Latest on Tony Sparano and the Miami Dolphins

The last 24 hours in Miami Dolphins land has been fun, hasn’t it?  The Dolphins were beaten Sunday by the Chargers 26-16 and dropped the team to 0-4 this season.  Prior to the game the hot seat for Dolphins Coach, Tony Sparano, was estimated to be ‘hot’, and that’s being kind.  Following Sunday’s loss, the temperature is now approaching that of the sun.  Many expected the Dolphins to put their coach out of his misery this week (the bye week), as the playoffs are about as far from the Dolphins as Charlie Sheen is from being sober.  But, as of this writing, nothing has happened.  In fact, last night reports indicated that the Dolphins would allow Sparano to coach at least until the October 17th game at the New York Jets.

Photo by Chris J. Nelson

Then, this morning, we receive word that the Dolphins cancelled their ‘day after’ media news conference and said it will be held on Tuesday.  There are conflicting reports, as some suggest that it has always been the plan, while others say this is out of the ordinary:

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So what are we as Dolphins fans to believe?  Unfortunately, the only thing we can do is wait….just like Coach Sparano.  Most Dolphins fans are calling for not only Sparano to be fired, but Jeff Ireland (Dolphins GM), as well.  Fans will likely get their wish, but it may not come as quickly as some may hope.  After all, will installing Mike Nolan (or someone else) as the interim coach, really help the team in 2011?  If it’s Mike Nolan, you’re putting a guy in charge that failed in San Francisco and turned the #6th NFL defense (2010) into the #30th (2011).

I think fans are just looking for blood because they are frustrated by the atrocious play we’ve all seen from the Dolphins in 2011.  And frankly, I do too.  Dolphins fans had certain expectations and they are not being met.  How can a defense that ranked 6th in the NFL last season, returning 10 of 11 starters be so much worse this season?  How can the offensive line be more porous than strainer?  How can the running game be so bad that we had to sign Steve Slaton to come in and help?  And we haven’t even mentioned the quarterback!

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is in a very tough spot.  But, Mr. Ross, you put yourself in this spot.  You flew across the country in the most publicized flight since the Wright Brothers.  You interviewed another coach, while you had a coach in place.  Then, to fix the situation you gave a contract extension to a coach that you thought was so bad that you were trying to replace him in the first place!  Ross gave Sparano and extension to coach the Dolphins through 2012 and now 4 games later he’s going to fire him?  Tough for him to woo any potential candidates by doing things like that.  But to remove the distraction from the team, which will be hounded by questions for the next 2 weeks, something must be done one way or the other.  Otherwise, this will linger over the Dolphins team like a storm cloud.

It’s obvious (to everyone who watches football), that Sparano AND Ireland are not getting the job done….it is almost a certainty that the Dolphins will be head coach shopping in January.  If you’re looking for a list of potential candidates, here are a few to consider: Jeff Fisher, Brian Billick, Bill Cowher, John Gruden, and Brian Schottenheimer.  The list is much longer, but those are some that immediately jump to mind.  There will be plenty of time to nitpick the pros and cons of each, when the time arises.  For now, we’re all on Sparano watch, waiting to see if and when the Dolphins Owner decides to make a move……the clock is ticking…

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