Tony Sparano Talks Chad Henne and Bill Parcell

(On the acquisition of Clifton Smith and if he could return kicks on Sunday) –“He could, yes. I’m not—we’ll see how he does the rest of the week in practice right now. Obviously he’s got some things that he has to learn. But this guy can do a few different jobs at the game. If you could get him to the game—that would be the big thing right now, is finding ways to get him to the game and if you can get him to game, get him involved right away because he’s done more than just returns. He’s played—he’s been a gunner, he’s been on kickoff teams, he’s been a good player on those teams. So, it’s our job to get him ready to play.”

(On how much better can Brandon Marshall make Chad Henne) – “I think he could make Chad Henne certainly better, no question about it and the reason we’re in the area of catching the contested balls…maybe when he’s covered—one of the things I’ve said with Brandon (Marshall) before is even when he’s covered he’s kind of not covered. He can still out muscle you, he can still go get the football, those types of things. I think that’s a way that he can help you better. I think his run after catch helps makes you better. And I just think that his presence out there at times can make you better because the amount of shell coverage that you can get I think can open up the field a little bit and give you a little bit of space to throw the ball as opposed to some of the single high coverage that maybe we’ve seen in the past.”

(On what is the biggest difference he sees in Chad Henne now compared to him at the end of last year) – “I think from a preparation standpoint he’s getting a lot of reps right now so I think that he’s certainly a lot further ahead that way. Last year at this time Chad Pennington was getting all the reps. So I just think that he’s so much further ahead from a preparation standpoint now—being prepared to go into opening day than he certainly was a year ago. A year ago, you’re sitting here and you’re trying to tell him, hey listen you’re a snap away from playing. And sometimes they get it and sometimes they don’t get it. And I would say that right now he clearly understands what’s on his plate.”

(On how he has done with taking the new role as the leader (Chad Henne follow up)) – “Yeah, he’s done a good job. I mean, again, having Chad Pennington in the room with him right now helps just in that the two of them kind of—I call them storm chasers—but, they’re out there and trying to find every what if that’s out there. So, and Chad Pennington is one of the best storm chasers there is, so. They can kind of bounce things off of each other but they take control of the room and Chad Henne really takes control of the positional meetings—those types of meetings that have taken place before.”

(On if whether or not he views the (Bill) Parcells story as a distraction)– “Well that’s the only place to me that it’s a distraction is that you guys are asking the players about it. So, and that’s your job, but, it isn’t their job. So, their job is to get ready to play football and play this game against the Buffalo Bills. So, I don’t see it as a distraction. It’s not something that’s a surprise, (I mean) it’s not. Day I—First day I got here I knew that eventually that this day would come and certainly for me it’s been business as usual.”

(On if there will be any changes with his role as a result of (Bill) Parcells) – “Nothing changes from my end. It’s business as usual.”

(On if he knew when it would come)– “Didn’t know when it would come but it’s business for me—it’s just been business as usual. (I mean) the guy I speak to on a day-to-day basis every day several times a day is Jeff Ireland. So, for me it doesn’t change anything on my end.”

(On if he talks to the team about the Bill Parcells change) –“No, didn’t even mention it.”

(On if he feels settled going into this game against Buffalo as a result of the recent front office and personnel changes) –“I feel settled, I feel great going into this thing right now. I can’t wait to get to it.”

(On the frequency of his interaction with Bill Parcells) – “Probably, well—game week—(I mean) it could be once a week, it could be once every two weeks in game week. So, I could see him, I’m obviously right down the end of the hall, I can’t miss him. But sitting there, talking to him, dialoging—I don’t have time for that right now. I’m getting a team ready to play, so I don’t really…I don’t have that kind of time, so. If Bill (Parcells) have something to say to me he knows where to find me and he comes and he’ll do that. But, I see Jeff Ireland everyday several times a day.”

(On if he talked with Bill (Parcells) more during the season his first year here in comparison to now) – “My first year here, sure. (You know) because there’s some things that come up that you need—that you need to bounce off of somebody that’s been there before. There’s still some things that come up that I bounce off of Bill (Parcells). So, he’s a great resource to have in the building and as long as he’s in the building which he is, I’m going to use it.”

(On when he was told about Bill Parcells’ decision) – “That’s not important. We got a game against Buffalo this week fellas. You guys want to talk about the game against Buffalo or not.”

(On the offensive line; and how they are heading into Buffalo) – “Well that offensive line has played together for quite some time. I believe Richie Incognito has been the starting left guard in that group for—I don’t know—20 practices 25 practices. And John Jerry has never moved from the right guard spot,,,the centers have both played an awful lot and the tackles have been the sane. So, that group has really been pretty consistent throughout this whole thing.”

(On what it is about playing in Buffalo that’s is so tough) – “Well I think it’s a great environment to play. I mean, I really do. It’s just—I would just imagine the fact that their fans are so passionate and there on top of you out there a little bit. It’s a little bit loud at times, but, those are all excuses. At the end of the day you got to play the game and that’s a good environment to play in. If you’re going to play opening day that’s—and you can’t be at home, that’s a pretty good place to play.”

