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Coaching hot seat needs to chill until after season

In two of the three newspapers that regularly cover the Miami Dolphins, today's editions include opinion pieces on how coach Tony Sparano is on the hot seat.

One treatment, in this publication, cites a friend of owner Stephen Ross as saying the owner is unhappy with the team -- join the crowd, Mr. Billionaire. The piece also quotes the mystery friend as saying Ross believes the team is not holding up its end.

(Hopefully when Ross promises to forever stop selling Jets shirts in his own team store, stops scheduling Florida Gator Lovefests in the stadium the University of Miami leases from him, and actually shows up on a week day to work around his team rather than just parachuting in on game day, we'll be able to say he's holding up his end.)

Anyway, the other opinion piece in The Palm Beach Post makes the point that if the Dolphins are 0-4 at the bye week -- which would assume losses at Cleveland this weekend and at San Diego the next, then Ross should fire Sparano. And hire Mike Nolan.

Wow.

Where to begin? OK, how's this:

Wrong.

I know it is not the popular opinion. I know that even on this Dolphins fan forum, many of the team's supporters won't agree. But firing Sparano without letting him finish what he's started is exactly the wrong thing to do.

First, let's address this from a practical standpoint. History says that changing coaches midstream in a season solves absolutely nothing. Quick, tell me what NFL team in the past decade has fired its coach during a season and solved its problems well enough to make the playoffs?

Yeah, I can't think of any, either.

Secondly, who do you want to replace Sparano at the midpoint in a season? Jon Gruden is busy. So is Bill Cowher. Rob Ryan, whose name is making the rounds lately, is busy as well. Elite guys like Jeff Fisher don't take over teams at midseason.

So that means the Dolphins would have to go inside the organization for the solution. Yes, cough, that sounds like, cough, a solution.

You want Mike Nolan to succeed as coach? The same Mike Nolan whose defense is ranked last in the NFL? The same Mike Nolan whose best thinking was to ask Benny Sapp to cover Wes Welker man-to-man? I don't think so.

Yes, Nolan did fine work with the Dolphins last season. I get that logic. Sparano did fine work in hiring Nolan last season and took the team to the playoffs in 2008. So, I imagine you get that logic.

What else you got? Didn't think so.

The Dolphins are indeed 0-2 and there's nothing good about that. But the truth is they lost to New England. The Patriots are a Super Bowl contender. They lost to the Texans. That team is expected to win the AFC South. Disappointing? Sure.

Devastating? No.

The Dolphins play Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Washington, Oakland and others that they can and should beat this season. They will face up the Jets as they always do. Same with Buffalo. Yes, they have to upset clubs such as Philadelphia, the Giants to salvage a playoff berth.

But that is possible. You're going to say replacing the coach now and going with someone else will make any of this more probable?

Then there is this: Many of you have continually hoped out loud the Dolphins would not fare well this season so they can draft a franchise quarterback. I'm not on board with such thinking. But for those of you that want to "Suck for Luck" should probably want the Dolphins to continue their current course.

I don't agree with that thinking, but that is out there.

Look, Sparano and his assistants and players and front office will be evaluated after this season is over. That's how it should be. That's fair and right. But to pull the rug out now? Or in two weeks?

What will that resolve? It is change for change's sake.  

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The isue here is to get rid of TS. If this team turns the season around and wins 10 games and sneeks into the playoffs what does that solve. Next year the same problems will be there the Oline will still be awful the Defense will never pressure a QB or force turnovers etc.

A change can only be a welcome addition for this team. It has been way too long watching them struggle in mediocrity. Please get back to the days when winning was expected and received.

By the way you don't have to have the worst record to "suck for Luck".

What you need is the guts to trade up to get Luck. If it's two one's and two two's so be it.

The cost to sign him will barely be half of what Bradford got last year.

Our success with #2 picks hasn't been stellar anyway.

Luck should adapt quikly to the NFL game which means upgrading the most important position while your best other position players are getting old waiting for the qb's development.

NFL.com ranks the Dolphins #4 in the SUCK for LUCK Sweepstakes.

Just our LUCK...three franchise QB's up for grabs, and we're 4th in line. DAMN!

