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The breakdown of the Dolphins coaching seach

The Dolphins are quietly conducting a coaching search.

The club has made no public move to cement the future of their football operations but that does not mean things are stagnant behind the scenes, as ownership has already contacted two potential coaching candidates, according to multiple NFL sources.

The Dolphins in recent days reached out to former Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher to gauge his interest in becoming the coach, according to a source close to Cowher. But the team's conversations with Cowher included a scenario in which he would have final say over the organization but also retain general manager Jeff Ireland and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

Cowher, apparently not comfortable with that setup because he wants autonomy over assistants, personnel and the hiring of a GM, has backed away from the Miami job at this time as a result. He is out of the Miami picture at this moment but that remains a fluid situation.

Another source indicated this morning that the Dolphins have made initial and preliminary contact with Jim Harbaugh's camp and that more conversations are expected in the coming hours and possibly days with the Stanford coach. Harbaugh, who authored Stanford's 12-1 season and their 40-12 defeat of Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, has been in South Florida for over a week.

The Dolphins have had no official meetings or talks with Harbaugh per se. But having such discussions is apparently the plan, a source said. The story was first reported by NFL.com.

There is no certainty that Harbaugh will be hired by Miami, however.

He is perhaps the hottest college coach in the nation now and his pro-style offense is appealing to any NFL team looking to upgrade on offense -- a description the Dolphins fit. But that makes Harbaugh a candidate for jobs in San Francisco and Denver and at his alma mater, Michigan.

The 49ers are an apparent quality of life fit because they are 21 miles from Harbaugh's current address. But the 49ers seem intent on completing the hiring of a general manager first so that may hinder their attempt to land Harbaugh.

The Broncos are now guided, in part, by former quaterback John Elway, a Stanford graduate. Like a contingent of Dolphins employees, Elway was also on hand Monday night as Harbaugh's team did its work against Virginia Tech.

Michigan is a fit because Harbaugh played there and was a candidate for the job in 2002. But Harbaugh didn't land the Michigan job that year so his allegiance to the Wolverines may not be as solid as it once was. Ironically, Ross is a Michigan alumnus and major contributor but could be the reason Michigan doesn't land its prized candidate.

Harbaugh seems to fit what Ross apparently is searching for -- a name-coach that promises offensive fireworks that excites fans. But chasing Harbaugh is not without difficulty in that he would also have to agree to work with Ireland and keep Nolan, whom Ross seems intent on keeping at this point.

Two other possibilities are Jeff Fisher and Jon Gruden.

The Tennessee head coach has not been told by owner Bud Adams if he will be retained or fired. If he is fired, Fisher is a respected name that could attract Ross. The situation in Tennessee has no timetable for finding resolution.

Gruden, working for ESPN on their Monday Night Football broadcasts, is perhaps the most expensive candidate on the market. Because he is scheduled to be paid $5 million by Tampa Bay in 2011 and makes approximately $2 million from ESPN, he would be looking for a deal that could exceed $8 million. It is also not known if Gruden would be willing to work with Ireland.

And all the time, the Dolphins are keeping current coach Tony Sparano on hold. It is now clear he is the fall-back position.

While Sparano is still on the job, the team is also conducting a search.

Ownership is seeking what it believes is an upgrade. And failing to find one, will bring Sparano back for his fourth season as Miami's coach. His record in three seasons is 25-23 with a playoff appearance in 2008 and back-to-back 7-9 records the past two seasons.


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Mark in Toronto...interceptions don't really bother me(unless there is a pattern of them late in games) The accuracy thing to is not fair to judge just watching one game. All these top guys are fairly accurate. What I want to see are things like footwork. Can he make a throw in a 5 step drop? Does Mallet "pat the ball" (one impressive thing about Luck. He doesn't pat the ball before he releases it) Does Mallet get better as the game goes on? Can he keep his eyes down field during the rush? Or does he tend to put his head down. (Ala Mr.Henne) I know that Arkansas isn't a Pro style offense like Stanfords so Mallet won't get a chance to make all the throws Luck did. But these are some of the things I saw last night. That I want to see out of Mallet tonight before I'm a believer. The most impressive thing about Luck was. He threw TD's taking 3 step drops.1.2.3 ball out TD. He threw a TD from the shotgun. 5 reciever set, looked off the saftey TD. And threw a TD ufrom under center with a 5 step drop, and nice play action fake. The kid is the real deal.


but Gruden did do what Dungy could not do and that was win a Super Bowl with that team. Dungy was a good coach but imagine if Gruden had Peyton Manning.

