The meeting Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland were to have with owner Stephen Ross began in earnest this afternoon.
Ross arrived at the Dolphins facility at 1 p.m. Monday and stayed for several hours -- outlasting some employees that left at the close of business, The Herald's Jeff Darlington is reporting.
I am reporting Ross met with Ireland first and Sparano afterward.
Ross was in the company of club Chief Executive Officer Mike Dee.
It is reasonable to believe the club owner is allowing Sparano to give his version of what happened with the Dolphins in 2010 and a plan for addressing everything that is wrong -- including whether he would fire or relieve any assistants and what his plan would be for addressing obvious definciencies on the team, including the quarterback position.
It has been known for weeks that Sparano's job is on the line. The season-ending three-game losing skid, including the 38-7 loss to New England in the season finale did not help matters for the incumbent coach. A 1-7 record at home is also an issue that Ross was unhappy about this season.
"It was a productive meeting," Ross told Darlington this evening while at Sun Life Stadium for the Orange Bowl game.
On Monday, Sparano met with the media and gave few details on what he planned to tell Ross, with few being defined as none.
“I’m not going to get into that," Sparano said. "That’s going to be between me and Mr. Ross and we’ll go through that. But, I’m not going to get into all or any of those things right now.”
Sparano was asked how he would convince Ross he is the right man to coach the team going forward -- even as potential candidates Jon Gruden and Jim Harbaugh were working at Sun Life Stadium tonight, one as an announcer for ABC, the other as the Stanford head coach leading his team during the Orange Bowl.
"I’m not going to get into my plan with Mr. Ross," Sparano said, meaning he wasn't going to share the plan with the media.
The fact the meeting with Sparano was likely happening one day after the season ended suggests Ross plans to move fairly quickly in making a decision about the coach.