The tricky question is always, is it the coaches or the players? In Sparanos case, it's obvious is a bumbling idiot. In Nolan's case, one has to really consider how much is his fault and how much the players. How good are the players he has to work with? Let's not forget the fans criticized Dom Capers for being too old school, so he went on to Green Bay and brought them a championship.

One reason to bring someone in mid season is that you can get a look at them, a sneak preview for half a season to decide if you want to give them the keys or find someone else at seasons end. If Ross has had any thoughts about considering Nolan, well then it would make sense to give him a trial run.

I'm not voting for or against Nolan, just thinking out loud. I agree with those that say Gruden or Cowher have spent too much time in a cush tv job and are not going to have the same drive as before. Who would give up a tv job to go back to working 80 hours a week?

Anyone have a clue how last year's #6 defense goes to #32 this year?

Posted by: finsfan72 | September 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Really? You still havent figured out this D was overrated?

I guess you haven't heard that stats & rankings are for losers either.

Tony R..., Already drinking????, Good lord man, Wait till 11 am..

I learned all I need to know about the "Fist Pumper" when he sent Chad back in under center on 4th and one down by 2 scores with eight minutes left only to call time out and punt. Pleeeeaase!

Ok, Mando by your logic you say don't fire anyone until the job is complete. So if you have a contractor damaging you home, you would let him work until he is finished, pay him and then fire him.

I don't blame Sparano for the first 2 losses. The players were in over their heads. I can't even say conditioning was a problem. 2 minute drills for 60 minutes would tire anyone.
However, the team seems to be just playing the game and reacting to what the opponent does.

Winners dictate not only the pace but make you react to what you are doing. Sparano hasn't been able to do that since the Wildcat. What was real weird during the NE game,

Sparano and his DC did not have an answer to the blocking of Cameron Wake. Wake was opening up huge holes and there was nobody there to take advantage. You know you can double team on one side of the d line too.

My biggest knock on Sparano is that he is still here. If my boss were to be looking at replacing me and announced it to the whole world, I would have quit. Call it stupid pride but call it what you will. TS has no nuggets and a coach needs nuggets.

Poizen, what's so weird about Latinos being Miami Dolphins fans? Hmmmm!
Thx Armando for the article. Nolan NO! Sparano to play out the season YES! "Suck for Luck" campaign ABSULUTELY NOT!

Dirk-

I believe the term "overratd" refers to opinions. The #6 ranking last year was FACTUAL. Idiot remarks are made by losers.

"Suck for Luck" - Hope and Change you can really believe in!

The only coach I want to see for the Dolphins is Rob Ryan. Did anyone see him after the Cowboys lost their first game? That was a guy who is so competitive, the loss pissed him off so bad that it took him a while before he would even greet his brother for the media. Then he stormed off shoving people out of his way.

THAT guy is a competitor and isn't going to offer up BS like Sparano. That guy would fire 6 linemen who can't tackle. That guy would fire an offensive line that can't block. That guy would fire assistants who failed to do their job.

We don't need retreads like Cower or Gruden or Fisher. We need someone with a chip on his shoulder who wants to beat the Jets and his brother more than we do.

Anyone watch Kellen Moore, the Boise State QB this year? He looks really sharp, and might just surprise some people in the NFL.

the sooner the better to see if mike nolan can change this teams attitute and direction and focus....its worth a shot because tony has had his fair shot and has little results to show for it..the time is now....i'm going to both the bolts fins and jets fins games and hope to see someone else at the helm...

The cowboys made a coaching change midseason last year and they started playing a lot better the only reason they didn't make the playoffs was because they made the change too late so I agree a coaching change Is needed

"Insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Albert Einstein

Ridiculous. First off Ross doesn't need to be around the team during the week, he is an owner and would be in the way, much like Jerry Jones.

Next, "finish what he started"? What a 4-12 season? "What purpose does it serve"? How about getting a jump on the competition by linig up Fisher,Cowher,or Gruden before there are 6 other teams trying to outbid us?

This team is NOT making the playoffs ESPECIALLY if they start 0-4, which will quickly turn into 0-5 after a trip to the meadowlands. Hell 88% of the teams who have started 0-2 miss the playoffs history tells us so what chance would we have at 0-4? 0-5?

