Dolphins Lose Hard To Watch MNF Game


If Stephen Ross had any reservations about his head coach and whether or not replacing him was an option now or at years end, last nights game should be the answer to that.  Did the Miami Dolphins come out flat?  No.  Did they get outplayed?  No.  Did they simply have a bad game?  No.  What they showed last night is that they simply are not prepared to play an NFL football game.  And that is on the shoulders of Tony Sparano.

Fans deserve far better than what they witnessed last night.  This game was similar in style to last years dreadful showing against the Chicago Bears on national TV.  You would have thought the NFL would have smartened up.  Luckily only the Thanksgiving day game against Dallas remains on the National schedule.  Last night proved that these Miami Dolphins are not conditioned to play and are simply not motivated.

You would think that at this level, players would not need to be motivated by their coaches but they do emulate them and this team emulates Tony Sparano.  I have always liked Sparano.  He is a tough coach with a good head on his shoulders but it’s apparent that he simply can’t do the top job in the NFL.  He can’t.  The team lacks inspiration.  They lack an identity.  In the locker room they talk about rallying for the coach and then turn in games like last night.  It’s pathetic.

The Dolphins opened the game defensively by putting the Jets into bad situations and a series of three and outs that would leave the Jets without a first down until the 3rd quarter.  Then they imploded when they failed to make a single half-time adjustment.  Again on coaching.  There was no pass rush, no pressure, and Mark Sanchez missed more open receivers for no reason which made the Dolphins defense look that much better.  Then Sanchez found his rhythm and the defense looked like normal.

Offensively, for the first time this year a Miami QB had time to throw, unfortunately, Matt Moore was behind center and did nothing more than dance around the pocket and throw bad throw after bad throw.  On  two occasions Moore failed to identify a WIDE OPEN receiver.  Lex Hilliard for a first down and Charles Clay for a touchdown.  With the way the evening went, it would be more than likely they would have dropped them anyways.

The “monster” didn’t bother to rear his ugly head but instead Brandon Marshall was all smiles towards the end of the game on the sideline even after dropping two passes, one another TD, and ran out of bounds all alone up the sideline that would have been six.  Perhaps to Marshall, playing like a monster simply means he goes over 100 yards.  Perhaps the team would have been better off had he go ejected like he promised.

The reality of this situation is this.  Miami needs to change this regime and they need to do it the day after the season ends, I mean hell why bother doing it now your best chance to land Andrew Luck, if he declares for the draft, is to allow Sparano to continue to coach the team.  Why mess with success?  Teams are 1-4 this year coming off bye’s but that is no excuse for the horrendous play last night.  Sparano appears lost in his attempt to get this team ready to play and his fist pumping field goal antics is becoming a national joke.

Last night, the team would have been better off allowing Jon Gruden to coach them from the MNF broadcast booth, he had answers.  Some figure that Gruden is out as a coaching candidate after signing a five year extension to stay with ESPN, but it’s very likely that he has an opt out clause in his deal.  His new contract also does not begin until the 2012 seasons first game so if an owner offered up the cash, Gruden would leave the booth.  The deal for Gruden gives him leverage to ask for more than what he is making at ESPN.  For those of you wondering about Gruden’s future.

This however is not Jon Gruden’s football team.  It’s Tony Sparano’s and here we are four years into his coaching and there is still a serious misuse of time outs and time all together.  There is zero two minute drill and zero desire to try and move the ball at all with any urgency.  It’s an “aww shucks” we are losing again attitude that needs to go.

If Stephen Ross wants Andrew Luck then Sparano is the guy to get him to Miami.  If Ross wants to turn this around and make this season respectable, then he needs to can Sparano now.  The problem?  Who do you replace him with?  Mike Nolan?  Worst defense in the league.  Karl Dorrell?  He is a converted WR coach to QB coach.  Todd Bowles?  Bowles is part of the defensive problem.  Brian Daboll?  Give me a break.  So we stick with Sparano.

Next week the Sun-Life Stadium crowd should be louder than they have all year.  Of course that has more to do with Tim Tebow making his first start of the year for Denver at his homecoming “Gator appreciation day”…nice job there Mike Dee.  That’s alright, Sparano will likely find a way to win this game and likely find a way to win at least one more.  Just enough to screw the team and put them drafting in the third or fourth spot.

You know, each week I spend about ten hours looking over game replays and really seeing what the problem is…I don’t think I need to do that anymore, they don’t show enough of the sidelines anyways.

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Tags: Brandon Marshall Jon Gruden Miami Dolphins Stephen Ross Tony Sparano

  • fins4ever

    Most of the readers of this site already know my feelings about the FO and staff, so I will stick to comments about the game.

    1. The game plan was terrible. It appeared that Marshall influenced the passing game by his comments earlier in the week. Moore threw to him even when he was fully covered. Who makes a game plan to attack the defenses strongest part??

    2. Play calling was awful. I have never advocated parting with Daboll as I feel a guy needs more than 1 year. I am starting to rethink that. There were many “questionable” call, but none more than throwing a pass on 3rd and inches. The few successful running plays were designed up the middle, but Bush made the plays by breaking outside, where it should have gone to start with.

    3. What happened to the pass rush?? It has virtually vanished. The Fins made Sanchez look like an all pro, and that takes some doing! Sanchez was his worst enemy.

