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Ross to make last-minute pitch to Harbaugh

I've seen many strange situations with the Dolphins. I call it the theater of the absurd. This one ranks right up there.

Imagine Dolphins billionaire owner Stephen Ross, general manager Jeff Ireland and former Kansas City Chiefs president Carl Peterson on the same private jet pointed toward San Jose, California. All of them are of so vastly disperate backgrounds and experiences. All of them are convinced they are like-minded in their purpose.

And their purpose?

Hiring college whiz kid coach Jim Harbaugh away from Stanford University -- out from under the nose of the San Francisco 49ers.

By offering him around $7 million. At least $7 million.

All this while incumbent coach Tony Sparano, apparently out in the cold despite previous assurances from Ross, waits helplessly  back in South Florida for a fate that seems more likely to include a firiring than a reprieve.

That's how it looks if this ESPN report from late Wednesday is completely accurate.

The report gives me a strange feeling because it shows to what extreme Ross is willing to go to get the coach he clearly has targetted as of 7 o'clock hour (EST) Wednesday to become Miami's next head coach. (That is not a bad thing, by the way, but the timing is intriguing considering his search began Monday.)

Ross would be making his second run at Harbaugh because I have confirmed the Dolphins spoke with Harbaugh already and he wasn't all that impressed with their first pitch. The fact is the Dolphins felt they had other options than Harbaugh after that first, failed pitch because I have confirmed the Dolphins were planning to make a run at Jeff Fisher.

But Fisher is apparently staying at Tennessee -- although not official. Harbaugh, meanwhile, wasn't totally blown away by the San Francisco 49ers in a meeting he had with that team Wednesday. So both sides are giving each other another chance Thursday morning.

This bothers me.

It bothers me because Ross is trying to create a monster. 

Some background: I have confirmed Ross met with Dolphins consultant Bill Parcells over the weekend as my column last Sunday said he would to discuss the state of the team and gain advice on a next move. And a person whose been told some details of that meeting tells me Parcells told Ross the team is capable of getting into the playoffs if he's patient and stays the course for 2011. Ross indicated to Parcells he was going to give both Sparano and Ireland one last year in 2011 to turn the Dolphins into a playoff team.

But on Sunday, the Dolphins got pummeled by the Patriots and, as this ditty said, that seemed to change everything for Ross. Ross decided to keep Ireland but try to upgrade from Sparano.

So where's the monster?

Continuity and change are opposites. Ross is trying to make them brothers.

Ross is effectively trying to put a new coaching head on the remnants of the personnel department body Parcells left him in Ireland. He is trying to match Harbaugh with Ireland. He is trying to make the new coach the face of his franchise and putting him atop a personnel department that gave the Dolphins a 7-9 record in 2010.

Here's a question: How is it Jeff Ireland has been completely spared of review but not Sparano? How is it the coach is up for being replaced because he didn't get enough out of the players, but the general manager who provided the players that didn't deliver gets a vote of confidence?

What about Ireland made Ross tell Bill Cowher -- BILL COWHER! -- "we want you but only if you accept coming with our general manager already in place."

Are you kidding me?

There are, of course, no sure-fire moves. You should remember there has been no Super Bowl winning coach who won another Super Bowl with another organization. But, you should also note that not too many college coaches, which Harbaugh is, have made the successful leap to the NFL lately.

At any rate, Thursday should be interesting.

Ross, Ireland and Peterson will make their pitch to Harbaugh. Ross will offer to throw gobs of money at Harbaugh, certainly more money than either San Francisco or Denver are likely to offer. Ireland may promise to get Harbaugh the type of talent he failed to get Sparano. And all of them will try to Harbaugh a comfort level with a club structure that seems strange perhaps only to me.

Ross is on the line here. He's picked his sword. He has decided to listen to Peterson and not Parcells. He has annointed Ireland while casting down Sparano. And now he has one last hope of luring the attractive coach he covets.

We'll see what happens.


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Dr Roberts,

I agree that is bizarre. Fisher is very well respected and one of the longest tenured coaches in the league.

What is Adams evaluating? Fisher body of work is pretty clear. I find it interesting that Fisher makes his team chippy. They go to the whistle and slightly beyond at times. It is the Dennis Rodman approach and frequently gets opponents to melt down.

I have played a lot of city basketball and always boxed out and bodied harder than most guys and people would just lose their minds.

I hope Adams hurries up and cuts V Young so that the Dolphins can pick him up. i know probably not going to happen.


Oregon, you live anywhere near Willamette Valley? Best Pinot Noir in the WORLD!!!

So now the broncos are interviewing harbaugh per shefter. Tim Tebow anyone?


