Exhibit 1.4.22

Thoughts on the Dolphins Firing Tony Sparano

Because I'm either going to tell you like this or I'm going to tell you when you want to talk about politics or books or something. It's better this way.

It's better this way, this firing. Sparano is a good guy, by all accounts, and a good coach by my estimation. He could be a great coach in the right situation. Will he ever get that chance again? I don't know. I sort of doubt it given the names out there and the fact that he's never been an NFL offensive coordinator or (officially) a play caller. Seems like he either gets a head coaching job this year (unlikely) or signs up as an offensive line coach somewhere at which point he's at the back of the line for a head coaching gig. It could still happen for him (I mean, it happened to Chan Gailey) but I'd say the odds are 70/30 against.

Which is too bad because despite the conservative nature of his Dolphins teams--something I could live with if it didn't so often come long after there was nothing to lose--Sparano's players seemed to love him which is a rare thing in a coach that's not "soft." He's not a tyrant in the Coughlin school nor is he an absentee in the Caldwell school--instead he's the rare disciplinarian whose players respect him and played tough and smart and focused long after they would have tuned the Coughlins of the world out or realized Caldwell was an empty suit. With more talent, he could have been Coughlin or even better, I think. That's not to diminish Coughlin, just that I think a lot of coaches would lose a team after an 0-7 start and Sparano never did. Hell, they seemed to play harder for him once they realized they were getting him fired.

Sparano's loyalty did him in as much as anything which is terrible considering how little loyalty the front office showed him. But maybe his ceiling was reached, that's certainly possible. At some point, you've got to not only play correctly but you've got to play smarter and there wasn't much about Sparano's gameplans that suggested this was going to happen. A run-first, physical team will probably win again in the NFL, but it's not an accident that the Patriots, Packers, Colts, Saints, and Steelers have dominated the last decade. Even the Steelers, arguably the only team that fit the Sparano model, have gone away from the running game and opened up the offense. For better or worse, it's what the game is now, and only at the urging of the owner did Sparano even begin to move in this direction.

He ultimately didn't have the time or the personnel to take the team there, but there've been a lot of positive signs these past few weeks. Sparano made them look like they were a few players away but are they? I don't know. They've got one more hole now, and if they're sincere about Tony having been a good coach--and I think they should be--then they're going to have to do better than good.

But so far a lot of the names getting thrown around only make me think, Hey, Tony Sparano is available. Let's go get him.

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