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Fact or Fiction: Dolphins coach version

There are a lot of rumors and reports out there relative to the Dolphins coach situation. Allow me to tell you what is true and what is, well, not exactly true for the sake of not calling things lies or misrepresentations or outright errorneous reports:

1. CBSSports.com reported Tuesday that intermediaries for the Dolphins have contacted people close to Bill Cowher about Cowher becoming Miami's coach. FICTION.

The Dolphins have declined comment publicly but I am told by two sources at the highest level of the organization that this is "Not true" and that the Dolphins "will not reach out to anybody" as long as Tony Sparano remains coach. The truth is this is a sensative subject for the Dolphins, and especially owner Stephen Ross, because he reached out to Jim Harbaugh last January while Sparano was coach. He was ripped mercilessly and, I dare say, appropriately, for the no-no and he has the scars to prove it. Ross is concerned he and the Dolphins would begin to get a reputation as a team that goes behind a coach's back if it happens again. So he is making sure it doesn't happen again through the team, him, or any intermediaries of which there is only really one -- Carl Peterson. (Dan Marino sitting next to Cowher on the CBS set and suggesting he should be the next Dolphins coach does not constitute the Dolphins reaching out to Cowher through intermediaries.) Marino is not a Ross representative. He didn't even want the Dolphins to mention it was his birthday during the season-opener at home against New England and threatened to boycott the game if they did. So Marino is not carrying anyone's water. The Dolphins also know Cowher would be offended by that kind of approach --- behind the current coach's back. It would be exactly the wrong way to do this. And while the Dolphins have not been brilliant in the way they conduct themselves lately, even they admit this would be dumb.

2. Cowher is of high interest to the Dolphins because he's a superstar coach who is available. FACT.

Duh. There was a report that made it seem like the Dolphins having interest in Cowher was news. It's news like saying daylight has interest in the sun is news. The Dolphins indeed view Cowher as a target, and probably their top target, in what will be a certain search that begins once Sparano is gone. But Cowher won't be the only target. Jeff Fisher and Jon Gruden will also be targets and don't rule out any "star" caliber coach that might get the axe after this season.

3. Cowher, as Miami's likely top choice, is also Miami's likely next head coach. FICTION.

Firstly, that's impossible to predict. Secondly, there is the thorny issue of what other jobs are available after the season. The truth is Miami would not be first on Cowher's list of places and franchises he'd like to coach if he had his druthers. It simply isn't. Not his kind of town. Not his kind of approach as a franchise. Just not him. He's a blue collar guy. People that know Cowher tell me he'd rather be the coach someplace like say, Chicago or the Giants or perhaps even Houston or Philadelphia or Kansas City. All things being equal, he'd probably rather go to any of those places than Miami. Of course, all things are not equal. The Fins will have a vacancy. We don't know about any of those other places. This, by the way, also refutes the idea the Dolphins are already touching base with him. He is going to wait to see what is available to him before jumping back in, assuming he jumps at all. Now is not yet the right time to be flirting with anyone..

4. The Dolphins will keep Sparano through the end of the year and begin this big search in January. FICTION, but with an asteriks.

Sparano keeps his job until the end of the season is if he starts winning, so that is the caveat. If he continues winless, he continues to put himself at weekly risk of being fired. I've been told that barring a total embarrassing collapse, Sparano will likely remain coach the next two games at the New York Giants and Kansas City. But if the Dolphins are 0-8 after KC, I think that is the week Sparano will be most at risk because the Dolphins return home for a Nov. 13 game against Washington that starts a five-week span in which Miami plays at home four times. The Dolphins will want to do something for their home fans by then and, fair or not, a coaching change is about the only thing that can be done in-season.

5. The Dolphins are keeping Sparano on now because they are officially in "Suck for Luck" mode. FICTION.

To call the Dolphins an organization is almost a contradiction in terms. This football team cannot organize the proper personnel to put on the field for a two-point conversion AFTER A TIMEOUT and some of you think there's an organized and so-far perfectly successful movement to continue losing? Sparano is the coach because so far he hasn't lost total respect in the locker room and there really isn't anyone better to replace him. Period.

6. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, the former head coach of the San Francisco 49'ers is the most logical choice to replace Sparano on an interim basis. FICTION.

