Wanny vs Sparany – The Tale of the Tape

11 May

Fine, so the CBA mess has got folks like us scrounging for something to write about. We admit it. But this afternoon we happened to look back at Dave “The ‘Stache” Wannstedt’s tenure in South Florida. You know what? The Dolphin nation might owe Wanny an apology.

Wanny has been an object of ridicule for a long time. He has been written off as some sort of limp noodle for years now. However, a glance back at his record is eye-opening. If he’s a limp noodle we may have an entire bowl of spaghetti on our hands in Tony “The Mad Fistpumper” Sparano.

Dave Wannstedt’s Five Seasons: 11-5, 11-5, 9-7, 10-6, 1-8.

Tony Sparano’s Three Seasons: 11-5, 7-9, 7-9.

Wanny logged winning seasons in four out of five years. Tony’s already had more losing campaigns. He has already fielded a worse offense and defense than Wanny ever did. Not to mention Dave captured something we haven’t tasted in far too long, a playoff win. Remember what that felt like?

We’re not saying that The Bifecta can’t turn things around, but a fan base needs to know its team’s history. And, historically speaking, “The ‘Stache” doesn’t look so bad right now.

Even Wanny's moustache is better?

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose


32 Responses to “Wanny vs Sparany – The Tale of the Tape”

  1. Ranadicus May 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Wanny inherited a playoff team, Sparano inherited one of the worst messes ever in the history of the league.

    • firstroyal May 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

      Absolutly, wanny did to us what he did to chicago, he plucked every once of talent out of the team until we became one of the worst teams in the NFL. He set this team back an entire DECADE.

      Our 11-5 record in Sparano’s 1st year was a fluke, plain and simple. Before he took over we were the WORST team in the NFL period. And after 3 years we have totally rebuilt or defense (top 5) and we are now starting on the offense. I hate to tell you but going from WORST to 1st takes a little longer than 3 years.

      Wanny is only good to those with short term memory.

      • Dan Ewen May 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

        Maybe, First Royal. Or is Wanny only bad to those with a poor memory?

        Sparano’s first year was no fluke. He did a great job. Don’t yank away the man’s best season!

        Thanks for your comment.

    • Dan Ewen May 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

      Wanny inherited a 9-7 team, and then went 11-5, 11-5, 9-7, 10-6.

      Sparano was phenomenal in season 1. We ran well. We had steady QB play. It was a legendary season, but it’s certainly seems like a while ago now.

      Thanks for your visit, and your comment.

  2. Phintastic May 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Wannstedt also inherited a team with a top rated defense (hanks to JJ). Tony inherited “chicken salad!” Even while starting out with a top notch D, Wanny managed to get progressively worse on offense, and ultimately overall.

    The cupboards were bare for TS, so undoubtedly he should receive a wider margin of error.

  3. markeyh May 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    I seriously doubt the direction Miami is headed that they will have a 1-?? season.

    The difference is under Wanny the team was ruined at the present and future. Under Tony they seem to be building a solid young team that their best days are ahead of them.

    Stop the hate!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dan Ewen May 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

      Yes, I agree that our defense is young and great. And there is some reason for optimism on offense too. I have written plenty of positive posts about the Fins, about our draft, about our defense becoming elite.

      But I think we’ve clearly demonstrated just in the comments here that Wanny is written off as the death of the franchise. Wanny got fired halfway through his FIRST LOSING SEASON, after FOUR STRAIGHT WINNING ONES. He inherited the #19 scoring defense in the NFL. They were 3rd, 11th, 4th and 3rd the next four years. He inherited the #13 scoring offense in football, then had Marino yanked out of it. The next four years our offense was 16th, 8th, 12th and 17th, with Jay Fiedler (acquired by Wanny), who led us to three 10 win seasons and has actually gone down as the steadiest post-Marino QB. Wanny also traded for Ricky Williams, and brought in Adewale Ogunleye, Yeremiah Bell, Chris Chambers, Vernon Carey, and Randy McMichael.

