So, coming off of the Dolphins first win... in...November, I have a new found appreciation for Sparano's style.
Of course I have been so adamantly blasting him since the Cleveland game and wishing for his firing.
Surely, I have wiped my closet clean of half-sleeve Dolphins pullovers, bent-bill caps, and dark sunglasses.
However, maybe it was the early December of 2007 parody of Sparano stuck in an ESPN Mayne Even that sold me on his style where I was sold that Sparano would be a head coach in the NFL and certainly better than Cam Cameron at the time.
When I heard his name mentioned as a candidate and Ireland and Parcells were giving him serious consideration I was thrilled!
Sparano opens the scene mimicking the same gestures that the real Soprano does in the last episode of the Sopranos. Tony Sparano looks around the diner and notices people moving about the place. It's a great parody, but I am not so sure he was super thrilled to be in it, but it must have made interested GMs laugh before he did job interviews that season.
Sparano the Grinder
You see, Sparano is a grinder and a hard worker.
Who goes against doctors orders after a hernia surgery and game plans for the Patriots game? Tony Sparano.
Sparano shows that he cares for his entire football team right down to the front office staff and his support staff in the building.
Sparano isn't complaining about the wrong Little Debbie Cakes like Nick Saban did.
Sparano isn't complaining about his wack-job of a GM who can't put a team together that features playmakers and a darn QB.
Have the Dolphins ever had a good GM?
Sparano just goes about his business and fires up the team every week. The team plays fired up and will down the stretch of this season.
Sparano doesn't care what the critics think nor does he care what Ross thinks and he doesn't care what we as fans think.
If the Dolphins keep Sparano
Here's what I think, keep Sparano if he rallies to save the season with an at .500 or better record. Keep him and then support him with better coaches and players.
Fire Ireland because he can't think for himself and he makes bad decisions with roster and talent development. I am not convinced that Jake Long was the best pick for this passing era of the NFL, but he selected him because Parcells said so.
Sparano is running a team that lacks talent yes, but if guided correctly then this team could win more than 4 games down the stretch.
Lost in all of this has been a clamoring for a new coach by the media and fans.
Sparano unwavered, along with Daboll put together the greatest gameplan for a Dolphins game I have seen over 15 years.
I am sure that the Dolphins have been marred by poor play at the QB position.
Who's to say that Sparano doesn't have the plan for a QB next season?
It took 9 weeks but in week 9 the Miami Dolphins have finally joined the NFL this season.
The Dolphins played by far and away their best game of the season dominating the Chiefs from beginning to end in every aspect of this game.
Whether it was Reggie Bush being used correctly and running up and down the field or it was Brandon Marshall proving maybe he does have some talent left, the Dolphins truly played a complete 60 minutes of football.
Not only did they show offensive fire power behind Matt Moore who played almost a perfect game but for the first time this year the Dolphins defense lived up to their preseason expectations.
Matt Moore proved he can be a capable backup this year as he has increased his value in what most would consider an unfavourable situation. Reggie Bush has also showed his value as he has been nothing short of dominant these past 2 weeks.
Kevin Burnett had his best game as a Dolphin and even the old man Jason Taylor showed up outdoing Tamba Hali in the pass rushing department.
Tony Sparano got everything he could have wanted out of his team in a much needed first win for Tony. This was I’m sure feels quite good for Tony who obviously hasn’t removed the monkey off his back but at least might have lessen the load.
Obviously their will be cynics as when your 1-7 its hard to feel stratified, the Suck For Luck crowd was pretty disappointed as it appears the dreams of Andrew Luck in aqua and orange have all but faded.
Well next up is the Redskins another winnable game for the Dolphins and probably a date with Matt Barkley at the 2012 NFL draft.no comments
It's about time! It's finally here Dolfans, the week we finally win. Not only did the Dolphins win, they did it in Sparano stomping fashion 31-3 over the red-hot Chiefs sending Coach Haley for a shower and a shave!
Truly Sparano's Dolphin teams have never stomped an opponent since the Wild Cat ran over New England 38-13 in 2008. Our missing tight end (Fasano) all over milk cartons sold at the local Publix, was found in time for the first half to catch two huge TDs.