Have you seen the Dolphins play defense so far this season? That unit is so far part of the problem. So what about Mike Nolan's work suggests he deserves a promotion? The truth is no one on staff likely deserves the promotion. But the Dolphins would also look at assistant head coach/secondary coach Todd Bowles and quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell as candidates on an interim basis. Bowles has the Bill Parcells stamp of being a future head coach. That is one reason he was interviewed for the head coach job in both Kansas City and Detroit. Dorrell was the head coach at UCLA from 2003-07 before joining the Dolphins in 2008. So he has head coach experience, although not in the NFL. They Dolphins will consider both very strongly. And while the team will never say this, naming either of these men would mark the first time in franchise history the Dolphins would have a black head coach. It would be a historical milestone.


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Why did I scroll all the way down to the comments section before I even read the article to write "First!"?

From the last blog about the misses and bad choices in the draft. here is what I posted last week in another blog:

Here are examples of why Miami is a bottom feeder in the NFl today:

Philip Merling selected ahead of: B. Flowers, Jordy Nelson, M. Forte, F. Davis, D. Jackson, Ray Rice.

Kendall Langford selected ahead of: Jamal Charles, J. Finley, M. Manningham

Vontae Davis drafted ahead of: C. Matthews, H. Nicks, K. Britt,

P. White ahead of S. Vollmer, M. Massoquoi

Trade dwon from 12 to take Odrick & passed on Bryant, E. Thomas, Pierre Paul, Lupati, M. Pouncey, D. Mccourty,

K. Misi drafted ahead of R. Gronkowski, J. Cunningham, G. Tate, B. Spikes

J. Jerry over Jimmy Graham, Emanuel Sanders, Colt Mccoy, J. Shipley

Just examples of how Ireland & Parcells protype & vision for a big team has cost us above average & elite players around the NFL.

Other teams should send thank you cards to Miami for xmas every year.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe | October 17, 2011 at 04:56 PM

Can anybody tell me how Jeff Fisher fits into this puzzle?


Ok finish reading. Please don't hire any re tread coaches especially guys who already won SuperBowls. They will not be as hungry as an up and coming coach becasue they been there done that. I like the QB's coach of Carolina he made Derek Anderson into a Pro Bowler and Cam Newton is not playing like a rookie. Just no re- treads!

Its like watching a movie, its always better the first time you see it.

Good article. Its nice to hear the truth about the dolphins head coaching situation. Also nice to hear Ross won't repeat the harbaugh disaster. I am hoping Cowher gets the head coaching position, but we'll have to wait and see....

"This football team cannot organize the proper personnel to put on the field for a two-point conversion AFTER A TIMEOUT and some of you think there's an organized and so-far perfectly successful movement to continue losing? Sparano is the coach because so far he hasn't lost total respect in the locker room and there really isn't anyone better to replace him."

This statement and reality are what is most confusing to me. How can the coach take a timeout to get a play right only to have he and his staff put the wrong personnel on the field? Actually that is answered easily by siting the same incompetence we've been seeing for two years.

I guess the real question I'm curious about is how can the players still have respect for their coaches after such a major blunder? He hasn't lost the team yet? Surprising to say the least. It's like they're sticking up for grandpa or something. Lovable old coot. Awwww look Tony made a poo in his pants again,,"IT'S ALL RIGHT GRANDPA, WE'LL CLEAN IT UP FOR YOU".

What in the hell does the coach have to do to LOSE this locker room. If that blunder wasn't the nail in the coffin what could possibly turn these guys against him?

Spiderman - agreed!

To be perfectly honest with you, Cowher is not a favorite choice of mine as he has been to the mountain top.
I question his hunger, his drive, his motives.

"Bowles has the Bill Parcells stamp of being a future head coach." How nice for him! And what's all this about our fair city not being the right place for a blue collar type like Cowher? He's absolutely love Hialeah.

Yes! I beat Yeah! to first.

Guess if Cowher doesn't want to be in Miami we shouldn't want him to be in Miami either. Last thing we need is another Saban episode.

Isn't there a good coach out there who would LIKE to be in Miami?

Andy Reid

Go Spiderman!!

Tim and Spiderman, Agreed on Cowher. Doesn't look to have the drive that he once had and why would he. He's already won and had a great career. He has nothing left to prove. He also has already told people he wants to go to a team that he doesn't have to build. Apparently he doesn't want to work too hard. Gruden, just not sure he won't be the same as Parcells and stick to his blueprint no matter what. The problem in my mind is if he hasn't changed his mentality then his way may not work in the new NFL.

