On Monday, Stephen Ross did what many Dolphins fans have been expecting for months….he fired Tony Sparano. As seems to be his way, Ross conducted the firing…well, awkwardly. To top it off, Ross FORGOT to fire someone who deserved to be fired, Jeff Ireland. We’ll get to why he should have been fired in a second.
First, let’s look at Tony Sparano’s firing; After starting 0-7, the writing was on the wall that Sparano would not return as Dolphins head coach in 2012. Heck, the Dolphins owner interviewed Jim Harbaugh in January, while Sparano still had the job. Then, we heard rumors in Sept/Oct that the Dolphins had ‘reached out’ to Bill Cowher. Ross has been itching to cut ties with Sparano. In my opinion, it was time for Sparano to go. Tony is a great guy and deserved a better fate…However, 3 straight seasons with 9 losses or more will get most coaches fired.
It’s not the fact that Sparano was fired that bothered me….it’s how they handled it. Why did they make him face the media in an 11:30am press conference when they were about to fire him? Why make him face questions about reports of his demise when you were going to fire him just a couple of hours later? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE!?!? Anyway, I with Tony Luck, as I’m sure he’ll get a job as an OLine coach or Offensive Coordinator….or maybe as a male cheerleader with his fist pumps of fury.
Now, Jeff Ireland….Oh, you slipperly, slimy ginger, you. Jeff Ireland saw the writing on the wall in Miami after Parcells left and got as close to Ross as possible. He’s been in Ross’ ear for a while now and I’m sure has privately blamed Sparano (numerous times) for the teams’ struggles. After all, if the coach is doing a good job and the team isn’t performing, then it must be a lack of talent supplied by the GM, right? Ireland buddying up with Ross ensured that he could steer the direction that Ross would lean.
So now, out of the original trifecta, Ireland is the only member that remains. Parcells retired, but is still getting paid by the Dolphins. Sparano was deemed to not have done a good enough job and has been let go. Ireland, he gets to not only stay on board, but he gets to conduct the Dolphins coaching search. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!? Jeff ‘the Pat White Drafting, Marc Colombo Signing’ Ireland is staying on as GM. He has made more mistakes than good moves, yet he can stay and Sparano takes the blame. Not fair and in my opinion, not what’s best for the organization. Why? Because the Dolphins want (most likely) a big name coach…think Cowher, think Gruden, think Fisher. Those gentlemen are proven coaches and will either want to know their GM or will want to be the GM. If Ireland is the GM, it could be a HUGE breaking point for attracting these coaches. Further, if Ireland is conducting the search, why would he even bother looking at someone who will want him to be fired, or to take another position in the organization?
It’s all mind boggling and I can’t understand what Stephen Ross is thinking. The Trifecta failed and should be surgically removed from the organization so that the residue (and GM) does not linger for whomever the next coach is. You can still fix this Mr. Ross, by firing Jeff Ireland.