MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 23: Head Coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins disputes a call during the game against the Denver Broncos at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Yesterday. Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano once again met with the media. During the press conference, the coach was asked many questions regarding the metal status of the team, and how he interacts with them. He also talked about turning the Dolphins around and getting the team moving in the right direction.
Make the jump to see the transcript of the press conference:
What the most important thing he wants to see out of his guys today?
"Today? I would say the most important thing I want to see out of them today is to just understand the corrections that are made by the coaching staff today and to find details of those corrections, to see some of the things we got better at in the game and understand the things we got to get better at going forward because we got to get better at some things. If they can walk out of here understanding those things, we get it behind us here and then get a day off tomorrow for the players and get ready to go for the Giants."
Did they played more of a prevent defense in the fourth quarter against the Broncos?
"No, not a prevent defense. We continue to play the defense that was played in the game. There was no prevent, any of those things. At times during the course of the game we mixed it up… obviously really good defensively. I thought the defensive guys did a really good job of executing the plan for a large portion of the game. We talked every week, you run the risk of [Tim Tebow] getting out of the pocket and making a play. He got out of the pocket a few times and didn't really make the play throwing, although he did throw the five yard touchdown going to his right which was a hard throw. It was a missed opportunity. We had the chance to have him in the backfield for a sack and he ended up coming out of there making a play.
"But he made them more with his legs which is not a surprise. We knew that. Thought during the course of the game we had some different things in the plan with [Jason Taylor] at times and some of those. Taylor did a tremendous job of executing the game plan yesterday exactly the way we wanted him to execute it versus Tim (Tebow) and that helped us. We had seven sacks yesterday; we hit the quarterback 15 times in the game yesterday which is way more than they hit our quarterback last night.
"All that being said, we had two drives. They had 29 plays in the fourth quarter not including overtime. They ran 29 snaps with the two point play and that was 159 yards worth of offense there. That was the point in the game where they actually converted their first third down during that time. I think they were 0-10 and then they converted a 3rd and 1, a 3rd and 3 and a 3rd and 1. Three in a row in those two drives which obviously led to 15 points. I mean, offensively we could of helped. We got to get a first down. We get a first down at any point during that time there's less time on that clock, any point."
How does he stop the feeling of 'here we go again' when the game gets close?
"Honestly, there was a period last night where I was hoping. Sometimes I'd love to be in one of these like 38-0 jobbers where we just go out and demolish somebody, I really would. But yesterday where we were in that game, I don't want this to come off wrong, but that's where we were. And you had a chance to draw a line in the sand and we got to get ourselves over that hump. You guys can make your own opinions and you have your own opinions and that's okay but there's been about three of these right now where we've had a chance, where we've given ourselves, three or four games now where we've had a chance one way or the other, whether it's offensively or defensively. We got to draw a line in the sand, we collectively, coaches and the players. By no stretch of the imagination am I not saying some of this obviously falls on my shoulders nor that it shouldn't fall on the guys in the locker room's shoulders. I'm responsible for the details."
Has it been difficult to keep players and coaches focused on the task at hand with so many questions about his job security coming up every week?
"Honestly, no. One of the things, I'm pretty honest with my guys. I don't know strength or weakness, call it what you want, but I'm pretty honest with them. When I talk to them I don't have a problem lumping myself into that. I'm not naïve; I didn't just fall of the truck yesterday. I know that you got to do that. You can't just walk in there and say listen, Andy (Kent), it's your fault. I have to, you got to lump yourself into that. I don't have a problem doing that. That part of it's been pretty easy. When you talk about it, we get it behind us, here we go. I think they know we're all in this thing together and that's been about it."
How does he personally keep himself upbeat during a time like this?
