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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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bad move... They should try to go after Gruden IMO

Agreed Ireland should be held equally accountable.

I say clean house if thats what it takes to get either Harbaugh or Cowher.

I don't see how Sporano can comeback now and have full player respect.

I know Bill Cowher didnt go to Michigan but Ross would be well advised to look past that and at his record as a head coach in the NFL.

Step right up under the big top!

It 's really surprising that there is not a Cirque du Soleil in Miami, there is no doubt that it would do well. Of course it would have to compete with the perennial circus that is the Miami Dolphins organization.

1-7 at home! Empty stadium, and some feel bad for TS?

I agree Armando, what this owner is doing is just wrong. Lack of continuity among the Dolphins coaching staff is a big part of the reason they haven't been very successful since Marino left. Too many different head coaches, their staffs, and too many different QB's.

I asked this yesterday on your blog, why does everybody think that a successful college coach is going to make a successful NFL coach? History isn't in favor with that working out.

I do not like Mr. Ross, not even a little.

This all sounds like desperation. No college coach has found NFL success since JJ.

SPARANO HAD A CHANCE TO TAKE THIS TEAM AND RUN WITH IT.

THE TEAM WAS BORING THAT'S NOT IRELAND'S FAULT.

THERE'S MORE TALENT ON THIS TEAM THAN MOST IN THE PLAYOFFS.

SPARANO SUCKS AS A COACH PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

HOW CAN THE PLAYERS TRUST HIM? HE NEVER STAYS THE COURSE.

ALLEN LEAD THE TEAM IN PICKS AND GET RELEASED.

IF RONNIE OR RICKY IS RUNNING THE BALL HARD HE PUTS IN THE OTHER AND THE REST OF THE DAY IS SHOT.

IF HENNE IS THROWING THE BALL WELL LETS SAY 4-5 ON A DRIVE AND HE MOVES THE BALL FROM OUR 15 TO THEIR 18 THEN SPARANO WILL CALL BACK TO BACK RUN PLAYS WITH WHATEVER RUNNING BACK THAT WAS ON THE SIDELINE AT THAT TIME.

LIKE I SAID IN WEEK 7 OR 8 WHEN WE WERE GOING INTO THE HALF AND WE HAD THE BALL ON THE 50 WITH 1 TIMEOUT AND 15 TICS LEFT ON THE CLOCK WE TOOK IT INTO HALF WITH A 10-7 LEAD.

I HOPE ROSS GETS A NEW COACH AND KEEP TONY AS THE O-LINE COACH.

MAYBE NOT EVEN THAT AS THE LINE HAVEN'T BEEN ANYTHING SPECIAL.

EVERYONE UP HERE KNOWS SPARANO CAN'T COACH.

SO AT THE VERY LEAST IF WE CAN'T UP GRADE THEN WE ARE BACK WITH SPARANO FOR ONE YEAR IF WE COULD PEACE.

IRELAND DID HIS JOB WELL.

WAKE, DANSBE, LANGFORD, STARKS, DAVIS, LONG, MARSHALL, BESS,IF HE LEARNS TO CATCH SMITH, I'M LOSING FAITH IN HIM BUT 3,300 YARDS 61%COMPLETIONS IS GOOD FOR HENNE.

I LIKE THE PLAYERS IRELAND BROUGHT HERE.

This guy Ross is petrified of losing is $$$$ off. He is desperate to make a splash to bring season tickets up. Right now all the options are closing in. What a jerk !!. Look at how the Steelers, Ravens, Falcons, and Chiefs have done it. All the Dolphins need is a good personell department run by a great or young up and coming GM ( not Ireland ). They need 2-3 really good drafts with a franchise QB in place. Clean house with players that are mediocre and possibly tradeable. Now the fan base must be patient and not have so much high expectatiions. After all we are not the Patriots who have 8 picks in the first 4 rounds in April's draft. From 5-7 rounds they have 10 more picks. Are they building for the future or what.

