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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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DB,

ARE YOU BLAMING MR ROSS FOR THE MESS HE GOT 2 YEARS AGO ?


DO YOU HAVE ANY DOGS ?

The Cowher door is closed as he'll want Ireland out...Ross wants him and Nolan to stay.

The Gruden door is closed for the same reason

Harbaugh is the perfect fit...he knows Ireland from his Chicago days and respects what Nolan has done with the defense.

Keep all the pieces in place...swap Sparano for Harbaugh.

The Henne for Mallett and we just might get bobbyd12 to buy his season tickets again!

BobbyD12,

My deal is that even if Ross retains Sparano/Ireland he immediately signs both to 3yr contract extentions. Either Ross has to be all in or all out. A "LAMEDUCK" season will be disasrous to everyone fans included.

It's well documented fact that players dont play thier hearts out for LAMEDUCK regimes.

IT'S ALL IN OR ALL OUT OR WE CAN BE LOOKING AT 4-12 OR WORSE IN 2011. HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THIS?

O x 80, if fans ain't buying season tickets then they are wearing Baltimore Colts Jerseys. I'm actually surprised the Dolphins have lasted so long in Miami. Mr. Ross could just as easily move this team out of South Florida to an area of the country that will buy season tickets.

ALoco,

Ross inherited what he has today from Huizenga. But Ross will bear the grunt if he screws this up. Agreed?

bobbyd, yes, and if he chose to move it to LA, we'd instantly be in a far easier division, one that maybe even the Sparano could win in.

Dying Breed, of course I thought about this. Are u willing to renew tickets knowing it's the start of another 3 year rebuild? I will take my chances with a new OC and some playmakers on offense through draft and free agency vs. another rebuild.

THERE WAS ONEC THE bARCLONA DRAGONES OF THE AMERICA WORLD LEAGUE AND THEY HAD MANY GOOD COACH THERE FROM THE US THAT BECAME THE NFL COACH LATER. ALSO SCOTT MICHELL WAS THERE OR MAYBE THE SCOTLAND TEAM!

LIKE IN THE SONG HARBAGH ROW THE BOAT ASHORE HALELLA

Bobbyd12,

Moving the Dolphins out of Miami might not be such a bad idea if ownership's never going to get it right. I know that I personally would rather have no team than to have one mired in seeming endless decades of mediocrity.

Im sure Im not the only Dolphin fan that would have that point of view! LOL............

You know what, maybe a lockout would be the best thing, then maybe some of you guys would appreciate football after it's gone for a year.

DB,

HOW ANY KNOWS WHAT THE IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO ,FIRE.HIRE .WHO KNOWS IF IT WILL WORK OR NOT ,TO MAKE THE FIN FANS HAPPY YOU NEED TO BE IN THE PLAYOFF THIS NEXT ,OTHER WISE THEY WILL MAKE A STEW OUT OF THE NEW COACH .

No, I want there to be a MIAMI Dolphins forever.

I can put up with the crap, much as it hurts sometimes. It's still my team till the day I die.

To demonstrate CraigYs lunacy. LMAO Small Snippets from the other blog where Craig says I wouldn't answer him. Someone please tell me he is legally blind and not the moron he seems to be?

Craig: Joe, Answer me this.....what did the Dolphins do to improve the offence last season?

Joe: To answer your question, they finally addressed the WR position via trade after they virtually ignored the need, or failed to draft anyone capable of doing the job, for 2 off-seasons. While other teams like the Giants strike gold with guys like Manningham we draft 7th round guys(turner) in the 3rd because of his size & cut them after a year. We draft gimmicky Qb's like Pat White for 3-4 plays a game. WE REALLY TRIED TO ADDRESS THE OFFENSE BY WAITING UNTIL THE 3rd & 4th ROUND(Hartline).

They also tried to rebuild the line again for the THIRD offseason in a row. Keep trying, eventually they'll figure it out.

Craig - Joe, I simply asked you what they did to help the offence LAST year.

Joe - Craig, why do you respond back as if i didn't answer your question? You do this allot. can you not read?

