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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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Lips , OK . i did play DIV-1 Football at the safety spot but you're right , it doesn't get me through the door in davie. LOL !! Bryan Cox is a walking unsportsmanlike conduct machine waiting to happen. The opposing offense wouldn't have to do much backing the miami defense in a hole. Plus some miami player on defense would punch him out during a argument on the sidelines No thanks on Cox. :)

you know I took a look at some of the possibles maybe from the ravens coaching staff ...that might be pursued by the dolphins
vic fangio (lbs coach for ravens now)
clarence brooks (coached in miami before did well)
chuck pagano (could become the new assistant /def backs coach if knowles is promoted)

I would think any of these guys would be an upgrade

Carlito , buddy ryan ? Is he still alive ? :)

What about Jim Bates? you think he'll comeback to Miami after the way he was sent out?

At the safety spot? Hell, can you play FS? I know you could land that job!

lol at Buddy Ryan. Daddy gonna make you cry, Rex.

Well, off to bed.. lots to do in the morning before I veg from 4:00PM Saturday until 8:00PM Sunday!

Vic Fangio from the Ravens?

Todd Grantham or Dave Campo from Dallas?

campo's a schlemiel.........now if Jerry Jones cans Wade P., on the other hand, he's a helluva defensive coach.


"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."
Posted by: Fire Everybody | January 15, 2010 at 03:36 PM
Sca-roo Chuck Studley!
Give ME the DC gig and I'll get us back to the good old days with often imitated, but NEVER duplicated "Bend...then BREAK defense!"
"The Original T-O."

Parcells is the problem.
With a lockout coming in 2011 next year will be the Tuna'a last with Phins if he makes it that far.
So anyone he hires will be here for next season only.

I think Ken has season tickets to the Jests and the NE Pansies.

Bottom line, DC is a gaping wound at the moment, and looks like the best that is going to happen is a hiring that will reduce it from gaping to seeping.

Or maybe, just maybe, Mr. Starkist will turn over just the right rock and find the next DC genius. I can hope, right?

Concerning Butler, how is this for an option C: the Dolphins interview him, but don't make a job offer because they feel he's not right for the position? You didn't think of that, did you?

Option C makes sense to me

al groh was close to bill parcells,not tony sparano. sparano didnt want groh and they didnt hit it off. i think it would be hard to work for tony sparano; he appears to be a hard head as evidenced by his coaching. it takes a player all year to maybe get a chance in a game. halftime adjustments were non-existent and the speed of the game overwhelmed him. in game decisions were clouded; later he told us one thing when our eyes witnessed the opposite. he's a good position coach; nothing more. no one is lining up to coach with him.

Why is it a major problem just because one person took a job in college and another turned down an interview? Everyone was hoping for Butler and with good reason. He's being mentored by one of the best in the business, and churning out pro bowlers with relative ease. We all knew he was a long shot, having turned Whisenhunt down last year and is the obvious heir apparent to LeBeau.
Groh isn't a real surprise. That seemed more of a courtesy than a given.
I see no reason to panic.
The team is getting younger. This years draft should be focused on linebackers, a defensive tackle and a safety. Who ever does become the defensive coordinator, will be getting a young team to work with and develop.

When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

Kurt Vonnegut

i am kinda suprised we didn't have a d coord. lined up before we fired coach P. i think perry fewell(interim bills coach and now nyg d coord) would have been a good fit. he had a shut down secondary!! we may have to go outside the good ol boy network and hire a younger gun for new pkgs. that arent so predictable. channing was saying manning knew everything we were doing on D before the play!!

someone once said the definition of a crazy person was "doing the same things over and over but expecting different results". sound like the coaching staff? with all this hard work and coaching how come we continued to worsen as the season went by? how come alot of guys couldn't get on the field? randy starks said ryan baker was excellent (starks favorite) but he didnt see the field! cam wake and jason taylor were seldom in when we needed pressure. why did we lay an egg at the end when it really counted???? why werent we ready? is it the players or the coaches?????

The Dolphins' search for a DC is rapidly resembling Tennessee's search for a head coach. Who will be our Derrick Dooley, our 18th on the list selection?

I hate seeing us become the Laughingstock of the League again, but it's happening in fronot of our eyes.

