Tag:Tony Sparano
Posted on: June 19, 2011 6:15 pm
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Posted on: April 6, 2011 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Miami Dolphins

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups .



Entering their Monday Night Football matchup against the Patriots in Week 4, the Dolphins had to be feeling confident in their chances of beating New England in Miami. The Dolphins defense had looked good in knocking off the Bills and Vikings (which, at the time, was considered a pretty good win), and then Miami played the Jets to a close loss before the Patriots came to town.

A 41-14 disaster later, Miami fired special teams coach John Bonamego and never got more than a game above .500 for the rest of the season (and, in fact, finished the year at 7-9).



Coach on the hot seat, quarterback

Although Tony Sparano took a 1-15 team and turned it into an 11-5 division title winner a year later (beating out the Patriots for the honor), he’s gone 7-9 in back-to-back seasons. Apparently, owner Stephen Ross listened to Bill Parcells’ recommendation and decided to bring back Sparano for another season (though Ross DID disgustingly go out of his way to woo Jim Harbaugh for the job). But the specter of Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher still are out there and until Sparano is off the hot seat, fans will wonder about their availability.

Sparano would get a great deal of help if QB Chad Henne could put together a consistent season. WR Brandon Marshall blasted his QB at the end of last season and said he actually works better with QB Tyler Thigpen (a major ZING, by the way). It’s too early to give up on Henne, especially now that Chad Pennington will miss all of 2011 because of a torn ACL, but it’s getting to the point where Henne needs to show somebody something.




1. Running back
On paper, the duo of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams would seem a surefire way for the Dolphins to rack up rushing yards and plenty of touchdowns. Yet, the Dolphins managed to finish 21st in running last season. There’s a good chance that neither back will return to Miami next year, leaving Patrick Cobbs and Lex Hilliard on the roster at RB. Which means the Dolphins will need some big-time help at that spot and which is why Alabama’s Mark Ingram might be a good draft pick (though the Dolphins might want to trade down instead).

2. Offensive line
You know what doesn’t help your third-string quarterback perform better? A terribly inconsistent offensive line. That’s what Tyler Thigpen faced in Miami’s 16-0 loss to the Bears in Week 11 – a line missing starters Jake Long and Joe Berger who then watched backup Cory Procter get injured on the second offensive series, meaning Richie Incognito had to move from guard to center. Miami could make a play for a solid center in the draft.

3. Keep improving the defense
n 2009, the Dolphins ranked 25th in the league in defense, but last year, they improved that number to No. 13. Most of the starting front seven is solid, but Miami’s DBs had a tough time hanging onto interceptions last season. It also would help if they got more playmakers in the secondary.




After Ross stopped emasculating Sparano for Harbaugh and then gave him a two-year extension, Ross made it clear he wanted a more aggressive, more exciting offense. Sparano, though, said he plans to keep running the ball more often than not. Could we see both? I suppose, though I kind of doubt it.

I also don’t see a playoff run with Miami, considering the Patriots and Jets still will be battling for AFC East supremacy. All of which means the meddling Ross probably will fire Sparano, and then, everybody can just start over again in Miami. Which means we might not see good pro football in Miami for a while.

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 2:09 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Report: Pat Dye was agent to be cuffed (UPDATED)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (2:40 p.m.):
Liz Mullen from the Sports Business Journal spoke with Dye, and he claimed “I have done nothing wrong or illegal.”

According to Dye, the incident occurred at the players hotel Thursday night, not at the stadium Friday. He said he was invited to the hotel by Under Armour to finalize a seven-figure deal for his client, former Alabama WR Julio Jones, and he was led through security by Under Armour personnel and was issued Under Armour credentials.

Apparently, he spent less than 15 minutes in the hotel and did not have contact with any players, but when he left the hotel, he was arrested.

Mullen tweeted that she’d have more in the SBJ, and I hope so, because I’m not sure I understand Dye’s story at all.

----------

News broke late Saturday night from the National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson when he reported that at least one player-agent was handcuffed and led out of Lucas Oil Field Stadium when he (or they) was found to have illegitimate passes to watch the workouts.