"That's a good question. I talk to myself a lot. I spend a lot of time doing that. I figure if I talk to myself nobody usually answers back. That's a good thing. If they start answering back, that's a bad thing. But honestly, I guess the way I keep myself upbeat is I just like competing, I really do and we got another opportunity this week. We get to go to New York again and we get to be measured again. I might be the only one in this room that believes that but I don't think I'm the only one in that room that believes it. I just have a lot of confidence in this group of people that they're fighters and they just keep fighting and they do keep fighting. They're playing hard so that encourages me. I see young guys doing good things. I see veteran guys doing good things. That part of it encourages me. I just got to believe that if you keep your head down and you keep going and you stay positive and you do those things that good things are going to happen at some point."
How does he deal with players individually so they don't blame themselves entirely on the loss
"Well we're going to correct the play, the plays individually. I'll tell you one thing, and this goes back to your question, when you see them starting to take, we call it collective responsibility in our locker room, me, the coach, players. When you see them start to say I should of did this or I could of did that, those are good things. So the answer is not to go in there and to hoot and holler at them. They know. I mean, these guys have been in those situations before. And I've told you that Marlon Moore's effort has been tremendous. Those kind of guys,Kevin Burnett's effort has been really outstanding so I'm not going to…we're going to correct the play, we're going to move on and tell those guys that I believe in them. We had plenty in the game yesterday, [Yeremiah Bell] hit the quarterback and we got a personal foul and he came off the sideline and I just looked at the guy and said you hit that guy hard. I said look, think about your aiming point, all those things. The guy came on the blitz. That's what you want to see. We just made an error."
Does he still love to compete, and is it still enjoyable and does it still keep you going?
"I come to work every day. I don't dredge any of it. I have good kids in that locker room. Men, I should say in that locker room. Again, you guys are going to write it the way you want to write it. You're going to draw your own opinion, but I believe those guys in that locker room. I just do. I see it every day and sooner or later here we're going to get one of these things. And it's going to turn. That's what I believe."
Have you heard from anyone lately, particularly Bill Parcells?
"I have heard from Bill (Parcells). And I've heard from a lot of people. I won't go into details. People have been through these scenarios. Unfortunately, if you're in it long enough, sometimes you go through this. It's just interesting. I don't want to give any examples. It's a good fraternity. Good bunch of people out there and those guys get it. So they know what you do. Football people know."
Can he relate to starting 0-5 when you were on the Redskins coaching staff?
"I used it last week okay (laughing). So I haven't been in this end of the pool yet. I did use it as an example last week. I remember vividly. I was part of it. We were 0-5. We won eight of our next 11. It was a weird thing because I told the team this the other day, you really don't know. I mean, we play in a good division. Teams are playing good in our division right now, but at that time, we went into the last week of the season against the Chicago Bears for a chance to go into the playoffs. We lost that game, on a fake field goal, [Brian Urlacher]. But at that point, nobody would of thought that ever. So you've been through those things. I pointed that out to the team the other day. Reggie (Bush) has been 0-4. Kevin Burnett has been in some of those situations. [Karlos Dansby] went to the Super Bowl. Those guys on our team have been in some of these situations. The only people to get us out of where we are right now is us. And that's the bottom line. I told the team last week. That's what I told the team after the game. And that's what I told team today. That group has been a pretty good bunch of responders in there. I just believe they're going to respond the right way. I know it takes some doing, but we'll do it."
Did he call other coaches when their teams were struggling in 2008?
"In '08 I didn't know anybody (laughing). Yeah, I think it's just the way it is, for the most part. There are some guys out there, but I think that the people that are your friends in this business are your friends in this business. They get it. Most importantly, the football people that are out there, they see pretty clear."
Are there any plans on replacing any starters based on performance?
"I would say right now that would be more of the thinking. Again, the guys that are out there performing are performing well enough and the guys behind them have not done it in practice because that's when they get their opportunities mostly, then there would be no reason. If there was a reason, then you would have to consider it. Like I said, somebody asked me that question last week I think and I said we're 0-5. If that's the case, if someone is not playing well enough, we obviously have to consider that if I feel like the person behind him will be able to go into the game and do a good enough job."