The dolphins need to get things going now before were screwed for next year too. Get a guy that you Derek comfortable with and does a good job and hire them it's that simple.

"Derek comfortable"?!?!

There are tons of good DC's out there. I didn't want Groh and neither did Tony. I would have liked to have picked up Butler - but that defense fell apart this year too. Jauron might not be bad as DC, remember all these head coaches got their jobs because they were among the best coordinators. By the way, Matty Ice sucked this year with a stacked offense, I think we made the right choice with a stud tackle and Chad Henne - lets get a #1 WR and fill the holes on D!

parcells for dc all the way!!!!!!! but frazier pees bowles are guys to watch!

The very title of the blog post indicates that it was a negative that Miami didn't get Groh. If he thought that Groh didn't fit with what he wanted for Miami's defense, the title should have been "Miami dodges bullet" or something like that. We all knew the other guy wasn't going to take the offer.

No blog today Mando?


Please go back to being a Jets or Giants fan. You are without a doubt one of the biggest idiot posters I have ever seen on this or any other blog. Drop Dead.

Are u guys all f'u''c in insane??? I mean really, football season hasn't even ended, the draft is 3 months away still and ur running around screaming and yelling that we haven't hired a DC yet like it's the end of the world...I thought Groh or Butler would have been great, didn't happen, oh well, they will get the right person when they are ready...WHACK Os

oh that reminds me.. I forgot to take my Vitamin B-12 spray with my others vitamins this morning..

thanks bobbyd12

Ur welcome Lips

If the "fins" had gone 5/11 rather than 11/5 in 2008, after a 1/15 season, there would be a completely different tone on this subject.

As I look at the roster for this team I notice that it is mostly comprised of players in their early to mid 20's. With few exceptions this a team that has gotten younger quickly. This year you had a secondary that only returned one starter from last year and many times played with three rookies. In my opinion, this is a great opportunity to bring in new coordinator to change the style of defense with so many young players.

I think you take a close look at Bob Sutton. His defenses in NY were real good before Ryan got there. He or any other disciple from the Ryan line of coaches would be my first choice.

Larry Kehres and/or Vince Kehres
Look them up - defensive coordinators/staff

Well, well, well. Seems that the DC position with the rotten fish is a job no one wants. Would you want a major stepping stone for your career to be with a team that has a guy who is known for NOT sticking around. WOuld you want to work for a guy that "loves" Ted Ginn? WOuld you want to work for a guy who recruits guys like Gibril Wilson and all the retarded Dallas cast-offs to fill his roster?

This is just pathetic. No one wants to work for Sparano. I still can't believe all the mistakes this guy made this year and you guys think he is some kind of messiah. Do yourselves a favor and watch the New Orleans game and then tell me you want this guy going forward. He is a fist pumping, chest puffing, glorified cheerleader at best.

Keep in mind that there are 5 teams left in the playoffs that run a 3-4 Def. Obviously we can't talk to any of those coaches til they get bounced or win it all. Do you Guys really want someone from college?? It's not like we are gonna win it all in the next two years.

How about Winston Moss, Assistant HC and LB coach from the packers? Him as the DC and Kevin Greene as OLB coach.

Lips , OK . i did play DIV-1 Football at the safety spot but you're right , it doesn't get me through the door in davie. LOL !! Bryan Cox is a walking unsportsmanlike conduct machine waiting to happen. The opposing offense wouldn't have to do much backing the miami defense in a hole. Plus some miami player on defense would punch him out during a argument on the sidelines No thanks on Cox. :)

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | January 15, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Was that on PSP or WII?

No one will work for Parcell's period. Why take a job when you can't make any decisions on your own?

I'm tired of this. Sparano is a bad coach, make no mistake, and instead of hiring people that are kicking ass we are looking for 'old pals' of big tuna....it so limiting! Why is this happening? And u jerks that say we can't win the superbowl next year, go be cricket or hockey fans please! Arizona made it last year. So stop.

I said this before, the Tri-fecta are making some questionable moves. a)Missing on a big-play WR 2009 draft when there were tons. b)why fire Pasqualoni, he did a great job last year but this year lost FS and CB, 2 rookie CB's. Thats why the pass Def suffered. You see what Cowboys said?

"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."

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