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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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Im still interested in seeing some dude from the Ravens. Miami's D has been soft for too long

If you had to speculate, who do you think we may target now (outside of possibly Bowles)?

WTF. What are some other candidates for the job besides Bowles? Any rumors swirling. Around out there mando?

Haha. Ya let's get "some dude" from the Ravens. Any dude as long as he's from the Ravens. You should share that genius with Billy P.

Everyone knows that Sparano has 1 year left and if it doesn't work out, he's gone as well as his staff. Plus Parcells has one foot out the door as well. This is an organization in flux. If I were the owner, I'd make my move sooner rather than later and clean house.


Its going to end being the TUNA as DC

Here's what I would do if I were Stephen Ross....Make my move 1st rather than get burned by Parcells. Tell Parcells he must either sign a contract exclusively with the Dolphins or he's gone. He now has nowhere to go. Then if he goes, I'd pick up one of the plethora of good coaches on the market.

What will happen is.....Miami will finish 8-8 next year...Parcells will bail...and no good coaches will be available and we'll be stuck with Dick Juron....Same old Dolphins.

My vote goes for Kirby Smart from Alabama - would bring youth, enthusiasm, coached a championship 3-4 defense and is used to dealing with a DICKtator.

I would like to nominate NJ Phin Fan to interview for DC, please don't embarrass us NJ.

Dolphins have some many holes its embarrassing:

1) NO NT for the Future
2) The Best "White" WR duo in the league = NO #1 WR
3) Sorry excuse for ILB
4) Only 1 good OLB = Wake
5) Horrible Depth at Secondary. Wilson Starting?
6) Pat White as 2nd QB: Cant throw and runs when nobody is wide open...
7) Horrible game mgt by coach: timeouts, 2pt conversions, halftime adjustments
8) Lead the league in falling/ slipping before given up huge passing plays
9) NO DC coordinator
10) Crappy Celebrity owners
11) Crappy turnout of fans at the game
12) Fat slob dancing on the scoreboard every game
13) Sean Smith dancing after every play when he has 0 career int.

parcells is very high on leslie frazier keep an eye on him mando!

Dennis Thurman is our guy. He is the DB coach for the "Jests" and was the defensive assistant with Ryan on the Ravens. Think of the talent they have produced and the type of defense's he has coached; a 3-4, attacking, ballhawking, punishing, intimidating and physical. Oh and both of these units have been ranked #1 in the NFL in total defense.

What is Sparano's contract status? Did he sign a 3 or 4 year deal? I'd cut bait.

Mike Caldwell, Defensive Quality Control Coach from the Eagles.

14. crappy fans that love to whine and don't know squat about football like waterboy and ken

bryan in ohio leslie frazier is gonna b a head coach soon he will not take the job


Your lack of football amazes me...

Sparano has 2 years left on his deal for starters. Secondly - the dolphins won't be "clearing house" for quite a while... get used to the coaches we currently have.

Next - why would we EVER Hire Dick Jauron? What makes you think this? Because... your obviously bitter and lack any real football knowledge?

IF Parcells did leave after this year - we'd be left with Ireland and Sparano.... let's say for the sake of arguments - they both left too - highly unlikely but let's pretend for the sake of it.... you really think - we wouldn't go get a GM of the "Holgrem" caliber and we'd instead go sign Jauron? Seriously??

If all of the above happened (and let's be clear - it wont) - then the Dolphins would be going after Cowher/Fox/Gruden/any number of successful coaches that will be on the market next year (and there will be many).... Jauron just got fired from the Bills and is back to a coordinator role.... how you dreamed up this scenario in your head is amazing to me.

Sign Shula again!!!

I have to agree with Waterboy's observations on Number 8 -- especially. I was at the game in San Diego and the Dolphins secondary looked like the Shriners Little Car Chaos on the parade route for Macy's.

Ken, I think you might actually be Dick Juron...seems you got a real hard-on for Sporano. Jack@$$.

So much for the "they would not have fired Pasqualni without a solid backup plan" talk...

One more blunder for the Trifecta, but at he same time I cannot see how we could do worse than this season on defense, so...

Carlito , Thanks. I'll tell one thing , My defense will be aggressive as hell with Multiple blitz packages , that's for sure. I really don't think i can do any worse than what i saw this year, I also played defense so i know a thing or two. :)

Just bring back Tom Olivadotti or Chuck Studley and get it over with. 2008 was nice, but we'll be back to 2-14, 3-13 in no time and will be there for years to come.


Sometimes the coaches, who, you dont have on your board who end up getting hired turn out to be best case scenarios.
I mean most if not all were complaing about Al Groh was to old or came from a losing team when he was head coach from the Jets etc. But what they forget is he won with Parcells when he was paired with him on several stops including 1990 when they won the Super Bowl.
Then they were calling for young blood in Keith Butler. Which was my pick but not because of age, but because he blitzed more often than Groh was know for.

