R.I.P. Bill Arnsparger


This is the team statement on the loss of Bill Arnsparger:

“Bill Arnsparger was a seminal figure in Dolphins history. Along with Coach Shula and so many other great players and coaches, Bill played a pivotal role in establishing the Dolphins as one of the winningest teams in football and flagship franchises in professional sports. Our hearts and prayers go out to his loved ones and friends during this difficult time.”




This is from our own resident historian OldDolphan, he made this post on Sunday:

WAS truly saddened by the passing of the greatest defensive coordinator of all time, Bill Arnsparger!! The Don of Miami said it best: “If there’s a Hall of Fame for assistant coaches, Arnsparger should be the first man in it!” “Arns” was a truly innovative coach. Kind of the Sid Gillman of defense. YOU folks who don’t know much about Gillman should Google his name and read the Wichipedia history of the greatest offensive innovator this side of Paul Brown. –Arnsparger ran defensive allignments like No ONE before him. Players who played for him said they had NEVER seen anything like it. And talk about PREPARATION, Arnsparger, whose nickname was “one more reel” (of game film) was the best prepared coach in NFL history. NO ONE STUDIED MORE GAME FILM!! His work ethic rivaled, and may have EXCEEDED, the work ethic of Don Shula!! And his dedication “caught on” with his players. He did NOT win because he had extraordinary talent. He won because his unit was THE BEST PREPARED UNIT IN PRO FOOTBALL, PERIOD!!! The Shula/Arsparger teams were the BEST prepared, BEST motivated and BEST CONDITONED teams of 1972 and 1973. Put that team in the insane asylum known as the historic Orange Bowl and you’ve got an unbeatable football team, LITERALLY!! –From 1971 to 1974 the Miami Dolphins won 34 CONSECUTIVE HOME GAMES. – – I REPEAT, 34 CONSECUTIVE WINS IN THE HISTORIC ORANGE BOWL!!!!!
Rest in peace, Bill Arnsparger. May your legend live forever!!

Plus this:

ONE MORE NOTE on the passing of the incomparable defensive mastermind, Bill Arnsparger.–His 1972 defense was a major part of the one and only PERFECT SEASON. –His 1973 defense WAS EVEN BETTER, giving up only 150 points for the entire regular season, a 10.7 points per game average which is STILL A RECORD in the Super Bowl era!! – – When Artnsparger left to accept the head coaching job with the Giants, Miami’s defense suffered. When he eventually returned, his “Killer B’s” defense took Miami to TWO MORE SUPER BOWLS!! –Indeed, Bill Arnsparger was Miami’s defensive coordinator FOR ALL 5 OF MIAMI’S SUPER BOWL APPEARANCES!!

Thank you OD


The “No Names” will always remember, God Speed Coach

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110 Responses to R.I.P. Bill Arnsparger

  1. olddolphan says:

    THANKS to all those on this site who chose to honor Bill Arnsparger. His impact on this franchise can NOT be over stated. His presence on Shula’s coaching staff was the difference between Miami going to the Super Bowl and Miami NOT going to the Super Bowl. And I believe the number ONE reason Miami got to 5 Super Bowls under legendary head coach Don Shula was the bond between these two men who were DRIVEN TO SUCCEED!! NO TWO MEN in the Super Bowl era OUT WORKED SHULA AND “ARNS.” —They were fanatical in their preparation and their work ethic. And every player KNEW IT!! —THIS WORK ETHIC rubbed off on every player on the squad. And it made the Dolphins the best prepared team, the best motivated team, the best CONDITIONED team of their era. They “SHOWED ME!” –They “SHOWED EVERYBODY!”
    IT’s no secret the teams with the best work ethic usually have great success. And teams that LACK that dedication, that drive, usually DON’T succeed. –I hope the CURRENT REGIME running the Miami Dolphins fully understands that “Extra Reel” Arnsparger was “REALLY” on to something (Pardon the pun). –My father once told me “The harder I work, the luckier I get!” Although he never got to high school, he was a World War II gunny sergeant who had great success both in the military and in civilian life. He and Bill Arnsparger would have made great friends. They were “birds of a feather.”

  2. son of a son of a shula says:

    OD, I was a kid during the No Name years but I remember as I got older the impact Arnsparger had, I remember cursing him for leaving and going to LSU while we suffered with Olivadotti.

    I hope you don’t mind me adding your quotes in up above, you said it better than the rest of us can.