U go 1-7 at Home and

U Go

Period

Love
Home

I WANT MIKE MARTZ.

too many misses on draft picks and free agent signings. ireland was placed by parcells who bolted. all parcells remnants should be shown the door; ireland/sparano/henning/lee. they never respected dolphin traditions or players. zach and jt were not treated with the respect they earned. what goes around comes around.

I LIKE TO SAY BEFORE THE PATS GAME I TOLD EVERY ONE THAT ROSS HAS MET THE TUNA AND SPARANO WILL STAY FOR ANOTHER YEAR AND I CAME AFTER THAT UNDER ATTACK FOR SAYING THAT ,NOW ARMANDO CONFIRMED THAT THEY MET AND AGREED ON SPARANO STAYING ONE MORE YEAR .

ONE MORE THING , HARBAUGH WILL STAY IN SF,PERIOD ,HE DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY THE PATS AND THE JETS.HE RATHER HAVE AN EASIER LIFE OUT WEST EVEN WITH 7-9 CAN TAKE YOU TO THE PROMISED LAND .

I don't feel sorry for Tony, he did not get it done and that is all there is to it!All the close games we lost we could have won with a better coach who had a set of nuts instead of being affraid , now I do like him and I think he did try to do his best , but his best is not good enough we lost 3 in a row to close out the season the last 2 years and a 1-7 recoed at home, Ross has to do something and I do commend him for everything he is trying to do . I wish he would have told cowher whatever you want bill you got , but for some reason he wants to hold onto Ireland , I only see Nolan as worth keeping, but Ireland has made some good moves and also a lot of bad ones too!

And there you have it. If there was any question as to your owner's level of stupidity it should now be gone. Carl Peterson is pulling the strings. They could have anyone for 8 million, but they go with the guy that has zero NFL HC experience - it never works minus JJ. To top it all off they keep the guy responsible for all the player personell problems. Crazy.

ALoco did u have Sparano & Meatballs for dinner?

U GO only 1 Win @ Home and

U GO

Period

NFC WEST TEANS THIS YEAR;

1-SEATLE SEAHAWKS......... 7-9......IN THE PLAYOFFS
2-STL RAMES..................... 7-9
3-SF 49'S............................6-10......... OL IS GREAT + DRAFT PICK AT 7
4-ARZ CARDINALS.............. 5-11

AFC EAST TEAMS THIS YEAR;

1-NEW ENGLAND................. 14-2........ BRADY +HOYER
2-JETS................................. 11-5
3-MIAMI DOLPHINS.................. 7-9........ NO QB ,NO RB
4-BUFFALO BILLS.....................4-12........ TEBOW+DRAFT AT NO 3

WHERE WOULD YOU RATHER BE ?

This football team needs an enema!

The Dolphins Suck
Period

Sparano wants to stay
He was having fun with the players
They like him
He likes them
They have fun together
They r not prepared for most games, but they r there in attendance
They laugh when they r losing, esp Henne and Crowder
Everyone still gets abig check after getting humiliated on the field week after week
Sometimes they score No points at all

Gone Fishing

The Dolphins Suck
Period

New world Order created another "surprise storm" for the resident slaves of Northeast USA
Expect up to another 8 inches of ... Snow

have a HAARPy day :(

I think one point that has been overlooked, and I should say that I have been a Tony S supporter for the most part, and being from Penn, still made it to 4 Fish games this year, including 2 in Miami (Jets, Lions, is that the Fish have been 7-6 the past 2 seasons, last year in complete control of their playoff destiny, this year needing a miracle, which would not have come.
Both years we had 2 of the last 3 games at home and both times finished 7-9 ( I was also at the Texans game last year, talk about a glutton for punishment).
My question is can Cowher or Harbaugh fix that issue, we know Tony can't.
I personally like Harbaugh better, I think he would do wonders for whatever QB is here (even Henne), Cowher would be more trying to win games 13-10.
At the end of the day I would just be happy with Dan Henning out. I think he cost the team 3 games, and yes I know people will say he did run the plays, but he called them and knew his QB or head coach would never change the play, that was his downfall.

