Ross Needs To Fire Sparano Now

It’s little secret around here that I am a supporter of Tony Sparano.  Not as much as I was two weeks ago but a supporter nonetheless.  When it was revealed that Sparano might be retained I wasn’t all that upset.  When word came down that Bill Cowher wanted 7-8 million annually to coach the team and total control, I was not concerned when word came down the Dolphins wouldn’t pay that.  So now that we all sit here waiting to find out the fate of Tony Sparano, I simply say this to Stephen Ross.

Fire Tony Sparano now!

Tony Sparano has been an average head coach for the Dolphins.  Well liked by most and he has always carried himself with professionalism.  After the Nick Saban garbage and the Cam Cameron joke of a season, Sparano brought some respect and some dignity to the job.  Something that Stephen Ross is giving none of at the moment.Consider this only if the reports are true that are circulating the NFL news wires today.  That Stephen Ross and Mike Dee are conducting quiet searches for a new HC.  Most notably and possibly only notably Jim Harbaugh of the Stanford Cardinals.  Either way, they have made a choice.  Tony Sparano is not the best man to coach this team.  Not if you think someone else deserves the consideration more.

Consider that there was no wavering from Ziggy Wulf on Leslie Fraiser the interim HC for the Vikings.  None on the parts of Jerry Jones with Jason Garrett, or the Mara family in NY with Tom Coughlin.  Decisions came quickly with Gary Kubiak in Houston and even in Jacksonville where Jack Del Rio met for several hours with the teams ownership and management, he still came out knowing exactly where he stood…with a job for at least one more year.

In Miami?  Not so much.

This is a simple thing.  You come out of a meeting with your coach, you smile, you nod, you say all the right things, and you sleep on it.  You wake up the next day and you call your coach and you say, “Tony, you’re staying”  or “Tony, you’re fired”.  You don’t talk to your coach and then go off and try and find something better while keeping your HC in the dark.

“O.k. Tony, I am going to try and find a better option at HC.  But don’t go anywhere, I’m not firing you unless I find someone first”.

The other issue is Tony Sparano himself.  He must have an idea if not a definite answer from Ross by now.  Let’s assume he is willing to stick around for another year in the event that Ross can’t land someone else.  What would that say about the character of Tony Sparano to allow Ross to play that side of the fence and come back when he finds the grass is a lot more expensive on the other side?

No, all of this is complete nonsense and it goes far beyond simply doing the due diligence before making a decision.  The minute you cast your rod into the pod to draw a bigger fish, you have resigned yourself to not accepting what you already have in the pale.  Stephen Ross is making a decision here based on reasons and answers from someone I can’t put a finger on.  I have contact both of my personal contacts and they simply don’t have an idea of what is going on either.  It’s shrinking into something that could have long reaching ramifications for this team.

Next year, well, it’s out the window.  If Sparano stays, he has an offense to rebuild and it must become very competitive or he will lose his job.  His contract expires next season.  In that process he will either find a new QB or stick with Henne and what is out there does not give him a legit veteran to lead the franchise for one job saving season.  Drafting one puts you back a pick and doesn’t allow you to have that player compete at that level in year one.

On the other hand, bringing in a new HC allows the team to grow a little bit before expectations for success go out the window.  That first year will be rocky as the attitude and the teams morale is changed.  In other words to put it mildly, don’t expect much.

For now however, it’s all a moot point because the owner of this team can’t do what a handful of others have already done.

Make a decision.  Due Diligence is how you build companies and it works in football too.  But you don’t shop for a new CEO without creating a vacancy first.  There is no vacancy in Miami.  But if Ross is making his calls to gauge the interest of others, then he needs to create that vacancy now because it gives no vote of confidence in the current head coach if you decide to keep him later.

In my opinion, Tony Sparano does not deserve to be treated like this.

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Tags: Bill Cowher Dolphins Searching For An HC Jim Harbaugh Miami Dolphins Stephen Ross Tony Sparano

  • Dolfan in L.A.

    Well said, brother. I’m no Sparano fan, but we’re learning something of Ross’s character while he makes his first big decisions as owner, too.

  • brandon

    FIRE HIM…get cowher and let him do what he does i mean come on ross….we need a new gm anyways let cowher take control and lets get this team back on the path of success..if not you can expect another horrible 7-9 season lead by tony sparano and jeff…im sick of these miami dolphins we need to make a splash and a BIG splash…

  • Jeff

    I agree. I think Tony should go but don’t drag it on. This franchise needs something. I’ve been watching since 1970 and I’m tired of it. Get a WINNING HC and a WINNING QB. I like the Harbaugh and Orton scenario so far. Cowher is a big name but so was Jimmy Johnson…

  • brad


  • Bill

    Brian, I agree with you 100%, Tony Sparano shouldn’t be treated like this. He has been a good, not great, coach for the Dolphins since he arrived, handling the position with integrity and class. I think Ross should just go ahead and fire him, as the writing appears to be on the wall.

    As for the candidates that could replace him, I like Harbaugh the best. First, he’ll come more cheaply. Second, he was a QB and should be able to help develop whoever out QB is in 2011 (especially if it’s a rookie). Third, he turned around Stanford…freaking Stanford into a top 5, BCS program. Fourth, he could come in, while keeping Ireland and Nolan without creating too much change in a offseason of uncertainty.

  • welling

    Fire him , if Ross doent get his man then promote Nolan.

  • jmart

    Hire Cowher now. He is the obvious choice. He will put people in the stands and get fans talking about the phins (postively) again. He is a proven winner by making the playoffs 10 out of his 15 years and a superbowl. What has Harbaugh done in the NFL, nothing. Just because you have a good season in college and everyone dones you the next best thing doesnt mean you will make it as a coach in the NFL (Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis, Stever Spurrier, etc.)Ross it is simple, Cowher will put money in your pocket.

  • jH+

    Give me a break. I like Sparano, but he can wait a week or two. How much has he been paid over the last 3 years? And last Sunday is an example of what he has produced? Ross needs to make the right choice not a quick choice.

  • markeyh

    You do not “Quit a job unless you find another one first” Keep that in mind! Why Fire Tony unless you have a better replacement? He is under contract….

  • steve_o1086

    Let’s not forget, Ross is a billionaire businessman for a reason. He knows how to conduct business, I’ll trust he knows what he’s doing. I don’t dislike Tony Sparano, but I would like to see the Dolphins succeed more, find someone else and let him go.

  • Cleo

    Are you really concerned about his feelings getting hurt? Who cares they hired him to win football games and he’s not. I’m sure he’s a big enough boy to realize that, if not he will. How many guys has he cut from this team because he found someone he thought was better? I think it’s called Karma.