Miami Dolphins' long-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Jason Taylor wants head coach Tony Sparano to remain in place after the season. He's not the only one inside the Dolphins locker room that has this opinion, either.
Since starting out the season 0-7, the Dolphins are 3-1 in their last four games. The team never gave up on Sparano, and the players feel he deserves another shot next season. But can he get that chance?
A bit of history
This probably isn't breaking news to you, but last December, owner Stephen Ross attempted to lure Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh to the team. Normally this wouldn't be anything to shout about, but in this particular case Ross overstepped the bounds of acceptable behavior in the NFL.
Why, you ask? It's a heinous act because Ross attempted to do the deal while he still had Sparano under contract and working for his organization. Dirty pool, if you ask me.
This makes Sparano's steadfast resolve to keep plugging away, keeping his team fired up and ready to engage in a brutal test of manhood every Sunday for the pleasure of the masses even more admirable in my eyes.
Karlos Dansby, veteran linebacker had this to say about his head coach:
He needs to stay, man. I'm going to push for him. We just started slow. We have a great coach. He knows what it takes now to put us in a position to win ball games. It just takes time, man. Rome wasn't built in one day. Can't turn your back on him right now. Can't do it. Got to let him stay.
I'm not sure there is any way Ross decides to keep Sparano after the end of the year. I don't see it happening. Not to mention that Sparano might just be inclined to start over again somewhere else. What Ross did to him isn't right, and Sparano could never trust him again.
What if the Dolphins win out and finish the season with a record of 8-8?
This is a tricky question. If the Dolphins win the rest of their games this season, the players will likely feel like revolting if Sparano is fired. According to Taylor:
I know there's a lot of speculation. It means nothing to us. I don't think you can find a guy in the locker room that's really worried about it, including Tony.
I haven't met a tougher guy than Tony. He's like Teflon Don right now. Everything just falls off his back, and he keeps going about his business and could care less what people say. ... You may not like us, you may be upset that we're winning, but we really don't give a damn.
Sounds like the locker room is galvanized and holding strong to its leader. This could be an interesting offseason in Miami.