Tony Sparano is not the most loved man from the past 10 years in Miami, but he gets villainized all too often. Serving as the scapegoat or whipping boy for where the Dolphins are where they are on numerous plays, in various games or many other topics. Love him or hate him, Mike Sherman would do well to learn a valuable lesson from Sparano’s days with the Dolphins.
Towards the end of Sparano’s tenure in Miami, things weren’t exactly clicking for a talented team. The team had gotten away from the wildcat, and was extremely conservative in their playcalling. In Sparano’s final season in Miami, amidst a flurry of drama that should be reserved for shows like ‘The Bachelor,’ Sparano made a change. Miami went from an 0-7 team that had lost numerous close games to a team that started blowing teams out overnight. Culture and style change is occasionally a neccessary and critical evil, and Mike Sherman would do well to learn that lesson. For Sparano, it was too little, too late. For Mike Sherman it doesn’t have to be.
The past few weeks we’ve seen flashes of an wide open and balanced playbook, only to abandon those things when the game is on the line. When the Dolphins have added unpredictability, they’ve managed to move the ball. The offensive line has looked better. They put up touchdowns. When the Dolphins revert to the predictable offense, defenses know what’s coming. Turnovers, negative plays, sacks – all of these happen when the team gets predictable, and they are followed by heartbreaking losses.
Mike Sherman would be wise to follow that example set by Sparano, before it’s too late. If not, it’s quite possible he sees an early exit in Miami, just like Sparano did.