The Miami Herald reported on Wednesday that Miami Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross is "very frustrated" by the performance of the team in their 0-5 start to the 2011 season. The continued lack of success by the Dolphins has led to increased scrutiny on the team, and an increase in speculation that head coach Tony Sparano could be, and maybe should be, fired.
According to the Herald's report, a "close associate" of Ross' stated that, even though the owner decided to keep Sparano following the loss to the Jets, an 0-6 start would result in a "re-evaluation" of Sparano's position. The Dolphins play the 1-4 Denver Broncos, who are starting second year quarterback Tim Tebow for the first time this season, on Sunday.
Ross has hesitated in making a move up until now for several reasons, according to the report. Those include players confirming they still have faith in Sparano, close friend Carl Peterson, among others, telling him in season changces don't make any difference, and the lack of a clear-cut interim head coach candidate. Ross also realizes no matter who is coaching the team right now, ticket sales will still be sluggish.
Sparano, meanwhile, does recognize the problem. During his weekly media availability, he stated, "I need to coach better. They need to play better."
According to the Herald's source, Ross spent most of Monday night's game in a MetLife Stadium oscillating between being "very [ticked] off," and at other times he "laughed it off." Ross was hosting guests during the game, and, as the source stated, "it's embarrassing to watch this when you're there entertaining friends." The Dolphins are among the "leaders" of the race to claim the #1 overall draft pick in 2012, and win the "Andrew Luck sweepstakes."
The majority of Sparano's Tuesday press conference followed the same trains of thought as every other one in 2011. He praised the players' efforts and he pointed out their difficulty on third-down and in the red zone. However, Sparano did seem frustrated by the lack of improvement after the practices over the bye week.
"What makes it more troublesome is not the extra week," Sparano replied when asked about it. "What makes it more troublesome is knowing the amount of work that went into those two weeks and what was addressed and maybe some of the things that weren't, that didn't end up better is what I'll say. There was plenty of them that did but there was a couple of them that did."
The Herald's source confirmed, Sparano's job status is on a week-to-week review right now, and that, "the question is not if Sparano will be fired, but when." That when could be coming up in a week if Miami can't find a way to beat the Broncos on Sunday.