  3. The Flying Pig says:

    Do you guys think that film room pic is with the Colts or the Dolphins?
    Shula looks really young in that photo

  4. The Flying Pig says:


  5. son of a son of a shula says:

    Piggs that very well may be Baltimore. It’s hard to tell.

  6. son of a son of a shula says:

    Shula worked in Detroit?

    • Tim Knight says:

      Yep as a DC from 60-62.

    • Try Pod says:

      The reason I think it might be Detroit is because it looks like the first thing written on the chalk board is “Dallas”- don’t know how the divisions worked then, but I thought it was likely Detroit and Dallas were already in a division together…

  7. Tim Knight says:

    Chuck Studley was the DC from 84-86 and then Olivadotti came aboard in 87. Not that I think Olivadotti was any good but we had no talent on defense by the time he got there.

  8. Tim Knight says:

    That picture is with the Baltimore Colts, I looked into it.

  9. Mike E. says:

    Good job Piggy, Son, and OD. Mr. Arnsparger certainly deserves a nice tribute and accolades for what he accomplished here for the Dolphins.

  10. Mike E. says:

    Chuck’s defense wasn’t studley, especially in ’86. lol

  11. son of a son of a shula says:

    Welcome back Mikey, good to see you

  12. Tim Knight says:

    Those defenses in mid and late 80s were tough to watch.

    • BoulderPhinfan says:

      early 90s as well. End of last year wasn’t great either 🙂

      • Tim Knight says:

        We actually got better in the early 90s but still couldn’t stop the Bills.

        The end of last year reminded me of some of those bad defenses. I can’t stand not playing good defense.

  13. son of a son of a shula says:

    Tim Knight says:
    July 21, 2015 at 10:38 am (Edit)
    Suh’s here, everything is different.


  14. BoulderPhinfan says:

    I wasn’t sure if we wanted to do the record/roster challenge again this year. I created it anyways.

    I make copies of this periodically so we can revert back if someone decides to modify other picks.

    You can change your picks up until the week of the last preseason game. After that I’ll lock it.


  15. son of a son of a shula says:

    Tim, that Idol auditioner is in women’s clothing somewhere right now.

  16. stangerx says:

    Nice tribute. And I also love that photo with the camera. Guessing Arnsparger and Shula are thinking……wouldn’t South Florida be a whole lot nicer than Baltimore.

  17. herdfan says:

    Thirty-eighth! 🙂

  18. D says:

    Stanger, i was watching american ninja warrior last night and i saw a guy on there that last name was Stanger. He looked liekhe spent most his time training to be a ninja vs blogging so i figured probably wasnt you…. lol

    • stangerx says:

      LMAO — I’m a bit old for that at this point and it ain’t my last name…….back when I was that age what people decided I should be called. So for better or worse the name is earned.

  19. wyoming85 says:

    Jeff Luc ‏@JeffLuc1 3h3 hours ago
    Never give up on your dreams… #StrongerTogether

  20. wyoming85 says:

    Professor Lou ‏@professor_lou 2h2 hours ago
    Here is Miami Dolphins rookie OL Mike Liedtke Highlights–Illinois State Football

  21. wyoming85 says:

    Around The NFL ‏@AroundTheNFL 22h22 hours ago
    .@greggrosenthal takes a look at 10 players in the AFC with make or break seasons http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000502695/article/10-afc-players-with-make-or-break-seasons?campaign=Twitter_atn

    • stangerx says:

      Think that guy is going to have a great year. Oddly enough cause of how the passing game will give him room to run.

      • Tim Knight says:

        He and the OL knowing the system better should help a lot. Miller is just 24 years old but with 3 years experience and only 514 total touches – 171 per season. Plenty of tread on the tires.

      • stangerx says:

        I think a lot of us overlook that he ran for the grand last year even with the injury to Albert and the problems at guard. And he is hitting prime RB age.

  22. herdfan says:

    Well done Piggy….wait, I mean nice job with the tribute. 😉

  23. D says:

    Sad thing about Miller is i think he will fall in the category of we cant PAY everyone and its going to be hard for us to justify a large salary at RB. If he balls out this year, and i expect him to, he is gone. We wont be able to afford to keep him. We have to hope Ajiyai really comes up so we arent left a void there. Im pretty sure Miller and likely Vernon are gone next year unless we shed some bigger cotracts like Grimes and/or Wake.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Very possible. We need to see how things shake out this year. Who knows who we might move on from next year.

  24. Mike E. says:

    No matter how good Ajayi is, he won’t make Miller expendable because he’s not a long term answer.

