Sparano On The Hot Seat?

Miami Dolphins .comThe Miami Dolphins are entering their 3rd season removed from the Cam Cameron debacle that is no longer mentionable.  3 years into the Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland regime.  3 years into the Tony Sparano regime.  How long are Miami fans to wait?

When the trio came to the Dolphins some said “give it 5 years” others said “give it 3“.  The only reason I bring this up at all, is because we are heading into year 3.  Is Tony Sparano on the hot seat? It’s hard to say when a coach has run his course.  Sometime, in the case of say Dave Wannstedt, that course was realized far too late and should have ended after year 3.  For Cam Cameron it was year 1 and then done.  Nick Saban?  Well, he really doesn’t count because he quite on the team before the fans and ownership lost faith in his ability to coach at this level.

Jimmy Johnson?  He too left on his own accord but that was probably the right time for him.  He had already given an extra year when he didn’t want to.  Now we have Tony Sparano.

Despite his first year jitters that produced errant challenges and untimely time-outs, he pulled the team together after an 0-3 start to finish 11-5, give the Dolphins the AFC East title and their first playoff birth in what seemed like forever.  In his second year he cut back on his own mental mistakes although still making a few, failed to put the team into the playoffs despite bouncing back from an 0-3 start when the team simply faded at the end.  Now, entering year 3, will this season put him on the chopping block for year 4?  Does he have to take the team to the playoffs or simply continue to improve a team that on paper is getting better talent each year?

This is simply a question for all of those fans who 3 seasons ago said this group had 3 years.  Nothing more.  I’m not suggesting that he should be on the chopping block or that he will if he fails to deliver a contender.  Simply stating that many believe year 3 would officially end his honeymoon.

Sparano needs to do a few things, if we are saying that he will be on the chop.  He needs to open the season with a win, or at the very least leave the first month of football at .500 instead of 1-4.  A slow start this year and the Dolphins could very well be done for the rest of it.

Sparano needs to get the most out of the talent he has on the field.  He has built one of the best young offensive lines in the game but that is his forte’.  He must utilize the likes of Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne’s arm strength to take advantage of defensive mismatches.  He needs to find a way to win late in the game where the Dolphins blew more leads than they came back from.

Sparano is really good about getting on his players about mental errors and yet he continues to make them himself.  The called time0ut  against New Orleans on 4th and goal was critical and those kinds of mistakes will keep this team from winning football games.

So here we are, year three.  A headstrong head coach that the players respect and love to play for. (Joey Porter not included).  I personally don’t think he will be on the chop until the end of year 4.  And even then I don’t anticipate him going anywhere regardless of playoff appearances unless the team disintegrates or he loses control.  Sparano needs to keep moving forward and showing progress and for now, that will keep his job secure.

But the speculation is always interesting.  So to all of you 3 year guys…what sayeth you?  Is Tony Sparano on the hot seat?

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  • stuart

    Don’t forget the unbelievable addition error that put the Jets back into the 2nd game when genius Sparano went for 2 after the TD. It’s amazing the amount of rope The Tuna’s intimate circle is given!!!!! For that and the NO blunder he should be gone. He’s just not smart enough to be an NFL head coach.

    • matt1682

      Wow…idiots starting to sound like Philly fans. He’s the best coach Miami has had since Shula and your thinking of giving him the axe???? Dave wannstedt was an idiot and I would argue that Saban did more long-term damage then Cameron (and Cameron drafted Ginn/Beck). I have never been so excited to be a Dolphin fan since the fourth grade when Marino was slingin it. The good news is wel will be back in the playoffs this year (and NEW York wont be, ha). This is coming from a guy who stated they would be going to the playoffs two years ago the day they signedd Pennington (all my friends thought I was crazy). I also knew they would miss it last year. Jets suck cant wait to see that collapse!!!! Haha Jets fans wait till you see Dirty Sanchez for who he really is. Rex Ryan is gonna find ways to lose with hands down the best defense in the league. But you know your hatin only fuels guys like Sparano so carry on with your treasonous hatin.

  • Markeyh

    If he starts off 0-3 this year he will feel some serious pressure….I am not a big fan of Tony but I like his passion.

  • Mitch

    I agree, change Head Coaches every 3 years if no Super Bowl. Also every position coach and GM. Weeee Miami will go through every coach and GM out there but some fans will feel good, I guess.

  • Phin4Eva

    Hey I hear what your saying, but come on lets not forget about the last 10 years. We are actually winning games, and just because big Bill is upstairs guarantees nothing. It all has to do with the head coach getting his players to play their very best and putting the right men on the field. And so far he has done that, there have been a few holes that made it hard to win “Wilson”. Henne had a winning record, had he started the first three games it’s possible they could have pulled out a win or two more. I give Tony at least two more years before he should be put on the chopping block. It takes time to get the right players through free agency and the draft, it was that easy then new teams would be in the playoffs every year; but as we see that’s not the case, it’s the same teams year in and year out with maybe two or three new faces.

  • MJ

    I say if our football team isn’t at least competing at a high level or it looks like our team has regressed from last season then yes. As of right now though, no.

