Team Released Tony Sparano….Transcript


Needed to move down the “Tom is Dead” post as it apparently was taken way too seriously.  So as that moves down the screen, here is the team released transcript of Miami Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano‘s first day after press conference.  Scroll down for the Brady article, a couple of polls, and more.

(On if it was a tough night in the tape room) – “Yeah, it was a tough night. But, we’ll get better from it. We’ll learn from the film and we’ll get better from it and that’s what we do. Certainly, there is plenty there for us, there’s some good things to watch, I think some positives that we can point out to these guys. There is some things that we got to get better at. It gives us a pretty good idea right now of where we are.”

(On what concerned him the most from the Jets game) – “I just think that that one of the things that we preach, and I have been talking about since the day that I got here, is ‘hitting yardage’. ‘Hitting yardage’ during the course of the game, is the minus plays that can be created one way or the other. You either create them on defense or unfortunately, the other team creates it. Yesterday, we had too many minus plays. Whether that would be a mental error, whether that would be a sack, whether that would be a 9-yard punt that might normally be a 41-yard punt or a 40-yard punt, that’s 30 something yards worth of field position there. You give up the 20-yard return during the course of the game; that’s another 20 yards. When you start to look at these things, you kick the ball out of bounds; that’s 20 more yards. They’re getting the ball at the 40; maybe that ball would end up at the 20. You get sacks, you have minus handoffs, you don’t create enough minus plays from the other end. You give up a couple of penalties and things like that. All of a sudden these things start to add up and when you look at it during the course of the game you give up over 100 yards worth of field position, some people say that’s six points. In my mind that’s something we’ve been talking an awful lot about right now and I see it happening out there. It’s something that has been happening, even through the preseason, and we’ve been kind of getting away with it a little bit. With penalties, we’ve talked about those things before, leaving yards on the field. You can’t get away with it when you’re in the regular season.”

(On if the negative ‘hitting yardage’ was nervousness or undisciplined play) – “I don’t know if it was nerves or undisciplined or whatever it was. I really don’t know the answer to that question right now. I don’t think it was nervousness, I really don’t. At the end of it, that’s my responsibility and I’ll fix it.”

(On if the strategy going into the Jets game was to take it easy with Ronnie Brown)– “No, it really wasn’t a strategy. What happened in the game is we kind of got into one of those deals where we felt like, at that time, we needed to throw the ball and open the offense up a little bit to get some things going. I think if you go back and you watch some tape, you’ll see that that really happened. I think as soon as we started to do that a little bit and open it up, again Ronnie and Ricky (Williams) were in the game in some of those situations, they just weren’t getting the ball handed to them. Ricky makes a nice catch on a ‘Wheel route’ down the sideline at one point. He had another chance at one in the endzone. Ronnie catches the ball coming out of the backfield so they can get touches a lot of ways. Sometimes you get it handed to you 15 times. I don’t really think there’s going to be a scenario where one of them just gets 30 carries and the other guy gets five. I’m not sure that’s going to be the scenario down the road. I think it’s going to be kind of even as we get on in this thing. Yesterday just was a day where we had to throw it a few more times than we had to run it.”

(On the 3rd and 4th and Goal at the 2-yard line and the decision to throw the ball in that situation) – “It really wasn’t the decision. At the end of the day one of those plays was an either-or play. In other words, the third down play was an either-or play; it was predicated on what they coverage wise. It’s a hell of a play. We scored a bunch of touchdowns with this play over the course of the years and they came on the field with ‘Goal Line’ defense at that time on third down; a little bit risky on their part too. The situation dictated that we throw the ball. It was ‘Goal Line’ defense and they were playing ‘Man’ coverage, and that’s what tells the quarterback to throw the ball there. If it was anything else we would’ve ran the ball. We gave them an either-or play, he (Chad Pennington) made the right decision, we didn’t execute the play. Fourth down was a called pass.”

(On what does Ernest Wilford have to do to be on the active roster and were there some instances where a bigger receiver could’ve been used on the corner patterns) – “I’m with you there. We can play ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ right now, that’s great. If the ball is caught and all of those good things, we are not having that conversation. Ernest has done a nice job. Ernest has gotten better each and every day out there. I think the guy works real hard in practice; the evaluation that was made yesterday not to have Ernest up was largely predicated on special teams. (Brandon) London went out there, played 20 plays in the game and played pretty good on special teams. He did a nice job down there on special teams. Now that being said, there are places for Ernest and we’re going to evaluate that right now. In fact, I did some of that this morning and just maybe try to find some spots for him.”