    • D says:

      I agree with this statement sorta kinda, because well it was part of the reason i was hoping for a different RB selection after hearing about Ajayai’s knee. We did get great value but still im pretty sure Miller becomes too expensive and i had my eyes set on Matt Jones from UF in round 5. I feel it was completely appropriate round for us to draft a RB, and i didnt feel Matt Jones would go as high as he did, but he is kinda the RB i was looking for to give us insurance for replacing Miller. I just do not see us spending a lot of money to retain Miller, i guess we will have to see, but if he has another 1100 yard season id bet money he is gone.

  25. Mike E. says:


    I roasted like a pig this past Sunday, played a double header in that insane heat Sunday, games started at 11:30AM and we played till 2:30PM, right in the thick of the heat.

    • Tim Knight says:

      It was nasty.

      • Mike E. says:

        It really was, the heat was oppressive. I drank 5 16oz gatorades so I wouldn’t get dehydrated.

    • D says:

      oh my how awful your heat was lo….our heat index was 123 down here, ya’ll get to mabye 90, 95 maybe…pussies 🙂 lol

      • Mike E. says:

        I’d get used to staying indoors. 🙂

      • D says:

        I was out mowing grass with a push mower that day, 2pm, hottest time of the day. I almost passed out a couple of times and had to sit under a sprinkler for several minutes to recuperate, but i did it lol. Seriously though, this shit has been brutal, looks like entire east coast is getting a taste too. Id stay inside too if i were you.

  26. Mike E. says:


    Heat index was over 100 this past Sunday.

    • D says:

      Saturday, Sunday and Yesterday, peak temperature were 121, 123, and 117. Its been hotter tna usual but we have days like this every year and on average are in the 95-105 index marks for most the summer. Humid as hell down here, i think we average something like 86% humidity levels and thats year round. Ever play racquetball and really work up a sweat? During our summer months it feels outside like your nutsack dues after a good day of racquetball.

  27. Tim Knight says:

    Today is much milder. Sunday and Monday were real hot. We’re back in the mid to high 80s now.

  28. wyoming85 says:

    Miami Dolphins Cheer ‏@MDCheer 22m22 minutes ago
    Pic of the Day: Check back soon for the launch of our new website at http://DolphinsCheerleaders.com !

  29. wyoming85 says:

    If you got a couple hours to burn! 🙂

    1984 AFC Championship


  30. Tim Knight says:

    Chuck Knoll, wow!!! (shaking his head). LOL

  31. D says:

    Dude you cant tell right off the start thats back when men still played football not these pussie ass primadonnas. Very hit is leaned into trying to bring pain to the other player lol.

  32. D says:

    Lol check out Bowser’s picture at 6:46 mark lol

  33. D says:

    Jesus Marino’s release was friggin incredible….im loving this video.

  34. The Flying Pig says:

    Mike E. says:
    July 21, 2015 at 2:56 pm (Edit)
    No matter how good Ajayi is, he won’t make Miller expendable because he’s not a long term answer.

    Considering the average career length of RBs these days – I would say there is no such thing as a ling term answer at RB anymore

    I tend to think this is Miller’s last year in Miami
    but its possible that the market doesn’t not bare what he hopes it will and he re-signs with us

    I think you only have to look at DeMarco Murray, who had an amazing year, to get a sense of how teams are treating RBs – if it weren;t for crazy Chip Kelly both Murray and Ryan Matthews might be with the teams that drafted them at a pretty low price tag

  35. The Flying Pig says:

    That first TD pass is pretty amazing

  36. Mike E. says:


    Agree on the long-term statement. What I meant is Ajayi may only play out this contract, where Miller could get a 3 or 4 year contract

  37. steveccnv says:

    Just got back from the local sports book Fins 22-1 to win the Super Bowl. Online as recently as May 5th we were 40-1 and Feb 6th 50-1. I was thinking of betting a hundy, but not at 22-1. I need to go look somewhere else.

  38. Tim Knight says:

    Mike, true on what Miller does this year, but in our offense we’ll likely use multiple backs so I don’t think he’ll have the kind of year that demands a lot of money.

    • Mike E. says:

      I agree with that. I wouldn’t be shocked if Ajayi gets more carries

    • steveccnv says:

      Let’s get 1800 rushing yards combined between our 3 backs and not worry who is getting what yards, and as long as the team YPC is around 4.5 and we can run it mostly when we need to, and we’ll be one of the best Os in the league.