Our Diva Receiva fresh from teaching young corner Vontae "Drunk" Davis a lesson on professionalism played a Monster game. The Beast was alive with 5 catches in the first half and finished with 8. In the second half he capped drive with a nice catch a sweet TD catch between two defenders! Matt Moore looked like the second coming of Jay Fiedler finding Fasano twice and Brandon Marshal once. 3 TDs and incredible accuracy. He was on fire and had all day to throw. (Jay Fiedler because he was a decent addition to the Dolphins after Marino left and had an aerial attack under Chan Gailey. )
Reggie Bush was a man on a mission and it almost seems that his 44 yd TD had Kim's influence all over it.
So, do the Dolphins reappear now out of the doldrums of losses and ineptitude? You betcha! It's gonna happen. A win next week? Oh yeah. Who's up next? Washington.
Guaranteed, just not yet by Brandon Marshall.
Okay Dolfans, we've braced ourselves what's upcoming the rest of the season, an almost astonishing photo finish to 0-16...only to not be the worst team. The Colts are a bumbling and stumbling bunch that want to stink more.
How is any of this possible? Bill Parcells preached that you are what your record says: or "You are what you are."
At the beginning of the offseason after Tony was not fired, but then given an extension: Steve Ross proclaimed that he wanted to see a "dynamic offense."
In reality, this Dolphins team is so exciting to watch!
The last few seasons under Sparano, the Dolphins were playing boring running a 1980s version of the New York Giants ground and pound attack. Playing to keep the games close, only to win more games in the closing two minutes of games.
This year's team features excitement of a different kind:
You can first look back to the New England game and there was a glimmer of hope until the 3rd quarter when Tom Brady engineered two big no-huddle drives and you saw, the best (and most of us were led to believe) well-conditioned cornerbacks Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, crawling and hunched over on the sidelines with severe cramping.
Meanwhile, Henne and company was busy lighting up the stat sheet for 400 plus yards and some serious milelage from Reggie Bush.
Then there was the Houston game: Dolphins had a chance in the 3rd quarter to come back down 17-0. Two huge Dan Carpenter field goals were missed and then there was the Daniel Thomas fumble to stall the drive at midfield. Then Houston woke up from heat stroke and then Matt Schabb found Andre Johnson after he beat Will Carrol further icing the game.
Then came week 3, I was totally psyched about seeing Daniel Thomas run over the Browns. Then came the 4th quarter...Colt McCoy stole Chad Henne's thunder with a stunner with a minute left.
Week 4 saw Chad Henne play a game of deja vu with a run and fall on the concrete-like turf ending his season with a severe shoulder separation. (see Chad Pennington)
In came Matt Moore and he threw two huge passes, one was lost in the sun or lights by Brandon Marshall, the other, Brandon Marshall failed to gain "positioning" on Gilchrist, a rookie and did not come up with the ball.
Week 5, was a bye so the Dolphins didn't win nor lose. The headlines were dynamic with Sparano Watch 2011.
Week 6 v. The Jets, The Dolphins owned the ball the entire first half, then the Jets woke up and Mark Sanchez delivered a crushing blow with his pass to an open Santonio Holmes. Dolphins lost 24-6.
Week 7, The Tebow game. After the Dolphins owned the ball for the entire game and owned the game defensively helped by 2 missed Field Goals from generally accurate Matt Prater, the Dolphins found a way to squander and let Tebow part the waters and all of a sudden look like a left-handed John Elway.
Week 8- Versus the Giants, the Dolphins went to the locker room in the 3rd quarter thinking they had the game won 17-13 over the Giants, only the Dolphins forgot that they had to play "hard" in the 4th quarter. Dolphins lost by 3 and had two drives to come back.
So, there you have it. The Dolphins bring excitement every week in that they play hard and have been in 4 games out of 7.
In my book they could be 4-3. Just like the Chiefs!
While the #SuckForLuck sweepstakes has been going strong now for 8 or so weeks, I have come to the sad realization that this team might be too good to finish 32nd in the NFL.
The fact is that this team competes and if it weren’t for 3 big time 4rth quarter collapses then this team would have a win already. While it doesn’t appear other then the Redskins game that there are a lot of winnable games on the schedule, I also didn’t expect the Dolphins to come so close to beating the Giants.
The only thing that could potentially separate the Dolphins from Andrew Luck are the pathetic Indianapolis Colts. Minus Peyton, the Colts are probably the only team that has looked even worse than the Dolphins.
While it still is possible the Dolphins get the first overall pick my money is on the Colts getting Luck.