Look at the guys they brought this year, that I already talked about. Berger, did he help? NO. They went to the Cowboy garbage pile they've been in before. WOW THAT'S HARD WORK! Incognito, did he help? NO. FYI, I mentioned the oline being rebuilt again. I also mentioned Marshall. But you love to ignore the failuers White, Turner etc.

Craig - Once AGAIN Joe you ddn't answer my question.

Joe - CraigM, can you read?

Craig - So I'll ask you AGAIN, Joey....how exactly did the Dolphins help the offence last off-season?

Joe - Craig, seriously dude, you're blind & dumber than a 2x4!!!!!!!! Holy Sh*t!!! No wonder people scoff at most of your comments. Read my posts on 1/3 @ 7:52, 8:42 & 10:35 pm for your answer.

DB,

IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO MOVE THE DOLPHINS OUT OF STATE .IT WOULD GREAT FOR US WHO LIVE OUT OF STAT TO BE CLOSER TO THE TEAM .THE FAND WHO LIVES IN MIAMI THEY R FINE WITH IT .

Bobby,

Like I said, I would be willing to accept if Ross brought Sparano/Ireland back. But if he does it as a lameduck gesture that's totally unacceptable and a direct invitation for another 1-15 like season.

Its well documented that players will more easily quit on lameduck coaches. Ross has to be all in(handing them extensions) or all out(firing them). He can not straddle both sides of the fence with this. That's most glaringly the worst move of all! LOL..........

NEWS FLASH

Henne has been offered a 1 year contract has a model for an ITALIAN statue maker with a large signing bonus.

IF THERE IS LOCK OUT THEN THERE WILL BE NEW PLAYERS ON ALL THE TEAM AND IT WILL START ALL OVER. MR. IRELAND CAN HAVE TOME TO EAT HIS SOUP AND FIND THEM MAYBE IN (((CANADA))) LIKE MR. WAKE IN THE SNOW

Does Harbough have any NFL experience? If not, why would we want to hire him? We've tried that once already, remember?

If these reports are true and we only keep Sparano as a last resort this team will be a joke

OK, fellas...gotta run.

Later!

sign cowher and give him control...do not hire jeff fisher, harbaugh or gruden....fire ireland and nolan if that is what it will take to make cowher happen....

What is the love fest with Jeff Ireland for? Wouldn't most people say he is more to blame then Sparano? Is it because he is Mike Dee's boy, who is Ross's boy, so he gets to stay? If you are going to fire Sparano, go ahead and fire Ireland too. Especially if that is a deal breaker for bringing in Cower or Harbough.

bobby, may I respectfully disagree with your analysis.

You're right, Sparano went out and got Nolan (very wise decision). But Nolan wasn't outside of Sparano's philosophy on defense. I think he's right where Sparano is defensively-thinking.

But on offense, Sparano said what he likes. He's said what he wants to do. You really think he'd bring in a Marty Mohrningwig-type OC who will open the offense up, less run, more pass heavy? You think Sparano is that in his bones?

If he is, then I wouldn't be as unhappy if he returned. But I don't think that's who Tony is. I don't think YOU think that's who Tony is. So, why bring back a guy who's gonna hire an OC to instill an 80's offense?

Steve Harbaugh was an NFL QB and has some coaching exp too. No comparison to saban who bitched if he was brought the wrong flavor of twinkies.

Tony Sparano is an overly enthusiastic statistician. With how good he is with practice rep & & mental rep numbers, he should have an an accountant.

jon ,

IN ANY NFL TEAM THE OWNER HAS TO HAVE ONE AT THE TOP WHO HAS HIS TRUST LIKE IN NEW ENGLAND ,BILLICHECK IS ONLY A COACH WHO COACHES ONLY AND PICK PLAYERS BUT HE HAS TO FOLLOW THE BUGET....NOW THE HYWENA W/HIS OWN PEOPLE THAT'S THE OLAD WAY OF DOING BUISNESS IN THE NFL ,NO MORE OTHER WISE YOU R HELD HOSTAGE BY THE HEYNA AS YOU WERE BY THE TUNA .

