Report: Sparano Staying

Miami Dolphins .com

Early indications suggest Sparano will be the coach next season

The Miami Dolphins, according to a report, will not be on the hunt for a new head coach come the end of the season.  According to a source close to Bill Parcells, Mike Lombardi, Parcells has convinced Stephen Ross to keep Tony Sparano for the 2011 season.

On Tuesday nights, “On the Fin Side” internet radio show, you can listen to the show by going to and clicking on the archive and selecting Tuesday nights show, I reported that a source I have had confirmed that Ross would retain Sparano provided he replaced the offensive coordinator…Dan Henning.  I also mentioned the Dolphins may have interest in Texans coach Gary Kubiak if he loses his job…something I am hearing is not a definite…yet.

So on Wednesday, this article in the Miami Herald confirmed my report both in terms of Sparano and the interest in Kubiak.

This is not necessarily a bad move if it proves correct. For the Dolphins, Sparano has not lost his team.  In fact, his team is rallying around him.  Sparano is a hard coach, he doesn’t let the players skate by practices and doesn’t pull any punches behind closed doors.  It’s that approach that won him the teams respect from day one.  In fact, Sparano is so revered by his players that in Dallas, many players who were coached under Sparano have quietly spoken about him rejoining their staff as the HC in the event that Jason Garrett was fired.  According to someone I know within the Cowboys organization.

The fact is that Sparano isn’t a bad coach, he is an inexperienced one.  He has relied heavily on his coaching staff particularly his offensive and defensive coordinators.  The former has the ire of fans and media alike.  So far this season, players have come out of the woodwork to support Tony Sparano but no one has spoken in favor of Dan Henning, a Bill Parcells disciple who has stated on several occasions that he has “retired twice already and came out of retirement as a favor to Bill”.

Brian Catanzaro, or “Cat”, one of my co-hosts on Finsradio’s “OTFS” brought up a good selling point if he were Tony Sparano going in to meet with Stephen Ross.  He said he would take this approach.  “We had a problem last year with our defense and I went out and fixed it by bringing in Mike Nolan.  We had a problem with our special teams and I fixed it by firing John Bonamego and hiring a young up and coming coach to take it over.  Now we fix the offense.  I’ve done it twice before, I can do it again.”

That is actually a solid argument because Sparano has done exactly that.  Turning around a defense that ranked 25th in the league last year, give or take a spot, and completely changing the way the Special Teams played after Bonamego was let go.  In fact, the latter has been a noticeable difference.

So whether or not the “reports” pan out, Chris Mortenson of ESPN still maintains that Sparano will be fired at the end of the season, there is reason to keep Sparano around.  Especially given the amount of competition that will be out there for the top 3 or 4 coaching candidates.  There is expected to be close to 6 or even 7 vacancies at the conclusion of next week.

Those teams on the coaching watch with Miami?  Cincinnati, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, and  the Tennessee Titans.  Those teams could possibly join the already “vacant” interim coaches in Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, and Minnesota.

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Tags: FinsRadio Gary Kubiak Miami Dolphins Stephen Ross Tony Sparano

  • Klenton66

    Sparano is likable, but sticking with Henne all year makes me doubt his ability to judge QBs. As boring as the team has been, and expecting Henne back at QB, I have started looking around at other teams that excite me. I like the Tebow story, and maybe I could root for him in Denver, he if nothing else is an exciting player to watch. The most exciting thing to me of all season,was watching Thigpen play at home after Henne was hurt, I appreciated the emotion he displayed, it was fun watching him compete. Henne is boring, if he is here next year, I may not be. My money allready stopped going to anything Dolphins, even if they lose, I still would have rather seen SOMETHING not as boring as Henne. It ISN’T Henning, Henne will get you fired, I hope if Sparano’s plan is to start Henne again, I hope HE is fired. 5 times game on the line and 2 minute offense and 0 wins. Tebow has 1 clutch win in 2 games.

    • corners

      He didn’t stick with Henne all year. We have little choice to stick with him next year even if we draft/fa a qb.

