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’s archive section by going to  Brian Biggane’s segment begins at the 8:30 mark.