(On the players being a little sick of hearing the fact that the Dolphins has lost 5 straight games and if that’ll be a motivational tactic this week – “We’ll get a chance to fix that, so. Pretty soon.”

(On what his game plan is against C.J. Spiller) – “Well one thing you got to do is you really have to tackle this guy. You got to get both arms around him. This guy is pretty electric guy. We liked him a whole lot in the draft when we did our work on him. He’s a guy that can get the edge of the defense. If you don’t really set the edge of the defense well enough he’s going to get, he’s going to expose you out there. You got to tackle this guy. That’s the biggest thing with him, so.”

(On if there’s a concern with the 1st team offense getting in a rhythm) – “I would imagine that there’s a concern (for) about 32 teams’ first team offense right now around the league getting a rhythm going early in the game. So, especially when you’re on the road. Yeah, I would—it’s a concern. I certainly would want to get a rhythm going. (I mean) I think one of the keys for us is to keep their offense off the field. (I mean) they have some weapons out there just like we have weapons on our side, so. We want to try to keep them off the field and you do that by being efficient and being consistent and getting into a good rhythm. So, I think that is important early in the game that you try to establish a little bit of something like that so you feel confident in that you can move the football.”

(On the 1st team somewhat fully playing together in preseason game 4 leading up to now having the 1st team taking all of the snaps; any concerns) – “I think that these guys have played together an awful lot (you know) right now as a first team offense, so. Brandon Marshall has been in the huddle with (Anthony) Fasano and he’s been in the huddle with (Brian) Hartline and with the quarterback and Ricky (Williams) and Ronnie (Brown) and some of those lineman—(I mean) there’s been one or two of those lineman that have been moving around. But other than that, there’s been a solid nine of them out there consistently since the day that we started. That part of it isn’t a concern. The part of it that’s a concern is, finishing your blocks, not leaving bodies in the hole, getting it right mentally, throwing and catching, doing those kind of things efficiently. Those parts are the concern—if you said where is the concern you want to be concerned that those things get done the right way. It isn’t about who’s playing with who, so.”

(On if Jake Long is okay and how far along is Channing Crowder) – “We’ll see. So, (Jake) Long right now did a—he practiced limited today and Channing (Crowder) did not practice today.”

(On Jason Allen now starting and how it affects the special teams game) – “Ah, it may affect it. We may have to cut down a little bit (you know) on what he does. But, we’re going to play some of these guys on special teams. It’s just—we’re going to play a few guys that are starters right now—then play them on special teams and give them a little bit. We’re fortunate that we got four or five guys right now that can play all the teams that are four core guys, so. But a few of these guys right now, we’ll have to take a little bit off their plate and spread it around.”

(On if the special teams groups are more influx now more than normal) – “No, not at all. (I mean) I just (you know) not really, no. I think that we have a pretty good idea at who’s doing what right now and why and that’s been pretty consistent the last couple of weeks.”

(On if there’s any concern with Tim Dobbins’ ankle and him not being able to play) – “No.”

(On how he feels about Jared Odrick and Koa Misi getting to play in their first regular season game) – “I feel good about both players. (I mean) you know this is going to be a little bit different than these preseason games certainly. But, I know what we have in both these players and I think that they’re both going to be ready to play in this game. So, I think they’re excited about it, they’ve worked hard. They’ve gotten better each day out here on the practice field and each contest that we’ve put them in they’ve gotten better. So, I think that I feel very good about the fact that those guys will be out there for us.”

(On if there’s anything specific that you tell a young guy like Jared Odrick prior to going into this first regular season game start and on what he should look out for) – “No, (I mean) I can’t tell him anything—I’ve never been down there handling one of those double teams, so (laughter).”

(On what’s the difference between being 1-0 and 0-1 and what it can do for you)—“The difference in 1-0 and 0-1 is tremendous right now, (I mean) there’s no question about it. So, from my end (you know) being 1-0—I think (you know) any time you can get off to a good start like that and win your first game (you know) your first contest out—it gives you the credibility and validate some of the things that you’ve been trying to do right away. So I think sometimes that can catch fire and can be a little bit of a snow ball, so. (You know) I don’t really like talking about 0-1, so, that’s what 1-0 I think can do for you.”

(Statement made by Coach Sparano)—We voted the captains the other night. And the captains, so that you guys know are: Jake Long, Karlos Dansby, Yeremiah Bell, and Patrick Cobbs is the special teams captain.

(On what does he expect from the captains and what are his expectations of the captains)—“Well, I think the expectations are that they provide the right leadership, deliver the right message—are a little bit of a sounding board at times for (you know) for some of the players in that locker room because everybody is different and you got four captains that are all different, so, there’s a place for everybody to kind of go to be heard. But most important thing I think that they can do is lead by example and really send the right message on a day-to-day basis.

(On whether or not the captains vote was voted by the players)—“That’s a player vote, yes.”

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