I do agree with you on Jeff Ireland. It does show some stability. I don't know how much power he had prior to now. He might of just been learning on the job with Parcells making all the decisions. It's his chance now.

Marc, thks for ur input, its stupid and suks as always but at least u tried. Now find a nice dress and go play tea party with the rest of the girls

How did Del Rio seal Marino & JJ's fate?

Marc, i was always told jewish girls didn't do that!!

Jimmy jam, what about harbaugh's ability to develop a QB - the most important spot on the roster and now more important than ever.

Andy NJ, Gruden won the SuperBowl with Dungy's team, granted. Then his personnel decisions and big ego blew that locker room apart. Gruden stepped into a hell of a team, not so here in Miami. Don't trust him with a young team trying to put something together

Schmoe...Let me answer the question for you. Bill P needed an obedient slave that would kiss up to his every whim. Tony S fit the bill perfectly.

LOL AT Marc.....Good for you, Have you made any 7 year deals with any upcoming coaches that you'd like to divulge??

We are gonna be stuck with Morono

Get ready for another useless year

Because he's the one that coached the 63-7 playoff game vs the Jags. They showed him on the sideline yelling "Keep going!"

Booby, you're still an old man, and you're not that big or tough, so bl0w me...

0x80, Thanks. You displayed the courage that Dr. Roberts did not. You are a noble man.


How come you are one of the few guys on here that gets it? So many guys looking for answers, 'get rid of this guy.....get right of that guy'. Haven't we learned anything from past mistakes. We just keep making them over and over and over again. I think if Belichik had ever coached in Miami guys would have wanted him out after 2 or 3 years. I just don't know what it is with Dolphin fans...always chasing the 'flavour of the month'.

Ahhh Marc, Was'nt that Tom Coughlins team????

Cuban, it's the same couch every 7 years...


MarK. I can assure you this jew does. Quite well actually. I even had photographic evidence...


You should quit the team like Ricky Williams.....and it's SPARANO not morono.

Try sounding it out....

You are right Cuban...Either way, he's a good coach...


You are right about Gruden's decisions hurting Tampa but that team was a bunch of vets that were set in the Tony Dungy coddling ways not a in your face fiery coach. And when Gruden reshaped the roster he failed. That's not his specialty. His specialty is finding a way to get Joe Jervicious one on one with Blaine Bishop and beating him for a 70 yard TD. His specialty is seeing that Rich Gannon who he coached had new audibles but recognized what he does each and every time with his hand patting and foot placement to determine where the ball will go. The Rich Gannon point is when Gruden played QB in practice and the Bucs picked off Gannon 4 times.

I understand some people don't like him. Agree to to disagree I guess

Craig are you ever going to tell us what you see in Sparano that leads you to think he can be a competent head coach in the NFL? What have you seen that suggests to you he can outwit the elite coaches in this league? Don't tell me it how long it took someone else to win the big one. Tell me specifically what have you seen in Sparano the last two seasons that suggests we haven't failed in personnel, coaching and have not in fact gone backwards.


One credit to Sparano, and it's probably the only one...

We don't get many penalties

I agree....... OMG, I agreed with you.....May God spare my soul...

Stephen Ross is an idiot. Sparano is the best coach available. He just needs a good QB.

Harbaugh would be an awful choice. Didn't we learn from Cam Cameron that hiring a head coach simply because he's a good offensive coordinator is a bad, bad idea?

Craig M,

It isn't about flavor of the month. People are tired of seeing this team with no identity. The team should reflect the Head Coach. Sparano is an offensive line guy and Miami has spent resources and money to give him players and he has done nothing. Look at the Raiders and Tom Cable. They have a mediocre group of offensive linemen but they open holes and do their job. Sparano sucks he is over his head as a Head Coach.

Aloco has a New Persona, raymad, Should'nt it be Rain man????

Excellent point Mark In Toronto... I would be excited to see what he could do here.

Still liking Billick but, since he has not been mentioned, I guess that he is a non-issue.