Replace Sparano? No need yet, just make Nolan interim coach, let him know you're searching for other coaches and he will be back to DC at the end of the season. Very simple. Nolan can surely get the team the 3 more wins that Sparano will bring to this team after an 0-4 start so what's the difference?

And we're not saying that firing the coach will make the playoffs possible, we're saying fire the coach because he's in over his head and we don't want him teaching anymore bad habits to these young players. We're saying at 0-4 playoffs are so far out of reach that what's the point in keeping him?

I completely agree about "suck for Luck". People who propose this just do not get what it means to be a member of a team. If they think a professional athlete would purposely tank their season in order to get the 1st pick in the draft their delusional.

Fair and right? FAIR AND RIGHT?! Is it fair that Ireland and Sparano keep fans in the dark much like the Pats but can't even come close to their production? The Tom Brady argument is shaky considering they went 11-5 when he was hurt.
Is it fair of Tony to play Colombo eventhough everyone in the world knows he's hurting the team? Is it fair that an offensive line coach still can't stick with a line after 4 years of building it with Ireland. I don't buy that Tony just receives the talent Jeff gives him. I think especially regarding the o-line Tony MUST have a lot of say.
Is it fair to cut Sapp when Tony was the one who gave the FS job to Jones who screwed Sapp with no help over the top after taking bad angles to the play?

I say 0-5, FIRED, PERIOD.

"Hopefully when Ross promises to forever stop selling Jets shirts in his own team store, stops scheduling Florida Gator Lovefests in the stadium the University of Miami leases from him, and actually shows up on a week day to work around his team rather than just parachuting in on game day, we'll be able to say he's holding up his end."

I agree that he shouldn't do these things, but come on. His part of the bargain is to write the checks and let the football people make the football decisions.
Sure, he has made some rookie type mistakes, but don't act like he is not doing the important things, and even some extras.
He extended Sparano to provide more stability even though there was a good chance Ross knew he would have to eat more money.
He bought a bunch of extra tickets to avoid the blackout.
I liked Huizenga but Ross isn't a failure yet.

Gotta admit, Rob Ryan is a intriguing choice, Would love to see him beat a jet team, If nothing else it would stimulate the fan base...

Rob Ryan would be interesting as HC. If nothing else, that would be a lot of fun to watch. I like his style.

ABS - Anyone But Sparano!

A simple desire.

I want a coach who (1) slaps a player in the head when he fails to make a play and we have to kick a field goal, (2) punches out the kicker when he misses a short field goal, and (3) screams motherf***** when we play like crap rather than a guy who says "we'll look at the film and see where we need to improve."

I love the Dolphins and I'd love to cheer for them but I disagree Mando, it is devastating when we get news like this team is going to perform, win at home or contend and all they do is let down. Black out the games because it's fair... they don't sell tickets because they suck. What will it accomplish... Well, not looking at Sporano on the sideline! Period. It's embarrassing! I live in NE!

Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Washington, Oakland? What makes anyone think the Dolphins can beat these teams? They have not shown they have the necessary talent (or coaching ability) to defeat any of these teams, and please do not even suggest at this point the Dolphins have a chance to defeat the Jets or Bills.

As a 35-year Dolphin fan, this pains me to say, but this team has no chance in any game they play.

The comparison to Dallas isn't valid considering that J.Garrett was being groomed for the post for some time which really undermined W.Phillips to an extent given he always seemed on the hot seat in his last two S.B. or bust seasons. It seemed that in the case of the Cowboys it was necessary to finally set in stone who was leading the team. It also didn't help Phillips that the wimp factor sorrounded him in full force. That isn't the case with Miami's rudderless ship.

It's down right stupid to think that IF WE KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, they'll just get better! Bull... They suck and anything is better than what they're doing. SCORE IN THE FREAKING RED ZONE, MOVE THE BALL, BEAT TEAMS...

I can't believe some of the things I read here...when did it become acceptable to start the season 0-2? How can any of you defend that?!

When did so many of you decide that we SHOULD lose to the likes of NE? That's messed up. And (gulp) Houston? To say we should lose to Houston because they will win their division makes me want to kick stuff...hard.

Fin fans used to be able to watch games and expect to win and be pissed when they didn't. Now the fan base doesn't watch, and those that do, do so with there fingers crossed.

