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.