      So four winning seasons and your best player, the centerpiece of your offense, retires out of nowhere eight weeks before your fifth season. Suddenly Lamar Gordon is your running back instead of Ricky Williams. You lose three of your first nine games by less than a score and you’re TOASTED by the owner. Next stop Nick Saban.

      In retrospect, WANNY GOT HOSED.

    • Dan Ewen May 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

      One last thing. Wanny brought in Wes Welker too. The man, got, hosed.

  4. Shula knows May 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Sporano is a glorified offensive line coach, Parcell’s Puppet.

    He is bo more qualified to coach this team than any of you are. I see a train wreck coming. Dolphins noturiously slow starters under thsi briliant regeme face tough schedule. Could easily be 2-6.

    Whanny, at least had winning teams. Aside from Pizza Boy’s first season playing against the weakest schedule in the league, we are seeing his difficienceis.

    Dolphins season tickect sales are down this year… they bame the lockout…hilarious. Two consecutive 7-9 seasons and conservative boring offense are the obvious reason. This will be a painful season.

  5. Duncan Idaho May 11, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    @Dan Ewin – Wow…a Dave Wannstedt apologist. I haven’t seen one of your kind in some time. At least you have the guts to show you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. Do everyone a favor…take you revisionist history and go swim in the Everglades. What a douchebag!

    • Dan Ewen May 11, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

      So what’s the real history? Show me something, Duncan. Give me some specifics. What did Wanny do that’s got you so “Waaaaaaah”ny?

      Brought in Wes Welker, Adewale Ogunleye, Ricky Williams, Yeremiah Bell and Chris Chambers? 4 of 5 winning seasons?

      Did he do something to you personally? Something inappropriate? Trying to figure out all of this hate. We lose Marino and the guy coaches us to four straight winning seasons? Get a rope!

  6. bobg May 12, 2011 at 4:30 am #

    It takes time to build a team that becomes a power house year after year. Miami has added good young players every year since this management group has taken over and i would expect this year to be the same. As for the QB position, I can remember several years where Marino tossed over 20 INT’s and/or completed less than 60% of his passes. With todays fans he would be run out of town as a low percentage passer, who cannot make plays with his legs…kind of funny really…..I wonder if the internet was as advanced in the 70’s as it is today, how that would have changed the fan base now.

    • dolfanshannon May 12, 2011 at 7:22 am #

      Marino would throw a bomb down the field on third and long to try to make a big play. If it did get intercepted it would be the same as a punt. Thats where the INTs come from. Also his comp. % below 60% was that Marino was not scared to throw the ball away. In Marinos mind there was always the next play or series to burn you. What set Marino apart was his ability to read defenses. A lot of old players talked about how he would tell who and where the blitz was comming from, and his ability to spot the open man for big plays. Look at all the great gun slinging QBs in NFL history and they all have high INTs. Also to say Marino could not make plays with his legs is crazy. I am wondering if you ever saw Marino play. He was Houdini in the pocket. Just ask Bruce Smith. Just watch Peyton Manning play today and you will get a good idea of what it was like to watch Marino.

      • Dan Ewen May 12, 2011 at 7:47 am #

        I saw every game Marino ever played. The guy was the best ever. The guy was also turning 40, and his numbers had declined consistently. Look at his completion percentage over his last five seasons. Someone was going to end the Marino era. To blame Wanny for it is way too easy.

  7. dolfanshannon May 12, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    Wanny started the debacle to the 1-15 season. Satan and Cam just made our situation worse. First with Wanny is he told Marino to retire because he didnt want him. Next he gave up too much for Ricky aka hash pipe, and thats what started the downward spiral. Two first round picks and 2 other picks. Way to much to give up for any one player short of a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Chris Chambers is nothing to brag about either. Next we hand the keys to Nick Satan and he gets rid of a lot of tallent and drafts very poorly before leaving us high and dry. Then we bring in Cam who is the village idiot when it comes to being a HC and evaluating talent. Talent we already had and talent in the draft. Cam striped our team of almost every ounce of vetern talent. Thats why when the Giants and the Pats meet in the Superbowl they had a lot of former Dolphins on each team. Cam let Welker leave because he did not want to pay the money, so what does he do. He drafts Ginn and his family with the ninth pick only to pay more money for a panzy and complete bust. In walks Sporano to a team without an ounce of talent short of an aging Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor along with Ricky and Ronnie. His lucky pickup of Pennington is the only reason we went 11-5 and made the playoffs. They have brought in some talent and I think they deserve 2 more years to see if their talent pays off, but thats it. Right now I am no fan of Sporano. I think he is trying to win in todays NFL with yesterdays method. ie…Great defense and a running game. Like I said 2 more years. As a Phin fan I am tired of changing coaches and starting from scratch every 2 or 3 years. If it dont workout in 2 years bring in another HC, but Ross should not let him devoid our roster of talent just because they are not his players.