Marc, ur still a sub human POS. Anyone who believes kids should be given steroids, animals should be tortured, sticks blow up his nose and treats women like garbage shouldn't be allowed on this planet. And don't worry. What goes around comes around u sniveling dress wearing fukin punk.

hahaa, Marc, that's great. If you choose to partake on the SS blog, you can use that as your avatar.

DD, as far as Mallett's versatility and footwork, you'll have to watch the game tonight to hopefully get some insight on that. He may not be able to do everything Luck can right now but there are some things he can do that Luck hasn't show either. I know one thing bottom line .. if you want chunk yards and big plays - you will like Mallett.

mrmikejohnson - when was Jim harbaugh and offesnive co-ordinator? We are talking about Jim harbaugh - the very successful head coach of the Stanford Cardinals.

Jim harbaugh is nothing like Cam Cameron in the least.

By the way Marc, why is everything always disconnected in your life? Your parents phone, ur phone ur so called business phone, all disconnected. Always takin shyt and givin out ur number and always disconnected. FAIL

We gotta get Jim Harbaugh because his history in the NFL reveals that fate and kharma will guarantee success. Dig all this: He landed on the Bears roster when Ditka thought he was God of this earth because Buddy Ryan had just won him a superbowl, the year the Dolphins put an end to all that alleged Bears perfection. Ditka treated Harbaugh like crap and even once made Harbaugh cry post game sobbing that Ditka told him he couldn't call audibles anymore. Harbaugh put up with all that crap and won the starting job, setting Bear records for most starts since Vince Evans and winning the starting job over Mike Tomczak in 1991 setting attempts and completions team records. Here's where it gets good, Wannstadt took over in 1994, got rid of Harbaugh and traded for Erik Kramer from the Lions. The idiot Wannstadt traded for a Lions QB during the curse of Bobby Lane 50 year run and Harbaugh went to Indy where he led a lowly Colts team to the AFC championship in 1995. See, it's all in the cards for Harbaugh to succeed here. All we gotta do now is trade the second round draft pick for Kyle Orton, draft Mark Ingram with our first pick, add some O linemen, cut rickie and ronnie, and get in the playoffs next year.


This just in....Aloco just married Home in a celebration joining two lost souls together...have a great life Mr and Mr Home-Aloco

Shomer Shabbas!!

Sparano must go. I say harbaugh would be the best candidate.

Let's face it, this team was in shambles when Sparano found it. It has gotten better, but they've only brought the team up to the level of mediocrity. 2008 was an aberration, good QB play and a very soft schedule covered up for a lot of problems. No Pennington would have likely meant a 6-10 type of season. Better than 1-15, but hardly winning football.

That said, we're not that far off from being competitive. A new LG who can pull, a new center who can make secondary blocks, and some speed at WR will help enormously. We are likely to get help at RB in the draft. QB will more than likely be filled with a free agent pickup. Outside of Luck, I don't see any other QB's who will step in and be the franchises savior. Sorry.

I'm getting the sense that Sparano lost the team, which might necessitate a change at the top. I think it will happen. Sparano will be fine and it wouldn't surprise me to see him as a HC again. However, he simply ran out of time. I always suspected this would eventually happen. A big name coach would have had more leeway, not someone like Sparano, who really doesn't have a lot of experience in high profile positions.

this is just smoke and mirrors to try to show the fans that he is trying to make a change. i doubt Ross will change anything. the fact that he seems married to jeff ireland concerns me

Sparano reminds me of Barry Switzer. He puts the whole gameplan on the shoulders of his assistants. Example. Offensive coordinator makes every offensive call Sparano has no input. Defensive coordinator..Puts in game plan. Sparano not even invited into the room, doesn't even have a key. He is reduced to a feel good players guy with no input except some rah rah B.S. and obsure stats that handicap any obvious decision making. The Only difference was that Switzer had a hell of a roster. Sparano might be over his head a little. What has been his stamp on this team? Where do you find his influence? And if you can name one, is it something we should build on?


Brandon Marshall on Michael Irvin show

Marc, a few questions for you as a representative of the Jewish people:

1) I've heard it said that if only Israel were a failure like its neighbors (rather than the economic, cultural and scientific success that it is), the Arabs wouldn't have such a hard on for destroying it. I find that plausible. Also plausible is the notion that even if Israel were the size of a postage stamp, the very idea of a non-Muslim country in the heart of the Muslim world is anathema to the Mohammadeans. Discuss.