Now, Sports By Brooks has reported their names. According to the website, the offender was Pat Dye Jr., who was handcuffed, detained and led away from the stadium, while his partner, Jimmy Sexton, escaped arrest.

The two broke the rules and obtained their passes from Under Armour, and apparently, the person who gave them those passes was sent home immediately.

Sports by Brooks was unable to reach either agent for comment, and the NFL declined comment.

More from the blog posting:

Sexton’s NFL client list includes Tim Tebow, Ravens left tackle Michael Oher, Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, Browns running back Peyton Hillis, and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.  Sexton’s coaching clients include Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano, Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, Steve Spurrier, Houston Nutt and Tommy Tuberville.

Dye, Jr., who is the son of former Auburn football coach Pat Dye, represents Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain, and Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

The Sexton/Dye firm also represents DeMarco Murray, Julio Jones and Sam Acho in this year’s NFL draft class.

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Posted on: January 22, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Dolphins extend GM Ireland's contract

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Dolphins announced earlier today that general manager Jeff Ireland had signed a multi-year contract extension, and it must come as a relief, though not necessarily a big surprise, to Ireland (and, I suppose, to those who want stability in the organization).

While Ireland certainly has garnered some positive accomplishments since taking over his role after the 2007 season, he had to wonder – at least, slightly – about his job security now that Bill Parcells is basically out of the picture.

Ireland was one of Parcell’s guys – Parcells hired Ireland when he took over the team’s football operations after they worked together in Dallas – but after Parcells stepped away to become a team consultant, one had to wonder if owner Stephen Ross really thought Ireland was the horse he could ride.

Apparently, that is the case.

“The decision to extend Jeff’s contract as our General Manager was an easy one," said Ross in a statement. "The young talent that Jeff has assembled during his three years with the Dolphins has made a profound impact on our franchise’s recovery from the 1-15 season of 2007. Jeff has my full support moving forward as we pursue our goals to build the best and brightest front office in the National Football League and ultimately to win a Super Bowl championship for all of South Florida and Dolphin fans around the world.”

Since taking over, Ireland has drafted talented players like OT Jake Long, CB Vontae Davis, LB Koa Misi and WR Brian Hartline while procuring the services of WR Brandon Marshall and TE Sal Anthony Fasano .

But he’s also missed out on big picks – 2008 second-round pick Phillip Merling and 2009 second-round pick Pat White come to mind – while the jury is still out on QB Chad Henne (2008 second-round pick).

Plus, there was that incident when he, in a pre-Draft interview, asked former Oklahoma State and current Cowboys WR Dez Bryant about the rumors that his mother was a prostitute. Ireland later apologized for the misstep.

But Ross, unlike his latest dealings with coach Tony Sparano, made this transaction rather clean, because so far, Ireland has done enough to impress.

"He's an excellent judge of talent," CBS’ own analyst Charlie Casserly told the Palm Beach Post earlier this month. "He has a clear vision of what he wants the team to look like on the field, and he wants to have a physical team up front on both lines. Any time you have that, you have a chance to win."

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Posted on: January 14, 2011 11:11 pm
 

Stephen Ross making mistakes before our very eyes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Want to see how an NFL organization runs itself into a long-term rut? Just follow the public spectacles of Stephen Ross. The Dolphins owner went on 940 AM radio and talked about the team and head coach Tony Sparano.
S. Ross (US Presswire)
“I’ve told Tony that, to me, I want an aggressive, creative (offense), not playing just to keep it close,” Ross said. “A little bit more unpredictable, and opening it up. That’s what I think South Florida wants, and that’s what this climate demands.”

There are a handful of NFL organizations that have been marred by meddling owners who inject their Joe Fan perspective into the team’s actual makeup. (Redskins fans know all about this.) But Dan Snyder, at least, has never been overtly public about his football opinions. And he’s never gone on radio to share the specifics of any advice he’s given to his head coach.

Ross, whose background is in tax law and real estate, elaborated on the sage advice he gave to Sparano (who has over 25 years of coaching experience, including six years working with Bill Parcells).

