Below are some quotes from Miami Dolphins players on new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, who was the head coach in Miami for the last four years.
The quotes were distributed by the Dolphins media relations staff:
QUOTE FROM DOLPHINS WR DAVONE BESS
“First and foremost I’m just grateful, thankful and appreciative for the opportunity Coach Sparano gave me. I think a lot of people forget how important it is just to get an opportunity in the league. So the fact that he gave me a fair opportunity to compete and make the team, and how he had faith and confidence in my ability, meant a lot.
“He’s very, very passionate and very vocal. One of the big misconceptions people have about Coach Sparano is that he’s just a hardnosed, tough guy. It’s probably a good thing to a certain extent because it enhances his reputation as a good teacher on and off the field. Whether he’s teaching us about history, something that happened in the past or teaching us about a certain technique on the field, I learned a lot of valuable lessons from him.
But it’s more than that — he really cares about his players. Like I said, he’s very passionate. You can’t really put it in words; all you can really try to do is match his intensity. He did a great job at motivating the guys every week in getting us ready to play every Sunday even after a 0-7 start. So it speaks volumes about his character. He will definitely be missed around here and we just wish him the best.”
QUOTE FROM DOLPHINS OT JAKE LONG
“He is the one who had faith in me and drafted me. He brought me in here and had the confidence in me to play me since day one. He always was in my corner and if I ever was going through rough times or anything like that he was always there to talk to me or coach me up. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a great coach and a great person.
“You can tell he loves the game. He has a lot of passion. He told us that every single day when he came in. We started off slow and a lot of teams could have crumbled but he kept us motivated every week and then we started turning things around. A lot of that credit goes to him because he kept this locker room together and motivated. He came to work every single day with a great passion and excitement and that carried on to the players.”
QUOTE FROM DOLPHINS QB CHAD HENNE
“He drafted me in the second round and he had a lot of a faith in me. He was a coach that just cared a lot about his players. He cared about me and obviously being his quarterback and being down here in Miami, we both went through a lot of the same things so we’ve grown together, grown a relationship together, and it was great to have him as head coach.
“He’s definitely inspirational to our players. We cared about him. He believed in us. We believed in him. He never quit on us which is a big thing for all of us and we kept fighting for him because every day he came to work and always put his hard hat on and didn’t care what people said. We just went to work. We did it our way and his way — the tough way. We had some good times here with him and it’s a credit to him and the players he coached.