It's pathetic how low the bar has been set over the last few years. We used to gauge the teams success with the 17-0 season as the standard, but now, we use the 1-15 season as the point of reference. We've been desensitized to losing and conditioned to accept failure.

Puke.

The odds of beating Cleveland with this Moron as head coach are limited. Picture this scenario - 4th and 2 on the Browns 38, down by 4 points with a minute and a half left and no timeouts, the "Fist Pumper" sends in the punt unit in hopes of getting the ball back. Go figure.


New Coach Wanted, Yeah. Hell Yeah! Rob Ryan vs Rex Ryan. If We,Dolphans, want vitality and guts from Our team then I support your choice on the hiring on Rex Ryan as Our coach at the end of the seaseon! Helluva post!

Dirk-

I believe the term "overratd" refers to opinions. The #6 ranking last year was FACTUAL. Idiot remarks are made by losers.

Posted by: finsfan72 | September 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Sorry, I just had to chime in!

It's funny, losers always talk about stats & rankings. I agree with Dirk 100% & so would most people with objectivity & no bias.

Just look at RESULTS & learn to accept the truth already.

Same players. Same coach.

Did players forget to play? Nolan forget to coach? It's NOT coincidence this D played well against bad teams & poor against good teams.

Were you here last year when everyone complained about our 3rd down D? It was AWFUL!

A TRUE #6 D plays pretty well every week! Not just when the opponent stinks. Start watching the game & stop reading stats.

No wonder why Dolphins fans are ridiculed! You are either completely delusional, in denail or just plain dumb.

tim

"the sooner the better to see if mike nolan can change this teams attitute and direction and focus...."

Based on the attitude, direction and focus of his #32 rated defense?

Mr. Ross, for the Dolphins to save some or whatever is left of their respect you have to get rid or Sporano and Ireland. Why keep doing what doesn't work?? Hey Armando, answer that... Why keep doing what doesn't work?? It's more than upsetting, more like sickening! If we get beat by the Browns...I'll consider cheering for another team... WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE A FAN! I know you want to be around in the good and the bad but from bad to bad to bad... C'MON MAN!!

should've kidnapped luck when he was playing at the joe earlier in the season.lol

Rob Ryan would be interesting as HC. If nothing else, that would be a lot of fun to watch. I like his style.

Posted by: finsfan72 | September 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Gotta admit, Rob Ryan is a intriguing choice, Would love to see him beat a jet team, If nothing else it would stimulate the fan base...

Posted by: Cuban Menace | September 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Disturbed minds think the same............

Sparano at times seems he's way over his head as a coach. Players like to play for him and by evidence of several quotes by departed players like Channing Crowder, the problem may not be Sparano. The bigger problem may be Jeff Ireland. As Sparano's boss and the main personnel decision maker, he has antagonized several players. What's more troubling is that he was on the plane with Mr. Ross to visit Harbaugh. Could he stay if Sparano gets fired? I would hope not. Now if you do fire both of them, please get Rob Ryan and add even more fire to the Dolphins/Jets rivalry. He might be the best addition from Dallas yet!

A TRUE #6 D plays pretty well every week! Not just when the opponent stinks. Start watching the game & stop reading stats.

No wonder why Dolphins fans are ridiculed! You are either completely delusional, in denail or just plain dumb.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe | September 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM

:lol

This time I agree with u Mando....but I strongly believe Ireland must go to as well as the majority of the staff including Karl dorrell and possibly Mike Nolan if our defense continues to struggle...he should be trying to disguise his blitz's cause they are able to pick us apart otherwise.

Rob Ryan: I'm down with a coach who looks like "The Dude" from "The Big Lebowski".

Hire him immediately.

I'll say it again, most Interim HC's who don''t get the gig the following Season walk, period end of story. Nolan is a good DC but not the HC or the solution either.

The names bounced around like Cowher, Fisher and Gruden would all want control and none except Gruden have any experience running an org. No need to get into how Gruden's stint panned out although if only in a coaches role he could work wonders when you consider what he did with Gannon and B.Johnson with Nolan as the D side kick but that's a big if!!

