Posts Tagged ‘Tony Sparano’

Live Chat with Richie Incognito Highlights

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Dolphins OL Richie IncognitoThis morning, the Miami Dolphins hosted a live chat — exclusively for the fan websites invited by the team to attend the annual Web Weekend — with left guard Richie Incognito.

Entering his eighth NFL season (third with Miami), Incognito, a third-round draft pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2005 out of Nebraska, has started all 31 games he’s played for the Dolphins. Make sure to follow him on Twitter: @68Incognito.

During the call, No. 68 touched on everything from playing for new head coach Joe Philbin in the new west coast offense to his favorite beer (Coors Light), and also told DolfansNYC what it means to him to see aqua-and-orange represented in opposing stadiums.

“That’s great, and it’s a really unique deal for the Miami Dolphins — everywhere we go, there’s always aqua-and-orange in the stands and there’s always a strong following and that’s really special to us,” he said. “I like playing on the road, I like going into hostile territory, and I like (having an) “us against the world” mentality. So it’s really cool to see fans up there, especially when we score and the whole stadium’s quiet and you see the aqua-and-orange up there rocking. It’s always a delight to see the fans out at visiting games.”

During the offseason, Incognito, who owns an event planning business, took classes at the Harvard Business School as part of the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program, which he feels will allow him to remain competitive in a new field once he hangs up his cleats.

“The Harvard experience was great — it was just geared for NFL players and they really gave us the tools to move forward with confidence in the business world,” he said. “I’m a small business owner myself, and it’s kind of hard to take care of the business while I’m on the field, so I have to trust people to help me run it while I’m busy with football.

“Harvard gave me great confidence moving forward, and it actually inspired me — I’m actually going to go for my MBA once I get done playing.”

During the 15-minute call, Incognito also offered plenty of insight on his expectations for the upcoming season after concluding the third day of training camp.
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Brandon Marshall Wins Pro Bowl MVP

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Brandon Marshall catches a touchdown in the Pro BowlBrandon Marshall admitted he came into the Pro Bowl with the goal of winning the MVP award, calling it his Playoff game.

After catching a Pro Bowl record four touchdowns — two less than he had during the entire regular season — to go with 176 receiving yards, Marshall had his wish, driving out of the stadium with a brand-new SUV as his prize. Marshall joined Ricky Williams (2002) and Garo Yepremian (1973) as the third Dolphin to earn the honor.

Sure, Marshall’s impressive statistics can be viewed as meaningless when the two teams combined to score 100 points, but just look at the highlight-reel catches the Dolphins wide receiver made in the game. One TD came when he was able to keep his concentration after the ball sailed through two defenders and bounced off Marshall’s own foot. On his final score, he once again caught the ball in traffic, twisting his body in the back of the end zone and dragging both feet inbounds while being held by the defender.

When he was interviewed mid-game by NBC sideline reporter Alex Flanagan, Marshall wasted no time in crediting the Pro Bowl quarterbacks for making spectacular plays, simultaneously throwing every Dolphins signal caller under the bus.

“Down in Miami, getting a feel for different quarterbacks — had three or four of them throughout my two years there — and the (Pro Bowl) quarterbacks make it easy for me,” he said. “These guys are just putting it in the right places and I’m making the plays, so it’s easy right now.”

If you’re counting, the “three or four” Miami QBs would be Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen and Chad Pennington (for a few snaps), as well as J.P. Losman, for good measure. And just in case he wasn’t abundantly clear the first time around, Marshall reiterated that the Pro Bowl quarterbacks were responsible for his MVP performance after the game.

“Since Jay Cutler (with the Denver Broncos), I’ve had a few different quarterbacks, and being in the Pro Bowl, you have these elite quarterbacks you’re playing with,” he said. “It’s all them — they put (the ball) in the right spots and it’s easy for me to make the catch.”

It’s not that Marshall is factually wrong, since the five Dolphins QBs he’s played with were mostly mediocre. But Marshall didn’t exactly help matters, dropping 12 passes (officially) during 2011 season and making countless mistakes on the field. It should also be noted that Moore finished 12th in the NFL in Passer Rating, and that Marshall caught 59 passes for 901 yards and five TDs in Moore’s 12 starts.

It’s obvious that Marshall, as well as owner Stephen Ross and every Dolphins fan, want an upgrade at the QB position. But calling out his teammates on national television with a wide grin — especially since there’s still a chance that Moore could be back next season — isn’t the right time or place to make his point or help the organization in its search. Marshall’s acrobatic catches and record-setting numbers speak much louder than his words for any interested free agents.

Marshall also chose to praise former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano while referring to Joe Philbin simply as, “the new coach.” Make of that what you will.

“When you look at what Coach Sparano was able to do, the foundation was built. A lot of people don’t give him enough credit, but we have a solid locker room, high character guys and leadership there,” said Marshall when asked about the Dolphins’ future. “The new coach coming in, he’s inheriting a strong team.”

It’ll be interesting to see who that team will add to throw the ball to the never-outspoken MVP-winner.

DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 5: Tony Sparano

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Last week, DolfansNYC attended Web Weekend, an annual event hosted by the Miami Dolphins for the team’s top fan websites. Prior to Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, Coach Tony Sparano addressed the crowd and spoke about a number of key topics, after which we he took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for our podcast.