Titans are waiting to see what offers they will get for Fisher once the dust settles on Harbaugh, and one or more teams are left out in the cold. Fisher has one year left on his deal.




Here's a good article about how Miami is handling this situation properly, something few people have been saying: http://thefloridagridiron.com/2011/01/dolphins-coaching-search-being-handled-properly/

Dan LeBatard, of ESPN and the Miami Herald, reportedly said on his radio show Thursday afternoon that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has accepted the Miami Dolphins' head coaching position.

That's pretty much what I've been saying Mike. It's smart. If we can't get anyone else, we have a contingency plan (Sparano)

People just like to complain

Mike, National organizations and sports talk radio people are now saying what an embarrassment is for Miami. I'm sorry, bit there is a HUGE difference between ESPN and FloridaGridiron, whatever that is

I am though not much of a white wine drinker. We also have some of the best micro brews here too and it is pretty hard to steer me away from those, if I'm drinking.

I will be drinking Monday night watching Auburn try to deal with the scoreoregon offense.
Go Ducks!

Yeah this morning on mike & mike they seemed happy to be ripping the phins on this. Jet boy even used the word classless at some point, which made me choke. Guessing the irony escaped him.

I just cannot wait for manning to send jets packing this weekend. Please god let it happen

I see Oregon, Pinot Noir is RED win. Pinot Gris is White.

That's cool. I like beer too (but prefer Belgian, like Corsendenk and Lambics).

Nice entry Salguero. Ghostwritten? AHHHHHHHH. Just messing with you, man.


I'm a self-admitted beer snob (I work someplace that makes it easy to be one, too!) and---definitely--your neck of the woods has the reputation for some of the finest craft beers out there.

Looking forward to seeing Oregon play Monday...even with those goofy "feather" jerseys!

Mark I have your answer on Harbaugh. Stanford is an incredibly difficult school to play football for. They require a high grade point average or you're off the team. I believe you need at least a 3.8 average.

What that means is they are only able to recruit the smartest players in the country unlike UM and USC who couldn't care less about grades and base their recruiting more on pure athletic ability.

Harbaugh went into a school that no one could bring to the top and turned the whole program around in 3 seasons. That's why he's heavily sought after.

But also lets not confuse this media circus by believing Harbaugh, Miami, SF, Denver, OR Michigan started it. This whole nutty 'he's so great' and 'he's not worth that' and all of the attention was spurned on by the media.

I heard Jim Rome ask a guest how could Harbaugh get so blown out of proportion and then procede to talk about him for 10 minutes. He was adding to the hype while making fun of how ridiculous it all is.

And with that I would like to point out that the media, at times, as a whole,,,,are complete morons.

you got me there, zero knowledge of wine.

Oregon the school of many uniform options.

I would love to see the Dolphins play with pace someday.

Cheers for the info Denny

Denny i know several former Stanford athletes and i can assure u they are all not that smart, they also take a lot of sub par student athletes. ultimately the coaches need these players and there are always exceptions to getting kids accepted and keeping them on the field.

ALoco, you could use a roux to thicken your sauce. That's just equal parts butter and flour. Melt the butter in a pan and add your flour. Mix it really well until you get a pudding like consistency. Turn your heat down and keep mixing until the roux is smooth. Then you can gradually add it to your sauce for the desired consistency OR

New post up...

A clue.....it's freekin awesome news...

KRUT, if that's true than Stanford is lying about their athletic program because keeping a 3.8 average while playing football is extremely hard even for the brightest. That's another reason why Luck is so highly regarded.

And I didn't make that up about Stanford. It is the standard answer you hear when one asks why Harbaugh is held in such high regard.

It's also possible that the rule only applies to football as I know there are a few smaller schools who do this in order to keep the scholarships handed out fair.

Sources: Media being told to be at Dolphins facility on Friday; will Harbaugh be there?

bobbyd12, you're talking about opinion radio and media, not fact. They have their opinions just like the rest of us but the problem is not one of us have the inside track on what's going on. It's an embarrassment why? Because Tony hasn't been fired?

So who in here knows Tony Sparano or Ross personally? Anyone in the media hang out with them and have family get togethers? Point being Ross could have told Tony he was letting him go. Tony could have said I'll stick around until you get a new guy just so I can see my assistants out and finish up some last minute business. Or Ross could have said I need you hear because A. I'm still paying you so you still are employed by the Dolphins or B. I have the president of Michigan U flying in tomorrow and I want you to show him what kind of program you built here so we can try to get you the job.