But I disagree about "retread" coaches. What that suggests is that only a college coach or assistant will work for us. And I can't believe people will sit and point out past "retread" failures while completely ignoring the facts.

Fact#1 The Dolphins were only relevant when they had "retread" coaches in Shula and Johnson.

Fact#2 The Dolphins have employed college and NFL assistant coaches for the past 12 TO 13 years and have been a COMPLETE AND UTTER MESS.
So why would we continue to be the team where assistant coaches get on the job training as we watch helplessly?

That's why I think Jeff Fisher would be absolutely PERFECT for this job! I will be so freaking happy if Ross does the right thing and goes after Fisher hard when the season is over. I think the guy is pi**ed about what happened in Tennessee and wants to prove to the league that he can run successful organization as long as the owner butts out. Ross wants to give complete control to someone so this is a perfect fit imo. Jeff is still hungry and he can coach a team as well as anyone in the league right now. The guy is money and I want him to be the next Miami Dolphins coach, go get him Ross!.

Cowher would like to be where Luck is.

If I were Cowher, I wouldn't want to work here!

Good article on the Sentinel about how the Ross/Harbaugh incident undercut Sparano & might be the underlying cause we suck as bad as we do. How it also turned off potential FA's from wanting to come here.

So much for players not caring about that stuff as it was brushed aside on this blog back then!

Hope Cowher sees something on this roster or the potentially high pick we'll have as incentive to take this job. We obviously don't have allot to offer that would be appealing. Other teams are will want him too.

Come on Bill! Close your eyes & come to Miami!

I agree the defense sucks, and that falls on Nolan but, The draft picks and free agent pick ups by the Parcells team have been a bust. I was a Parcells supporter but, for Miami Parcells was one of the greatest bust's of all time and will damage Parcells NFL legacy.

Phins78 - outstanding post.

I like the idea of Fisher as our next H.C.

Get your asss in gear Ross!!!

The problem with firing Sparano & naming Bowles or anybody else "interim" head coach is what if they start winning? Now Ross has a problem. He's got a coach that's turned things around but yet not the "superstar" coach we all know he yearns for. He'll have to wind up firing the coach that won in order to bring in a bigger name. More controversy, especially if his interim coach gets another job & continues to win while his "Big Name" coach flops.

Nominee for worst analogy of the year:

"It's news like saying daylight has interest in the sun is news"

Armando Salguero is a competent, well-informed sportswriter... FICTION

Always liked Fisher's teams. They were tough and no nonsense. Think he'd be a long shot however. Right or wrong he is known as a defensive coach and I have to assume Ross will lean toward an offensive minded coach. Phily would be stupid to let Andy Reid go but who knows.

Lucadog, They would still have the same players. Winning isn't something they know how to do. As much as it pains me to say it this isn't all Tony's fault. And it pains me because I don't want to believe that we would have to rebuild most of the team with a new coach but that may be a reality.

THE jeff FISHER will be KING!!!!

Isn't it asterisk? Not asteriks? Actually I know that to be the case. Armando fire your editor!

I like the idea of Jeff Fisher as well, but besides the Superbowl he lost when was the last time he had a postseason team?

Luca, all these coaches are gone even if 1 of them becomes interim & somehow wins.
Ross would be a moron to keep any of these coaches as a viable next candidate.

If you hadn't noticed, in 4 years, we've had 2 ST coaches, 2 OC's & 2 DC's anyway. This year, the cleansing will be complete!

Good afternoon fellas,

Cowher isn't my top choice to lead Miami but I think he is a great coach and is obvious winner. My choice isn't a very popular one, Jon Gruden.

Gruden is a great offensive mind and knows how to get the most out of his players. That is something Sparano is not capable of doing. Sparano had 1 magic turn around season that was in large part due to the Wild Cat and Pennington's great play. Without either of them Miami would have been about a 7 win team just like the last 2.

Gruden should only be a Head Coach. He did a horrible job with Tampa's roster and left them bare at every skill position. I don't know what talent evaluator Miami should bring in but pluck a guy who knows how to build an organization like someone with ties to Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Philly or Packers.

All that said a face of the franchise QB is much more the top priority to me. Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley are my top 2 guys although many suggest Landry Jones is second best QB.