But, sometime the best laid plans when go ary, and blessing in disguise.
Tod Bowles name was mentioned and he is a good coach, but many of you guys on here are saying he no good, because look at how our secondary got burned, etc. Truth is Bowles along with Pasqualoni were NOT working with a FULL DECK.
So, the hiring proccess continues but maybe the non hires' are like I said a blessing in diguise.
You never know, if Parcells and the Trifecta have something up their sleves say like a Pepper Johnson: Young blood, former player of Parcells, and a Belicheck disciple IMO, would be GREAT! Not to mention he would have some inside knowledge about the Patsies and Belicheck. He's worked his way up to D-line coach since 2000 and may be the blessing in disguise. Maybe? Maybe not, but either way who ever we do get, Parcells has to equip them and the Dolphins with some good young players, why not hire a DC who can relate to these players not because hes young, but because they have been there before and sport the hard ware to prove it. Young or old we can all relate to Champioship Rings!

This may be a sign Parcells is on his way out. Who would want to take a DC job and then potentially be fired after only one season by the new regime. Ross better get ready for the Parcells departure.


When was the last time the Dolphins won ANYTHING? This team has been a joke for the last 30 years and don't tell me I don't know anything about football. The Jauron comment was a goof and why is it that nobody wants to come here? Tuna can pick up and leave tomorrow and what from Ireland or Sparano has impressed you? Don't tell me about the 11-5 division title because they did that with mirrors. Was it the drafting of Pat White that impressed you? The Wildcat has stunted the teams growth. While every other team is passing for 4000 yards, Miami is running a gimmick offense. Sparano's game management reminds me of my old college buddy's that used to play John Madden football. He's too busy running around like a chicken with his head cut off rather than focusing on the game. Also, we could've had a franchise QB in Matt Ryan and instead got a Left Tackle to protect a passer when we run the Wildcat. This team is confused and if can't recognize it, perhaps you have no football knowledge.

Ken , Yeah !! whatever stayonboard said .

Dean Pees!

What took so long for your post this morning Mando? Sleep in? The Trifecta will NOT disappoint boys and girls. So many knee jerk reactions!!

Sorry Typos: are blessings in disguise

Mhm... keep making yourself look stupid Ken....

Notice - the REST of the posters also shot you down? You're right... that means the problem is me.... :)

LOL - I love how the internet is full of people who think they know what their talking about.

Ken, you obviously are a draft genius because I am sure you thought Matt Ryan would be great. I am sure you were also one of the guys thinking that Brady Quinn would be our savior. Are u saying that the trifecta was dumb for drafting a two time pro bowl LT AND a our QB for the future in Henne over another QB in the first round. You are a joke

Well, if they don't want to come here, then we don't want them. We need to get a little younger anyway, another 60-something coach like Groh is not the right direction. And clearly the Steelers coach is going to stick around until Lebeau leaves.

My question - what's wrong with Todd Bowles? He's assistant head coach, but not a top candidate for DC? That's strange...

Good job! Like stay on board said, keep making yourself look stupid. lol

Mando - Todd Bowles might be promoted to the Offensive Coordinator? I think you have a typo.

Yousa beginins to rights likes Omar.

Typo: sleeve

Cmon guys, Ken obviously has won more Superbowl coaching then Parcells...he has put together more NFL winning franchises then Parcells, he is one of the best Nfl talent evaluators out there!!! Cmon Ken, post ur numbers and NFL experience and jobs so u can shut everyone up!!!

I agree, if they don't want to come here, good riddence. I think we'll find someone that can come in here and give the D their all. That aside, screw Pitt there system was as flawed as ours all year. Mando, any idea whose next up on the interview list?

geniuses see definition:

Trifecta 1 : a variation of the perfecta in which a bettor wins by selecting the first three finishers of a race in the correct order of finish

What exactly has this group finished 1st in except the line to the buffet table? Keep drinking the Kool Aid folks. I'm up here in the Northeast and have to listen to Jet fans daily. Have you guys been watching this team for the last 20 years and not been frustrated? We haven't been to the AFC Championship game since that debacle against the Bills. I'd like to agree with you and think everything is fine and dandy, but as Tuna says, You are what your record says you are.

Dolphins4life. We get it , you're not a good typer. Join the club !! :)

Ah well - maybe your right Ken....

At least though - Parcells knows how long his coaches are under contract for (something you didn't know about 30 minutes ago) - yet I bet 90% of the posters here were well aware of it as well.

Sorry - I just find it funny - you're comparing football knowledge but - can't even follow your own team enough to figure out whos under contract for how long?



