With Sparano in hand, Fins look for rock star in the bush

A couple of weeks ago, a certain Internet hack with whom you may be familiar suggested that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross may chose to dump coach Tony Sparano for a big-name coach who can put sizzle in the sky and asses in the seats of SunLife Stadium.

And that’s precisely what’s happening.

The Dolphins have pursued three big-name coaches.  The Miami Herald reports that the team has reached out to former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and current Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.

We’re told that the Dolphins also have spoken with former Raiders and Bucs coach Jon Gruden.

Per the Herald, Cowher backed away due to the issue of power over the football operations, which suggests that the Dolphins may be willing to dump Sparano but keep G.M. Jeff Ireland.  As to Gruden, a league source tells us that talks occurred on Monday and into Tuesday, that Gruden asked for too much money (in the estimation of the Dolphins), and that Gruden stepped away once the Dolphins started to bat lashes at Harbaugh.

We’re also told that Harbaugh wants $7 million per year, and that he is putting out the word that he was offered $5 million annually from Michigan (John Clayton says it was $5.2 million) in the hopes of leveraging even more from an NFL team.


30 responses to “With Sparano in hand, Fins look for rock star in the bush

  1. What a screwy week, coaches fired, but not fired. Coaches improving a team but getting fired. Having a coach but looking at others. Circumventing the Rooney rule, (yes you Dallas). Not much interest in Cowher, Gruden ,Billick. Welcome to the potential lockout world.

  2. It’s kind of annoying when you start a post with patting yourself on the back for having mentioned a really obvious possibility at some point in the past.

  3. i dont know but if I am any of those dudes I would think twice about taking any job in the AFC East.

    are you kidding. Brady and Belichick and 3 picks in the top 33 of the Draft in April(plus 3 more in the subsequent 42 picks)

    ………playoffs? …..PLAYOFFS?…..it’s like trying to coach in the AFC south against Manning..it’s a death wish.

    go ahead and ask Kubiak and DelRio it’s a good thing they have tolerant owners that “get it”.

  4. Ireland is not good enough to keep over Cowher. This team is in dire need of the attitude adjustment that Cowher or Gruden can provide. I’m not that high on Harbaugh because he has not proven all that much. He did a good job at Stanford but that does not mean he will be as good at the NFL level. The glaring need is a stud OC and a SMART QB that can read and react (audible) to defenses. Henne has shown he is a robot and will carry out the called play to the designed receiver no matter what. In almost every pass play I could tell who the throw was going to before henne ever got to the line…and so could the defenses.

  5. $5.2 million! I’m sorry but this guy has had one successful coaching stint, $7 million is just obscene. The mere fact that a major state institution like UM is willing to offer that kind of dough for the football coach while asking all of its other departments and employees to make cuts is really really sad. I know the football program makes big $ but our national priorities are so out of whack.

  6. Sparano wasn’t really the problem, it was more Dan Henning & the three Tecmo-Bowl plays he called “a playbook”. If Ireland stays he’d better not waste more draft picks or Miami is really in trouble

  7. Ross is single handedly ruining a once proud franchise!!!

    Ireland may be as dumb as any GM in league…No wonder why Ricky Williams stating ‘clowns to the left of me jokers to the right’

    They are a MESS

  8. Sorry Dolphin fans, but things are very likely to get worse before they get better. Much worse. First, there’s no QB on the roster that can be a consistent winner in this league, and they’re kinda hard to get. Unless you’re picking in the top 5 of the draft, or get exceptionally lucky, you’re going to continue to struggle at the position. Maybe the Dolphins can pry Kolb out of Philly for a couple of picks. Secondly, without a bona fide QB on the roster, no top coach is going to take the gig – with Brady likely to dominate the division for another 3 to 5 years, and the Pats holding 6 picks in the top 3 rounds, plus the very effective youth they’ve added the last two years beginning to mature, it looks like the beginning of another long run of AFC East dominance for NE. There are better gigs out there for the big names than to try and knock off Belichick when he has the best QB, the best roster, more youth, and a lot of draft capital to work with.

  9. #
    rodge1 says: Jan 5, 2011 11:43 AM

    Sparano wasn’t really the problem, it was more Dan Henning & the three Tecmo-Bowl plays he called “a playbook”. If Ireland stays he’d better not waste more draft picks or Miami is really in trouble

    lol @ tecmo bowl plays.

    Sad but true. The defense only had to guess which one is was and blow it up.

  10. “Circumventing the Rooney rule, (yes you Dallas).”