Ridiculous? Why? Why is it that when people don't have any facts in a matter they IMMEDIATELY assume the worst? Couldn't it be that Ross is doing Tony a favor? I just came up with three scenarios off of the top of my head and cou;ld come up with 50 more in the next 2 minutes. Am I wrong? Does anyone know why Tony is being kept on besides Tony and Ross? NO

That is right Denny.

Most of the time there are things going on behind the scenes that the public rarely if ever get a look at.

Nothing embarrassing about the coaching change happening now.

The media is paid to spew opinions. On top of that most of the media is negative against the Dolphins to start with IMO.

let them all say what they like. Things will get better IF Ross can land Harbaugh.


I dont know if its too late but to thicken anything you're cooking you make "RUE".

It's a combination of melted butter and flour. Blend it together to form a pastey mudlike texture mix. You can use flour only to thicken any watery suaces but you end up with many lumps. The butter combined with flour prevents this.

Just make sure your sauce is extremely hot when you do it or it doesnt thicken very well. Add the mixture a little at a time until you get the desired thicknes. Because adding to mauch will turn your sauce to wallpaper paste. LOL...........

ross' personal plane scheduled to land at 1 am this morning.

coming from burbank to hollywood international.

Sparano is getting treated the exact same way he treated Jason Taylor. Looks good on him. The way he treated Taylor was incomprehensible considering what Taylor did for this organization. Sparano deserves what he gets.

Armado, your question "Here's a question: How is it Jeff Ireland has been completely spared of review but not Sparano?" and subsequent points are quite legitimate. Why are more people not on Ireland's case? Does he have naked photos of Ross or something? The guy has made bad draft picks, bad trades and bad waiver claims. He is worse, much worse, than pump fist Sparano

HEY I feel bad for regular working people living paycheck to paycheck getting fired, I dont feel bad for Sparano, he still gonna make 3 million dollars if he walks away. Feel bad for people like myself and spends a paycheck to bring family to games and turn out to be boring and horrific thanks to ms doof FG. Ross do whatever it takes, oh and bring Young.

I don't want Harbuagh ... another "pretty" face with no actual experience in the NFL reminds me too much of the last dimwit college "genius" we hired: Saban. If we can't get Cowher ... screw it, we might as well stay with Fist Pump ... hell, now that Henning is gone, maybe he'll be a bit better.

PFW has the total up to 8Mil a year?...sounds risky.....

ESPN reports we are stuck with Tony for another year? say it aint so.....

Where is Sparano's pride. He should tell Ros, F'u, I quit.

Can't believe we're keeping Sparano.. Would'nt blame the guy if he quits during training camp. Another disappointing season. Not gonna expect much from this team now..What a disgrace. What does this say about this team. Your stuck with a guy you don't want to guide your team. Absolutely unbelievable.. Hey Ross, hope your proud of yourself. No one is gonna respect you now. Thanks alot, hope you can live with yourself..

Sorry, but when you make the efforts Ross has made, you pull the trigger at this point. There should have been a plan C after the totally crazy idea of Gruden. Then Harbaugh falling through..
Cowher should be on his way and as much as I am ok with Ireland, it would be time to say goodbye to both men. However, I would still insist that Nolan stays...

IT's starting to look like Henne and Saprano are here to say looks like another 7-9 season but the pain won't be so bad because all the games will be blacked out with all the empty seats, out of sight out of mind.

Just absolutely embarrassing. We are quickly becoming the new Detroit Lions. Ross will run this organization into the ground before he's done. We thought the Saban, Weinsteidt years were bad? I'm getting the feeling we haven't seen anything yet?
We're going to be the next Lions and Ross is driving the bus into obscurity.

As one ESPN reporter put it - the trend in the NFL is to hire younger head coaches - this team needs someone who is going to stay and build a great team for several years, not a year or two. Not sure Harbaugh is the answer but how long would Cower, Chucky or any of the other old timers mentioned stick around to provide continuity? I agree with the above - the Fins have a bad habit of making great players (perhaps in this case coaches) then trading them away or in this case firing Sparano. The only thing bothers me about Sparano is what RW said - "he preaches at practice if you don't make mistakes (turn overs), or penalties and score in the red zone you will win (paraphrased)" RW said something like "tell me something I don't know." To get in the red zone with a forth and one and go for a field goal seems to me to be bad coaching. Trading FG for TD's seems stupid but Sparano seems to be a fan of the FG - granted points are points but this is one reason why the Fins were the lowest scoring team in the league. GO FINS

Armando is on the mark with his last column, he finally agrees with me, we need a REAL QB....as far as coaches....Harbaugh, not worthy, Cowher was best hire at this point in time.... Sparano, like a wife, cheaper to keep her, instead of a divorce....

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