    4. Why does Sparano NEVER question a ref??? The 100 yd. pick return was clearly pass interference. Tony should have been shouting and yelling and even risking a penalty if need be. Even Marshall never complained.

    5. If they accomplished anything last night, I hope it was realizing they need to part ways with Mr. Marshall. His trade value is officially zero. Aside from his “problems” and poor catching skills, no HC wants a guy that attracts media attention like a cow patty attracts flies.

  • phinphan60

    As I watched the game last night, I was praying that Steven Ross was as ashamed and humiliated as us Phin fans. One early moment I thought captured Tony Sparano’s lack of coaching skill was when Matt Moore missed a wide open receiver to throw to a blanketed receiver and as Moore was coming off the field, Sparano was doing that stupid clap of his. It reminded me of a soccer coach for six year olds. Nice try, Matt. Billy’s mom brought juice boxes and oreos for after the game. Everybody gets a trophy. He should have ripped Moore a new one right there on national tv. You are in your fifth year in the NFL and are starting on Monday Night Football and you are playing like a high school freshman.

    Starting today. Trade Marshall for any pick to any team. Dansby and Burnett should go if we can get any picks above 5th round. Start stockpiling draft picks for the next regime. Start evaluating ever player on the roster down to the 53rd man for next year. Let the scrubs start and play with the first team. We are going to lose anyway. Yeremiah Bell is our leading tackler. That means, Solai, Burnett Dansby and others are not doing their job.

    I love Jason Taylor but he needs to retire today as a Dolphin. He is just taking snaps from someone we need to evaluate against first rate opponents and with the first team.

    Every player on the team needs to know that they are auditioning for the next regime. Ireland should go today. Ross is a business man and if he can’t handle making the hard decisions that go with running a football team, he should sell.

  • fins4ever

    @phinphan60 Agree with everything you said. I saw Ross in his suite with a big grin on his face in the 2nd quarter.

    Agree on JT. He is hindering development of younger guys. Same goes for some others including Marshall. BTW, Brandon has no trade value. We got royally screwed on that one. I predict the next HC cuts him.

  • mscout99

    @fins4ever@phinphan60 The problem with cutting Marshall next year is that it puts the Dolphins into a bigger hole than they have now. Assuming they can get Luck, are you really comfortable with Hartline and Bess as your #1 and #2 receivers? You know that cheapskate Ross won’t allow a good WR in free agency.

  • Lespaul

    This team has been on the ropes before, but always had Marino and Shula to get them back in the playoff hunt. Its amazing to observe what is plainly obvious to most fans and media, yet Ross continues to to be blind to the truth. Does he even care about winning or does he just want to drink Crystal with J-Lo.

  • mmandia

    The moment people start to mention your HC is a “good guy, player’s coach, etc.” is the moment he needs to be let go. That, therein, is the problem. He’s not there to make friends. I want our coach to jump in someone’s ass when they drop a TD, false start, overlook the 1st down (or TD) throw to a wide open receiver and throw into coverage. Ireland, Sparano, and Parcells are all to blame for the product on the field, but it’s TS’s job to coach his players and assistants up and manage the game. He has failed at all of this.

    You will NEVER hear Belichik, Cowher, or Gruden be called a great guy while coaching a team. These guys hold their personnel accountable when they screw up. You’re not supposed to love your boss, just respect him.

    I hate the Pats, but look at what they do every year. Belichik goes for the opponent’s throat for 60 full minutes. He doesn’t need to watch the scoreboard or the clock. He gameplans to destroy you. AND I LOVE THAT! The Phins seem to wait around for a turnover instead of creating one. They wait for the other team to make mental mistakes and turn the ball over instead of making the other team make those mistakes. Why are we down 7-6 in the 2nd? We should’ve been up at least 17-7!!

    Top to bottom, our roster has as much talent (or more) than the Pats, yet they are world’s ahead of us on and off the field. Watch another season of 12-4 Patriots and another off season of dumping players out of their prime, NEVER overpaying, stockpiling draft picks, and moving right along with a winning culture with subpar talent on the roster.

    This trifecta experiment has failed epically and it’s time to move on, before the last few remaining fans do. If not, I will shut off the light on my way out.

  • JerimieNordlum-Rothwell

    I agree except for trading Marshal. Yes he drops some passes, but he also makes really good ones as well and he ALWAYS draws a double team when Revis isn’t covering him. Rewatch the week 1 game and you will remember why we do need him. He allows Bess, Hartline, and Fasano to get open. Chad Henne was having a good year and was a real leader of the team. We MUST resign him and draft Luck so he can learn the positon like Aaron Rogers did in Green Bay. @phinphan60

  • JimSzeplaki

    “I have always liked Sparano. He is a tough coach with a good head on his shoulders” Really? Where’s the proof of that? All this “the players support and like him” is complete BS. That is what they say, but have to say. Their play proves otherwise. And what has Sparano ever done to be considered a good coach, or even an Oline specialist? That just happened to be his job in Dallas at the time.

  • Phinphanatic

    @JimSzeplaki Have you ever spoken with Sparano? Met him? Discussed football with him? I have on several occasions and I can tell you the man knows his stuff…unfortunately, that doesn’t mean he is a good HC. He can’t game plan worth a crap or make adjustments and he is not a motivator. But he is very football smart. He will make a good college HC if he goes in that direction.