    • Dan Ewen May 12, 2011 at 7:29 am #

      Chris Chambers became an All Pro. He has almost 60 career TDs. Ricky Williams immediately led the NFL in rushing when we traded for him. He is one of the best RBs of his era, and to blame Wanny for what Ricky did years after that trade is pure Monday morning quarterbacking. Marino had 12 TDs and 17INTs in 2009, not to mention the lowest completion percentage of his life.

      You have nothing concrete on Wanny, which is why you’re putting the 1-15 next to his name, for some unknown reason.

      Wanny has somehow become the Boogeyman after 4 of 5 winning seasons. Hilarious.

      • dolfanshannon May 12, 2011 at 8:02 am #

        I dont dislike Wanny. I think Wanny was a good man. He was just to nice. A players coach. Remember all the talk of when Satan took over about how certain players were missing tons of practice. How undisciplined the players were. I know he didnt know Ricky was gonna take up the bong, but there is still no defense for the valuable draft picks we gave for Ricky. Like I said to much to give up short of a Manning or Brady. Right now I dont think anyone would give 2 first round picks and 2 other picks for even AP. Wanny didnt cause the 1-15 debacle he just started the downward spiral that lead up to it. On a percentage basis I would say Wanny was 15% responsible. As far as Chambers goes he had a knack for making the impossible acrobatic catch, but dropping the wide open one. He never lived up to what he was drafted at or supposed to be. Ask a fan of any other team besides S.D. or K.C. and nobody will know Chambers name. Instead of Ricky how bout if we kept Marino for 2 more years and drafted a youngster to sit behind him and learn with just one of the 1st round picks. Kinda like Aaron Rodgers/Farve, and drafted a RB with the other. But what do I know I am just a fan who watched our franchise be great since the 70s only to be a laughing stock of the NFL. So there is the concrete on Wanny. To much given for one player and an undisciplined work ethic for the team. Also name me just one player Wanny drafted that will be a HOF or even get close. Buying a ticket for a tour is as close as any of them will get. Shula and Johnson yes. Wanny not so much.

      • Dan Ewen May 12, 2011 at 8:36 am #

        It’s Jimmy who should have brought in the Aaron Rodgers youngster for Marino. He didn’t, and Wanny was left with a 40-year old QB who was averaging less than a TD per game. He made a tough choice, and Fiedler (though not great) led us to four straight winning seasons.

  8. dolfanshannon May 12, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    I agree it should have been Jimmy to do it also. There is a lot of blame to go around. I blame the owner Wyane, Jimmy, Wanny, Satan, and Cam. Most of the blame going to Satan and Cam. Hind sight is always better. Riddle me this. If you had a chance to coach the Dolphins and you could have taken the team Wanny got or the team Sporano got. Which one would you have taken? I bet I know which one. Like I said I am not a fan of fistpump right now, but they have brought in some talent, and I am tired of changing head coaches and starting all over again. If Sporano can grow a pair we might be alright. If not then the talent is there for the right coach. By the way I like your articles and read them quit often. Keep up the good work.

