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Asked to assess Henning’s performance this year in coordinating the league’s second-lowest scoring offense (17.1 points per game), Sparano didn’t hold back. Instead, he delivered a spirited defense of Henning that surely will send the majority of Dolfans running straight for another shot of holiday eggnog (spiked version).
“I think that Dan Henning for Tony Sparano has been tremendous,” Sparano said, playing the third-person card in a way I don’t think I’ve ever heard him do before. “I think that the guy has done a wonderful job here in my time here. Again, I look at the entire body of work. You guys just look at the last 3-4 games, whatever it is. I look at the whole body of work and this guy’s really done a tremendous job.
“You know, he’s the same guy we were all talking about: ‘Man, oh, man, he finds ways to use personnel to the best of their ability’ and ‘Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ OK, that was you people saying that, not me. So I would tell you that for Tony Sparano, Dan Henning has been tremendous. It’s easy to point blame, fellas, and I get it. It comes with the territory. That’s the way it goes. I need to do a better job. Tony Sparano needs to do a better job. ”
I also found it instructive that when our own Omar Kelly asked Sparano today if he could name a single particular area on offense that he’s been “pleased with” this year, the coach hemmed and hawed a bit and could not offer up one concrete facet that has been beyond reproach.