Sparano Defending Play Of Dolphins Columbo

Last night on Finsradio Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post was on air with us.  We talked about a few topics to get some insight into what is going  on with our 0-3 football team.  One of those questions centered around the play of Marc Columbo and the fact that the Dolphins have yet to try and fix the glaring play of the offensive line.

Biggane stated that earlier in the day he attended a presser with head coach Tony Sparano and that Sparano was asked that very question.  His reply?  Columbo wasn’t the problem with the offensive line.  If that is the case, then what is the problem with the offensive line?

Biggane said that he was as surprised by the comment as anyone else.  He too doesn’t see what Sparano does and according to the Palm Beach Post writer who has covered Miami sports for 31 years, only Jamie Dukes of NFL Network is siding with Sparano.  Biggane is friends with Dukes and when asked Dukes made a similar statement as Sparano.  Of course Dukes is a former NFL lineman.

So maybe there is something to what Sparano is saying.  However, it should be noted that pressure in the first three games has primarily come from the right side that is manned by Vernon Carey at guard and Columbo at tackle with a sprinkle of Nate Garner as an eligible receiver, insert snicker here.  If Columbo isn’t the issue does that mean Nate Garner is?  Vernon Carey?  Mike Pouncey?  Ritchie Incognito?  Jake Long?  Or is coaching the problem? 

I would almost be willing to buy the argument that the line simply has gelled yet.  They are not cohesive and the lockout hurt their off-season preparedness, almost if it were not for the fact that the majority of problems is coming from the right side of that line and thus far Mike Pouncey has looked good as a rookie.  So from my seats the problem does in fact lie on the right side of the line.

Maybe Sparano simply is in denial.  I’m sure that many of you will agree with that statement on a broader scale.

Let’s take a look at one detail that can’t be overlooked.  Sacks.  Chad Henne currently has just over an 82 QB rating but he has been sacked 11 times only Matt Ryan, Tavaris Jackson, and Jay Cutler have been sacked more.  Even more telling is the fact that these sacks are not coverage sacks and Henne has not been able to throw the ball away.  Most of these are occurring from the right hand side in a complete collapse of protection.  Not to say Jake Long isn’t having issues either as he has struggled with pass protection as well.

To the media and fans, the glaring holes on this offense is the right side of the line yet Sparano feels the need to correct or defend that impression.  It’s difficult to tell if Sparano is serious or not, however Brian Biggane believes that he is sincere or appears to be.  So what does Sparano see in Columbo that no one else does?  And why is it that the team still uses Nate Garner to add max protection to the right hand side if Columbo was doing an adequate job?

If there is one thing we have learned about Tony Sparano over the last four seasons is that he will never throw a player under the bus.  Regardless of how bad a player is playing.  So his defense of Columbo may be nothing more than typical Sparano deflection.  Regardless of what he truly thinks, the fact that the Dolphins have done nothing to correct that issue is telling.

If Sparano is standing up for his player knowing that he is doing an inadequate job then he fails for not trying to fix the issue by addition or subtraction of the problem.  If Sparano truly believes that Columbo is a solution and not a problem then there is a bigger issue on the line or on the offense that we know nothing about…which is not good.

You can listen to the entire show on Finsradio.net’s archive section by going to Finsradio.net.  Brian Biggane’s segment begins at the 8:30 mark.

Topics: Brian Biggane, Marc Columbo, Miami Dolphins, NFL, Palm Beach Post, Tony Sparano, Vernon Carey

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  • fins4ever

    From the games I saw since the signing of Columbo, it is difficult to see how anyone could defend his play without breaking out into laughter. If you get time, go back and look at the sack Columbo gave up late in the 4th against the Texans.

    The defender simply ran around Marc giving Henne no chance. Chad was hit upon throwing and it ended up as an interception which lead to a game winning TD.The fact is Columbo has given up a sack every game. He gave up 17 sacks and 30 something hurries last year. We shouldn’t be surprised at his play, only that he is still on the team.

    Fire Sparano Now!

  • IMAWriterROBBYJ

    If Jake Long’s real name was Luongo, you’d have your answer.

    Blood is thicker than water.

  • Robert Rotten

    I really don’t understand how people even went into this season thinking Miami had a shot to go to the playoffs. This regime is among one of the worst I have seen in any sport. How do you try to fill need spots with another teams junk players? and it’s not other teams junk players it’s one team, Dallas, on the Cowboys garbage day we have picked threw their trash like 15 times in 4 years. Might be more. I really believe someone yells in the background WE HAVE A RELEASE! (from Dallas) Tony and Jeff look at each other like school girls and without asking the players name or position both yell at the same time GET ON THE PHONE! HURRY! HURRY!. I knew from the start he was not a head coach and Miami was going to go nowhere with him just in the way he has no clue on what is going on on the field. And I am being 100% serious, I have never seen a coach when asked what happened with this and that always and I mean every time say “I don’t know, I have to look at film”. Every time. Other coaches might say it about little things that was missed but for the most part tell you what happened in the game. I am really starting to wondering if Tony just watches the ball the hole game.

  • Lespaul

    Yes, that was very indicative of Columbo’s play this year. I still believe it’s because this guy has spent half his career hurt. he cannot move or plant his feet anymore. Damaged goods. I don’t buy this crap about the lock-out being an issue. every other team in the league had to face the same issues and in some cases they were worse off than the Dolphins. It’s an excuse that doesn’t hold water.

    @fins4ever

  • Cornerss

    dont the jets and ravens do the same thing? I dont see how its a horrible thing. Not like we havent had players from cowboys contribute. @Robert Rotten

  • Cornerss

    though i 2 am puzzeled about columbo. We should have had Incog be C and Pouncey RG to make things more balanced with talent across the line @Robert Rotten

  • dolphone

    I cannot fathom this response from Sparano. If he indeed thinks this, then perhaps he’s as clueless as his detractors insist.

    I’ve charted the three games the Dolphins have played this season; I’ve also charted every single snap for the past 5 years. I’ve watched every lineman for the past three years. Colombo isn’t always awful – there are plays where he holds his block – but the majority of snaps where he plays, he screws up his block. Now, whether this is assignment or not, it’s impossible to know without the playcall. But he ends up one on one enoug to notice his miscues.

    On pass blocking he tries to herd the defender downfield past the QB, but he doesn’t succeed. Sheard defeated him in three consecutive plays by simply faking outside and then cutting inside where Colombo couldn’t do much. And even when the defender takes the outside angle, many times he can actually go *around* Colombo and sack Henne. It’s ridiculously evident.

    On run blocking he seldom gets fit, instead pushing his man. This only works to a degree – against Houston and Cleveland, his defender simply spun around to rid himself of Colombo, and make the tackle. This happened not once – it was consistent throughout the games.

    Unbelievable…