You want a reason for Gruden or Cowher to be a great choice...how about they both have a big enough ego to want to be the first to say that they led 2 teams to a superbowl? I think that would give either aenough drive to be sucessful. I also think Fisher would be a great coach as well

Chris that's true, I'm just hoping that is because of the personnel he had. If he has Andrew Luck,CGIII, Or Barkley maybe that would change. Maybe the reason he has been known as a defensive coach is because he didn't have the franchise type QB everyone needs. Am I mistaken or wasn't Shula known as a defensive minded coach before Marino? Same with Johnson getting Aikman. I'm hoping this to be the case. Fisher will have the fire and will and he has plenty of experience in the NFL. He will immediately command respect when he walks into the building. Where an assistant coach will be met by the players with questions and doubt. (NO ASSISTANTS!)

Anybody know anything about Case Keenum (QB of Houston)? I read that he will own every college QB record when he graduates but no one is talking about him (also Houston is undefeated)

Egreen13e that is EXACTLY what people said about Parcells.

dave, thanks for the clarification on UofM. I did not know we had the most Miami players from any team. That's pretty remarkable since they all were very unmemorable. Just adds to the atrocious history of Dolphins talent acquisition, maybe the worst in the league (see Joe's post above).

Mando, THANK YOU for the clarification as well. Can't believe I got sucked into ANOTHER internet story before making sure it's legit (gotta stop doing that). People got nothing to do but spew garbage, and supposedly legitimate sites (like nfl.com) bite on it all the time.

I am ALL ON BOARD for either Bowles or Dorrell. I KNEW it couldn't be Nolan. I think the defense has lost any and all respect for him personally (just based on the things they've said).

As far as Suck for Luck, that's the story I'd want out there if I was a Dolphins employee (player or otherwise). If it's not that, it's that they are the most inept, unprofessional, disorganized, dysfunctional team in the history of sports, and I think I'd rather be known as a tanker than that.

Parcells didn't coach though...he just F*%# ed up the team with his personnel decisions

AndyNJ, Grudens's offense was downright ugly in Tampa Bay. Even the Superbowl team was not that impressive.

Hardly the product a great offensive mind would have produced. He also had a ridiculous carousel of Qb's every season.

I'm not Ross but, Gruden would not even be an option I'd consider.

By the way, he was a winning coach with N.E. and the Jests...he just didn't stay very long. By the way, I am NOT a Parcells fan and never was.

No biggy egreen, I hear ya. I was just pointing out that ego was the same reason we were excited about Parcells. Everyone figured he would whip the team in shape, tough, no nonsense. But in the end Parcells massive ego was his downfall.

The lack of Fire/Passion argument is ridiculous.

I guess if Mccarthy or Belli were fired tomorrow, Miami fans wouldn't want them because they won already.

I bet if Tomlin became available we wouldn't want him because A. He won a ring B. all Pitt coaches win C. he was part of a great franchise.

Only on this blog can the illogical be logical.

How about considering Chad Henne as HC? He has something to prove to the Dolphins. He's an ex-QB (like Harbaugh). He knows what wins in the NFL (better yet, he knows what loses, so he can just do the opposite). He's dedicated, would be well-liked in the locker room (by all by the receivers). And since he's robotic he won't be doing any fist pumps.

Anyone think I'm on to something?

And Phins78 that's what made Shula so great. He was willing to put aside his ego to some extent and adjust to his changing situation. God forbid! These modern day blockheads are so ego driven they think it's their way or the highway. Jeff Ireland & Bill Parcells, you hearing me?

What about Chad Henne as HC? He's hungry, knows the team, is young, was an ex-QB (like Harbaugh). He knows what works in the NFL (or better yet, knows what doesn't work, so he can do the opposite). He'll have the locker room on his side (everyone but Marshall). And he's too robotic to fist pump!

Plus the organization owes him for ruining his career. Who's with me?

Mondo, you and others are amazing. I do like to read you, but dude, the worst blunder in the history of Dolphindom accured when Sparano attempted a two pt conversion instead of kicking the PAT. Go through the events and you will fins the only way for Timbow(was he good or what) to win was to pull off two (2) two pt conversions, he got one but the odds of running 2pt conversions back to back are astronomical. I like Todd Bowlls for head coach, hes younger, and is hungry.


If Chad Henne is a candidate for the Dolphins head coach. I have a girl you want to meet her her name is 9 millimeter.



