Miami Dolphins Coach Tony Sparano Addresses Post Game Comments from Players

On Monday, Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano spoke to the media in a question and answer session, focused on Sunday's disappointing performance against the Houston Texans.

The major topic of discussion, of course, was related to linebacker Jason Taylor's comments about players on the team not believing they can win.  

"Well my reaction hearing it is if after two games you don't believe you can win, something is wrong with you. We do everything in our power here to fester in that kind of environment here. But at the end of the day you got to go out there and have success. I mean you got to feel like you're having success. Success isn't kind of a sometimes thing, it's got to be more of an all time thing.

"You have to believe that you can change the game when the game isn't quite going your way. I think with our football team, in the mixture of our football team right now which is young and very few true veteran players meaning Will Allen, Jason Taylor, those kind of guys, (Marc) Colombo, that have seen those things happen on a regular basis where you're down however many points and you see teams come back and win some of those games. This team needs to get over the hump that way in those kind of games last night where it's 16-13. We got to get over the hump and win those kind of games so that they smell that a little bit. But we'll get there, we'll absolutely get there. There was enough really good things done on the tape that is a lot different than it was a week ago."

Sparano is demonstrating a level of tact that is admirable.  He cannot come straight out and flame Taylor, one of the "very fer veteran players."  He has to be careful about losing the locker room.  The team is frustrated.  The team is angry.  If Sparano begins taking these things to the media, it's only going to get worse.

However, I hope, for the Dolphins' sake, he is not being this diplomatic in the closed locker room.  Sparano needs to fire up this team, and, it's time to quit being the nice guy. 

Sparano continued, when asked about the reasoning behind Taylor's comments, "I think Jason is entitled to make his comments.  I mean, I think what Jason is stating is true in some sense of the word.  I just answered the question.  We've got to get over the hump as a football team, and figure out how to win those kind of games.  I mean, I think that's what the guy is talking about."

Sparano then turned his attention to the losing itself.  "Listen, there is a lot of teams that have been in this spot before. As I told the team last night, you can't keep coming back here saying well that was only one game, we got 15 more to go," Sparano said.  "Now that's two games and we got 14 more. That's not acceptable. I mean you can't keep doing those kind of things. Before long you run out of them. But all that being said it's the second week of the season. We got a lot of football ahead of us and we got a chance to right the ship and we're going to do that." 

He was then asked about the "I have no answers," comment that ran wild around the internet yesterday. "Criticism doesn't bother me one way or the other, ok. But the question that I was asked is that we're 1-11 at home or something to that affect. I still don't really have answers for that. I mean I gave you the answers that I gave you. All I know is that when we play home games, for whatever the reason, we are behind in the turnover ratio. And when you turn the ball over in this league, particularly when you turn it over in their end of the field and give them the ball on the seven, eight yard line, whatever it is, you're struggling. You got to work your way out of those things and it's hard. Those people ended up scoring points there and in that situation you can't do those kind of things. That's the only thing that I can give you that's tangible. When I look at all the numbers and I look at the all the things that are out there on paper right now, the turnover ratio is what sticks out at me." 

The truth behind the original answer is exactly what Sparano tried to express.  The question was, "How do you explain being 1-11 over the past 12 games?"

Sparano's answer was, "It's baffling to me, it really is. I don't have an answer for it. We've just got to do a better job. I told you before if you look back last year its turnovers, and a high turnover ratio. Today [against Houston] we turned it over twice and I don't know if we [got a turnover] so its two more in the hole. Last week [against the Patriots] we wound up one behind, so you're minus three in turnovers again, and those things [turnovers] hurt you. There's some other things out there that we have to take ownership of. There are some things out there that we left out there on the field that we've got to take ownership of. It starts in practice and our team has to do a better job in practice."

As the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Omar Kelly wrote earlier today,

"DOES THAT SOUND LIKE: I DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER FOR IT?  It's one thing to challenge Sparano for in-game decisions and mismanagement of the roster....But it is completely irresponsible to use that quote out of context against Sparano as evidence he's clueless, and in over his head."

With the upcoming road trip, Sparano was asked if he thought the trip to Cleveland was what he needed to turn the team around.  "All I know is when I go on the road I have my team's full attention. I have their full attention, I'm with them longer, I get to be around them longer, they get to be around the coaches longer. That's what I know. If that's a good thing then that's a good thing. We're going to take the team on the road and we're going to do everything. It doesn't matter where we're playing. We can be playing in the middle of the street this week. We need to find a win and that's what we're going to try to do. It doesn't have anything to do with home or away or any of those things. Like I told you before; at the end of this they're just going to tally them all up. They don't care where you win them." 

And, maybe that's the most important statement he could have made.  "They don't care when you win them."  

Now, the Dolphins just need to go out and win them.

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