Lombardi, now with NFL Network. "Like any team, they have holes to fill, but they're not an expansion team with no players. They have talent. They just weren't closing games out at the beginning of the year."

Agree with Steven Brown. Ross is getting the cart before the horse. A new coach especially a high profile type like Cowher or Gruden will want control. That is to say, he'll his own people and that includes a GM.

Conversely, if you first hire a GM, then the GM will want to chose the HC.

I think it's pretty clear that Ross likes Ireland and will probably keep him. This is a mistake on several levels in my opinion.



Good question.....

Yes Albert!

If the quarterback doesn't throw the ball right, it may result in an interception.

TS needs to go! Period!

A slippery Field can make a shifty runner go down. Yes.

A slippery Field can make a shifty runner go down. Yes.

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 11, 2011 at 10:18 AM


Yeah, Albert, but how many shifty runners?

I believe that sparano has to go no matter what. This team has started slow and finished strong every year he has been the HC> The slow starts have doomed us. Also, he shows very little in the area of game management. How many time has the team wasted timeouts under him? Why isnt Reggie Bush returning punts? He has the ability to change a game evry time he touches the ball, so why not maximize his chances? I enjoy the current good play but as usual it is a month too late.

I'd keep Tony but you wonder if Ross needs to make a splashy new signing just to goose ticket sales.

The receiver, as he knows where he is going, has a decided advantage over the defensive back.


I'm glad to read that the chance of keeping are slim.....

I was never in the "suck for Luck" train....


If we have to take a few more losses to seal Sporano's fate....I think I can handle that.....

In either case....from your article it seems like Sporano is done.....its a win...win...from were I m sitting......

Ireland should be the first to go. Where are our pro bowlers or future pro bowlers?

Stephen Brown, nice post. Look forward to more.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.

Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

Groucho Marx

Soiled :)

Who will be pleasuring themselves during today's game?

-The best predictor of the future is the past.7-9,7-9,and 8-8 at best;the decision would be an easy one for me to make.Jeffy Ireland canned and,unfortunately,Sparano as well.

Once we lose one more game, all the save Tony chants will fade so fast nobody will even remember them.

yeah tony is gone, good riddens. lets get a real gm and staff in here

RGIII, RGIII, RGIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mike u say rgIII but u have probaly been one of the fans in here rooting to win games. like ive been saying for weeks, the wins are killing our draft position. no hope now for barkley,luck, or rg3 very sad meaningless wins are killing us

Now Go Charge your Hover-Round!

Posted by: odinseye | December 10, 2011 at 01:29 PM

Or bring out the meat-wagon...

Phili is going down today.

I hope I wittness a slaughter.


dusty, we're currently in the 8th or 9th draft position. As it is, we're not in a good position to get any of the Top 3 QBs.

I hear you on losses, but we're going to have to start thinking about a Plan B. Moving up to get the QB the GM thinks will most be a franchise QB for us is now the most important decision for the future of this team. We need a GM that understands this moment and will do anything in order to get that QB, because the last 3 decades has proven this team can't win without a franchise QB.

Unfortunately Henne never panned out. its no surprise how good this team could be with solid QB play.

Alex Smith takes 6 years to develop and cost two guy thier HC jobs. He's awesome this year and Harbaugh looks like a genius. It too bad.

Reason I say that dusty is I believe we'll go .500 this month. I think we win today, and beat the Jets. I see us losing to Buffalo up there and to the Pats. 6-10 probably isn't good enough to get in the Top 5 (and might drop us a few more spots to 10-12 range). I would be very nervous at that spot waiting to see if a player of this importance will be available when I draft. We may have already won to many games not have to trade up to get our QB.

Easy there SF. The 49ers are a great team this year, no doubt. But I don't know if I'd say Alex Smith is "awesome." Those games are like 6-3 at halftime. He isn't breaking any records.

Smith has been the perfect manager-QB this year. He understands he has a great defense, great run game, and just needs to limit mistakes and make a few plays a game. And he's doing it.

But let's wait to see him do this 2 years in a row to say he's finally "developed." He may just be having a great season and could revert next year. To early to tell.

