Report: Dolphins will fire Sparano, Jeff Ireland will return

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Sunday’s 26-10 loss to the Eagles put the brakes on the feel-good story the Dolphins were fashioning over the last few weeks.

They looked a lot like the team that lost their first seven games of the season. They made a ton of mistakes on both sides of the ball, the offensive line leaked like a poorly fashioned canoe and they didn’t look particularly competitive after opening up a 7-0 lead. It’s little surprise, then, that another mainstay of the early part of the season returned on Sunday night.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that the team plans to replace head coach Tony Sparano once the season comes to an end. There had been some talk in recent weeks that a strong ending could buy Sparano another season on the sideline, but, per Salguero, the chance of that happening is rapidly nearing zero. There’s no hint about who the next coach might be, but a big one about who will be leading the search process.

According to Salguero’s report, “barring some unforeseen circumstance,” general manager Jeff Ireland will return for the 2012 season. Salguero reports that Ireland will not be fired come the end of the season because owner Stephen Ross believes the team is underachieving despite having a lot of talent on the roster. The run from 0-7 to 4-8 likely helped cement those feelings and the strong play of Reggie Bush, who few other than Ireland believed could be a feature back, doesn’t hurt either.

51 responses to “Report: Dolphins will fire Sparano, Jeff Ireland will return

  1. How long has Stephen Ross been waiting to pull that trigger? I’ll bet he was starting to get real nervous, wished he had done it back when they were winless.

    Of course, Jeff Fischer is the best possible replacement, but Ross will be too busy chasing a coach with a ring to see that.

  2. If it happens, all I can say is MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED!

    I have had “FIRE TONY SPARANO!” on the back of my truck in white shoe polish since the Denver game! It is time! HIRE JEFF FISHER!

  3. Well today’s loss finally put the last nail in the coffin.
    I just don’t know who they are going to get if they keep the GM. This is going to be interesting.

  4. While not exactly happy about this, Ross has stated he wants some continuity in the organization so its not a surprise. Most people in league circles know that this was Irelands first year as the decision maker and that The Tuna was picking the groceries, up until last Septembers departure. So he will get to pick his OWN head coach and lets hope its not any television commentators who aren’t sure if they want to coach.

    As for Sparano he has been in over his head for awhile now. He seems to be a good guy and I was hoping he would do well since I’m a fellow Nutmegger but he continues to get out coached week in and week out. His second half “adjustments” are normally pretty terrible and his close to the vest, play not to lose approach has made his team play scared.

  5. The Dolphins have been coming together the last 5 games.But Ross wants a big name coach.If Ross is smart he’ll hire Bill Cowher because this team could be very good in no time with him.This team plays Cowhers style.

  6. The two of them came should go just as they came, as a fraction of the bad decisions Parcells made when he came to Miami. They will not get out of mediocrity for as long as Ireland is putting this team together.

  7. Shame on him for not taking a team led by Chad Hanne and Matt Moore and not making it to the playoffs!

    What kind of record would they expect when those are your two QB’s for the season? I think 4-8 is about right…

  8. Ireland needs to go too! His record at drafting players and signing free agents sucks. Get rid of both of them and start clean – and tell Peterson to keep his mouth shut! We saw what he did in KC!

  9. I think I’m going to be sick.

    I understand continuity, but the GM should really go. Let the continuity be the talented defense. The offense isn’t far off, if you can add a stud QB. It isn’t hard to ask in the interviews if the candidates feel that the current roster works with what they’re trying to do.

    The only continuity I’ve seen out of my Fins since Marino left is the ability to continually force me to drink my beer with salty tears.

    I chose the most relevant screen name ever.

  10. dolphins4 says:
    Dec 11, 2011 8:07 PM
    The Dolphins have been coming together the last 5 games.But Ross wants a big name coach.If Ross is smart he’ll hire Bill Cowher because this team could be very good in no time with him.This team plays Cowhers style.
    ———————————————————————-

    As much as I like cowher it took him a long time to have his steelers reach respectability. So don’t expect a quick turn around with cowher.

  11. The true irony in this is that my father is a Redskins fan. I’ve had years of hearing “we’re gonna be great next year!” or “All we need to do is….and we’ll be fine!” and I would tell him how mismanagement of your front office is why you guys fail. I believe now the shoe is on the other foot. Now I’ll be the dumb one who says “All we need to get is…” I liked Tony, I might be the only dolphan who does but if you guys believe one second that Ireland doesn’t belong filing for unemployment as well, then your deluded. Remember this guy thought to add a reciever to take double team pressure off of Marshall and after all options, he added GATES. That kid cant catch a tennis ball with velcro on his hands! I can’t wait for april as Ireland allows the skins/seahawks/kansas city/cleveland to leap frog him in the draft and take all of our possible franchise QB’s. The best gift Tony can leave us is to blow all remaining 3 games!

