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Dolphins' coordinator search taking wrong turns

It hasn't been a great day for the Dolphins. As I reported on my twitter feed early this morning, the Dolphins' search for a defensive coordinator has taken an unexpected turn.

Into a ditch.

Al Groh, who worked 10 years and on three different teams with Bill Parcells, interviewed for the Dolphins job Wednesday and took the job as Georgia Tech's defensive coordinator late Thursday evening. Reports of the hiring at Georgia Tech emerged this morning.

No problem, right?

The Dolphins had a multi-pronged plan for hiring a replacement for Paul Pasqualoni. So the Dolphins turned to Pittsburgh linebacker coach Keith Butler, who I'm told was coach Tony Sparano's first choice. Well, there are conflicting reports whether Butler was offered the job or even interviewed for the job.

This much is certain: He has spurned Miami's overtures and will remain with the Steelers.

That's got to sting that a position coach in Pittsburgh might A. Decline an interview for a defensive coordinator job in Miami. Or B. Take the interview and decline the job offer. There is no option C.

And then this little nugget to add insult to the brew: Pasqualoni, who had been seriously considering taking a job with the New York Giants after speaking with coach Tom Coughlin Tuesday and Wednesday, was hired Thursday afternoon to be the Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach for 2010.

He is in Valley Ranch, the Cowboys training facility, today. He'll be traveling with the Cowboys tomorrow to their playoff game against Minnesota. Amazing.

"We know what kind of coach he is," Dallas coach Wade Phillips told the Dallas Morning News. "Anytime somebody does a really good job, if you have a chance to get him again you take that opportunity. Similar to Dave Campo. Everybody knew he was a great coach. We had a chance to get him again and we did."

As I wrote on twitter earlier, the Dolphins still have a fallback option of promoting secondary coach Todd Bowles to defensive coordinator. But that clearly is Plan C, at best.

The Dolphins wanted to have the defensive coordinator search completed by the end of this week. They wanted a quiet, clean search and hiring process.

But their batting average doesn't look so good right now.

[Update: Been talking to different folks around the league and nobody that's saying anything really knows what the Dolphins are thinking. It doesn't help that it's Friday night. Anyway, here are some names folks threw at me as possibilities that I, in turn, am throwing at you. this list does not include Bowles, but obviously I've been giving you his name for days.:

Pepper Johnson: currently the D-line coach in New England. Played for Bill Parcells. Knows the system. Young. Energetic. Never been a coordinator.

Bryan Cox: Currently the Cleveland Browns' D-line coach under Eric Mangini. Never been a coordinator. He's familiar with the 3-4. He played for both Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. Oh, yeah, he played for the Dolphins in the 90s and hates Buffalo.

Bob Sutton: Currently works as LB coach and defensive assistant for the Jets under Rex Ryan. Obviously cannot be interviewed until the Jets are out of the playoffs. Suffered a demotion prior to this season when Ryan took over. Sutton had been the Jets' DC from 2006-08. Coached linebackers for the Jets from 2000-2006. Was the head coach at Army from 1991-99.

Gary Gibbs: Currently coaches linebackers in KC. Coached linebackers in Dallas from 2002-2005, so spent two seasons under Parcells there. Was the defensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2006-2009. He left with Sean Payton at the same time Payton wanted to take Tony Sparano with him to be the Saints' offensive coordinator so Gibbs and Sparano are familiar.]

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