Is Firing Sparano the Answer?

By Joe Tichy

It’s no lie the Miami Dolphins have become the whipping boy for the AFC East over the last few years. Ever since that one quarterback left in 1999, things have not been the same. Twelve years later, Miami has yet to find a legitimate starting quarterback or a credible NFL head coach. The names Cleo Lemon, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron, and Jay Fielder will live on in Dolphins infamy.

Enter Tony Sparano. The fiery head coach took his talents to South Beach from Dallas in 2008 after Cam Cameron “led” the Dolphins to a 1-15 record the previous year. He came highly recommended after serving under Bill Parcells in Dallas. Sparano instantly became a fan favorite leading the Dolphins to an 11-5 record, an AFC East title, and more importantly, a playoff appearance. The AFC Wild Card game against the Baltimore Ravens would be the last time Miami even sniffed the postseason.

For a head coach to stick with a quarterback who has been less than average is beyond comprehension. Analysts and reporters teased Miami fans with the notion that Kyle Orton may soon be coming their way via trade. What better way to properly showcase what Brandon Marshall is capable of than bringing his old quarterback to his new team. Apparently the coach and front office felt there was a better way and that was sticking with Henne and bringing in Matt Moore from Carolina.

Sparano’s outbursts on the sidelines have grown tiresome and so has losing. I don’t think firing Sparano is the only option the Dolphins have. I think a spring cleaning session is in order. At this rate, the Dolphins are going to be lucky to finish .500 with a game against New England, two games against the much improved Bills, two games against the Jets, and one against the underperforming yet still dangerous Philadelphia Eagles.

The bye week is generally the time to let the coach go, but it seems owner Stephen Ross has given his team and staff a vote of confidence. Ross said, “I believe Tony is the right coach and all the games we have played have been very close.” Unfortunately, close doesn’t cut it in the National Football League.

The Dolphins will be in more trouble if they don’t act soon. The Patriots aren’t getting any worse, the Bills are getting better, and the Jets are still a team the Dolphins can’t seem to figure out completely. Reggie Bush is an improvement, but isn’t a long-term answer. Rookie running back Daniel Thomas is already having hamstring and groin problems. Drafting good offensive linemen like Jake Long and Mike Pouncey are beneficial, but do they make a difference if their quarterback can’t properly run the offense? The Wildcat was a great gimmick play until teams figured it out. It may be time for a new gimmick in Miami. Players and fans alike hope that gimmick is winning.

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