Inside The Bills

Report: Sparano fired

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2011 – 3:59 pm

FOX Sports Jay Glazer is reporting that the Miami Dolphins have fired head coach Tony Sparano.

Reports are indicating that secondary coach Todd Bowles is the favorite as the interim replacement.

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Sparano on how Losman played

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2011 – 3:27 pm

Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano had to turn to J.P. Losman at quarterback after starter Matt Moore left Sunday’s game with a reported mild concussion. Here was his review of Losman’s performance.

“J.P. did a good job in the game yesterday,” Sparano said. “Given the circumstances J.P came into the game and I wouldn’t say we had to throw it. It was still a two score game somewhere in and around there. But obviously had to move the football. There was some things that were happening on that ground that were giving us some chunk plays.

“But J.P. came in right away and made a big third down conversion on the throw to (Anthony) Fasano I believe it was. Threw an excellent ball to (Anthony) Fasano down the middle, a good ball to (Brian) Hartline on the sideline and threw another good ball to (Anthony) Fasano in the red area there that we just didn’t finish.

“I thought he did some pretty good things. For his first time out there really in quite a while there’s going to be some things he’s going to be able to learn from. He’ll see the film I’m sure today at some point. But I was pleased with what he did when he went into the game in those circumstances.”

Losman was 6-10 passing for 60 yards. He was sacked five times.

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Sparano sees change in Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2010 – 9:35 am

In preparing for the Bills the second time around he sees some notable changes in their offense.

“Yeah I think the challenges in game planning for them now….I think the biggest challenge is the quarterback,” Sparano said. “I think that’s probably the biggest hurdle right now. So, he’s just playing differently than what we prepared for before. I think also at the time last time they had some injuries prior to our game… the running back situation wasn’t quite what it is right now.

“We expected in the last ball game a lot of (C.J.) Spiller and now I think you’re going to get more of (Fred) Jackson and (C.J.) Spiller as the curve ball coming in there and at that time they even (Marshawn) Lynch on the team, so. We weren’t sure where they were going there with that three-headed deal. We actually thought at one point we would see all of them in the backfield at one time in some form of wildcat some or another (you know) where now they obviously got two people and it’s a little bit of change up between (Fred) Jackson and (C.J.) Spiller.”

For fans that don’t remember both Jackson and Lynch were coming off injuries in the preseason and Spiller was lighting it up in the preseason, so it’s not surprising to hear Sparano describe their prep for the first game that way. Seeing their indecision as to what to prepare for with the three backs at the time gives you a peek into how it’s difficult to prepare for teams in Week 1 when there’s no regular season tape to go off of.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Sparano expecting Bills Wildcat

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2010 – 8:31 am

Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, whose team was the first in the league to re-introduce the Wildcat formation, is fully anticipating the possibility of seeing a version of that formation from the Bills on Sunday.

“First of all, I know that Chan’s history is one that he’s done whatever he has to do to move the football and he has utilized his personnel as best he can,” Sparano said. “That’s really what we did when we started the Wildcat thing. As far as them running it, I’ve seen everybody else running it so it’s not something new anymore. And most defenses are now having to prepare for it every day against their own team. Do I expect to see it this weekend? I expect to see a little bit of everything this weekend.”

Buffalo showed some Wildcat in the preseason game against Cincinnati with C.J. Spiller as the primary ball handler.

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Sparano on weather factor

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2009 – 8:02 am

Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano isn’t worried about the weather that Buffalo might have in store for his team Sunday.

“I just think that those are some of the distractions that you have to deal with when you go play in the cold weather places. From our end, we prepare as best as we can prepare here for that, wet balls, cold balls, all the things that we try to do with our guys that way handling the football,” said Sparano. “No different than when we would go to the Meadowlands, New England, or when we go to any of those places. This team has played in cold weather before and has done a pretty nice job there. As I told the team, I think those things are excuses, so I’d rather not use them.”

The forecast for Sunday isn’t bad at all with a high of 46 and a slight chance of showers. That’s a picnic for late November up here.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Sparano knows Fewell

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2009 – 2:38 pm

Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano when asked about Perry Fewell taking over as interim head coach for the Bills reminded everyone that he and Fewell once coached together.

Sparano was the tight ends coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002. Fewell was the secondary coach for the Jaguars on that same coaching staff.

“Perry was always a strong leader and got the most out of his players,” said Sparano. “And that’s what I saw on the tape from their game last week. Guys were playing hard for him.”

Fewell offered the following on his recollections of Sparano as a coach back in 2002 when they were together on the Jaguars staff.

“Good football coach,” said Fewell. “Very thorough, very knowledgeable, detailed in his work. You could see big things coming out of Tony, and I’m very happy for what he has done and what he’s doing there.”

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Sparano on Henne’s play

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2009 – 2:15 pm

Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano commented on how he thought backup quarterback Chad Henne performed when he came in for the injured Chad Pennington.

“I think that Chad made a couple of mistakes in there,” said Sparano. “One of the mistakes was the interception. He actually looked to the right first, they did a pretty good job of sitting on the route there, and then came right to the left, without hesitation, threw the ball out there. That is a mistake he can learn from during the course of this thing.

“Other than that, there were some location issues, throwing the ball with location. Those were the biggest issues during the course of the game from a minus standpoint. From a positive standpoint, he scored 10 points while he was in there on a couple of drives. I don’t think at any point during the game was really flustered at all.