“One great advantage in Florida as the Miami Dolphins, that other teams don’t have, and that’s we have the weather in August, September and October,” Ross said. “Our players are training in that weather, let’s take advantage of it. Let’s go with a hurry-up offense, let’s wear them down. We’ve never done that. This isn’t the north, where you want to just take it 4 yards and a cloud of dust. I think I look for a different brand. Seeing the Dolphins, how fans want to see them, how we win, we’re going downfield, the days of Dan Marino, the days we all want to go back to.”

The best part about the Dan Marino days was that the Dolphins actually had a franchise quarterback: Dan Marino. On 940 AM, was sounded unsure about whether Chad Henne is the right quarterback for Miami.
 
What Ross is saying is not necessarily wrong – the problem is that he’s saying it publicly.

Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post writes, “Ross likely told Sparano of his vision for the offense when they met last Monday afternoon to discuss what went wrong in 2010 and Sparano’s plan for the future. As for not taking advantage of the weather, Ross failed to mention that he asked the NFL last offseason not to schedule early-season 1 p.m. home games, because of the heat. The Dolphins didn’t host a 1 p.m. home game this year until Oct. 24.”

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Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:10 am
 

Ross wants 'aggressive, creative offense' in '11

Posted by Will Brinson

If you thought Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was done meddling with the Dolphins on-field product after his failed chase of Jim Harbaugh resulted in a complete public-relations nightmare, well, you're wrong.

Ross told the team-run website TheFinsiders.com that he'd like to see some changes on the offensive end in 2011.

"I've told Tony that to me, I want an aggressive, creative [offense] not playing just to keep it close, where people really are a little more unpredictable," Ross said, via the the Miami Herald.

Translated in the language of an owner who wants to market his football team to the fans of Miami, that basically means "something people will pay to watch."

Which is an alright notion -- teams need offense in order to succeed to a degree. It's just that Ross is clearly trying to hint that he'd love a sexy, headline-generating offense more than anything. You know, like something Chip Kelly runs.

"Our players are training in that weather," Ross said. "Let's take advantage of it. Let's go with a hurry-up offense. Let's wear them down. You know? We've never done that. You know? This isn't the north, where you just want to take it 4 yards and a cloud of dust."

Ross also mentioned a "different brand" one that's "going downfield" -- which, again, is to say he wants a lot of points scored. The problem with that, of course, is that they need a quarterback.

Wait, scratch that -- maybe the bigger problem is that they'll probably be squarely in the "Cam Newton Zone" when the NFL Draft roles around.

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Posted on: January 10, 2011 6:53 pm
 

BCS Championship podcast with Karlos Dansby

Posted by Will Brinson

You might think because tonight's all about our college brethren, we have nothing to contribute. You'd be wrong.

See, we got a hold of Miami Dolphins linebacker and Auburn alum Karlos Dansby to chat about the BCS title game, Jim Harbaugh's hiring (Ed. Note: the interview actually happened on Friday, so it was "breaking" at the time), Tony Sparano getting run around on by Stephen Ross, Cam Newton's NFL hopes, whether Chad Henne can be a quarterback for a playoff contender, who he thinks will win the BCS title game, and what he does when he hangs out with Charles Barkley.

Bonus: Newton and Nick Fairley make a guest "appearance" as they come walking by Dansby and screaming and whooping and whatnot. It's rather comical.

Just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: January 10, 2011 6:53 pm
 

BCS Championship podcast with Karlos Dansby

Posted by Will Brinson

You might think because tonight's all about our college brethren, we have nothing to contribute. You'd be wrong.

See, we got a hold of Miami Dolphins linebacker and Auburn alum Karlos Dansby to chat about the BCS title game, Jim Harbaugh's hiring (Ed. Note: the interview actually happened on Friday, so it was "breaking" at the time), Tony Sparano getting run around on by Stephen Ross, Cam Newton's NFL hopes, whether Chad Henne can be a quarterback for a playoff contender, who he thinks will win the BCS title game, and what he does when he hangs out with Charles Barkley.

Bonus: Newton and Nick Fairley make a guest "appearance" as they come walking by Dansby and screaming and whooping and whatnot. It's rather comical.

Just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com