  • MJ

    BTW I resent those comments saying Sparano isn’t smart. The guy is OCD when it comes to studying film and our opponents. Just look at our record against our divisional opponents.

  • Brian Miller

    I believe that Sparano should have 2 more years to prove what he has. This is a tough division and if we are legitimately competing year in and year out, then I think he should keep his job. Regression is not acceptable over the next 2 seasons.

  • HvK

    We went 0-2 in 08 then took down NE with the wildcat in our 3rd game. The only way Sparano is on the hot seat is if we go under .500 and have no critical injuries. I hope Sparano turns out to be like Bill Cowher, always good at running the ball and have a good shot at the playoffs each year.

  • Brian Miller

    Sparano is my favorite since Shula. I hope is around for 10 years or more

  • Deof Movestofca

    While it’s true that Sparano has made some mistakes, he should get some credit for maximizing the talent he had on the team. I think this is a make or break year for him though, as I believe the Dolphins significantly upgraded its talent level in the offseason and brought in the type of players in the draft that I think Sparano was looking for.

  • Myself

    I don’t think the 2 pt conversion concern should be an issue. If he makes the same mistake again than I agree. He is still a young coach. he needs to get better in some areas and he should show improvement again this year. If not, I agree he is in trouble.

  • Pragmatic Heatfan

    Man I LOVE Tony Sparano… after all the crappy coaches we’ve had to deal with since Jimmy Johnson I feel like he’s a gift from above… Ginn single-handedly lost us 3 games last year and if we’re 10-6 we’re going to the playoffs so I say we keep Sparano

  • DD

    Sparano is a great football coach with a impressive football mind. EVERY person alive makes mistakes and fails. It is no different with Sparano. The difference between Sparano and other people is how he handles those failures. He is persistent and resilient.

    Say what you will but you are CRAZY if you cannot see the Dolphins improvement from years past. Not to mention the fact we are substantially younger and stronger. The Dolphins have put together something really special. RELAX, sit back, and enjoy the ride. It’s win time for the Miami Dolphins!!!

  • phinion

    3 years is fine if you have a team full of great players who are underperforming but you can’t say that was the case when Sparano got here!

    the Last 4 HCs we had refused to do what this team has needed since 1986 a total rebuild of the franchise, and you could include Shula in that although he didn’t have the priviledge of Free Agency to work with.

    Rebuilding doesn’t mean going out and signing all the top free agents and buying a team it means drafting youth and developing them as the core of the franchise so that when you do spend money on big FA signings there is a solid consistent and young base of talent around them so they can succeed.

    Sparano and company are doing this. (mostly on the defensive side as JJ did) The defense is probably the youngest we have ever had at this point and the youth show some promise. We have injected SOME youth into the offense (unlike JJ) but Sparano’s fate will depend on how well he does the same thing offensively. We have a young capable QB and a top notch LT which we have been missing for over a decade. Our RBs are no spring chickens but they are not over the hill either. The concern on offense is the Offensive line and WRs. We have Marshall now so we should be able to pass but we still need a #2 and #3 reciever to take advantage of Marshall drawing double coverage. A good young TE would be a very good addition next year as well and a young center would not be out of the question.

    I think Sparano should get 5 years before being put into a hot seat to perform. The amount of time a coach has should be determined by how neglected the team was before him. And this team was neglected for a decade and a half.
    You have to give Sparano and company at least a third of the time to reverse the damage!

  • Brian Miller

    Agree 100 percent!!!

  • Robert Hall

    I think everyone needs to relax and be a lil more patient. Success will come, it just takes time to build a DYNASTY . Thats right, I said DYNASTY. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and this DYNASTY will take time too. If you look back at all the great superbowl winning coaches, you would see that it took them a few,( like 4-5 years) to build a championship team. And Bill Cowher was with Pittsburg for like 8 or so years before he won a ring. I think Sparano will be fine and I love his raw emotion. He reminds me a lot of the legend Don Shula, during his first 10 years of coaching. Shula was very emotional and expected nothing less than perfection even during practices. Sparano is the same way. So enough of this talk of Sparano being on the chopping block so soon in his coaching career, give the guy a break, and a chance to prove what he can do, he is the best we have had since Shula. I like what I am seeing, with them building through the draft, and bringing in high character guys, with a couple high risk, high reward guys thrown in there to bring a toughness and nastiness to this team that we haven’t had since the days of the no name defense. This season will be interesting to say the least, and I think we will win the division, and go 12-4, but only if we stay healthy, and start the first four games 3-1… if we split the first four or start 1-3, we will only be a 9-7 team … a lot has to do with how well the offense clicks, i.e. Henne and Marshall, and how healthy Ronnie is… But this is a team on the brink of greatness, one more good draft, and we will go to the big dance for sure…. wait and see.

  • bsawyerphinphan

    I can’t believe I just read an article about Sparano being on the hotseat. You have GOT to be kidding me. What would possess someone to write this? Did you write this article with a straight face? Were you forced to write it against your own will and better judgement? PLEASE admit one of the two.