Tag:Tony Sparano
Posted on: January 7, 2011 10:15 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2011 10:57 pm

Report: Sparano signs 2-year extension with Fins

Posted by Will Brinson

Tony Sparano's status is finally clear: he'll be coaching the Miami Dolphins through 2013, thanks to an extension that the 'Fins gave him on Friday night.

That's according to the Miami Sun-Sentinel's Mike Berardino who cites a source that believes the extension will give him the "same range" of his $2.8 million salary through the additional years and that he'll see an "expanded role" in player personnel decisions.

After all, what's the one solution to trying to hire a new coach without firing your current coach? Give him more money, obviously! (It's similar to the Seattle beer situation, except more awkward).

No, but seriously, Sparano might not be coaching until 2013, but he'll at least be getting paid through that season, which is good, because the way the Dolphins treated him over the past few days was absolutely reprehensible.

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Posted on: January 7, 2011 7:47 pm

Miami's coaching situation is a PR nightmare

Posted by Will Brinson

Something ain't stirring the Kool-Aid down in Miami. And all apologies to the inestimable Tone Loc for ganking his line (although it did involve the Dolphins, so I suppose it's okay), but whatever Stephen Ross is doing with his coaching situation seems a little bizarre.

Not only did he openly chase Jim Harbaugh (and Bill Cowher?) while Tony Sparano was/is still gainfully employed with the Dolphins, but apparently there's some sort of flirtation going on with Eric Mangini now too.

See, there was a press conference (or, if you prefer "media roundtable") planned in Miami for Friday. There the team was going to presumably present, as the Miami Herald's Armando Saiguero put it, "a unified front" after handing Sparano some "sorry for publicly embarrassing you by chasing after someone else" money.

That press conference was scheduled for 4:45 PM EST and then, suddenly, canceled. 

Why? Excellent question.

Well, they created a bit of a miss by running full sprint after Jim Harbaugh without firing Tony Sparano. Additionally, Jeff Darlington of the Herald cites sources who say the 'Fins scheduled a meeting with former Browns coach Eric Mangini for Friday. (Yes, this is like posting a sign inquiring into dates out in front of your ex-wife's house. Before she's moved out.) Supposedly the Browns were only seeking a "'consultant' who has 'knowledge of the division,'" and eventually cancelled the meeting anyway

But, given the surrounding circumstances, it's auspicious to say the least. Back to the cancelled press conference -- Darlington cites sources who believe the Dolphins suddenly realized what a mess they'd created and decided to "reorganize." Or something.

Either way, Tony Sparano should be announced as the head coach of the Dolphins sometime soon. And it's all but certain that his first press conference back from the job from which he was never fired shouldn't be awkward at all.

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Posted on: January 6, 2011 11:07 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2011 12:23 am

Report: Dolphins cease courtship of Harbaugh

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In yet another ridiculous twist to this "everybody loves and wants Jim Harbaugh" story, the Dolphins have decided NOT to offer him the job and instead will hang onto current coach Tony Sparano, reports FOX’s Jay Glazer.

For Sparano, the news has to come as a relief – or maybe he’s going to be bitter about the whole thing, which would be completely understandable – and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of authority he has around the Dolphins complex. Or if owner Stephen Ross will see fit to give him a raise, considering he’s emasculated him throughout the NFL world.

Harbaugh has become the most in-demand coach around the country, and though Miami is going in another direction (or, technically, the same direction it was already going in), the 49ers and Stanford still are battling hard for his services. John Elway also is on record as saying the Broncos want to meet with Harbaugh about their coaching vacancy, as well.

UPDATE (11:45 p.m.): There's nothing really to confirm this, but the scuttlebutt out there is that Harbaugh is leaning toward returning to Stanford so he can coach Andrew Luck for one more season. That would make sense. Maybe try to compete for a national title and then jump to the NFL with even more leverage.

Plus, there's also the ever-present NFL labor dispute that might put a damper on Harbaugh's desire actually to move to the pros. Some people are theorizing that Harbaugh is using this offseason as a test-driving opportunity to see what's out there and if he eventually does want to make a move to the NFL.

Of course, now that I've typed that, he'll probably accept the 49ers job in about 10 minutes.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE (11:55 p.m.): According to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, the 49ers are not expected to greatly increase their offer beyond about $5 million per year to Harbaugh (it was thought the Dolphins were talking in the neighborhood of $8 million per).

