He Said It: Sparano Discusses Win over 49ers

Here's what Coach Tony Sparano had to say following the Dolphins' 14-9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon at Dolphin Stadium.

On if this is how he drew the game plan up: "No. Not really. Not really."

On how the defense never gave up: "The defense did a really nice job. Obviously, they did a great job in the red area today, which is what they've been doing the last several weeks. I think this is the third game where we didn't allow a touchdown down there. If you do that in this league, you are going to have the chance to win every single week, and we were able to do that and gave ourselves a chance to win. That being said, I mean, there's – we've got to get off the field on third down. That's something we've got to do."

On if he was concerned about the "wear down" effect of being on the field for too long: "Yeah, I was absolutely concerned about it. That's not the way you want to – look, it's hard to win in this league. It really is. And it's hard to win one of them, never mind nine of them, so, we're going to enjoy this win, but we understand that this wasn't the blueprint. It's my blueprint to win games, you hold the ball for 39 minutes…you run the ball a bunch, you hold the ball for 39 minutes, you do those things – they did a nice job. We couldn't get off the field on third down but we kept them out of the end zone. We made some tremendous plays in the fourth quarter of this football game, really on both sides. Ronnie Brown's [RB] run there, make a big first down…Charlie Anderson's [LB] play, of course, Joey Porter's [LB] play at the end – this is what this team's been doing all year."

On the play of lesser known players such as TE Joey Haynos and CB Nathan Jones: "I mean, certainly Nate Jones has been a guy that we've been impressed with; that's why he's out there playing. He's been getting better and better in practice, we know what we're getting out of Nate, obviously. He's a guy that came with us from Dallas [the Cowboys]. Joey Haynos is a kid that has tremendous receiving skills, he really does, and he's been getting better and better in practice. We thought there were some opportunities down there in there to get him involved this week and it just worked out that way."

On the effect of the number of penalties in today's game: "They hurt. You know, again – we get into games like this, penalties, minus plays, all of those things, will hurt you. What we didn't do was turn the ball over. So, that said, that was a positive for us. But the penalties…early on in the ball game, the penalties, the false start penalties – it's a lack of concentration and something that's not going to be tolerated."

On playing C Samson Satele at the right guard position in today's matchup: "Well, you know, we'd been doing it during the week a little bit, practicing that way. Al Johnson's [C] had a nice week, you know. We thought that the combination of Samson and Al in there might also help us. This team shows a ton of different looks. It really did. And Al's really a bright guy, and Samson a bright guy in there, so we thought the two of those guys in there together, they're pretty athletic. We wanted to do some things on the perimeter. That being said, you know we did at the end of the game, we had to make some stuff there. We also wanted to be aggressive, so we put our best pass blockers out there."

On how LB Joey Porter is seemingly able to change the game at any time: "I don't really know. I mean, honestly, I think the guy has a tremendous passion for those moments. I grabbed him at one point…we were coming out of the tunnel at halftime, and I said to him, ‘Come on now, this is the time. We need you here.' And he said, ‘I'm a closer.' "

On the overall attitude of the Miami Dolphins: "I think that that's been a big thing for us the entire season. I mean really, there's a minus play, or we give up a play, and then we show up and make a play. I think that there's a resiliency here and a belief that these guys have in each other right now that somebody is going to make the play. You don't really look around out there for somebody else to do it. I think they're taking it upon themselves. A guy like [Joey] Porter [LB] in that situation, Ronnie Brown [RB], they're taking it upon themselves to step up in those situations and to make the play and see us home. That's something that not every team has."

On if there was any "scoreboard watching" during the game, especially of the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets: "I couldn't tell you. I didn't watch it. I don't really know. I was too busy watching our own clock. And I can tell you guys, it wasn't moving fast enough, either."

On the importance of the last offensive drive, where although the Dolphins didn't score points, it took time off of the clock: "Yeah, it was really important. Dan [Henning, offensive coordinator] spoke on the phones at that time. We knew that first of all we had to change field position on them and secondly that we really needed to chew up some clock. We talked to Chad [Pennington, QB] about that. Chad was bleeding the clock at the end there, kind of bringing it right down. But there were some tremendous runs and really some good in-line blocking during that drive. Even the two or three yard runs from Lou [Lousaka] Polite [RB] or Ricky [Williams, RB], they stuck in there, they got vertical. They did a pretty nice job there. Another yard or two, maybe we would have ended up making a field goal."

On how the game was still won despite the time of possession and the number of first downs: "Well, sometimes you've got to have a bit of luck. You know, that being said, first of all, I don't want to take anything away from the San Francisco 49ers. I mean, they're playing tremendous. They came in here and we knew it was going to be this type of football game. So, make no mistake about it – we knew it was going to be this type of a game. Now, that being said, I've got to give my own team credit. They won the fourth quarter of a football game. I mean, in the fourth quarter of the game, they were able to seize the moment, again. And they did nice job of pressuring the passer, they did a nice job of putting a drive together that ate off five minutes there…you know, it isn't what we draw up, but if you're in a close came, and you win the fourth quarter, and make plays in the fourth quarter, you're going to give yourself a little bit of a chance."


Dolphins Report Top Stories