Sparano would prefer to not even have a QB and just run WC the whole game. He hates to pass.

MY NAME TIFFANY AND I A TAMPA HO. WHERE ALL THE HOS THERE? I WANT TO HO SOME ON THE OTHER SIDE FLORIDA.

Is Aloco a person or a webbot??? His posts resemble scrambled eggs. looks like he puts the letters in a blender before typing them out.

But whatever your feelings are about Sparano, it is a huge slap in the face and is a totally classless move by the organization. The guy deserves better regardless of his short comings. Show some dignity and just dismiss the guy, instead of leaving him as your drunk text at the end of the night if you can't pull anything at the club.

Tiffany, look up Chad Henne when you get there, you'll find at least 1.

JON,

IN ANY NFL TEAM THE OWNER MUST HAVE ONE GUY AT THE TOP TO HAVE HIS TRUST .LIKE IN NEW ENGLAND ,THE HC THERE ONLY COACHES AND HE DOESN'T HAVE HIS OWN PEOPLE AT THE TOP .


BUT IF YOU HIRE THE HYENS COWHER W/HIS PEOPLE THE DOLPHINS WOULD BE HELD HOSTAGE AS LONG AS HE'S HERE .THIS THE OLD WAY OF RUNING A TEAM . THE OWNER WILL A STRAGER IN HIS OWN HOME .


P.S ...I HOPE THIS A BETTER WRITTEN POST THAN LAST

DO YOU RENEMBER THAT WHEN PARCELLS WAS IN THE JETS HE TOLD THEM I NEED TO GET GROCERYS AT THE STORE IF YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE THE GROCERYS FOR ME FIRST?

FA

Alico I get your point, but you basically have Ireland holding you hostage if his being employed by the team means the top 2 coaches go elsewhere. You either keep them both or fire them both.

I kind of Miss Craigy telling the anti Ireland/Sparano crowd that we just "don't get it"

Bobbyd12, as I have all year, I also respectfully disagree with you. Another year of Sparano for what a 25-23 record?

I went through the whole draft and all I saw was a D effort. That's fine and all, but we were lacking a big time QB last year. Though they did trade for Marshall everyone thought that another WR through the draft would open up the field a bit.

When you draft you can't ignore your deficiencies on O anymore than you can on D.

In hindsight

jj,is that you.?.lol

I agree with DC. If Sparano is retained, he will hire Dan Henning 2.0. He has already stated that he would love to have Henning back. Since that's not going to happen, he'll find another like-minded OC. So it should be up to Ross and Ireland to find an OC with a more exciting offensive vision.

I am mostly gorilla but also a little bit bacon.

The Bengals re-signed Marvin Lewis: sparano has got to be like, WTF I'm on the chopping block? Lol

And d-dense, that falls in line with Sparano's thinking. Play tough d, keep the game close, and squeak a win with a strong run game. That's fine in the NFC East when 3/4ths of the games are played in cold weather. But in the AFC East it's different. This is a passing conference. High-scoring and you can't get in the Playoffs with no 9,10 wins. You need to DESTROY teams, not just squeak by week to week.

Sparano has no business coaching an AFC team IMO.

A more balanced approach might have yielded better results.

The drafts on Ireland, the cohesion of tge teams on Sparano.

I don't care if you spend $100k a year. This is the big leagues where a W is a W is a W.

Guess its safe to say Ireland rolled on Sparano...

NO JON ,

YOU GOT TO GET 2 TRIBES AT THE TOP AS IN NEW ENGLAND ,DO YOU KNOW WHO'S THE GM AT NEW ENGLAND? NO BODY KNOWS AND THAT'S GOOD .IN MIAMI WE HAVE MIKE DEE THE MONEY MAN ,IRELAND THE GM AND THE COACH ,IT MUST BE GOOD B/C ROSS IS A BILLIONARE.SO WHEN THE HYENA COMES BY HIMSELF AND 2 COACHES W'THAT FINE BUT NOT ANY PEOPLE TO HANDLE MONEY OR BIG PERSONAL MOVES .