Your thoughts on the following DC options?

Bob Sutton - NY Jets - Senior Defensive Assistant - Linebackers coach

Kevin Greene - GB Packers - Outside Linebackers coach

Vic Fangio - Baltimore Ravens - Linebackers coach

Mark Carrier - Baltimore Ravens - Defensive Backs coach

Zach Thomas - No coaching or 3-4 defense experience

Todd Bowles - Assistant Head Coach - Secondary


Ramon - Miami

" When did this group finsh 1st in anything except ....... " . Didn't miami finish 1st last year ? Just saying.

Some names to let marinate (besides Bowles - who will probably get the job):

Chuck Pagano
Vic Fangio
Clarence Brooks
Bob Sutton
Dennis Thurman
Reggie Herring
Dave Campo

Ken, we will be fair. Why don't you tell us what we should do rather than complain about what is happening now? Saying we should fire the coach is not an answer. We went from a 1-15 team that was old and weak to a team that has gone 18-14 with a very young, strong and up and coming roster. Look at the teams that were drafting with us two years ago....St. Louis, KC, Oakland, etc. They are back there with new coaches and still not clear vision of what they want to do. To be successful you need to keep a front office in place otherwise you continue to make it hard on your players and they type of players you want to draft.

I said 1 or 2 years. Could've easily looked up on google but was too lazy. Parcells gets paid to know this and also gets paid to know that Pat White is NOT a 2nd round pick and he also gets paid to know that the NFL is now a receiver driven league and we have none unless of course you thing Camarillo is the next coming.

I'm just voicing my concerns of a mediocre organization Stayonboard. One day I'll have as much football knowledge as you. You probably walk around town with your jersey on talking about your fantasy team. This is reality and the dolphins are no closer to a Super Bowl than they were after Saban's 1st year when everyone was s&cking him off.

What's the big deal. we we're 1-15 3 yr's ago. Any DC is better than paul p. My grandmother would blitz more. I hope parcells leaves. no mpre stupid pat white. We might actually get a linebacker or a safety in the second round this yr..we are 3 players away from being a great team. Safety, linebacker and #1 receiver.

Do not promote Todd Bowles!!!! He is a secondary coach and a below average one at best. I only say below average because he had two rookie corners this year so I will give him a pass for that but 2010 should be a final analysis if Bowles should even remain the secondary coach in the future. It should not be a promotion to a job he is not qualified to do!!!


Add a NT and another Linebacker and you might be onto something

I agree HP about not turning over the front office....I guess my main concern is Sparano. I just can't see "Tony Sparano" as a Super Bowl winning coach. He's seems too "goofy" for lack of a better term. Does not have the poise needed...In my opinion.

Yea, we haven't won because we kept hiring the same idiots, Wandstat, Cameron and Saban who kept making the same mistakes over and over...trading draft picks and thinking we were always one or two pieces away,. We finally get a guy like Parcells in here to build a winner and what fo we get, a bunch of idiots on a blog wanting to trade away draft picks because they think we are one or two pieces away...sorry folks, this team was major F'd up and won't be built back overnight...Matt Ryan, u kidding me right, in the long run Henne will be a better QB....Ryan stepped into a real good team because Vick screwed up and he benefited from that..

" Everyone knows sparano has i year left and if it doesn't work out he's gone..... " Posted by Ken at 3:12 pm. It sure looks like you said 1 . I know you're fustrated ken. Me too !!!

This morning you were questioning the wisdom of bringing in Groh so why is it a turn for the worst if Groh doesn't want to coach here?

Yes and the tuna is going to take them in that order, NT, LB & WR. I just heard a jets fan at Flanigans say that we need to draft a WR first. I wondered if he knows anything about Parcells?

Time to bring "THE TUNA" back to the field and

"FIX" the mess that he helped put Miami in!!!

I didn't know how many years were left on his contract (1 or 2) but when I said everyone knows he as 1 year left...I meant if he doesn't produce next year he's gone.


You're right - I do.... you done now? Im tired of arguing with your contradictory self. Seems someone is just upset about the Pat White pick.... maybe you should start scouting and eventually you'll be able to make that pick yourself *cough


Bowles is considered a up and coming coach... Read any "experts" opinion of him as obviously my own is only taken with a grain of salt.... he'll be a Head Coach one day in this league and he will likely be very successful.

I would have no problem with Bowles as the DC - however, I think they should look outside the organization. Not because Bowles would be a bad decision but he's already on the staff... he already has a lot of input - why not add to that? Why not get another guy in to help with the Defense that's in desperate need of being rebuilt. That's the main reason why I feel we should be looking outside - but if Bowles is the choice than Bowles is the choice.

Ken you're like the energizer bunny in here. Any clue as to what you're writing?

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