Too many more wins and the closest we will get to RG3 or any of the top QB prospects..


I pray we select a QB in the first round next year...BUT, only if there is a high calibre QB left when we get the 10th or 13th pick...sad...

Otherwise - as has been the case for decades - draft the next most benificial player in need.

And this team needs alot...to win the SuperBowl.

Gotta go. Check the ribs, and turn the coals.

I am one of the few Fans here advocating for wins. So I must be wrong. Right?

Lots of ifs obviously, but if the record and draft spot plays out as it looks like...and if a new FO comes in...it would require some serious testicular fortitude for them to make a move up and tie their fate to a QB. Still a crap shoot no matter the pedigree.

RG3 was just sitting next to Dan Marino on NFL Today

God please let that be an Omen!!

RG 3 sealed his fate by winning the heistman trophy last night.
Can't remember the last heistman trophy winning QB to succeed in the NFL so still on the TRADE UP FOR LUCK train!!!!
Oh yeah and Sparano has to go!!!

Wrong. I have the utmost confidence in my superior(as compared to the majority here) education and intelligence. Wrong? Right.

oscar, no one really knows. There are too many moving parts. So, no, you're not wrong for wanting to win. But I don't think dusty's wrong for wanting to lose.

For me, it's less about who's right and wrong, and what's best for the future of this team becoming a Playoff-caliber team for the next decade. That's what I'm most concerned about.

Tom/Gulf, unfortunately, Miami has lost it's chance to do ANYTHING with their 1st-round pick in 2012 BUT to draft a QB. I think you could have that position in any of the last years, but now, I don't think it's even a debate among the Owner and his inside people, or anyone around the league frankly that Miami has to do what it hasn't done since 1983. It's a shame they waited so long to take a chance, but they have.

If they didn't draft a 1st-round QB this year, I think the backlash from the fanbase would be enormous, and would affect the Owner's wallet, and that will become the bottom line.

SO, if you MUST draft a 1st-rd QB this year, makes sense to let it all ride on your decision. I don't see it even being a close call. I think you have to (if you're the GM) choose your QB, the one you think will be the real deal, and then do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you must to get him (even franchise the future). Couldn't hurt from what we've had to put up with in the last 30 years.

DCD forget playoffs for 3 or 4 years. Crazy. New FO will rebuild again, bring in their own players, trade a bunch of our existing players. The team will be brand new except for a few. New coaches, new coordinators and will need a few years to gel.

DC- as fans that seems to be the consensus, and yes I have watched year after year of taking the safer approach just to see it fail... But it is a whole other thing to assume that a new (or even some leftover) staff will actually take that leap... just sayin.

Still hope for one of the top three QBs, assuming they come out. 5 minutes after the season ends no one will remember these non-playoff producing wins.


If I were Ross, the play of Matt Moore over the final 4 games would weigh very heavily on my oh so important upcoming decision. Moore has easily put top 10 qb ratings the last 5 games. Still there's plenty of room for improvement.

Moore's actually improving in baby steps in each game he's played. But most importantly, Moore seems to be improving game to game in the critical areas Henne hasnt improved in 3yrs of on the field play.

That's in the area of 3rd down conversion and red zone efficiency. That's why we're 4-1 over the last 5 games. 3rd down conversion and red zones woes are also the chief reason Henne's never been able to lead this team to better than 7-9 the last two seasons.

That isnt Sparano's fault, he didnt draft Henne, Parcells did. Remember him, the gujy who's already gone and Henne's sure to follow at season's end?

Winning these games is NOT meaningless. That's the biggest bonehead post I have ever read. Winning these games does a lot for our young players (Pouncey, Thomas, Clay, etc) + our defense as well. What, you think all these 53 players will get fired and you start over with 53 new ones? Yeah,...ok. You want these guys to get some confidence and build on something for next year. All lot of these guys are IMPROVING and the added confidence doesn't do any harm. If the Dolphins really want to draft a QB in the first round, they'll pay the price to get it. Teams always trade up to get a player they want, it's not as if it's mission impossible. Get real. Go Dolphins, keep on winning!!!!!

Let the abuse of SHAUNA Smith begin.


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