2) Unlike Christianity, Judaism says that God judges you on your deeds, rather than your faith. Is this what accounts for the growing secularization of the Jewish people? I think there's much more at play.

3) Alot of people think Bernie Kosar is Jewish because of his name and ethnic-bearing. He, in fact, is not. What other players are kind of Jewy?

4) My wife has some sort of Buddha statue in our house. It makes me queasy having it there. (Remember that line from "The Ten Commandments"? "An idol! For idol worshippers!") I want to chuck it into the street and break it into a thousand pieces, but Mrs. Dodsworth would kill me. She says that it's alright, because we don't worship it. What do you think?

Bobby, Dont forget when I was recuperating at my parents home after a gunshot wound(And this is where I discovered this blog) The guy said he wished the guy was a better shot....

What's funny 0x80, is that if people "get it" it simply means they are agreeing with the minority opinion. In this case.

The majority, "don't get it".

Don't you like how opinions get twisted into facts to suit the case in an attempt to make the majority seem like morons for "not getting it"? LOL Would you concur with this assessment?

I laid out a case of about 10 items which no one will touch as to why this coach doesn't belong. No one in the "get it" crowd will even touch it.

It may end up being a huge mistake to miss out on a real coach because Ross wants to FORCE FEED Ireland on them. In 3yrs Ireland has drafted only 2 players(Long, Davis) that could be starters on a top 5 nfle and right now Vontae Davis would be the #2 corner on that type of team.

Of the rest of our current starting draftees by Ireland, most would be 2nd or 3rd team backups on a top 5 nfl team at best! So why force feed Ireland on anyone Mr. Ross?

I've never given out my number in a public forum...I've given my email address which nobody has chosen to use...

And perhaps you're confusing things I am apathetic about with things I endorse...

Either way booby...you're a douche

whatever happens I hope coach Nolan is retained.

Home - ALoco? Was McCauley Culkin there or he still crying after being dumped by that Kunis chick?

By the way, I hear there is a nice oral scene in Black Swan with Kunis and some other crackhead Hollywood chick.

Kunis & Portman. I saw the clip, it was bleh

Marshall said Henne goes through his reads instead of taking chances. I wanna know is he coached to do that or not. They gotta get on the same page.

Rex Grossman, Troy Aikman, Jewish?

Which one of those mentioned coaches plays QB?

I wish Harbaugh would come here as OC for a year. Then he's ready to step up with Sparano's contract expired next. ... But he'd never do that when a head coach offer is out there elsewhere.

As to QBs, an interesting bit of perspective: Our passing offense is ranked 16th this year, essentially meaning 16 other teams have a worse QB. Henne may not be the answer, but half of the NFL doesn't have the answer either. I think we're closer than most people give us credit.

bobby. it's stupid blog dude. chill out.lol

WOW, Marc/Marcia, There's a lot of people that think your... Well, a Scum[bag..., Just saying..

You cant tell me that Sparano doesnt breed a culture where field goals are strived for and accepted. And that is difficult with a kicker who has seemed to have lost his stride. A lot of changes have to be made. Sparano out, Ireland Out, Henne thrown down a well, and Ronnie can go somewhere else.


If Ross is trying to force feed Ireland on HC candidates Sparano will be back and it could possibly began a brand new decade of long standing mediocrity. Prepare yourselves!

Mark from Toronto, my man crush for your viewpoint is well-documented. I NEVER put you in that "Keep Sparano" crowd, FYI!

Nate...I'm just screwing a jew...i have no opinion about the faith except that like all others it's crap

Darryl Dunphy

great post @ 1:43.

Everyone blames Dan Henning but where was Sparano's balls to say I'm firing you or stripping your play calling duties.

And the D was obviosuly what Mike Nolan does.

Again great point where is Sparano's imprint? Oh the offensive line which outside of the QB position is the weakest unit on the team.

Schmoe, sorry to answer your question late...

I believe Parcells took Sparano to Miami because he saw something worthy in him when Sparano took the dual role of being Dallas's OLine coach AND assistant head coach under Parcells.

Schmoe I hear you. I posted a question once again to Craig M (aka Master of Denial) and he doesn't touch it. They make some argument that has nothing to do with your question, like it took Bill Cowher 14 years to win. So does that mean we blindly ignore all evidence to the contrary and give Mr. Magoo at least 14 years to win too?

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