It wasn’t what he was saying. It was how he was saying it. Tony Sparano’s deflated tone in his post-game press conference carried with it an air of resignation. The conventional thinking is that Sparano HAD to run the table to have a chance to keep his job. He didn’t. Its almost as if he knew it was win or else.
That might explain some of his coaching decisions during that loss to the Eagles. He gambled that Dan Carpenter could boot a 55-yard field goal on a windy day. He didn’t. The game against Philly instantly turned around, and the Dolphins never regained the momentum they lost.
The Dolphins struggled mightily in short yardage situations. After getting stuffed on third and short, they bravely went for it three times on fourth down. They got stuffed each time. Those short yardage play calls were painfully predictable, and ineffective.
Sadly for Sparano, it was a game that highlighted why his future is dim. When facing a team with equal and superior talent, the Fins have fizzled. Only two of their wins have come against teams with winning records, and the Bills and Raiders are looking more fraudulent as the season goes on.
Whether its a combination of talent, creativity or both…the Dolphins are a notch or two below the NFL elite. Sparano will be hard pressed to prove that he’s the man to get them there.
By Jim Berry