Today we are going to look at reasons why that Miami Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross should stick with Tony Sparano as his head coach in 2011. Later this week we will examine the reasons he should replace Tony Sparano for next year and beyond. After laying out all of the reasons for and against a regime change, we’ll see what you think and open up a poll to see what Phin Nation thinks the Dolphins owner should do.
So why should Tony Sparano get another season to coach the Miami Dolphins?
1. He’s coaching for his job
Some people will say that he was doing that this year. But let’s not forget what Tony has done in his brief tenure in Miami. He took at 1-15 team in 2007 and turned them into a division winner that finished with an 11-5 record in 2008. Overall he is 25-24 before this Sunday’s showdown with the New England Patriots. Many expected a drop off after the magical 2008 season. Why? Because it’s one thing to take a bad team and make them good, but it’s a tougher task to take a good team and make them great. In 2009 and 2010, Sparano failed to do so, albeit facing a tough schedule in each season. Now that the defense is corrected and improving every week, Tony must turn the offense into a upper echelon group. If he has no contract beyond 2011, he knows next season will be his last unless he takes the team deep into the playoffs.
The players love Sparano and play hard for him. A few tweaks to the offensive side of the ball and he could have a title contender in Miami in 2011. The biggest change on offense could come in the way of the offensive coordinator. Dan Henning is going to retire, make no mistake about it. Finding a good offensive coordinator to help the offense play to it’s strengths would go a long way towards helping the Dolphins. A new playcaller, even if he’s working from a similar playbook, would help this team, immediately. No more play action passes on 3rd and 17. No more Wildcat on 3rd and 9. No more mass confusion in the 2 minute drill.
2. Labor Dispute
This one hasn’t been talked about nearly enough. I’ve been a Dolphins fan for 25 years and completely understand that disappointment in this year’s team. BUT, with the owners set to lockout the players early in 2011, there is a chance that many OTA’s, mini camps, etc. will not happen. If the Dolphins bring in a new coach, he likely won’t have the luxury of a full offseason to shape the team in the way that he wants. This means continuity is key. Say the Dolphins brought in Jon Gruden. He might not have a chance to install his offense and overall philosophies until August or even later. Do you really want the Dolphins to go through another rough year? I, for one, do not want another lost season.
3. He doesn’t buy the groceries
Sparano and the trifecta brought in Chad Henne and it goes without saying that he has been inconsistent. He has not progressed to where the Dolphins hoped he would be by now. Sparano, I’m sure has a say, but the offensive line is constantly being rebuilt. They have 2 underachieving, aging running backs. Yes, he does have to take the fault for part of this, but it’s not all on him. Jeff Ireland must take some of the blame here. The Dolphins have drafted a number of offensive linemen since the trifecta took over and only 2 are still on the team. Sparano should be developing these players, BUT you can only squeeze so much orange juice out of an orange.
4. Other Options
The names being thrown around right now for the Miami job, if it were to become open, include Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden. BUT, what if Stephen Ross decides to fire Tony Sparano, and the bigger name coaches DON’T come to Miami. I don’t want to see Brian Billick or an up and coming coordinator in Miami. Has Sparano had issues? Of course. But, do you really want to risk another Cam Cameron at the helm?
Any others that we may have left out? Please hit up our comment section and let us know what you think. Later this week we’ll have the reasons Tony Sparano should be out in Miami.