If you want to begin to set the tone fire Ireland who hand picked this squad which is lacking in all sorts of departments (OL, T.E.,DB and power RB) Find a competent young Exec and move from there to set your coaching staff an roster.

I also have confidence in coach Sparano. I too have wondered about his rapport with Ireland. Could Our defensive struggles be blamed on the release of Channing Crowder?! We might miss him more than We are willing to admit to ourselves.

Sparano was/is insufferable. The only thing worse than going 1-11 in the last 12 home games is the HC saying he doesn't have any answers. I'm sure he's a decent human being but you can't sell tickets by telling the fans, "Hey look, we might not win but you'd be hard pressed to find a nicer bunch of guys so come on out and watch some football!"

Ross forfeited this season when he signed Sparano and axxclown # 2 to contract extensions after Harbaugh signed with the 49ers. What he should have done was continued the search. But any way you slice it, this year is sunk thanks to all involved. This team is definitely NOT going 9-7. They just don't have the horses. The OL is a mess. The RBs aren't good enough, the QB isn't good enough, the NT is GROSSLY overpaid, Vontae Davis can't stay healthy and NOBODY can cover a TE to save their life.

If they're REALLY lucky they'll win 5 games. Which will net them a top 10 draft pick. Again.
It also means they won't get Luck. Not that I think he'd solve all of their problems I'm just trying to be realistic. The beat goes on. Not nearly good enough to make the playoffs and not awful enough to get the best QB prospect. Of course the year they went 1-15 the highest ranked QB in the country was Alex Smith but they could have taken DeMarcus Ware, Aaron Rodgers, Logan Mankins. Like I said, the beat goes on.

Lets be objective about Ross here. The only serious indictment against him is turning game day into a celebrity thing. His whole hollywood idea is a loser. No one cares about these b-list celebs walking down a stupid orange carpet.

He made a mistake in going after Harbaugh before Sparano was fired but his heart was in the right place. Brain fart for rookie owner.

He asked the NFL for more night games because he's getting killed trying to sell tickets and thought this could help. People who are mad at this talk about our "home field advantage" and say ROSS took that away. Laughable. Our home field advantage disappeared the moment Cameron stepped into the building and hasn't been seen since. That was 5 years ago. Home field advantage? Bwaahahahahaha!

So what else has he done? I'm asking one of the Ross haters (your leader being Armando who must have been close to Huzienga because he has something against Ross thus far), to point outhis specific failures and why he deserves so much criticism?

Agreeing with Armando here, Although I am minutes away (however many minutes it takes for us to look bad at Cleveland) from jumping on the fire Sparano bandwagon, mid-season doesn't solve anything. However, that doesn't seem to stop owners etc. from doing it. So... may I make a suggestion? Daboll as interim. Jason Taylor as on-field assistant. JT is the only guy who has any pull in that locker room, and he's smart enough to call out the players, and get them motivated the right way. Close enough for me - for now.
After the season, JEFF FISHER 100%, #1 priority. Gruden, Cowher, in the mix depends on what other choices we have.

Oh man please stop putting that out there guys? Rob Ryan? That's a lateral move fellows. Another assistant coach gets his try out with the Dolphins! What are we a f***ing charity? NO MORE ASSISTANT COACHES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Please get us a REAL NFL head coach,,,,PLEASE! Someone who has been to the playoffs and a superbowl. Someone who will command respect and won't be looking for the vets for advice on what to do. No more of that crap please.

I agree we need to wait until after the season or we will have another Jim Bates situation. Secondly I do not agree that we need to get Gruden, Cowher or Fisher. These guys are done, they won and lost enough that coming back to coaching isn't going to motivate them. Sad to say but the options are limited. This team seems to be worse off than the 1-15 fiasco.

Phins78, I agree 100%. This franchise needs a proven name to bring some stability. We have to get on stable ground for a couple of years & I don't think we acieve that with the ups n downs of a 1st time new coach.

A proven guy like Cowher(my preference), Gruden or Fisher can bring stability & command repsect. I just hope we didn't burn bridges with Cowher last year.

Don't count this team out, we're going to surprise a lot of people".

Maybe not Tony, not doing so great. Clocks ticking, have to turn it around starting this week.

Bring Back Don(God) Shula, Lets go Retro......