      I think Sparano is a good coach. And i would die if we got Gary Kubiack. Boy would that be awesome.

    • davessi

      90% of this offensive mess is definitely Henning. He’s an arrogant ass and has always been a demoralizing prick. He does not get the best out of his players because he is an ineffective coach. Henne is exactly what he was in college so they got exactly what they ordered…a guy who lacks leadership and does not have the mental stability to win the big games. He was 0-4 against Ohio State and 1-3 in bowl games. However, Henne has big time NFL skills and had the Phins had a ‘real’ Offensive coordinator that can inspire and teach rather than drive his bus over his players and coaches, perhaps Henne would have shown progress. Its one thing to hear that you suck from the fans and media, but when your OC tells you ‘you suck’, then you get what they got. A QB who is just going through the motions. Trust me…Thigpen Ain’t it. He is a solid back-up and that’s it. Sparano is a good coach and when you can have your players rally and perform for you and ‘want’ to perform for you then you have a ‘team’. Get a QB in FA or draft to compete with Henne and acquire a solid OC that can teach with encouragement and see where they go.

    • Jeff in Tennessee

      I agree with you on Tebow. IMO, it seems that the media will get this one wrong as well. Even though they will say differently. Tebow will be a very good QB. Someone that can run, etc, has the ability to get things going for a team. I disagree with Henning thought. I did not buy NFL Sunday Ticket because I cannot stand watching a Coach that is calling plays in a pathetic way. I am not condeming your thoughts at all. I am saying I agree with the Tebow comment and disagree with the Henning comment. I am not a Henne fan at this time. I think most want him to be what they think he can be. This is why I am not in favor of Sparano returning when you have Bill Cowher, who is most likely hood would take the Miami job. What happens if Miami stinks it up next year. Who do you go to for a coach? Miami could be surprising to me if they actually win under Sparano next year. I would like Sparano if he would have at least said that they were not satisfied with the offense and needed to make a change there, instead of saying how great Henning is. Again, I don’t like Henne as a starting QB. I think he needs to learn, then make the progress up to starting QB. Henning needs to go and should have hit the golf course with his millions a long time ago. He reminds me of Randy Sanders, former offensive coordinator in college football, who would have Tennessee score 3 points in the first quarter and then play not to lose. All Coach Fulmer would do is praise Sanders. When I am paying close to $3,000 in donations and season tickets each year to watch this team play not to lose, I had enough. The talent should be used, not on the bench wondering where their steak dinner will be after the game. I would rather take my chances on Bill Cowher now, not on the Tuna. They had their chance and now it is finished. MOVE ON! I could be completely wrong about Sparano, but I don’t see how. This one is on the Coaches. I do know that Tennessee (college) is different from the pros. But same analogy applies.

  • Phinfan4ever

    I like Tony and hope h stays. I am also the owner of 4 very prime season tickets so I hope owner Ross hears me loudly. Gruden is a fool who will take us backwards and Cowher will hold the franchise hostage in a year with the potential for no revenue. Good luck coach Sparano (wherever you end up)

  • Dave

    I love Sparano and his attitude towards the game but it’s been 3 years and it seems as if he hasn’t progressed at all. Three years as a HC and he’s still considered inexperienced? I believe Harbaugh has been with Baltimore for 3 years and they have made the playoffs every year. What about Mike Smith with Atlanta as well or for the matter even Rex Ryan with the Jets. Also how have we improved on special teams? Just because we haven’t allowed a block kick? For god sake we have Lex Hilliard returning kicks! A lot of excitement there. Also for the guy who puts all the blame on Henne and calls him boring. Yeah Henne does make some bad choices but he’s running the plays that are called. He’s not allowed to audible at the line so that falls on Henning. When were up by 10 in the 4th and all we do is run, run, pass and btw we can’t run the ball so it also puts us at 3rd and 10 or 8 and then we go 3 and out. The offense is predictable, us as fans can predict the offense so imagine what it’s like for the opposition. I’m sorry but that absolutely falls on Henning! Henning should of been gone a long time ago and that falls on Sparano. And I don’t wanna hear the crap how you can’t change systems in the middle of a season. These guys are professionals and anything would of been better then what we have now. Henning and Sparano play for field goals and clock management and in today’s NFL that’s not playing to win! Also I don’t want Gruden or Cowher. Gruden would be overpriced and he’s proved nothing. He’s taken over teams in the past that were already complete by the previous guy there and Cowher plays that old style football. I would like to see Jim Harbaugh as coach of this team but that hasn’t even been mentioned for us and I have no clue why.