(On using Patrick Cobbs on 3rd Down over Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown) – “Getting through preseason I felt like Patrick was a guy that maybe could take some of the wear and tear off of Ricky and Ronnie as far as being able to protect in third down situations. I also felt like he’s a pretty crafty guy out of the backfield. This guy runs good routes, he catches the ball really well and he’s explosive after the catch. He understands the protection; he didn’t really have any protection issues yesterday one way or the other that way. We felt that could be a good way just to take some of the wear and tear off of Ricky and Ronnie as the game got on and at the same time get Patrick a role. Patrick played 13 plays on third down yesterday and maybe another 20 plays on special teams. He ended up playing 33, 35 plays. That was good for us. Ricky, Ronnie got 26, 28 snaps apiece, somewhere in there.”

(On if there was any injuries that came out of the Jets game) – “We’re still evaluating some of the bumps and bruises right now, but we’ll talk about those on Wednesday when we need to.”

(On how he would assess Anthony Fasano and David Martin‘s catching and blocking) – “I was happy with what they did catching the ball. I think from a blocking standpoint we need to get a little bit better as a whole; interior wise, offensive line wise. We just need to be better; we need to be able to finish better. I thought they caught the ball and that was important for us yesterday. They were doing some things coverage wise yesterday where they kind of rolled up, pressed one of the receivers out there and forced you throw the ball into the middle areas of the field a little bit, which is okay. We threw the ball into the middle area of the field and you just all of a sudden; you’re feeding the tight ends a little bit more. I thought Dan (Henning) did a nice job of evaluating that and finding ways to get the ball to the tight end in some of those situations.

(On if he saw that Anthony Fasano could do that in Dallas) – “Yeah, Anthony catches the ball in the middle of the field. If the ball is around Anthony, he’s going to catch it. He’s got excellent hands that way. He’s not the fastest guy, he’s not any of those things, but he’s kind of a crafty guy, he can create separation with his body a little bit, and he competes for the ball when it’s in the air. I was happy to see that out of both of them yesterday. The touchdown catch that David Martin makes yesterday is a hell of a catch; it’s a good throw by the quarterback and a hell of a catch.”

(On the play of the offensive line, especially the younger guys Jake Long and Donald Thomas) – “I thought that overall we need to be better there, we need to play better bottom line. I think they’ll tell you that. We didn’t run it as well as we like to run it and I think that if you can do that early in the game that would be great. From a protection standpoint, everybody likes to point the finger at the offensive line, but when you look at the big picture and you see four sacks or whatever it was there, some of those sacks are theirs, some of those sacks are the tight ends, a couple might be the running backs. Everybody shared in the problem a little bit yesterday from a protection standpoint. We need to clean it up. I thought the two young guys competed hard yesterday, Donald and Jake. I thought they did a nice job competing and I thought they both learned some valuable lessons yesterday. Some leverage things, maybe we’re getting a little bit too deep in some of those situations, just off the ball a little bit. I thought they competed hard.

(On if he would like to see more out of his special teams on returns and on coverage) – “Yes, since the day I got here it’s something that we wanted to do a good job with. I was happy to see early in the game Davone Bess take the ball and do exactly what you want him to do; makes the first guy miss, which you need to do as a punt returner and he gets going towards the goal line and he ends with a 23-yard gain or a 25-yard gain. I thought it was a heck of a run. There some situations there obviously where there weren’t a lot of opportunities maybe even to cover a kick or to do some of those things. We covered one, we tackled them inside the 20-yard line on one in one situation and I think we had a 9-yard punt in one of those situations and kicked the ball out of bounds, whatever it is. We have to do a better job that way on special teams. We blocked one yesterday, Renaldo Hillget his hands on the ball, which was a big play in the game. He gets a nick on the ball and does a pretty good job getting his hands up there and the ball ends up going 28 yards. That was a tough one, but nonetheless, we had a situation earlier in the game I think where they came free and could’ve blocked one and we got a little bit lucky ourselves.”

(On if he is satisfied with the contributions of the receivers since the Jets often played eight men in the box) – “Yeah, I don’t think that that’s what they did yesterday. There wasn’t eight men in the box a large part of the time. If you were in some ‘Slot’ situations the strong safety might have came to the ball or some of those things, but they started playing a lot of ‘Shell’ and then dropping the safety down one way or the other. That’s kind of not in the box, that’s dropping them from the sky and that’s blockable. You’re receivers need to go in there and they need to be able to dig those guys a little bit and block them in the run game. Other than that, as far as what was happening out there to the receivers, some of it was largely predicated on press technique; we got to do a better job in press coverage. More importantly it was just the style of coverage they were playing that told us to throw the ball in the middle of the field or to the backs.”