Below is a link to the Andrew Luck Power Rankings from This Given Sunday
So the big question is….if Luck is off the board, do you trade an arm and a leg to get him or do you draft Landry Jones or Matt Barkley?
Right now I don’t have the answer but I do know that this team has a lot of holes and trading away Luck would cost A LOT. Dolphins have holes in the secondary and could use a talented young TE as well as just some overall help. You don't finish last or second to last in the league without reason.
While I don’t think Barkley or Jones are as good as Luck, they both look like pretty solid NFL prospects. Barkley really impressed me in a one on one duo vs. Luck in primetime going throw for throw with Andrew.
Barkley has shined of late and has probably passes Jones but there is still plenty of football to be played. All 3 options seem like they would shift the Dolphins into the right direction. It’s been since 1983 since the Dolphins have drafted a QB in the first round, let’s all hope for our sake that streak ends this year.
Another rough weekend for Dolphins fans
So Dolphin fans might wake up to beautiful sunny weather of Florida if they are fortunate to live in the state full of organs however no matter where you live you most likely have another frown on your face this morning.
The Dolphins dropped to 0-7 basically reliving play for play last weeks game in Denver. Once again the Dolphins came to play for 3 quarters but then disappeared in the 4rth only to lose another lead this time to the New York Giants.
I would however like to give props to Reggie Bush who ran for his second 100 yard game in his career. Reggie ran pretty hard and while has been used not effienctly all year, has certaintly had a winning work ethic.
While many fans might be happy that #SuckForLuck is still alive the news isn’t all good for all crowds. It appears as though potential head coach candidate Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy both announced on their respective shows that they do not anticipate returning to coaching next year, I expect Jon Gruden to do the same tonight.
With Andy Reid brining back his Eagles team to success, I expect that the only big name head coach out there might be Jeff Fisher. It will be very interesting to see where this team will look to for its next head coach.
Stay in there Dolfans !no comments
We’ve all seen it…it’s an exotic formation. The Dolphins from 2008-2010 used this formation:
The Wild Cat!!!
This formation proved successful in 2008 in taking out the New England Patriots and running them over on their field. The next week after the bye it turned into a Flea flicker type play where Henne hit a waiting Patrick Cobbs and Cobbs was able to prance toward the endzone for the score. We saw the Dolphins run this with Ronnie and Ricky in goal line situations and it proved successful in getting a game winning touchdown in 2009 in a comeback versus the Jets on Monday night football with incredible blocking over the top by Justin Smiley.
The Wild Cat formation forces teams into a mismatch because you don’t know if the Quarterback is going to be in the play or if the running back is going to throw or run. It’s also a situation where the offense goes Tackle heavy on one side to bring in extra blockers. The formation has about six different possibilities and the QB can be in the play as a decoy. The defense is forced to put 9-10 in the box to stop it. It becomes a guessing game for the defense. The element of surprise can prove useful in game situations.
So my question to you is why not bring this formation back? Why not use it to close out a game?
I could see a nice misdirection play with Reggie Bush and Steve Slaton to get “chunk” yardage. Could you imagine Bush on a jet sweep or Slaton on an end around? If Daniel Thomas was the QB of this formation at Kansas State, why not have him lead it?
Back in 2008-2009, everyone was wondering why no one could stop the Dolphins Wild Cat. Now the Dolphins stopped using it after the departures of both Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. New coordinator had it in Cleveland. Why not here?
Is it personnel? Is it a lack of guys on the o-line? Is it Jake Long’s balky knee? Is it John Jerry’s inability to pull as a guard? Or do the Dolphins have such confidence running out of the base formations to run the ball? I know the running game has improved, but not to the point that the Dolphins can close at a game with a run.
I know that we all want to see this team win and some of us want to Suck for Luck, but in reality we are in need of a game changer/breaker and a way of closing out a game if we want to win.
So, let’s hope that this week in Kansas City that Sparano & Daboll figure out how to implement the Wild Cat for everyone’s enjoyment and a first win. If they want to practice “hard” at it all week and then run it against the 3-4 that KC runs, 3-4 can’t stop the Wild Cat.
If you like Xs and Os on this formation, then do two things: Watch how Andrew Luck successfully ran it on Saturday at USC in the 4th quarter and how Nebraska ran it with an End around or Jet Sweep v. Michigan State. If you can't do that then do this:
Happy Monday and Go Dolphins!