Now that the Dolphins are officially eliminated from the playoffs, we can start to focus on some other various topics besides which teams we play the upcoming week, and their strengths and weaknesses.
It seems that some other people within the organization, and around it are starting to steer their attention away from the football aspect of the team, to the off the field topics.
Surprisingly, head coach Tony Sparano revealed an answer regarding the future of the Dolphins offense today in his day after press conference. When asked on whether or not he would like offensive coordinator Dan Henning back for next year Sparano had this to say;
“I think that Dan Henning, for Tony Sparano, has been tremendous,” Sparano said. “I think the guy has done a wonderful job during my time here.”
“I look at the entire body of work, you guys just look at the last three or four games,” Sparano told reporters. “I look at the whole body of work and this guy has done a tremendous job.”
If Sparano wants to go ahead and guarantee his way out of Miami, he just did it. If he manages to bring back Henning for another year, and persuade Henning to not retire, or just gives any indication that he is trying to retain Henning on his staff, he might find himself without a head coaching job next year, at least in Miami.
Henning has repeatedly been the main problem on offense for the Dolphins, and is actually the reason why quarterback Chad Henne has been so inconsistent throughout the year. The way Henning’s very predictable and ancient offense is supposed to be run, everyone knows what we are going to do, play conservative ball and play for a field goal if at all possible.
And I’m sorry to say this, but that quote above from Sparano is the last straw for me.
Sparano’s staff reflects back on him, and I believe in that 100 percent. All year long it has been Sparano getting pumped up over a field goal, and yesterday when we scored the second of the two touchdowns we had, Sparano barely showed any emotion compared to what he shows after a field goal. To me, and what should be to him, a field goal reflects that your offense just couldn’t finish the job, and the ultimate thing to have in sports is finishers, and that is not what this team has, at all.
As much as the players love Sparano, he just is not suited for a head coaching job at this point in his career. While he may be a great motivator, he has shown that he and his offensive staff are not suited to make adjustments at all during the game. If anything they have shown that they can abandon a gameplan, and leave their quarterback out to dry, but other than that, I have seen little to no adjustments made by Sparano and his offensive crew.
But it is not just Sparano and Henning that should get the boot. Karl Dorell should also be on his way out. As the quarterbacks coach, I would have to say that his work with Henne has been sub-par. When Henne came into the league, his M/O was that he was inconsistent, but had all of the tools to be a successful NFL starter.
Unfortunately, Henne is still the same guy he was coming out of college. He is still inconsistent, and we still have not fully harnessed the skills that Henne has, and really, our coaching staff has no idea how to utilize them. In fact, they have no idea still how to use their best offensive weapon, Brandon Marshall!
That should be more than enough to fire at the very least your quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, but if Sparano wants to bring back Henning, then I’m sorry, but he has to go too.
And with Sparano leaving, that would put us in contention for a new head coach, most likely Bill Cowher. Cowher has said that the Dolphins are one of the top three teams on his “Coaching Wish List”, along with the New York Giants and the Houston Texans. The Giants, barring a collapse that keeps them out of the playoffs, will keep their head coach, while the Texans owner, Bob McNair, has said that he is fine with his coach, Gary Kubiak.
So that leaves the Miami Dolphins as possibly the lone team that Cowher would come out of retirement to coach. And with Cowher will come the responsibility of being his own general manager as well. I’m almost positive that would be a must in his contract.
So that would also mean that our current general manager Jeff Ireland would be on the outskirts of this franchise by the end of February as well.
And to tell the truth, I’m perfectly fine with that. While Ireland has done a respectable job in the draft and through free agency, he has had some major busts along the way with which there is no room for failure. He also has failed to form a roster to get this team over the hump and into the playoffs. No doubt that if Sparano is gone after it’s all said and done, Ireland would be too, because Cowher would be the teams number one target.
Let’s face it, this team has more than enough talent to get to the playoffs. But in the end, a team has to have some amount of gameplanning and ability to coach up a team at halftime, and not just motivate. If Stephen Ross wants to hire Sparano as the teams motivator, then go right ahead, but he has not served as a good coach for this team.
When he totally reconstructed the interior of the offensive line this off-season I thought everything would be alright since he was a former offensive line coach, and that was his specialty. I figured that he knew what he was talking about, and would coach up the new guys enough for our offense to keep on rolling this season. Obviously that was not the case as our running game has struggled because of the moves that we made this off-season. Letting go of Justin Smiley, Jake Grove and Donald Thomas was the biggest mistake Ireland and Sparano could have made, and to me, it is the main failure in their tenure here.
If Sparano wants to defend Henning, that’s fine by me, but actually saying you want him back next season after he has hindered your quarterback of the future, and the rest of the offense, while costing you a handful of wins is absolutely ridiculous, and may have been the worst thing Sparano could have said at this point in time.
There are rumblings that Sparano and Ireland could be gone right after the season, and with the body of work that they have put together, a mediocre team with so much potential, and the coaching staff that has let the whole fanbase and offense down, they should rightly so be on their way out. The time is now for this team to win, and some of our key players are not getting any younger. The time is now to make a change, a massive overhaul with the coaching staff, head coach, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, offensive line coach, and general manager. The time is now to also start to pile together a group of coaches that can make their players better, and play better than their potential for once. Cowher, or some other coach just may be able to do that better than Sparano can at this point.