(On using Davone Bess on returns instead of Ted Ginn) – “I just told you what I see in him. I see him able to make guys miss and break tackles. If you can make a guy miss and break tackles then I think you got a chance. Davone’s done that the last couple times he’s had opportunities to return the ball and he’s going to do it a lot more.”

(On what happened defensively on the long touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery) – “We peeked in the backfield. It’s not about who it is or any of those things, it’s just our eyes were in the backfield on the play-action fake and at the end of this is not where we belong.”

(On if he thinks on the either-or plays the defense will dictate what they prefer you to do offensively) – “No because they don’t really know it’s an either-or play when we’re out there. If we’re in one of those situations where you’re giving the quarterback two plays, you’re dictating. You think you have two of your best plays and predicated on what they do defensively you have answers in both situations. The answer was a good answer; we just didn’t execute the play.”

(On how did LB Channing Crowder grade out) – “Channing graded out pretty well. He did a nice job. I think on the day, 10 or 11 tackles, whatever it was, he played pretty well. He was pretty active in there.”

(On the run defense) – “Not good enough. 112 yards rushing, that’s not what we talk about. You give up 112 yards rushing, that’s day one. We talk about stopping the run. I’ve bored you guys with that, ‘Stop the run, put pressure on the passer’. Sounds like Football 101, but if you don’t do it, you won’t win. That’s what I said, we didn’t win. We gave up 112 yards rushing, it’s not good enough.”

(On holding Jets RB Leon Washington in check pretty well) – “Yeah, I think so. We did a pretty good job that way on Leon, but the other guy I had high praise for was Thomas Jones and we didn’t do such a good job there. He’s a big, strong back and he makes yards and he gets going forward and that’s what he did. I thought the guys handled Leon pretty well that way and in the pass game is where you got to find him. When he’s standing back there as the runner, it’s a little bit easier. When he’s involved in the pass game and they get him all over the place that’s when he can create some problems that way and certainly in the return game. I thought our guys did okay that way.”

(On Matt Roth’s first start at LB) – “I think he did a nice job on several plays there. He’s really powerful at the point of attack with the tight end a few times. We might have lost leverage once or twice in there, which is going to happen. It’s part of the learning curve here when you get into games and he figures out how people are going to play him a little bit. What I did see, I’ve seen them trying to get the ball away from him a little bit too so they’re seeing some of the same film that I’m seeing. I think they’re trying to get the ball away from him with either running it the other way. He didn’t have many opportunities that way with the ball right at him. There was a couple of them down there and he did have an opportunity to make a play.”

(On if he has any thoughts about Tom Brady maybe being out for the year) – “No, it’s just a hard thing to see. I know he’s a quarterback in our conference and all of that stuff, but you don’t ever want to see that for a player, especially for a player like him that’s been great for our league. Hopefully it’s going to be okay.”

(On who is his backup placekicker) – “Our backup placekicker, that’s a good question. Actually, it’s funny, a couple weeks ago, I grabbed (John Bonamego) Bono and I’m like, “Hey, we need to think about this.’ Our backup placekicker is our punter and our backup punter is our placekicker. How’s that?”

(On how much work do the backup kickers get) – “They do okay, it’s funny. They get outside and one of them punts the ball to the other guy, the other one punts it back to him. When the other guy kicks it, he kicks it back. That’s the way they do this.”

(On who is the backup holder) – “The backup holder is the backup quarterback.”

(On if he talked about a fresh start or ‘A New Beginning’ in his pregame speech) – “I think for two or three days prior to, the whole week was about talking to the team one way or the other. Honestly, by the time you get to the end of the week they’re a little bit talked out and it’s time to play. You kind of try to leave them alone a little bit. We did talk to them; we spent a lot of time talking about different parts of this process with them. That’s what we keep calling it; it’s a process. I don’t think anybody ever thought this is going to be something that was going to be done overnight. Certainly, it’s something that’s going to be done. We are going to get it to where we want it to be. Our guys understand that that’s really just one game in a season of 16 games right now. That’s why I told you during the week, it wasn’t the Super Bowl or any of those things, but no, it was a game we wanted to win. I think there’s disappointment in the locker room right now, but we need to get over it and get ready to play Arizona.”