Phoned In…Is Sparano Done In Miami?
By Brian Miller
The fate of Tony Sparano and his coaching staff as well as GM Jeff Ireland now rests in the hands of owner Stephen Ross as the Dolphins fail to show up in New England to wrap up the season.
So much has been made of who is to blame for the seasons woeful return. Blame can be handed to Chad Henne and Dan Henning but today, the blame squarely rests on the shoulders and indecision of Head Coach Tony Sparano, who I have been told may be looking for work come Tuesday afternoon.
The team looked ill prepared and frusttrations ran over into the locker-room where WR Brandon Marshall declared this the worst dissapointment in his five NFL seasons. While that may be his lack of faith in the QB and the OC is hardly the issue.
Today, it was Sparano’s chance to win over Ross or phone it in. He
did the latter.
The team looked lost from the beginning but it truly became incompentent when OC Dan Henning began playing games with the offense again. Pulling Chad Henne to allow Tyler Thigen to run a draw, then the WC, then Henne back in.
The indecisive coaching put Henne on the bench in the 2nd quarter only to bring him back in for a horrid attempt at a 2 minute drill that left play calling out the window. Sparano left Henne in to start the 2nd half but would pull the struggling starter for Tyler Thigpen who would eventually lead a 4th quarter drive for the teams lone score.
It was an all around nightmare that simply left little on the field and a lot of questions in the mind of Stephen Ross. A text message from a contact stated that Sparano, who Ross was determined to keep a week ago, is all but gone and barring a miracle on Monday will be out of a job on Tuesday.
The Dolphins poor showing was just the final nail in a season that was supposed to see the team competing for a playoff spot and the division rather than an up and down year that saw the team win one game at home and fail miserably in the final three weeks of the season.
Sparano simply lost the team today.
Defensively the defense looked anything but the third overall defense in the league, surrendering 38 points to a New England team hell bent on running up the score with their starters in play most of the game and nothing on the line. It didn’t seem to matter as the Dolphins simply stopped playing football towards the end of the first half. Or at least that is how it seemed.
Many of these Dolphins were playing for pride and possibly their jobs next year, now it appears to have been nothing but a job interview for what should possibly be a new coach.
For the first time in his entire tenure as a head coach, Tony Sparano didn’t look any more in control than Chad Henne looks excited. And that may very well have more to do with Stephen Ross’ final decision than anything the players have said in public supporting him.
Change for the sake of change is never good. Until today, that may have been what it was all about. Now, I’m not so sure.