Sparano knows he needs to score plenty of points, or else


With Dolphins coach Tony Sparano getting a new contract only because owner Stephen Ross mishandled the failed courtship of Jim Harbaugh, Sparano is smart enough to know that he needs to win now, or collect his buyout.

Earlier this week, Sparano opened up to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports (thanks for the head’s up to our buddy Joe Rose of WQAM) regarding the changes the fourth-year head coach will make in order to make it to year five.

“The people that I worked for before, [low-risk play-calling is] how they approached it,” Sparano said, in a clear reference to Sparano’s former boss in Miami and Dallas, Bill Parcells.  “Nevertheless, this game has really changed and it has really changed in our division.  If you don’t score points in our division, you’re going to have a hard time winning football games.  So we have to do a better job of generating big plays, generating more scores and even though we feel like we have one of the best defenses in the league, we’d like them to play a little less.”

And so Sparano seems to be doing what Giants coach Tom Coughlin did in 2007:  Sparano is changing.

“I spent a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror, knowing that I need to make the change,” Sparano said.  “Obviously, three-quarters of my staff on offense is new.  That’s something that I felt we had to do.  I feel like Brian’s style is more aggressive. . . .  [But] it started with me with big plays and how hard we had to work to advance the ball down field in the past.  That’s where I had to look at myself and say, ‘I’m the CEO of the football part of it.  If I see it broke, I have to fix it and it has to start with me.’  We couldn’t crawl down the field anymore.”

Sparano’s spirit may be willing, but his team’s flesh may be weak.  Plenty of teams want to stretch the field.  Not all of them can.

So there’s a chance that this effort to keep the Dolphins’ defense on the field less could get them on the field more.  And it could get Sparano fired come January.

55 responses to “Sparano knows he needs to score plenty of points, or else

  1. Don’t worry Tony- the “best corner tandem in the NFL” resides in Miami! They’ve got VD!(WHAT?)

  2. The players are fine (even Henne). The head-scratching play calls need to stop. The offense was not good last year. They moved the ball between the 20s OK but they got ultra conservative and failed to score TDs. I don’t remember many throws where the ball actually crossed the goal-line in the air. His style reminds me of Jim Mora in his Saints days of the late 80s. (Good defense but let the offense sputter with conservative calls and hoped for the best at the end of the game) As good as it was, if the defense came down with even half of the picks they dropped, the Dolphins would have made the playoffs. The team is not as bad as many think.

  3. “If you don’t score points in our division, you’re going to have a hard time winning football games.”

    Good luck with that this year, Fins.
    As much as I’d like to see them beat the Jets and Pats (like most of the universe), I don’t see it.

  4. Start packing your bags.. you can fist pump your way home after another 7-9 season..last year the fish could run the ball just no one to pass the ball… now Ricky and Ronny are gone replaced by Reggie Bush and a mid round raft pick… How are you gonna score??? Lotsa luck Tony

  5. You dont have to change what you do…you have to get better at what you do.

    If he feels the Dolphins needed a change of offensive philosophy he should have told the owner, so he can hire a Head Coach that best fits that philosophy.

    If you don’t believe in your system of football, why are you a Head Coach?

  6. Russian,

    He wears the sunglasses because he suffers from extreme light sensitivity after getting hot oil in his eyes years ago.

  7. FinFan68 says,

    If the Dolphins defense would have come up with half the picks they dropped, the Fins would have made the playoffs.

    Maybe if they played in the NFC West ?

    The team is not as bad as many think ?

    Outside of Miami everyone knows this team is bound for last place in the AFC East.

    Steve Ross’s circus is now open. Taking applications for a Head Coach and GM in 2012.

  8. When it comes to Tony Sparano’s future????

    I envision him sitting in a diner in the first week of January……..

    Checks out the menu…….

    He looks up towards the door……..

    And the screen cuts to BLACK.

  9. Why all the negativity? The Dolphins have made drastic changes the past two years on both sides of the ball. You watch, the Dolphins will make the playoffs this year.

  10. Reference the ‘Eye’ comment.. He has a medical reason that requires him to protect one of his eyes from bright light..
    Reference the rest.. It’s about time he changed his way of thinking. This is the AFC East, not the Freakin Cowboys! With that being said, the weak link is Ireland! Look at the cap space and lack of smartz the GM has.. There were more than a few QB options during the lockout. Ireland is hanging his and Tony’s careers on a bad choice in drafting Henne over Flacco. I watched them both at the Senior Bowl. Henne didn’t impress the groundskeeper back then. I knew they would get Flacco but they blew it. Hanging on to a bad choice always eventually gets you in trouble. 50/50 chance right now. Their future is in the hands of Henne.. The squirming begins!