All of a sudden, Harbaugh's leverage is slipping (PLOT TWIST!).

UPDATE (12:22 a.m.):
Glazer is back, tweeting, "Strong signal outta SF that Harbaugh is in strong talks w Niners to get a deal done 2nite over 6 mil per. But w this guy could change again."

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Posted on: January 6, 2011 12:29 am

Taylor backs up Williams' critcism of Sparano

Posted by Andy Benoit

The drama is laying on pretty thick in Miami. Earlier this week, Dolphins player rep Ricky Williams (who, it’s wortT. Sparano (US Presswire)h noting, is headed for unrestricted free agency), criticized head coach Tony Sparano for being a micromanager and taking the fun out of football.

Via ESPN.com’s Tim Graham, in a radio with WQAM (the same station where Williams made his comments), Jets defensive end/outside linebacker Jason Taylor, who played for Sparano last season, essentially seconded the running back’s sentiments.

"The people want to get on players sometimes of speaking their minds and for saying things or being truthful," Taylor said. "People don't always want to hear that. But sometimes you've got to look at it and say 'Where there's smoke there's probably fire.'

"I think it's something you have to take a step back and look at and say 'Well, this isn't Ricky just being a cancer in the locker room.' ... Sometimes guys talk and you tend [to dismiss] them as just blowing a horn. But when someone like Ricky talks, I think you can understand that maybe there is something there for real."

Taylor was not trashing his former coach – he was merely speaking candidly.

"I played under Tony one year in that system and atmosphere, and it's tough," Taylor said. "What Ricky was saying is true in a lot of senses. It's a tough work environment.

"I think Tony does a good job of trying to touch every situation you may see in a game. But the micromanaging and things like that is exhausting , particularly when you're not winning."

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Posted on: January 5, 2011 1:36 pm

Report: Dolphins looking at Cowher, Harbaugh

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For now, Tony Sparano remains the head coach of the Dolphins. But that hasn’t stopped Miami’s front office from flirting with other candidates.

The Miami Herald, citing multiple sources, writes today that the Dolphins have reached out to Bill Cowher and Jim Harbaugh to determine their interest in possibly taking over for Sparano.

The paper writes that Cowher backed away from the flirtation over issues of power – Miami wanted to keep its GM and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, while Cowher wanted to hire all his own assistants and choose the GM with whom he worked.

A contingent of Dolphins officials also watched the Orange Bowl on Sunday and liked what they saw from a Harbaugh-led Stanford Cardinal offense.

The Dolphins, I imagine, have a low probability of landing either of those coaches, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to try.  Meanwhile Sparano, who’s been taking shots from his players recently, waits to learn his fate.

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Posted on: January 5, 2011 10:37 am

More reasons Marshall doesn't like Henne

B. Marshall has made his unhappiness known with the offense of Tony Sparano (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

As Dolphins coach Tony Sparano continues to wait to hear about his job status, his players have begun to let loose their feelings. And it’s likely not helping Sparano’s cause. Or the confidence of QB Chad Henne.

We told you Tuesday about RB Ricky Williams saying he and Sparano were not a great fit and that he was excited to test the free agent waters. Williams said the team respects Sparano, but then he went on to blast Sparano’s micromanaging.

So, that wasn’t good.

But it gets worse.

WRs Brandon Marshall and Brian Hartline also broke down why the team’s offense was so mediocre on a Miami radio show Tuesday, via the Palm Beach Post. And then Marshall went on a rant against Henne.

From the Post :

Marshall, who on Sunday said he’s been on “different pages” with quarterback Chad Henne all year, explained what he meant with radio host Michael Irvin, and said he works better with backup Tyler Thigpen.

Marshall said that in Sunday’s 38-7 loss to New England, there were several plays in which he was lined up 1-on-1 against Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty with no safety help over the top. Marshall, listed at 6-foot-4, has six inches on McCourty, and in the past, his height advantage and the 1-on-1 coverage almost always dictated that Marshall would change his play to a “go” route, and the quarterback would lob the ball up and let Marshall make a play.

“In the past, taking the shot always worked out pretty good, and that’s something I’ve been trying to get called all year,” Marshall said. “I’m covered, (but) that doesn’t mean I’m covered. … Just throw it up, you know?”

But Marshall said that Henne and quarterbacks coach David Lee were never willing to improvise plays at the line of scrimmage, and when Marshall did, they would get upset with him on the sideline.