    Yup, the only way to destroy and rid the league of a terrible and unjust rule is to ignore it in protest. Too bad the rest of the owners didn’t have the balls to do it.

  11. Just trying to follow the bouncing ball:

    1). Sparano has been lousy overall in virtually every area a head coach could be graded on and more specifically with the offensive line (his supposed area of expertise), yet he hasn’t officially been sh**-canned yet. He’s apparently the fall back option for Ross if he can’t upgrade to a hotter chick. Yeah, that will work bringing him back. That has success written all over it.

    2). Ireland on his own or in conjunction with Parcells has been brutal in terms of talent evaluation with draft picks and most of their free agent signings. Ross is keeping him???

    3). Nolan comes in and exceeds all expectations and turns Miami’s defense into one of the NFL’s best……..yet he’s not even being considered for the head coaching job????

    Dolphins fans – you should be scared sh**less that your team is run this poorly. Makes you long for the good old days when life was simple……………you know, when Jay Fiedler was the quarterback!

    The Dolphins have to be one of the most clueless and worst run organizations in sports. How they continue to live off any rep from teams that were good over 35 years ago is beyond me.

  12. This is just wrong to do to Sparano! At least fire the guy so he can move on with his life. To temporarly put him on hold while shopping is the dickiest move any Owner could have done.

  13. hrmlss…where were you and your comments when Danny Boy Snyder barely interviewed a low level assistant last year the day before he named Shanny to be their HC when the whole world knew who they wanted and what they were doing?

  14. Sparano is getting left to hang in the wind…and I love it. This is what he deserves for being an idiot and I really love it for the stupid Fins fans who supported this guy when it was obvious he was in over his head. I hope the Fins try like hell for two weeks to hire a better coach, and then have to settle for him coming back. The guy is a moron…just like so many Fins fans. But it all fits perfectly–A Second Rate coach on a second rate team. Stay Away Harbaugh, Cowher, and Gruden. Make the idiots who supported him early in the season deal with him again.

  15. Sparano must go! Sooner the better.

    Harbaugh is a bargain at $7-million; IMO, that’s actually too low. I say sign him for 5-years at $45-million.

  16. I will admit NOT a huge Dolphins fan but have lived here a sports fan for over 20 years, this franchise is absolutely nuts if they do not go after Bill Cowher, he will put fans in the seats and back to smash mouth football, I watched Chad Henne play he needs a offense to take the handcuff and let him go in a controlled setting. your close on D have some parts on the O just need good leadership. Tony is WAY over his head. if he stays you need to surround him with good cooridinators and someone who can time manage a game. Miami cannot afford another 8-8 season and keep fans there getting younger and have no idea who Don Shula is and the 72 team

  17. Thank god Parcels turned down the falcons and went to Miami. So glad to have dimitroff and smith who will probably be around another decade or longer. Parcels days as grand poobah should officially be over since he can’t seem to stick around long enough to finish the job.

    Ross turned down Cowher so he could hang on to Ireland? really? What exactly has Ireland done? If Ross wants to bring excitement and put fans in the seats then just hire Cowher and let him bring in his own personnel men. Why do these owners complicate these easy no-brainer decisions?

  18. Don’t worry about Sparano…I’m sure he is taking a conservative approach to handling how this is going down. He is a good guy but he doesn’t seem to have the nads to do what is necessary to win…and it looks like the owner doesn’t either.

  19. Parcells could’ve walked away after his first season with the fish for 12 million dollars.

    The word on the pier is that Parcells was going to walk away from the fish for the 12 million but was offered a handshack deal to not quit in exchange the Dolphins keep on his boy Jeff Ireland who if you remember was with Parcells in Dallas.

    So the Dolphins are being true to their word to Parcells but in the long run they are screwing the pooch by making a deal with devil.

  20. Ireland is awful…just look at their recent draft histroy for proof:

    – Ted Ginn in 1st
    – passing on Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco
    – Pat White in 2nd
    – John Beck in 2nd
    – Chad Henne in 2nd
    – Jared Odrick (who??) in 1st


  21. Ireland is horrible, but he didnt draft Beck and Ginn…that was Cam Camerons work of genius.

    But it goes deeper than that….they needed a WR and spent a third and fourth round draft pick on one some guy named Patrick Turner (bust) and Brian Hartline (decent) and passed on Johnny Knox (Pro Bowler). Cut Matt Roth for nothing. Paid a WR 3 million per catch, total two catches. Way overpaid for Jake Grove. Way overpaid for Channing Crowder and Vernon Carey.

    And yet when I said they needed to go after the Jets game this year, I was called every name in the book and banned from posting on thephins.com. Now look at those losers, all agreeing with me.