  11. I am going to enjoy watching a bunch of you eat your words at the end of the season. Chad is going to have a good year and Sparano will be here next year. This team has been built right, while teams such as the Jets have done the best they are going to do. Rather have a perennial contendter then one hit wonders.

  12. Sparano should be running a “cash only” used car lot (these are the kind of people Bill Parcels hangs with)

  13. chadmurdigan says: Aug 26, 2011 10:55 AM

    Uh, Tony, you need a franchise quarterback to “generate big plays.”
    No you don’t. You just need a good OC and a better than average QB and some decent skill players.Much as I hate McDaniels, look at how he maximized Cassel’s abilities in 08 and Orton’s in Den. For that matter, Weis did even better with Cassel. Neither one of those guys are elite but you can win with them.
    I think Henne holds them back more than Henning did, but we will see this year.
    I like Tony S. but I’m a Pats fan so I can’t wish him success. 🙂

  14. This guy has no business being an NFL Coach. The field goal fist pumping guy won’t fin and the fishies will still suck…Love it !

  15. It took last season’s abysmal offensive production for him realize he needed a new offensive philosophy?

    Smart coaches anticipate change and create trends. Dumb ones are dragged into it kicking and screaming. It’s not too hard to guess what category Sparano falls into.

  16. If you break down the stats, Henne played his worst when either up less than 8 points or tied. They teach Henne to make better decisions with the ball in these situations and they’ll make the playoffs.

  17. time will tell,but first of all the fins aren’t that bad they did have a break down at the end of last year and still finnished 7-9 and alot of the reason for that is lack of preformance from the offense and i’m certian even with henne at the helm that will change this year especially if they open it up some. they have some very good wideouts and henne does have a gun if they start hitting some deep passes that will back off defenses and open everything up and with miami’s defense just playing they same as they did last year (although they have improved that side of the ball)this team has a real chance

  18. “The people that I worked for before, [low-risk play-calling is] how they approached it,” Sparano said, in a clear reference to Sparano’s former boss in Miami and Dallas, Bill Parcells. “Nevertheless, this game has really changed and it has really changed in our division. If you don’t score points in our division, you’re going to have a hard time winning football games. So we have to do a better job of generating big plays, generating more scores and even though we feel like we have one of the best defenses in the league, we’d like them to play a little less.”


    Sporano is telling us that his mentor Bill Parcells was so old school and out of touch with today’s NFL. Moreover Parcells had no idea what to do regarding today’s NFL spread offenses. A scout
    told me when Parcells was hired by the Dolphins that he was not highly regarded by NFL insiders. The scouts should have told the NFL business owners, especially the current Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

    A message to Bill Parcells; Bill stay retired, even though ESPN recently hired you. You’re not relevant regarding today’s NFL.

  19. time will tell. lets not get into assumptions here. give them the benefit of the doubt. not saying their going to the playoffs or super bowl but give them a chance.

  20. Sparano is a good coach..BUT:

    His GM is inept…and the players he has to work with..highly questionable.

    Reggie Bush as featured back???…Will he play 8 games???…Guy is fragile. Can he handle incresed touches when he is every teams’ target????

    Their receivers…mentally [ Marshall] and physically…do they measure up????..Not in top 1/2 of AFC

    Lastly…Mr Steven Ross….the class clown of owners…makes Wayne H look like Bob Kraft….But give him credit….His in stadium disco comes equipped with the best Bimbos money buys….and his halftime shows are tops in all pro sports.

    Sadly…looks like Dolphins no more than 6 win team.

  21. “mistrezzrachael says:
    Aug 26, 2011 12:51 PM Lastly…Mr Steven Ross….the class clown of owners” REALLY? BASED ON WHAT?? The first owner to do something different in HIS stadium, like a club? So he must be a clown for thinking outside of the box? Then how is it that the CLUB LIV is sold out ever game then? “Celebrity” owners? Orange carpet, if it is so clowning, how come there are 5k people lined up to see them? Building a HUGE water park next to the stadium to give us something more to do? The 2nd richest owner in the NFL< and spents whatever it takes to field a competative team?