  12. Are you kidding me? Ireland is staying when he is as much, if not more, the cause of all the Dolphins problems. The Dolphins have ZERO impact players that are capable of changing the game on their own. Not a single Pro Bowler has been drafted since 2008 and even then, it’s Jake Long, our best player—a left tackle. Pat White, Patrick Turner, Phillip Merling—it’s just bust after bust after non-impact player, and they’re keeping Ireland? Thank God for the Heat (and maybe the Marlins and Panthers, too). With home games next year against the Titans, Seahawks, Rams, and Jaguars, congratulations at having another year with an empty stadium, Mr. Ross.

  13. As long as Ross isn’t concerned with selling tickets, it seems like a sound strategy.

    We don’t even need to get in to the fact that no coach worth a damn would come to Miami and work for that back-stabbing, POS Ireland.

  14. So the guy who helped select Jake Long over Matt Ryan, drafted bust like Pat White, Philip Merling, Patrick Turner, Chad Henne, and John Jerry gets to keep his job??? If this actually happens, as a fan I’m done. Yeah I’ll still root for them, but no way I’ll spend a single cent on Mr. Ross’s franchise. Btw, what proven coach is going to agree to work with Ireland? Not Cowher, Gruden, or Fisher. This organization is a joke.

  15. JEFF FISCHER????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? He has coached for 20 years and six times he finished above 500%. Anyone asking for him to be coach is a freaking IDIOT In the last 20 years we have finished above 500% 12 times and it has not gotten it done. HIRE Jeff Fischer You guys are Idiots.

  16. Ireland will be gone as well. Ross was seen ripping Ireland a new ass on the sidelines. The new HC will probably be the GM as well, or will be coming in with a GM of his liking. Better days are on the horizon.

  17. The Dolphins don’t have enough talent on their roster to compete with the powers of AFC such as the Steelers, Pats, Jets and Texans.

    As a life long Detroit Lions fan, this ridiculous report of an under performing GM being back for another season reminds of the Matt Millien years that us Lions fans had to suffer through. Millien would always blame the coach’s for our poor failures on the field; he refused to be held accountable.

    Bottom Line Ross needs to clean house!

  18. They played very poorly today, but they actually didn’t play that bad for those first seven games. They just happened to lose them all, most in the last few minutes.

    That being said, fire Sparano.

  19. The team has been underachieving for the last couple of years. They need to hire a HC with a background in offense. Keep Nolan but do not let him be HC. The head coach needs to be demanding of the players, hold them accountable and sit the guys that underachieve. That said, Ireland’s tendency to hire Cowboys rejects has hurt the team. They have almost all been garbage and were the glaring weaknesses on the team. He should go before Sparano

  20. I think they both should go but the Reggie Bush signing looks like a good one so far. If Ireland was responsible for Colombo and it wasn’t just a Sparano-Dallas connection then he’s got to go as well.

    This regime wasn’t horrible but the Stephen Ross is hell bent on shaking things up so we might as well clean house. The fact remains once the Dolphins get a QB they’ll have a good chance of being an above average team.

  21. As a fan of a division rival, I implore you Dolphins….

    PLEASE keep Matt Moore as your starting QB and do something stupid with your first round pick.

    I know I don’t even have to ask that you not adequately address the QB situation again, for the 13th year in a row, but please…..Matt Moore is definitely your answer long term. Go with that.

  22. Hire Mike Leach as HC, keep Nolan and Dabol, get rid of Ireland and do not take any phone calls from Carl Peterson…ever

  23. Matt Moore = Don Strock. Dolphins need to find another QB that can carry the team when necessary. Keep Moore as the starter and move him to a long-term backup role when the new kid is ready. (Please get one of the top 3 QBs…Luck, Barkley, RG3…no more trying to get “value” out of a 2nd tier guy later in the draft)

  24. No big name coach is going to come to the Dolphins without hand picking their own GM so if Ireland stays expect another no name reject head coach

  25. Ireland back as GM. Great news in the AFC East outside of Miami.

    Cowher , Gruden, Fisher, BLAH BLAH BLAH Harbaugh Ooops.

    Steven Ross, that is the reason the Dolphins will remain a mediocre francise at best to be better known as the “circus ownership” of the NFL.