P.S.... TELL ME A TEAM TODAY WHO PUTS THE POWER IN ONE PERSON ? NO ONE

Poor R&R, he's still waiting for the news of Henning's pink slip. We're with you, dude!

ROTFLMAOATHAMSACOMOVBDAAD!!!

(Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off And Then Having A Massive Seizure And Choking On My Own Vomit Before Dying An Agonizing Death)

Jon, I agree that this is a slap in the face, but does that really surprise you? Miami did the same thing with Jason Taylor last year, stringing him along until the last minute, and the way they treated Zach Thomas at first was pretty bad too (but at least they got that right in the end). I do not agree with the way this "organization" handles these types of situations at all. If you know you're going to hire a new coach, absolutely no reason to keep the old one around anymore. Better to make a clean break and get it over with.

After 3 years, this team still lacks:

A legit deep threat at WR
A better than medicore TE
A big play RB
At least a Divison II worthy O-line
A guy who can cover TE's
A legit PR/KR
A Divison III level special teams
More than 1 pass rusher at a time
A Competent NFL QB
An UNPREDICTABLE offense, not one from the 50's

On the flip side, in the last 3 seasons, we have wasted at LEAST a dozen FA signings & draft picks.

What exactly is the basis to keep Sparano & Ireland? Cause they did a bang up job in 2008 against the worst teams in the league, without Tom Brady & with having Penny fall out of the sky?

We lost to the worst teams in the league this year with better talent than in 2008!!! Something's gotta give. Hopefully, common sense.

ross is wating for harbaugh to say the word. once he does sparano is gone.

I WOULD LOVE FOR SOME ONE TO TWIST ME IN THE AIR,SEA AND SPACE AND GIVE ME 3 MILLION DOLLARS .....

SPARANO IS GONE PEOPLE

Mommy told me I am prettier than you are.

Sparano will be back I just heard it on wain radio yes thank the lord

I don't care how many games Harbaugh won at Stanford. We already had the "hot college coach" before, remember? Do we REALLY want to repeat THAT train wreck? I don't want ANY college coach taking over our team! Now, if Jeff Fisher came available, and was willing to come to Miami, he might be good. Or what about Brian Billick? Nobody mentions him. His Ravens teams were perennial contenders. If a true upgrade isn't available, stick out one more year with Sparano, but bring in a new OC and a new special teams coach, and see if that works.

ricky didn't speak to highly of sparano.

Alico, Bellicheck is 100 percent in control. Someone has the title of GM, but the hoodie has the final say in everything. That's why Pioli went to KC. Holgrem has ultimate power in Cleveland too. Pretty sure Sean Peyton has the same set up also. Cower doesn't mind having a GM, he just wants to bring the personell guy from Pittsburgh for the position, and have final say. I don't think that's a huge deal or a lot to ask considering his track record.

The Trifecta has provided Bess, Long, Davis, Wake, Dansby Marshall.

The trifecta has also provided Earnest Wilford, Patrick Turner, Pat White, Jake Grove, G. Wilson & a lot more duds.

don't believe what you hear on the radio!

THERE IS THE MUSEM IN KEY WEST ABOUT THE PIRATES AND THE SPAIN BOATS WITH THE GOLDEN HEADS AND THIS IS EVEN MORE MONEY THAN THAT FOR WHO EVER IS GOING TO RING THE DOOR BELL AT SOUP TIME WITH MR. IRELAND! ((AND MR. ROSS)))

NO JON , NO ONE HAS THE CONTROL UNLESS IT SQURE W/OWNER POCKET BOOK .....NOTICE BILLICHEK SIGN THE WHOLE TEAM W/ONE OF THE LOWEST MONEY AVERAGES IN THE NFL .


THEY MAKE YOU THINK THEY HAVE THE POWER BUT ONCE YOU CROSS THE MONEY LINE THEY TELL LET'S TALK .

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