  22. Sparano is a good coach… but the off season moves this year are baffling…

    They needed:
    -OC (which they did but I don’t see that the play calling is any better so far),
    -QB (ignored), and
    -better blocking (largely ignored)

    Instead they spent big money on all new backs with less yards per carry and less games played last 3 years.

    Sparano basically married Henne now and he better hope that Chad starts putting up a chain of 100+ ratings

  23. These posts are ridiculous. Most football fans are like so many Americans, in that they make bold and rash generalizations that miss the mark completely. Football is a complex game with so many moving parts, and most people making posts on this blog don’t get that. This leaves us with posts like “Good thing we drafted all those linebackers”, when a deep linebackers corp might prove to be essential to a playoff push for the Dolphins. Bottom line is this: most people posting here don’t know how to use their brains to construct original ideas so they post garbage, leaving those of us who would like to share thoughts about football rolling our eyes.

  24. oh please, nothing to worry about! just go to the dolphins fan blog “the phinsider” and see that the dolphins have the best defence in the league, henne is showing he is the real deal after a few preseason games and a second round pick they traded up to get, who has looked lost at training camp, will more than offset the loss of williams and brown. i am not kidding when i say this….the bills will be better than miami this season.

  25. oldhamletman summed it up nicely

    Sparano is a good coach – but not only are the personnel moves baffling, he’s going to have a tough time catching up to the Patriots and maybe even the Jets

    Those are the breaks of the game – in a weaker conference he might look like a better coach – so chances are they finish 3rd, Sparano gets fired, and then the Fins start all over again putting the next head coach even further behind the 8-ball.

  26. Sparano wants to score points…

    So he hires Brian Daboll.

    Does he not know that Daboll is the mastermind behind the worst offense in Cleveland Browns history? I think for 4 straight games under him the Browns failed to rack up even 100 passing yards in 2009.

    Just wow. I know it’s the Browns, but talk about a horrible hire for your OC.

  27. Pat White was better than Henne should of kept him. Matt Moore is better than Henne he should be starting. But the reason you do not have job security is you did not draft Ryan Mallett. So he has street in his voice big deal. So does Ben Roeslesberger and super bowls later who is complaining. Going to the Patriots was the best thing for Mallett. His throwing motion needed to be shortened Brady had the same problem coming out so it worked for Mallett. But Miami not getting Mallett is what is gonna cost you your jobs. Ireland is the one who did not want Mallett; Sparano you should of stood up to that idiot Ireland.

  28. i heard he got hot spaghetti sauce splashed in his eyes when he was checking it because no one was stirring it.

  29. They pay Sparano more than they pay a starting QB.

    It’s a QB League now – right?

    This franchise is headed for another 1 – 15 season

  30. @REALDRAFTGM- you cannot be serious about pat white being better that henne he may be more athletic but a better qb come on man! but in fairness to white i’ll say maybe he was but he was to busy getting knocked out for us to know. white may have been better suited at wr or even a db he was just to light in the rear end to be a qb and take hits that every qb takes

  31. My wish is for an original thought on the Dolphin blog, however I don’t expect to see that in my life time. Bill

  32. RussianBreadMaker says: Aug 26, 2011 10:48 AM

    He needs to take those sun glasses off.

    Every Sparano thread you get somebody complaining about his sunglasses. Get a clue.

    ampats says: Aug 26, 2011 11:33 AM

    Outside of Miami everyone knows this team is bound for last place in the AFC East.

    Steve Ross’s circus is now open. Taking applications for a Head Coach and GM in 2012.

    And here is ampats, or as it is pronounced outside of Boston, armpits, into another dolphins thread to talk about his has been team. There will be plenty of room on the bandwagon when you choose to jump on, armpits. Lord knows you will be a dolphins fan in a few years along with all the other pats fans who will tire of their losing.

  33. Hey everyone. STOP RUSHING TO JUDGEMENT AND LET HENNE HAVE A 2ND FULL YEAR IN THE LEAGUE FOR GODS SAKE. You all are so fast to just say “it didn’t work the first year lets just pull the plug. Do people forget last year was the first full year he got to play? I’m tired of hearing all of your crying and whining “Oh we need and new quarterback who’s going to get the ball down the field WAAAAAAAAAAAA! . GO F YOURSELF. GIVE THE GUY A CHANCE OR HAVE FUN WAITING ANOTHER 3 YEARS TO GROOM A QUARTERBACK!

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