  • Lidz

    I know everyone is on the hate Henne kick and trust me when I say that there have been several sundays watching him fall apart that I was tempted to throw a hammer through the tv just so I didnt have to watch. Here is the only argument I would have and the one thing that really brings to life how much eveyone on the team is at falt for this season. Chad “the Interception” Henne is ranked 27th as a QB with a total passer rating of 77.1 tied with none other then Donovan McNabb, the quarterback ranked 28th is Mark Sanchez. The difference unfortunately is that those pesky Jets seem to make the plays that lead them to the victories. How many dropped pick sixes could we have pulled in and changed the outcome of the game. Watching this years team has been worst then having to watch pee wee football. I would say Pennington should have been our guy…..unfortunately hes built like a china doll.

  • Lidz

    Normally I’d be jumping right on the I hate Chad “Interception” Henned banwagon but here is an interesting fact. Chad Henne is ranked 27 amont QB’s with a passer rating of 77.1 tied with Donovan McNabb the quarterback right under him is Mark Sanchez. On paper hes a better back but Sanchez has play makers. We sadly do not. The Defense drops sure point interceptions just like our recievers drop passes. Something has to change but Im not sure that calling for Henne’s head is the right thing to do just yet. Maybe the Dolphins need to hold onto players for more then a year so they develope chemistry.

  • davessi

    There does seem to be a lot of blame game going around…as evidenced by the prose of several articles on this forum. That said, this team has had its fair share of bad breaks and not all of that can be hung on Chad Henne. The entire offensive strategy was based on run first and pass for effect. It appeared from the start of the season that the running game was not up to par. Why?? Was it an O-line that hasn’t had much ‘unit’ experience or was it because they played banged up most of the season? Was it the running backs? Brown seems hesitant and not as explosive. Williams looked good at times, but fumbled in key situations. A team that is built on the run yet throws the ball 30-40 times a game does indeed lend to head scratching. Would be OK, if you actually scored TD’s. Good to have a kicker who can boot a 60 yard’r, but if you continue to go to that well, it may run dry when you really need it. Dropped passes, dropped INT’s, missed kicks and tackles could have won the Dolphins 3 games for sure…who knows, maybe more! Just some things to consider and think about…..Happy New Years

  • Nasrdamus

    I like the idea of Sparano staying and henning leaving! But I question like many others do his decision making abilities. I don’t think firing an OC mid season would have done any difference, but Keeping Henne for so long and giving Thigpen a chance to play on a short week not giving him time to prep makes me wonder if he has the ability to make these important decision moving forward. I think if Sparano tweaks a few things in his coaching style he’ll be good to go. I don’t like Henne but I’m willing to give him ONE LAST CHANCE with a new OC and maybe a QB coach.

  • Cliff Butcher

    We can all look forward to another battle with Buffalo for third place.

  • rogeradodger

    A perfect scenario would be to pick up Kyle Orton during the off season because Tebow is the man in Denver now and Kyle is already a great starting QB. He has worked with Brandon Marshall. Then we bring in Josh McDaniels to replace Henning. Meet the new Mianver Dolphins. I know its a reach but I would hate to see this team wasted on Henne or a rookie QB next year. The Dolphins are only a few players away from the Playoffs so it should be a interesting off season.

  • Phil Bondy

    Brian, you don’t have any sources and you don’t know anything. you’re right less often than a broken clock.