    But being smarter than Fins fans (and I have been one for almost 40 years) is like being smarter than retarded kids. The majority of them have IQs that match their shoe size. So I hope the Fins keep sucking. Serves these idiots right.

  22. @richmcn…Jake Long was an outstanding pick. Ireland has not been great but he has not been awful either. There are a bunch of quality young guys on the team that are a result of Ireland. That being said, he is not good enough to keep rather than hire Cowher or Gruden. The team needs an attitude adjustment and a burning desire from their HC to not settle for middle of the road. A great QB will make even the most inept coach look pretty good…too bad there are only a handful of those guys and we don’t have one of them.

  23. Miami has a Super Bowl winning coach on the phone and they want to know if they can keep their current GM? They seriously talked to Bill Cowher, had him on the freaking line, and said something other than “here are the keys to the house, enjoy?”

    General life rule: if you don’t know enough about what you’re doing, acknowledge your inexperience and get help from someone who can do the job.

    This is pretty much like Bob Villa answering your personal ad for a handyman and then telling him he’d have to let your wife’s cousin Dino do the drywall if he wants the gig.

  24. -change up the offence.
    -better o-line and QB play by virtue of different play-calling and a different direction with tonnes of effort put in instead of what felt like a cookie cutter offense. Henne can do it.
    -Why did the Dolphins have a good year under Dan Henning a little while ago? Have we forgotten about that?
    -Wasn’t Long and a few others on the line banged up and injured all the time?
    -No way Kolb is better than Henne. At the worst they are equal.
    -Haven’t the Dolphins learned about college coaches with Sabin?
    -Marshall’s behavior has never been decent. I wish he step up and play instead of whining.
    -Hopefully Sparano hasn’t lost the locker room or it could be the end for him.
    -The owner is the new breed of NFL owner – terrible. The new ones worry about fan attendance when all it takes is good football to bring fans in.
    -Typical Parcell’s deal. 1st year playoffs, Rah Rah! 2nd year, tough luck, third year tougher luck, bye bye.
    -tough division to be in AFC East but the Jets and Patsies are beatable! Need a Suh type player, maybe another o-line player like Long, fresh Marshal Faulk legs at running back… maybe 2012 draft can provide something like that to add to a solid 2010 draft of role players and maybe 1 – 2 studs.
    -I think the Phins need to be coached a lot more. The defence did alright didn’t it?
    -The draft picks above only mention the duds and some aren’t from Ireland’s rein. Also, some of them still have time to develop.
    -Some of you guys are as trigger happy as our latest owner and also just as impatient.
    -Smarter players, faster players, fitting the scheme to the players would be good.
    That is how I feel about the current Dolphins.

  25. Henne is not good but does have a great arm and with better coaching and scheming he still has potential. Don’t trade more picks or draft QB’s unless Mallet drops to 15. Jake Long was a better pick than Matt Ryan for the Dolphins, bad coaching has put the Dolphins where they are, a team full of talent lacking in the wins department due to the decision makers. David Lee got pissed and yelled at Thigpen/Marshall for moving the ball 70 yards in 3 plays they changed Brandons route in single coverage to a go (including a dropped ball) 70 yards is over half the yards they passed for in most games.

  26. Theyre starting to seriously piss me off. While theyre spending a week figuring out what to do with tony sparano when its a no brainer the world is moving around them. Several teams have already made coaching moves. They had three big name coaches ringing the doorbell(harbaugh, cohwer, gruden) and they did not answer. If they have another 7-9 season and a drop in ticket sales its all on the idiots that run the team. Not only will they fans lose patients with them so will the players and theyll want to leave the team then its back to the dark ages of dolphins football. Tony gave them two straight losing seasons with no sign of improving ITS TIME TO MOVE ON!!!!!!!!! if they made the fans watch that ass whooping from the patriots just to see the man everyone wants out to return im done with the sport of football and taking in golf or somthing

  27. There is no way this team can go 7-9 next year. They have already quit on Sparano (note Ricky Williams and B. Marshall’s comments).

    Sparano is probably a nice man who works hard. Unfortunately, it was obvious (not after the Patriots game this year, but after the 0-3 start last year) that he was in way over his head. By right, he should have been fired last year. There is no question he should be fired this year.

    However, because Fins fans are so incredibly stupid (and vindictive when told the truth) I hope Sparano is around next year too, so these bastards can suffer through another losing season. I am from New Orleans and always liked the Saints as well, so I can just ride with the Saints for a year or two.

    Make Fins Fans Suffer-Keep Sparano!

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