“Henne, the way he plays the game is he goes exactly through his reads, no matter the matchup,” Marshall said. “Then you get to the sideline, and it’s some conflict there because they don’t like it (changing routes on the fly).”

But Marshall said Thigpen is different. And better with whom to work. It’s because, Marshall theorized, Thigpen played with big-time receiver Dwayne Bowe while he was in Kansas City.

“I think Tyler gets it a little more,” Marshall said. “I’ve been trying to communicate with the quarterbacks all year, and we finally get it in the last game. It shows what we’re capable of doing. So yeah, Tyler is a guy that kind of gets it.”

And Henne apparently doesn’t. Again, not good.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 11:18 am
Edited on: January 4, 2011 11:53 am

Report: 'Fins have had contact with Harbaugh

Posted by Will Brinson

The Miami Dolphins head coach is currently Tony Sparano. But his fate is scheduled to be determined approximately some time Tuesday and if the 'Fins can land current Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, well, Sparano isn't long for southern Florida.

That possibility apparently isn't that far-fetched, as the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora is reporting that Miami has "had contact with Harbaugh." The Stanford coach has been in Florida all week for the Orange Bowl, obviously, so it makes sense that he could have "run into" (my words) a front office member or two from the Dolphins.

LaCanfora also mentions that he continues "to hear this could happen" -- this being Harbaugh as coach of the Dolphins.

No one really doubts that Harbaugh can succeed in the NFL. Or, at the very least, no one is looking at his possible success in the NFL with any sort of clear-colored lenses right now, because of the success he's had at Stanford, his brother's success with the Ravens, and a clear need for some fresh coaching blood with a lot of teams.

That's not to say he won't be a good coach, it's just that Miami isn't all that far removed from having Nick Saban as it's head coach and when he bounced from LSU to the NFL, there wasn't a hotter name on the market.

Still, the precautionary tale of Saban probably wouldn't stop Stephen Ross and the rest of the Miami ownership group and front office from inking the hottest name in coaching if he's willing to come to Miami, even though they already have a head coach in place.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 9:45 am

Ricky blasts Sparano, says it's 'time to move on'

Posted by Will Brinson

Ricky Williams' contract is up and it sure seems he won't be a Miami Dolphin in 2011.

That's based on a slew of comments he made during his weekly radio show about the Dolphins 2010 season, Tony Sparano, and his role in the offense.

"It seems like now is time to move on," Williams said, via Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post. "I was drafted in 1999, and this is the first time I’ve been a free agent. I’m excited to see what happens."

But the reasons Williams offered for moving on shouldn't sit well with current Fins management -- he called playing for Tony Sparano "not a great fit for me."

"It was an experience for me, and I learned a lot about myself and I got better as a football player, but at the same time, I didn’t enjoy it," Williams said. "For me it’s about playing football, it’s about having a good time and it’s about working hard."

Williams did say that the players "unequivocally" have "tons of respect for Tony," but that came after he pointed out that several players are unhappy with their current coach, possibly because of his "micromanaging."

"Tony goes through a lot of effort to show us the things it takes to win football games," Williams said. "Not turning the ball over, converting third downs, scoring in the Red Zone. He spends a lot of time saying, 'If you do these things, you win.' And sometimes I feel personally that he does a little bit too much. My personal opinion is if you have the right attitude that you guys are going to win, then all that other stuff takes care of itself."

Williams then spent another couple hundred words bashing the team's preparation before their blowout loss to New England in Week 17 and sprinkling in a few Nick Saban quotes. Then he bashed Chad Henne (by way of praising Tom Brady) and Brandon Marshall ("sometimes he makes it difficult to like him and support him") and even went so far as to say in the future he'd be rooting for, gasp, the Jets.

"I like watching the Jets play," he said. "Because of LT. I’m an LT fan. And I like the fact that the Jets run the ball."

The Jets have a slew of running backs with LaDainian Tomlinson, Shonn Green and Joe McKnight (though who couldn't pile up 150 yards against the Bills sieve of a rush defense?), so there might not be room for Ricky, but he'd actually be a pretty good fit in that offense, should he really feel like twisting the knife in the backs of Dolphins fans next year.

Or maybe they won't care after all this ranting and raving and the whole "I'm retiring to get high and then make a documentary" thing.

Either way, it seems pretty safe to say that Williams won't be returning to the 'Fins in 2011.

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