“Thirty something plays. He got hit a couple of times in there. One time we had a mental error up front and [Kevin] Burnett came through the A gap. They made a sack and he wasn’t fazed in the least bit. I thought his look and demeanor for going into the game at that point was very good and his handle of the offense was pretty good. Location, he completed 50% I think. A ball here or there and he is over 60%. He has to do a little bit better that way.”

For the game against the Chargers Henne was 10-19 for 92 yards and had an INT returned for a TD that put the game away for San Diego.

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Sparano on Bills ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on December 4, 2008 – 2:09 pm

Naturally an opposing head coach is always going to pump up the opposition, not only so his team doesn’t take them lightly, but so there’s no potential bulletin board material either. But I thought some of what Sparano said about Buffalo’s defense was pretty genuine, particularly what he said about Denney, Kelsay and Mitchell.

“They’re a very good defense, they really are,” said Sparano. “They’re playing pretty well. You play a game that they played last week; you would hope that nine out of 10 times you win that football game. Defensively, they’ve done a very nice job there. I think what concerns me most is whether or not we can protect the passer in this game. (Ryan) Denney is getting much better at what he does and (Chris) Kelsay is a pain in the neck. The guy goes a million miles an hour and he’s a full day’s work. And then they’ve got the big guys inside with (Kyle) Williams and (Marcus) Stroud and they make a lot of pressure that way. I think their linebackers are outstanding. I think (Kawika) Mitchell is playing very well for them.”

For those that may not have noticed, the Bills defense is ranked 12th overall in the league, 17th vs. the run, 14th vs. the pass, 9th in 3rd down defense and 14th in points allowed. I know going into the season I wrote that I’d be pretty pleased if this team was in the top half of the league in total defense, in light of how much improvement was needed from last season. Not satisfied, but pleased.

It looks like they’ve got a good shot to make good on that.

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Miami NT Ferguson questionable for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 24, 2008 – 9:38 pm

Miami’s most important run defender, veteran NT Jason Ferguson was able to practice fully on Friday as he tries to recover from an oblique muscle injury suffered last Sunday. He was unable to practice Wednesday and Thursday. By the sound of head coach Tony Sparano’s description, he’s likely a game time decision.

“He was back out there today and he had a good day, so we’ll see,” said Sparano. “A lot of it depends largely on how he feels, tomorrow, when he gets back in here. But we did get some work done with him today and he went through the whole practice.”

If he can’t go it will be Randy Starks starting in his place, with rookie Lionel Dotson and 2nd year man Paul Soliai rotating in. No Ferguson would be a big loss for the Dolphins run front.

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Dolphins plan if no Ferguson

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2008 – 2:32 pm

If NT Jason Ferguson cannot play for Miami on Sunday, here’s Tony Sparano’s contingency plan.

“We’ll see what happens,” said Sparano. “It’ll be Paul (Soliai), it’ll be (Randy) Starks, (Lionel) Dotson.  There will be some people moving in and out of there.”

The Dolphins training staff has worked a lot on getting Soliai’s weight down. At 6’4″ 355 he’s dropped some weight already according to Sparano. 

“Paul is getting better and better as a nose.  He has been progressively getting better and better and I think has done some nice things that way.  He had a ways to go when we came in here from a physical standpoint.  He was really too heavy at the time, we needed to get some weight off of him.  We got 40 or 50, almost 45 pounds Paul is down right now.  He’s moving better, his stamina is better, strength is better, all of those things that make you a good nose guard in there.  I think he’s really gotten a lot better that way.  Now it was just a reps thing.  We got him quite a few reps during the preseason.  It’s just been in the regular season now.  He’s been maybe 10 plays somewhere in there, it just depends on the game.  If we’re playing a team where we’re in ‘Nickel’ and we’re in ‘Sub’ defense a lot, neither he or (Jason) Ferguson are out there a whole lot in those situations.  It’s kind of the trickle down deal and he doesn’t get as many plays.”

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Dolphins injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2008 – 3:27 pm

Miami could be without starting NT Jason Ferguson Sunday. He suffered a rib/hip/oblique muscle injury last Sunday against Baltimore.

“We’re just going to go through it right now, but he’s just really sore right now,” said Dolphins coach Tony Sparano Monday. “We’ll see what happens. He’s just going to be day-to-day.”

His possible replacements are Randy Starks and Paul Soliai, but neither are the same player as Ferguson. Starks is a bit undersized for the nose and Soliai is a plugger, but not as athletic as Ferguson.

Starks filled the void last week against the Ravens partly because Soliai was inactive after violating team rules. Sparano thought Starks did pretty well.

“Starks really, I thought, did an admirable job in there,” said Sparano. “He really did. I thought, obviously, he didn’t get a ton of work during the week that way for it, but he has had work in there, and I thought he did a nice job; Randy did, of running to the football and playing. One of his first plays there was a tackle for loss in the backfield, that type of stuff. Where you struggle when you’re not a nose in this deal is the fundamental part of it and I think that’s probably where most of Randy’s minuses occurred were just fundamentals. Where you’re putting your hands and maybe giving up a soft shoulder one way or the other. But I thought he played physical in there and did a nice job.”

Sparano said Starks hasn’t had enough work at NT which is why he struggled with some of the fundamentals at that position. Sparano also said if they’re without Ferguson it will not prompt them to switch to a 4-3 front instead of a 3-4.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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