Joe S,

I disagree. Gruden's Super Bowl year during the playoffs the Bucs scored 35 points a game in the playoffs. His offense featured Brad Johnson, Michael Pittman, Mike Alstott, Keenan McCardell and Joe Jerevicious and over rated Keyshawn that year. That's not the most explosive or scariest offense around. The defense was their strength and he played to that. But when it mattered he got the most talent out of that offense. That what he did with little offensive talent.

When he was in Oakland they were a doormat before he got there and look what that offense did. He turned a journeymen in Rich Gannon into a league MVP. I think his offensive credentials speak for themselves.

How about consulting with Shula for once about who they should look at for a coach. Remember that guy? I am sure he could provide some valuable insight. Just as important as the coach will be who oversees the talent. Doesn't matter who coaches if Ireland keeps his job.

The lack of Fire/Passion argument is ridiculous.

I guess if Mccarthy or Belli were fired tomorrow, Miami fans wouldn't want them because they won already.

I bet if Tomlin became available we wouldn't want him because A. He won a ring B. all Pitt coaches win C. he was part of a great franchise.

Only on this blog can the illogical be logical.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe | October 26, 2011 at 12:23 PM

You said it!

Also what "NAME" coach wants to come here if Ireland keeps his position??

Dear Mr. Salguero

"Dan Marino sitting next to Cowher on the CBS set"

Ultra top sectret negotiations

(Dan Marino leans close to Bill Cowher and whispers)...Isotoners Gloves for life and I'll teach your kids how to throw a spiral.

Soiled :)


Cowher has been gone from the game too long, He makes 5 million a year just to talk about football. Do you really think his heart would be in putting in 100 hour weeks. Nope!

He'll do us like Bill Parcells, when the going gets tough just cash out and leave.

The other coaches you mentioned are still currently coaching theyre not far removed from the game.

LOL Spiderman. I knew that would wake somebody up.

Naming Dorrell an interim HC is in effect waving the white flag. On the sideline the only clue he's even alive is the fact that he's vertical. He shows zero emotion even though football is an emotionally charged confrontation play after play. He was TERRIBLE as the head coach at UCLA. I can't stress this enough. Check his records. When Sparano goes it should be Nolan as the interim guy (assuming he'd agree to take over). Or Bowles. But please don't promote Dorrell. Have you ever seen more dropped passes in your life? And we're talking about making him the top dog???? seriously? what a mess.

Has everyone forgotten about our shitty General Manager. He must go and we need Elliot Wolf from Greenbay....and how about Carolinas Off. cord as our head coach???

Chance of Ireland keeping his current job = 0%
Janitor maybe. Coffee runner maybe. Popcorn vendor maybe.

"Isn't there a good coach out there who would LIKE to be in Miami? "

Not with this ownership.

Lots of folks seem to think if we "hire this coach" or "draft/trade for this player" then all will be well.

I fear we are in for many more years of frustration until we have new ownership. So sad and frustrating to see what this clown has done to our team and stadium.

DC, I assume Poizen would be down for Chad Henne as the next Miami Dolphins head coach. BURN!


I got off work and checked back to your response about Poizen's comments on Henne. We will have to agree to disagree. What shred of evidence has made him feel Henne has the capability to be a top 10 QB. That statement was flat out dumb and I called him on it.

This "if Ireland keeps his job" suggestion is silly. Ross will clearly let the next coach make their own decisions in that regard.

Of course, many of you are ALSO under the extreme delusion that Cowher, Fisher, Gruden, whoever shares YOUR ideas about what needs to be done and you can be 100% assured that they very likely do NOT.

In truth, the next coach might view a guy like Ireland very differently than you do. Might still see him as the bright talent he was viewed as in Dallas and as someone they can work with.

That's not in personal support of Ireland, just a reminder that the NFL is a relatively small club of guys that you and I are definitely NOT invited to, and never will be.

Your opinion on Ireland means nothing whatsoever. Only the next coach's opinion matters.

why fire sparano first? Fire Ireland first then find the next GM and let them go out and find the HC. I guess that would work only if cowher is not interested as cowher wants his own GM


I agree with you - to know what goes on in the inner circles of the NFL is a very small group but you can bet the farm no NEW coach will ever want to work with Ireland. There are several reasons like his lack of identifying talent as the obvious to naked eye fans like us but also the fact he back doored Sparano. He has lost all credability within that tight inner circle.

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