I stil say they should shake the Brian Billick tree!

ALoco, Ross is willing (according to reports) to pay Harbaugh up to 8 million a year, which would make him the highest paid coach in the NFL. 8 million a year!! Trust me, that will make you forget about the Patriots and the Jets pretty quickly.

THE USA TOADAY HAS AN ARTICLE W/ IT'S HEADLINE ...


( THE DOLPHINS AND HARBAUGH LACK OF CALSS ) .

AS MANY OF THE BLOGGERS WERE SAYING EARLY ABOUT LEAVING TONY SPARANO TWISTING WHILE TALKING TO EACH OTHER .

And ALoco, fyi, Tebow is a Bronco, not a Bill.

D F IN M,


IT WILL MAKE YOU FORGET THE PATS AND JETS UNTIL YOU GET FIRED AND HOLDING A NEWS CONF AFTER A YEAR RESIGNING .

SORRY, I MEANT FITEZPATRICK .........OF THE BILLS

If I'm Bill Belicheik, I'm walking in Robert Kraft's office and I would make myself pretty darn clear. Give me an extension, 15 million a year for 5 years. Take it or leave it. If Harbaugh gets 8 million a year with 0 NFL experience, how much should Belicheik get?? He must be scratching his head right now thinking...Wow!

ALoco, after collecting that much cash, why the f*** would you care about getting fired??

And ALoco, it'S not as if the Jets are way further ahead than we are. The Patriots, OK, they're ahead of most teams. But the Jets? We've split the season games 1-1, they have a bunch of guys on their way out, why should Harbaugh be scared of the Jets?? We defeated them in the Meadowlands with the crappiest offense in the league. Boohoohoo the Jets...

D F IN M.


1- THE JETS IS A BETTER TEAM THAN US EVEN NEXT YEAR , WE R OLD AND SLOW AS THE CASE W/RB'S .
2- IF YOU R HARBAUGH ,YOU WORRY B/C YOU DON'T WANT TO BE KNOWN AS THE GUY WHO STOLE THE MONEY AND .

3-BUT IF YOU COACH SF ,YOU WILL A WIGGLE ROOM .

You mean TS is still here?

Believe Belicheat only gets paid bot $2.5 million per year

Of course God only knows what else Bobby Kraft is giving in undisclosed benefits to the coaching genius

So Home asks u

Is a college coach with No NFL experience worth $5.5 million per season more than the coaching genius from the New England Patriots, coach Bellicheat?

Or r The Dolphins trying to "Buy A Championship" caliber coach?

R the Dolphins reaching way too far for college coach HardBalls?

Will HardBalls be an excellent NFL coach?

Will HardBalls be that much more ($5.5 million more per season) successful than coach Bellicheat?

Has the NFL gone "Bonkers with Bucks"?

Brandon Marshall & Karlos Dansby between them have almost $100 million dollars under contract

Did u know
Over 1 million humans are starving to the point of death, on this planet every day?

What would Jesus do?

ALoco, that's your opinion about the Jets. Not a fact. The Jets won't be better than us. If Miami can improve that pathetic offense, we'll kick their butts. And ALoco, fyi, the Jets are a much older team than we are. Our defense is very young and getting better. Offense will get younger because I don't see the Dolphins keeping Brown and Williams. Long, Carey, Garner, Marshall, Bess and Hartline are the ones we'll build the offense around and these guys will only get better as well.

If Tony Sparano gets to work @ 2:00 AM
To prepare his battle plan & victory against the New England Patriots with 4 of their best starters out &on the sidelines with their feet up

... and we get massacred

Lets Just hope Sparano does not start getting to work even earlier, say @ 1:00 AM lol


U Get That, Huh?


