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Nolan's defense has damaged coordinator's reputation

I'm never one to dismiss a good conspiracy theory. How can I? I've covered the NFL and dealt with agents and the changing of guards at Dolphins headquarters for two decades.

But sometimes things are as they seem. And this is one of those times.

So let me address this issue here and now:

Why is Tony Sparano the head coach of the Dolphins today? Why did owner Stephen Ross call Sparano, "the right coach," during a radio interview with the team's radio show on 940-AM Monday?

He gives the Dolphins the best chance to win right now.

Sparano's Dolphins are 3-1 lifetime versus Rex Ryan and his Jets. Sparano's Dolphins are 3-0 at the Meadowlands since 2008.

Similarly, why is defensive coordinator Mike Nolan not in a position to replace Sparano despite his previous experience as a head coach with the San Francisco 49'ers?

His work with the Dolphins' defense, a unit that has regressed this season amid expectations it would be a team strength, has hurt Nolan's reputation even within the organization. The organization simply believes if Nolan was the answer or had the answer, he'd be delivering it already as the defensive coordinator. And he's not.

It would be a different story if the Dolphins were 0-4 while Nolan's defense was the only unit playing with fire and putting up the kind of performances it did a year ago. But that isn't the case. The defense, in fact, is the biggest disappointment on the team based on expectations it could actually be elite this year.

It is not elite -- nowhere close. Nolan is in charge of the unit. And so that has cost Nolan.

As for Sparano? The organization believes he's the best they got. Simple. Logical.