  9. James May 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Are you seriously defending Wannstead??? He is to blame for HORRIBLE drafting, giving away way to many picks for a running back instead of drafting a solid one, refusing to bring in a quality qb for any sort of competition with Fiedler who wans far less than serviceable and so on and so on. Please don’t confuse their record with quality coaching. Those teams won solely on the fact that they had a monster d with to much heart to let the offense lose games for them. A monster d that he had absolutely no part in drafting. All of the stars were Jimmy Johnson products. And Chris Chambers slipping into the pro bowl doesn’t make him a star he was a solid number 2 receiver. Not a bad pick but definitely no Randy Moss

  10. firstroyal May 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    the most telling is with the NLF living in a worldl of recycled coaches- Wannstedt failed as a college coach having failed to reach a BCS bowl during his entire tenure. Now he attempts to start over as a linebackers coach. Look for the linebackers he coaches to have a short lived career.

    • Dan Ewen May 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

      The most telling is a coach’s record. 4 out of 5 times he led the team we had winning seasons. The fact that he catches so much crap from our fan base is laughable.

      • firstroyal May 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

        bottom line though- nfl owners attend to agree Wannstedt was a total failure after only 2 changes. In both his chances he left the team worse than he got the team- chicago and miami

        no matter what sparano does now, he will leave the team better than he got it

      • Dan Ewen May 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

        2000 Winning season
        2001 Winning season
        2002 Winning season
        2003 Winning season
        2004 Losing season
        2005 Losing season
        2006 Losing season
        2007 Losing season
        2008 Winning season
        2009 Losing season
        2010 Losing season

        Anything stand out? Any handful of years look pretty solid?

  11. Ken May 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    The dolphins traded a 1st and conditional 3rd for Ricky. After his 1800+ yards rushing the 3rd was elevated to a 1st. I’m fine with two number ones for a guy with that kind of production.

  12. firstroyal May 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Yes, JJ left Wannstedt with a good defense, a good enough defense that allowed Miami to win for a couple of more seasons

    Yes, Wannstedt was able to sacrafice the future to get Williams and that allowed him to skate by a little longer

    But bottom line- he left the team WORSE than he found it

    2 coaches in our history did that Cam/Wannstedt

    Sparano will NOT.

    • Dan Ewen May 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

      Just to clarify, by “a couple more” you mean four straight?

      • firstroyal May 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

        sounds about right thats just long enough for JJ’s players to hit their prime. I have to give him credit, even when the whole world thought/dreamed we would take drew brees, he stuck to his guns and drafted Jamar Fletcher. I can see why too, JJs defense was so shabby, no names really. It takes a head coach about 5 years to totally destroy a team (as chicago/miami/pittsburgh fans can attest. He ended each of his head coaching jobs in total failure. He left all THREE teams in worse condition than when he took control.

      • Dan Ewen May 12, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

        He had just acquired Fiedler. Everyone passed on Brees. The entire first round. Let’s go through every draft in history and play that game. Can’t believe Shula passed on Thurman Thomas for Eric Kumerow and destroyed Marino’s chance for a ring, blah blah blah.

        Am I saying Wanny was great? Of course not. But he followed up three winning Jimmy Johnson seasons with four more. He then was completely abandoned by the most dynamic running back Miami’s ever had, and then became a scapegoat for the next two limp noodles that came to town.

  13. James May 15, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    If you are not saying hes great what are you saying? Bottom line is he was a mediocre to poor coach that basically let the talent he inherited ride him to some winning seasons. He did nothing above average and basically wasted the primes of some future hall of fame players. He is not a head coach, he is a coordinator/positions coach and will probably do well in buffalo in that role.

    • Dan Ewen May 15, 2011 at 10:31 am #

      He wasn’t great, but Wannstedt has gone down as some sort of villain in Dolphin history. But when a guy wins 4 out of 5 seasons and brings in Jay Fiedler (to this day the only consistent Marino replacement), Ricky Williams, Wes Welker, Yeremiah Bell, Vernon Carey, Randy McMichael and Adewale Ogunleye, he hasn’t tanked the franchise as people suggest. His only losing season was when Ricky bailed with weeks to go. The next year Ricky came back, Ronnie came in and they had 2,000 combined yards behind an o-line that was all Wanny players, and another winning season.

      Not saying he was great, but he certainly isn’t the fall guy, especially after the damage Saban and Cam inflicted.

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