Hey Mr. Stephen Ross
Give Home a call

Can help U Out A Bit w the team

Like 1st round draft pick being mauling guard
* Mike Iupati
* #77
* Guard
* San Francisco

* Height: 6-5
* Weight: 331
* Born: May 12, 1987 - American Samoa
* College: Idaho

Instead of the O`broken Dick player we drafted

C`mon Man!

Many people are missing the point of getting rid of Sparano and keeping Ireland. The Dolphins have good players. Capable players. Capable of making the playoffs. But the coaching and the scheme is lacking and has been lacking. This indicates that Sparano isn't going to change the way he game plans, and as indicated by some players, it sucks! If the offense cant change plays based on what the defense gives them, then even Tom Brady would suck. Lets face it Dolfans, ITS THE COACHING AND WE ALL KNEW IT. I was a Sparano supporter until the reports by even the simple players like Hartline, came out. Sparano's down fall may be the fact he supported Henning and Lee instead of making the change he knew needed to be made. Lets get a offensive minded coach and score points. Lots of points! Points win games! Points and a capable defense which the Dolphins have.

I am rolling over in my grave

Mr Ross
Regardless what happens with the signing or non signing of coach HardBalls

Please do whatever it takes to trade up & draft 6.6 250 lb QB Cam Newton

Thank U
Dolphin Fans Everywhere

Ross is ruining this team
He is throwing huge money at an unproven college coach. What does Harbaugh have to offer? College coaches rarely succeed in the NFl(Jimmy is the only one I can think of off the top of my head) and to be the highest paid NFL coach too??. There is nothing wrong with Sparano. He led this team to the AFC East title when they had a team that did not turn the ball over. We need a quarterback that doesn't throw inexplicable interceptions and a running back that doesn't cough up the ball(sorry Ricky)!

You can not win in the NFL by throwing money around after big name players and hiring and firing coaches every few years(Oakland). Is it any wonder why Parcells left? Lots of draft picks and a consistent coaching staff are the winning combination(New England). Next we will see Harbaugh hired, Sparano fired, then Ireland will trade all our draft picks to move up to get Luck(Luck is awesome but not worth selling the soul to get him ie New Orleans and Ricky).

I live in Virginia and am very familiar with another team that has an owner that can't keep his hands off and who thinks that money and flash can buy you a superbowl. The Dolphins are becoming the next version of the Washington Redskins. Thanks Ross

Either way, Tony is done for.

Dbmfins, that's an excellent post at 08:05AM.

At this point, Sparano can't stay. He's been weakened too much in the eyes of the public. Even if I wanted to keep him (which I don't), it would be a disaster. How does Brandon Marshall respect Sparano next season knowing he's a dead man walking unless a miracle happens.

Let's just part ways and go from there.

The organization is in complete dissaray. Do you see any other teams Patriots, Packers, even the Jets, run in this manner? Good teams do not do things like this. We are doomed to failure as long as this type of thing goes on. Hire Brian Billick and move on from there. College coaches rarely (Jimmy) do well in the NFL.

Also, there's really no decision if the team was looking at McNabb vs. Vince Young. McNabb can only play in one offense (West Coast) and can't run anymore, and Vince Young still has plenty of fight left.

Pick-up Young once he's waived (won't be expensive at all), keep Henne as the backup, ditch Thigpen, draft a rookie to develop, and cross your fingers.

DF IN M,

YOU MAY BE RIGHT ABOUT THAT WE JUST NEED AN UPGRADE AT THE RB SPOT.

HRABUAGH MUST THINKING I AM NEGOTIATING TO PUT ANOTHER MAN OUT OF A JOB,IT'S MESSY .

Dbmfins, couldn't agree more. The truth is starting to come out about this coaching staff. When I hear our players claiming the other guys on "D" are predicting the plays, there's something wrong here.