  39. steveccnv says:

    LOL ’84 Marino against Malone. I went to one game in ’84 we lost it, I’m going to that same game this yr, who’s the opponent?

  40. Tim Knight says:

    Why do people undervalue Miller? He was the 10th leading rusher in the league last year with the 2nd best YPCA 5.1 for RBs, and tied for 8th in rushing TDs. He also had the longest TD run at 97 and the 8th most 1st downs.

  41. olddolphan says:

    STEVE, D, et al; I attended just about EVERY home game in ’84, including the AFC Championship Game. Stupid me, I did NOT keep a log or a notebook that year, partly because I left one career and embarked on a new one (the one I still have 31 years later). But I CAN tell you this: watching Marino absolutely DESTROY the NFL record for TD passes in a season was something I’ll always cherish. Way, way back in the early 1960’s (’61??) Y.A. Tittle set the NFL mark with 36 TD passes for the Giants. About the same time, George Blanda was chucking 36 TD’s for the Houston Oilers. Those records stood for almost a quarter of a century(!!!!) until Danny-boy shattered them in ’84 with a phenomenal 48 touchdown passes!!–Didn’t see this coming. The year before (’83) Marino threw for 20 TD’s, a damned big number for a rookie! –I’m HOPING Tannehill can top 35 THIS SEASON!!

    • olddolphan says:

      Last Wednesday, “FOLLOWING PERFECTION” presented the highlights of Miami’s first game in 1973 against the Buffalo Bills, a team we ALL love to beat!! – – Tomorrow’s episode of “FOLLOWING PERFECTION” presents highlights of a team WE LOVE TO BEAT EVEN MORE THAN THE BILLS, – – the New England Patriots!!! – – Yes, boyz and girlz, it’s time for another AFC East team to get their butts kicked big time by our favorite team. – – I hope you all enjoy it!!

    • Tim Knight says:

      It was the most dominant QB season I’ve ever seen.

    • steveccnv says:

      I’ve mentioned in the past the disasters that have happened after I’ve left places I’ve lived (Hurricanes, Riots, Fire…) One thing I haven’t mentioned is I left Miami in Sept. ’83 right about the time Marino started his first game.

  42. steveccnv says:

    Mike E. says:

    July 21, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Seems like we’re getting a little respect
    I don’t want respect, I want to make some money.

  43. steveccnv says:

    Pig, have you ever been to the Denmark/Sweden/Norway? You should go, if you haven’t yet, you’d like the road signs. In Sweden going into a parking lot is Infart, leaving it is Utfart. In Denmark there’s Dinfart (Don’t know what it means) and a town called Middlefart.

  44. The Flying Pig says:

    Watching that 84 championship game is awesome

    That is the way football was meant to be played

    To HOF coaches
    The announcers break down every play and replay it
    I saw a 9 yard trap play 3 times
    That doesn’t happen anymore

    And every tackle/hit they talk about how the receiver broke his nose or was knocked out the week before

    It’s just fun to watch

    • Brian in NY says:

      Agreed. All of the penalties/rules are taking some of the enjoyment out of it for me. I loved all the big hits- just let them play.

  45. Brian in NY says:

    Hey Steve, are you ever going to tell Tim and I if one of us was right? It’s sort of anticlimatic after 3 hours!

  46. Brian in NY says:

    Mets finally scoring some runs.

    • Tim Knight says:

      DeGrom is the Ace right now. He deserved this game, don’t blow it bullpen that has been better in recent times. 🙂

      The hitting is the major issue with the Mets. They can even get by on defense. They have to start hitting more often. It’s been bad and okay. They need to get to okay and decent.

  47. Brian in NY says:

    Tim Knight says:
    July 21, 2015 at 7:38 pm
    Why do people undervalue Miller? He was the 10th leading rusher in the league last year with the 2nd best YPCA 5.1 for RBs, and tied for 8th in rushing TDs. He also had the longest TD run at 97 and the 8th most 1st downs.
    People have been doing that for his 3 years here- I don’t know why. His blocking has gotten much better, his receiving skills exponentially better, and his decisivness has improved as well. IMO, his running has been consistently good throughout his career, he;s just gotten more opportunities each season. Could you imagine what his stats would hve been like if we didn’t abandon the run game in some of those games last season? I get the whole two back system fad, but I am a firm believer in having a lead back get most of the carries so they can get into a groove.

    • Tim Knight says:

      His ascension and production doesn’t matter, only perception. LOL

      I don’t get t either. You find a good player and then want to replace him with unknowns. It’s bizarre to me.

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