Below are the main portions from the group Q&A, followed by our exclusive one-on-one interview with Coach Sparano, in which he talks about his football playing career, the decision behind hiring offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and his thoughts on New York and DolfansNYC.

On under-the-radar players to watch for:

I think a guy that you should watch out for, predicated on what I’ve seen throughout training camp – and I don’t like singling any players out, as I’m sure you guys know – I’ll tell you that Reshad Jones is a guy I would watch.   This guy had 13 tackles (against the Patriots), and has had a really good training camp, has really good range and ball skills back there.  I think he’s a guy that could have a really good year as a young player for us.

I’m hoping that Jared Odrick will continue to get better.  He needs to play, and he obviously hasn’t played in a long time.  So, Jared would be a guy that I would say the same thing about.  And then maybe a young guy like Daniel Thomas.

On the roster decision-making process:

The first thing we identify, is where the need is – obviously, just because there’s a player out there, he might not satisfy our needs at that particular time.  There were a lot of good players out there when free agency hit at the end of the lockout, but we had a particular plan in mind, knowing what we had coming back and knowing maybe a little bit about what we needed.

This year, business was done a little bit differently, only because the draft was done before free agency.  So, in the draft, we got to fill some needs like Clyde Gates, in getting speed, or Mike Pouncey, in finding a center, and Daniel Thomas, in finding a (running) back.  At that point, it became, “okay, we’ve got Daniel Thomas – what’s the next piece?  Well, there’s this Reggie Bush that might be out there.”  That was a scenario there where (it was) a hunch on our part, only because Reggie had made a lot of money where he was, (and could have been) a cap casualty.  And we had all of those things – our scouting department has a list of players that we think are going to be released, a list of players that are free agents, and potential cap casualties.  And this was a scenario where we were able to get a good player in that situation and bring him to our team.

But the way the process works, is identifying the problem first, then Jeff (Ireland) and I will sit down and go over the possibilities.  We’ll have what we call a “short list,” a list of players in that area, that we’ll start putting together, we’ll go through, and if we feel like there’s a chance that we can strike a deal with somebody there that might be a good deal for us, then we’ll push towards that.  So, it’s mutual, both of us together, but most of the time, it’s about me bringing a need first.

On his thoughts about bringing back the Wildcat:

No, no real thoughts about the Wildcats right now.

The reason the Wildcat originated, was that at that particular time, we didn’t have the personnel that we have on our football team right now.  You look at Brandon Marshall, and Davone Bess, and Brian Hartline, and Clyde Gates, and Reggie Bush, and (Anthony) Fasano, and these types of people that you can get the football to – we didn’t have that necessarily; we had Ronnie (Brown) and Ricky (Williams) at the time.  So, (with) Ronnie and Ricky, how can we get them on the same field at the same time and maybe get the ball in their hands enough times?  That was kind of the reason why we went with something like that.  I don’t know that the Wildcat is something that we’re really too interested at this time.

(After audience applauds) You weren’t clapping way back when – it was genius at that point.

On the biggest difference in Chad Henne this season:

I would say that the biggest difference isn’t necessarily in Chad – the difference is in how the team perceives Chad.  Chad is the same Chad that I know from the previous years.  The difference is, if the lockout was good for anything from my end, as a football coach, the lockout was good because Chad had to be out there running these workouts on his own.  He had the keys to the closet and he was the only guy that really knew about the offense, contrary to popular belief out there.  The players needed him – they had to come to him for the answers.  So, in these player-only workouts that took place out there, Chad had all the answers for them, so obviously he got them lined up, he organized the practices, he did everything from that standpoint.  So now, when Chad says something, it isn’t, “well, let me go find somebody else to get the answer,” it’s, “I got it, Chad.”  At the quarterback position, he drives the bus, and at the end of this thing, it really sets on his shoulders.  So he needs to have that respect, and I think that Chad clearly has the respect right now.

DolfansNYC Podcast with Coach Tony Sparano:

[buzzsprout episode=”32100″ player=”true”]

Subscribe to the DolfansNYC Podcast on iTunes and get all future episodes.

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Music Credit: Solo D, “DolfansNYC Anthem”

Coach Sparano, in which he talks about his football playing career, the decision behind hiring offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and this thoughts on New York and DolfansNYC.

DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 4: Brian Biggane

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

In the aftermath of Sunday’s home loss to the Houston Texans, Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post joins us to break down the reasons behind the Miami Dolphins’ early struggles. The topics up for discussion include poor red zone execution and Chad Henne’s miscues; the backfield split between Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush; and defensive adjustments.

[buzzsprout episode=”31803″ player=”true”]

Subscribe to the DolfansNYC Podcast on iTunes and get all future episodes.

Subscribe to the DolfansNYC Podcast via RSS.

Music Credit: Solo D, “DolfansNYC Anthem”

Behind Enemy Lines: Dolphins-Texans Preview

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

With the Dolphins facing off against the Houston Texans on Sunday, DolfansNYC collaborated with State of the Texans for an in-depth game preview, focusing on the burning topics for each team. We cover the Texans’ offseason; Wade Phillips, Mario Williams and the much-improved defense; the aftermath of the Fins-Patriots game; the match-up problems Reggie Bush and Cameron Wake pose for Houston; and much more.

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