|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
|After barely escaping the offseason with his job, Tony Sparano didn't even last the full 2011 season as Dolphins coach.|
“Shortly before he was fired, Sparano held his regular Monday news conference. When asked if he wanted to comment on reports he would be fired after the season, he said no. "I want to coach against the Buffalo Bills this week. That's my sole focus," he said. Sparano was popular with his players, but a dismal home record and declining attendance accelerated his departure. The Dolphins lost 12 of 13 home games during one stretch. Sparano's teams tended to be dull, too. Last year Miami ranked third-worst in the NFL in scoring, and this year their offense often sputtered. His departure represents further dismantling of the regime built by Parcells after he joined the Dolphins in late 2007, as they staggered to the end of a 1-15 season. Ross took over as owner in early 2009, and Parcells turned control of football operations over to Ireland before last season. As in 2007, the Dolphins have issues at quarterback, in the offensive line and elsewhere. But Ross said the situation is not as bleak now. "Everybody recognizes there's a great foundation here to build upon," Ross said. "It's not starting all over again. This isn't the way the team was when Parcells came and they had to rebuild the entire roster." Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
I'd like to find a young Don Shula if that's possible.” -- Dolphins owner Stephen Ross
on what he's looking for in next coach