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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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phin4life is a donkey .

i think we need a new gm. jeff ireland has made his share of mistakes especially evaluating team needs. he won't admit any mistakes either and doesn't interact with the fans at all. can't he suggest a defensive coord? sparano appears to be a hardhead who could be hard to coach for(ie. al groh). he's not open to new suggestions.

please bring back olivadotti!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im serious , cmon trifecta wake up bring olivadotti!!!!!!!!

I've updated this post with some possible names of candidates. Just speculation, mind you, from outside NFL people.

Mando, Question....How is it that this site always finds away around people's pop up blockers??????

NetFlix anyone?????

Beginning to sound like we're the ugly girl nobody wanted to dance with.

I think they should take their damn time and get the right guy. Also giving a guy an interview doesn't mean you want him for the job it just means your interested in him! If the interview doesn't work out what do you expect him to say. Don't think butler ever wanted to leave Pitt and how do we know what tomlinson promised him? I like Todd or dean peas but didn't someone say he had medical problems?

Good that Groh's out. He would have sucked. I hope they hire someone smarter than Brian Cox or Pepper Johnson.

agree w/mmrjohsom.

Bryan Cox was one of my favorite phins... no clue how he would be a a DC

People, forget Bryan Cox. I say we vote ALOCO the new Def. Cor.

LETS HEAR IT FOR ALOCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Will Muschamp?

my rule will be if you don't have a tackle or interception in every game you sit down the following game .

I hope they get this right. This is a very important decision. It just may be the turning point for this bunch. Get it right and we go in the right direction. Get it wrong and another 7-9 or 8-8. After that?????

Sometimes you just have to trust the captain of the ship. I have faith in Parcells. Who else would you rather have at the top? Even the best don't get every draft pick or move 100% right. Remember what a mess was made of this franchise over the last decade by the likes of Wannstadt, Saban, and Cameron. This team is much better after only two years of Parcells. His track record speaks for itself. Every he has went there has been much improvement for that franchise. Be patient and reap the rewards in 2-3 years.

Sounds like PLAN F

I'd post something intelligent, but that wouldn't fit in on this message board.

I don't like the fact that Butler turned the job or wasn't offered the job or what have you? It doesn't look good from any angle. I have read all these post and have to say that after letting it swirl around for a minute...

1. I am still on board with PARCELLS and crew.
2. Sparano is a top tier coach...who does more with less. (starting running back, starting quarterback, starting NT, Starting Corner, need i go on).
3. If Parcells leaves i think we are in good hands
4. If butler thinks he is to good for us then F him. We play them next season lets rub his face in his lost opertunity.
5. I'm not sold on bowles...need a proven winner and hopefully a proven name. What happened to the old bears DC RON RIVERA. He was suppose to be the best thing since sliced bread.

In TUNA I trust


Kevin Lloyd | January 15, 2010 at 07:44 PM

The "captain of the ship" request you grab your lifejackets and report to your muster stations.


Make it 2.5 tackles a game and i'm on board!

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

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | January 15, 2010 at 03:54 PM

LOL NJ yup I'm gonna get the voice recognition tele type.

Pepper Johnson! Walk thru those doors baby!

Isn't Rivera DC in San Diego? If so, I can't see him jumping from that ship to this one. Chargers are far closer to a SB than we will be for a while. Too bad, because he'd be a good choice.

Wade Phillips may well be available if the 'Boys lose their next game. Jones can't stand him by all accounts and he is a fine DC. It appears he is not a bad HC either.

I'd like to see Bryan Cox get the job. He's been my hero ever since that double-barrel salute to the fans of Buffalo way back when.

Kris, done .

Bryan Cox is a drunk , he use to be drunk before any game .

Bryan Cox!!! I guess since Clevland has been so great with him he should be a shoo in...this coming out of the same mouths of idiots who are upset that this team hasn't won the Superbowl yet, give me a break!???

Oh my goodness. I hope we didn't fire him too soon thinking we had a better replacement and it fell through! Why wouldn't parcella know that before firing? We need a new dc but If there isn't one out there better then they blew it

oh my god , oh my god Finfan 23 is panicking ? get a life man .

Bryan Cox cost us games with his untimely unsportsman like penalties. He never wrapped up as a player (just kinda launched himself like a missle) and I'm not sure you can teach and instill what you don't know. Thurman Thomas made his career against the bryan cox led defense. Cox was bad for the Dolphins then and he would be bad now.



Bob sutton is the most credible of the bunch and would be a good hire for the sake that he is a good defensive mind and he obviously knows our rivals the Jets

Parcells is gonna shock everyone and name himself the DC for the upcoming season.Wouldn't that be a kick in the marble sack?

How about Coach Mora (the son who got fired by SEA). He is a Def. Backs Coach and that should help develop our your def. backs. At least for lack of better option. It would be great though if we take a solid coach from the Jets or Pats.

Go Phins..

marble sack...lol

" I'm going to get the Voice recognition tele type". posted by dolphins4life. LMFAO !!! That sounds like a great idea for me too . :)

it was me.

Lots of estrogen in this hand-wringing blog. Be patient, ladies. The DC will come.

And BTW, Bryan Cox was a punk on the field, and I liked that. Giving Buffalo the finger was classic. But I don't think he could coach himself out of a wet paper bag.

What do you guys think about Brandon Lafell WR from LSU? Woiuld he make it as a #1 WR in the NFL?

Bryan Cox coaching Joey Porter. Wow. Just, wow. Mind bender, that.
Armando, you're all over the map. First you suggest Groh wasn't aggressive enough, now you're complaining that Miami didn't get him.