  26. Is the problem REALLY Sparano or is it Ireland?Let’s face it, Sparano can only coach the players that Ireland gives him. He has gotten the most out of this bunch that he can; just look at how hard and tough they’ve been playing for him. Sparano is the fall guy because he could not make stars out of ALL of Ireland’s lousy picks and free agents. The defence played solid today only giving up approximately 250 yards to a potent Eagle offence. You guys might think I’m crazy but this team isn’t that far away and doesn’t need an overhaul. A stud QB, a stud pass rusher opposite Wake and a solid RT and who knows what Sparano could accomplish next year.

  27. This has the potential to become an even bigger mess! Ross is clearly an incompetent owner, incapable of making good football decisions, as witnessed by his loyalty Ireland and Peterson. What he does next could put this once-proud franchise into a hole it may never recover from. God help us Dolphans!

  28. If Ireland stays, you can take every top coaching prospect off of the list.

    Because even the guys who don’t want to be GM themselves are certainly going to want a voice in hiring new personnel people.

    If he does stay, you’re looking at “Hot Young Coordinator” not “Established Super Bowl Coach”.

  29. FinFan68 says: Dec 11, 2011 9:03 PM

    Hire Mike Leach as HC, keep Nolan and Dabol, get rid of Ireland and do not take any phone calls from Carl Peterson…ever
    =================================

    I think it’s pretty unlikely that Leach leaves his job at Washington State before coaching a single game.

  30. OK…FIRE SPARANO

    But, who would take that job????

    NOONE, wants to work for Ross…NOONE, wants that clown Ireland running personnel, he is clueless.

    Maybe,,,money gets Fisher,,,but won’t get Cowher, or Gruden. Otherwise, time to look @ assistants.

    Miami is not an attractive franchise for coaches…Ross, last spring, showed them why.

  31. Please sell the team Ross! How can you possibly keep Ireland? There is no talent on this team & that is Ireland’s fault! Stop listening to Carl Peterson!!! He destroyed the Chiefs & is now destroying this team. You are the worst owner in the NFL, period!!!!

  32. You’re an idiot Ross!!!! How do you expect to get a good coach to come here with Ireland as GM? Moron!!!!

  33. I am surprised that Stephen Ross is going to keep Jeff Ireland. Ireland is the person who recruited all these high-priced, underachievers, which include Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush. Sparano had to go, no question about it. However, I suspect that Ireland is on a short leash for next year. Whatever coach they hire, needs to have complete control of personal and the field. Whomever we choose for the next head coach for the Dolphins, we still must get a future QB from the draft. I say, Matt Barkley. Go Phins!!!

  34. Armando is the sports writing version of the proverbial “even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

    I don’t think this will be one of those times. Ireland has missed more often than he’s hit on draft picks and especially free agents. He’s developed a well-justified negative reputation as being tone deaf. I cannot see an accomplished HC like the great Cowher wanting to work under him. Even beyond that, it’s important for the organization to rid themselves of the overpromised/underdelivered “stench of Tuna.”

    We need to draft a QB, hopefully RG3 if we keep losing or have the pieces to trade up and then let him compete with Matt Moore. Being no better than MM, Sanchez has shown that a QB with limitations can be successful if he basically stays out of the way of the team.

  35. phishfan520 says:
    Dec 11, 2011 8:20 PM
    The true irony in this is that my father is a Redskins fan. I’ve had years of hearing “we’re gonna be great next year!” or “All we need to do is….and we’ll be fine!” and I would tell him how mismanagement of your front office is why you guys fail. I believe now the shoe is on the other foot. Now I’ll be the dumb one who says “All we need to get is…” I liked Tony, I might be the only dolphan who does but if you guys believe one second that Ireland doesn’t belong filing for unemployment as well, then your deluded. Remember this guy thought to add a reciever to take double team pressure off of Marshall and after all options, he added GATES. That kid cant catch a tennis ball with velcro on his hands! I can’t wait for april as Ireland allows the skins/seahawks/kansas city/cleveland to leap frog him in the draft and take all of our possible franchise QB’s. The best gift Tony can leave us is to blow all remaining 3 games!

    =================================

    Know what you mean. You could replace “Redskins” or “Miami” with “Cincinnati” (for the past 20 years) and it would sound just as right.

  36. I agree with the move to fire Sporano. He couldn’t even put a good OLine on the field. A new coach may want a new personnel guy but let’s waite and see. Mr. Ross may have learned a few things this year too. I believe that there will be major management changes because ticket sales are horrible and the stadium property is not being used to it’s full potential. There are some gambling law changes proposed that might affect property use too!

    Hey! Mike Nolan might even keep his job; you never know!

  37. This news makes my decision easy Mr. Ross. I am not renewing my season tickets. Good luck selling to the fan base the fact that you are bringing Ireland back & taking advice from Carl Peterson. You have turned this organization into a joke! You will no longer be selling out that stadium..

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