Why do I have a feeling of this whole deal blowing up in our faces? Not just the harbaugh situation..all of it, beginning after the NE loss...does Ross know what he is doing, or is his money a mirage for trying to look smart???

Mando...is Ross crossing any NFL ethics lines here? Are all the teams and owners going place Miami in the cellar as far as respect? I just have a feeling something isn't right. I am a business owner and I would not conduct myself like this...

I get the feeling this is more about marketing than winning. Ross is a business man and wants to buy the hype surrounding the big 3 (Harbaugh, Cowher, Gruden). Get the high profile coach, create buzz, sell tickets, and hope it's a winning combination. Of course my whole marketing theory sort of teeters on wondering why Ross would be so adiment about keeping Ireland. As far as Sparano goes I'm sure he's only still there due to a contract issue in regards to receiving his 3 mil or I'm sure he'd have resigned by now.

cowkilla, Ross can't come out of this as the winner anyway. If he doesn't land Harbaugh, people will biatch about it. If he does, people will say that's too much $$, another college coach like Saban, and all the rest of that garbage. So no matter what Ross does, people will biatch. At least he's trying to get the most wanted coach on the market.

No player likes losing and no player wants to take the blame. Always easier to blame the coach. Sparano is a hard nose coach who makes his players work. He doesn't want to be their buddy. We are not that far away. We need a qb that can not throw stupid interceptions but can put some points on the board. Our defense is good.

Cowkilla, I'd prefer Sparano just getting axed now and not left to dangle in the wind, but this is a very big decision. There's millions riding on it.

I like that Ross is serious about creating a winning atmosphere here. And, really, it's Sparano's own fault. He could have game-planned better. Created a more dynamic and explosive offense. Instead, he created a boring, impotent offense. Now he's got to ride that wrong decision he made.

Not fair, but life isn't fair. Same thing goes on in Corporate America, where longtime staff gets axed for cheaper, younger workers. Or how companies move factories to China so they can get away paying people $1/day. That's life, it's all about the bottom dollar.

New owner who doesn't know how to run a football team. Starting to remind me of Jerry Jones. If Harbaugh isn't interested then keep Sparano and focus more on hiring a new offensive coordinator and special teams coach. Players have said Sparano pays too much attention to every detail, but so do Belichek and Coughlin and they have both won championships. Stay the course with the current coach, improve the rest of the coaching staff, keep building through draft, add a couple free agents and when the team wins next year the players will be on board with the Sparano way of coaching. We need to get a QB who isn't afraid to take a chance with a throw and is confident they can make that throw, neither Henne or Thigpen is that person. Sign a veteran free agent and draft a QB, keep either Henne or Thigpen as a backup if they want to stay.

Harbaugh is a young coach, hungry to prove what he did at Stanford is no fluke. He will do anything to make the Miami Dolphins a winner. He's also a guy who can resolve our crappy offense. Nothing against Cowher, but would he be able to fix Miami's biggest problem? Sure he's won a SB, but how many of these guys come back and repeat what they did? Not many. I want an offense that scores TD's, that's unpredictable, that can hurt you in many different ways. Harbaugh can do all this. He's also an excellent QB coach, which is something we REALLY need, not only for Henne, but for the next young guy we'll draft. It's just the best fit imo. I guess Ross, Peterson and Ireland have come to the same conclusion.

Armando,

You Wrote:

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."

Let me ask you this. In what business, any business, anywhere, does somebody get to pick who their BOSS is? The only one sounding absurd here is you buddy.

Sparano is a good coach, but Ross signs the checks. If he's unhappy with the coaching this season, and I think he should be, then it only makes sense to look for an upgrade.

But that doesn't mean you throw the baby out with the bath water. Ireland didn't make any blown calls, either on the field, in the clubhouse, or the front office. So why should he have to bear the burden?

Let Ross do what he, and his billions of dollars, think are best for his team, and you can continue to sit back and second guess and take cheap shots.

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