Give one example where Mondo complained about not getting Groh. His post merely gave you some facts about what happened (or didn't happen) in the Dolphins camp today. Nothing more, nothing less. If there is a critisism here it is the fact that the article was a little dry and boring, not his leaning for or against Groh.

It was a 8 paragraph post (by Armondo) Groh was mentioned in just one of those Paragraphs. Did you read the whole thing?

Let's not complain for the sake of complaining

Wow, a whole lot of crazy whining and a lack of football knowledge. Must be a football blog. There are plenty of choices out there if they do the homework. We are not in freefall 2 years removed from a 1-15 season(wow,incredible isnt it?!).

Profootball didnt talk bad, a bunch of retards(like right here) were talking shyt. Thats what happens in blogs people. This is an important decision, so Id rather get it right, then get it fast. Lastly, Butler has been with Pitt for a while now and maybe, just maybe, has built roots there and has a DC position waiting on him. You think maybe?!

Bangbus gentlemen let some steam out!!!

Gman050 the football genius,

You can't stand people who don't agree with you? Perhaps you should go to North Korea or Belarus or Burma. People over there will never disagree with you and you can learn them football.

Sparano has never been a coordinator in 9 years with the pros. He was stripped of the play-calling duties in Dallas after just one year. That's light for a "top coach" in the NFL. Sparano got this job because he's Parcells' ballboy.

The guy is a good leader for young players, ok. But his game management is awful and he is by no means creative. Don't tell me we cannot find an upgrade over Sparano.

Milfhunter that's a good one too... Stay off the blog for a while

Yann the shmuck

Yammering wants Cameron back so he can draft more players and their familes... Since he was a great coordinator... Sucked as a coach.. It's all about intangibles which is something you wouldn't know about

Better yet yam why don't we just make you the head man... You can make all the calls.. Be the next Shula huh? Your a clown

Fellas....please stop suggesting dudes who are currently employed as DCs at other teams......you will not get a lateral hire...it's gonna be an asst w/ promise or an out of work DC.

You guys are a joke! What are you guys complaining about? Miami didn't land Al Groh as DC or Kevin Butler who although the allure of Pittsburgh and Dick Lebeau ties is a serious unknown. How about look what Parcells, Ireland and Sparano were brought into. A team with NO talent. When guys are supposed to be hitting their prime and peaking within their 3rd and 4th years Miami had previous regimes that were so bad that none of them guys are here in that locker room.

A look back at the first few rounds of past regimes with players still on the team.
2007 - Tedd Ginn - bust, Paul Soliai - a backup NT. Brandon Fields - decent punter.
2006 - Jason Allen - bust,
2005 - Ronnie Brown - good player but hasn't even come close to living up to # 2 overall, Channing Crowder - Solid starter.
2004 - Vernon Carey - good starting RT.

This regime -2008 Jake Long - 2 years and 2 pro bowls at LT. Merling and Langford - are going into year 3 for them. I expect big things from one of these guys as both have showed promise. Chad Henne - I can't wait to see what he can do with a legit WR and a TE that can run. Had ups and downs but he was a first year starter for all you wise South Florida sun fried football know nothings! Lex Hilliard - in limited time had a few touchdowns and looked like at least a solid backup.

2009 - hard and unfair to judge rookies but Vonta and Sean looked like rookie corners had some good and bad moments but a very tough position for a rookie to come in and start at. Pat White - looks like a bad pick. Patrick Turner - Who knows he never played but that means a bad pick too. Brian Hartline - will become a very good #2 WR if Miami ever gets a #1.

Or NJ Phin Fan. He knows football, doesn't take kindly to fools.. and is very in your face when you mess up.

Am not sure if playing some d-ball is enough to qualify, but if he can pass the Parcells/Sparano test, I would take him over Brian Cox.

I can't see that guy teaching or coordinating.. he was always a half a second away from exploding into chaos..

I say we hire Henry Winkler. He was a great coach in Water Boy and he could bring Adam Sandler with him to play defense.

It amazes me that so many people expect and want instant gratification.. didn't all those moves the previous 10 years teach you anything about pretending like we are a real good team and thinking one player away from greatness?

As a fan, I always believe we can win.. but let's be real, we still have a lot of holes to fill. Fill them with an exceptional draft, luck out in the late rounds, and we will be a real good team next year, but will probably stumble in the playoffs with too many good but inexperienced rookies in the line-up.

Another good draft, and then we have got something. As these studs get into their second and third years, we will have an awesome group of young players.

As long as we keep plucking acorns for depth, and start drafting some monsters on defense, I think we are heading in the right direction

lmao at Ripp

I miss Shoes, Danny and the Marks Brothers.

No saying the future isn't bright but I am not impressed with this team's direction at the moment. So many holes and no evident plan. And that's probably the size of it. We don't know anything, really. The press is in the dark and we are too, so how can the plan be evident? That is not a complaint as the tri cannot tip their hand but, if there is not significant progress in building this team and the level of on-field coaching this year, then I think it is safe to say that "no evident plan" will be an observable fact.

Lips , WOW !! Thanks for the Plug. I'm just sitting here reading some of the buffoons and their idiotic posts. It makes for some great comedy. I don't know if you saw it but carlito also asked for me to be DC and Posted back to him how i would run the defense. I would like the front office to get me some better players at Both LB spots , NT and Free Safety. Then i can plan my aggressive Defense . :) . PS , what did you mean by playing somesome d-ball ?

I read your reply from earlier about how you played defense.. was just saying that am not sure if that alone would be enough experience for coach to give you the job..but seriously.. Brian Cox? I loved his intensity even if it backfired, but he was out of control.. lol

How about bring Zach back? he can coach and take over for Ayodele and show him how ILB is supposed to play.

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