It doesn't solve anything but it's a fresh start which is what we want. Plus it's more ticket sales and a way for us to care less if we go 6-10 this year because we'll be "transitioning". I'm not on board with firing Sparano but these would be reasons why we would

I agree with Armando on this in that a mid season coaching change is pointless. Sometimes it seems to fire a team up for a game or two but long term is rarely effective. And sometimes costs you a good coach, i.e., Jim Bates who I thought was a good coach.

However, I disagree with Armando about the fate of the season. I will root for the team to win as hard as ever against Cleveland but one or two more losses and I swing the other direction. Another 7-9 season is pointless, irrelevant and undermines progress. As someone once said, or at least a fictional character, "the needs of the many (years in this case) outweighs the needs of the few (2011 season)." In other words if we've got no shot let's make a reverse run at a franchise QB, new administration and a bunch of future Super Bowls.

I like having Mr.Ross as the owner of My beloved Miami Dolphins. Though lately I've been ? his mindset. Other teams' apparel and memorabilia being sold at OUR pro shop,HATE IT! Enjoy the fun at the stadium.However, is he an owner of a franchise or an owner who has passion for the game and the city?

I've lost faith in the phins. We haven't been to the super bowl since '83 and it's been down hill ever since. I can remember when New England couldn't buy a win...look at them now!

First, I'm hoping the team makes a turn around for everyone's sake. If it hasn't happened by game 5, I have better things to do with my Sundays and they can let Sparano run out the rest of the season and we will get high draft positions. It will be enough time for Ross to size up the candidates for GM, HC, DC and OC and it will also give the guys in these current positions time to find new employment. Two, the problem is that by waiting til the end of the season, you risk losing the remaining fan base. Third, memo about Ross. He does not have the celebrity charisma nor looks, it ain't gonna happen. If he so desperately needs people to pay attention to and like him, then there is therapy available and of course money always talks. Also, select better celebrities, especially when they are Latin stars, Marc Anthony does not cut it. And btw, the celebrity thing only works if you are WINNING.

p.s. Please, get rid of the Dallas Cowboys preferred/VIP/express line also.

I'm glad someone agrees Joe. A lot of people still want to go the assistant route and I just don't get it. Wanny, Saban,Cameron, Sparano, when will the assistant coach carousel stop? Round and round we go, where it stops nobody knows. Actually I hope the thing stops at Tonys house and throws him off at full speed! Of course I reseve the right to change my mind if he performs a miracle and gets this team to the playoffs but we know how this season is going to play out, the writing is on the wall.

If they fire him sooner, rather than later, then we get first dibs on all the available head coaches out there.

Why wait to get into a bidding war with 5 or 6 other teams?

ozkar I don't think Ross runs the apparel shop. And as soon as he found out the outrage fans had over what was being sold there the shirts were immediately removed.

Ireland should be fired merely for finding himself in a situation where we're paying a loser like Soliai 12 million this year.

Mando,

You can't keep denying the Patriots stay good, the Jets got good, and the Bills are getting good.

What are the Dolphins doing Mando? They are getting more and more mediocre.

Pats 2-0
Jets 2-0
Bills 2-0
Mia 0-2

Matter of fact, exactly how is an 0-2 start not devastating? Especially when its two losses at home? Especially since a slow start has been a HUGE problem with this management. Especially when the same old stuff happens every year now.

Jason Taylor is already talking smack. I'm not even sure why they brought him back. Was he in Dallas or something? Dude is poison in the locker room. Not openly but sneaky like.

Phins 78 said:

Oh man please stop putting that out there guys? Rob Ryan? NO MORE ASSISTANT COACHES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Please get us a REAL NFL head coach,,,,PLEASE!

Who is the coach of the Arizona Cardinals? The Jets? The Steelers? The Packers?

All assistant coaches from other teams who became the HC.

You think a REAL NFL HC is the solution when you don't know the problem. Parcells was a REAL NFL HC. The problem is hiring the wrong coach and all your choices would be the wrong coach.

We need a HC who has fire, is insanely competitive, and doesn't accept excuses. Rob Ryan is THAT guy. Your guys? All soaking up the popularity associated with being tv commentators while receiving millions of dollars - all guys who walked away from coaching. All guys very similar to Parcells.

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