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Dolphins’ Ross admits botching Sparano-Harbaugh situation

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who flirted with Stanford-turned-49ers coach Jim Harbaugh this week before announcing that he had signed Tony Sparano to a contract extension, has admitted to botching the handling of his coaching situation.

“I shouldn’t have been talking to coaches until I decided that I should make a change,” Ross said today, per Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald, who documented today’s odd Dolphins press conference on Twitter.

Ross said he’d like to “set the record straight” about what happened with his coaching search, and he apologized for not telling Sparano about meeting with Harbaugh. He added, however, that he didn’t talk to any other coaches and didn’t make a job offer to Harbaugh. There’s been talk that Eric Mangini could have a consulting role with the Dolphins, but Ross says Mangini called Sparano to say he “didn’t want to farm on his land,” which apparently is another way of saying Mangini doesn’t want to tread on Sparano’s turf. Or something.

For his part, Sparano says most of the players on the Dolphins have supported him through a tumultuous week, and he’s getting to work on preparing for 2011 — with hiring a new offensive coordinator as his top priority.

And Ross says he’s completely behind Sparano.

If he had to do it over again, Ross said, “I’d go about it a different way.”

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29 Responses to “Dolphins’ Ross admits botching Sparano-Harbaugh situation”
  1. hobartbaker says: Jan 8, 2011 1:31 PM

    Three more years of the Sparano. But they’ll just be reruns.

  2. williamcowher says: Jan 8, 2011 1:38 PM

    Stephen Ross is starting to remind me of Daniel Snyder right out of the gate. This team is in trouble. You can’t expect the players to listen to Tony Sparano when they know the owner thinks he isn’t the guy for the job. Tune into CBS tomorrow as I’ll get into more detail.


  3. redrew says: Jan 8, 2011 1:44 PM

    J Lo said no to Mangini…his ass was too big

  4. charliewade says: Jan 8, 2011 1:45 PM

    ‘If he had to do it over again, Ross said, ā€œIā€™d go about it a different way.ā€’

    So basically…. he’d STILL go about trying to hire a new coach to replace the coach still on staff, allowing him to twist in the wind during that time.

    He’d STILL go about dicking Sparano over, he’d just do it differently.


  5. joetoronto says: Jan 8, 2011 1:48 PM

    Mariucci just called the NFC West “the worse division in all of sports.” šŸ™‚

  6. radzyfsu23 says: Jan 8, 2011 1:51 PM

    The Miami raiders.

  7. miamiron says: Jan 8, 2011 1:54 PM


  8. cappa662 says: Jan 8, 2011 1:58 PM

    The Glazers were the first to make such douche moves. They were trying to hire Gruden while Dungy was still the head coach. Must be the FL water.

  9. miamiron says: Jan 8, 2011 1:59 PM

    Jim Harbaugh “stay with Stanford” and not offer him a contract with the Dolphins

    And Jim Harbaugh now knows if he has
    questions in the future ROSS is only a transcontinental flight away

  10. jimmy1smith says: Jan 8, 2011 2:04 PM

    Have they lost their minds? Now tell me if the players are going to go all out for Sparano after this? There is no way you can start down this path and then stop, back up, and re-sign Sparano. Its the most botched up mess I ever seen.

  11. skoobyfl says: Jan 8, 2011 2:21 PM

    Ross’s Business practices have reared their ugly head, completely classless.

  12. promickey says: Jan 8, 2011 2:31 PM

    The bottom line in this whole debacle is that the Dolphins need a new offense, offensive coordinator etc……Brandon Marshall was their offense. Dan Henning was horrific in his role as offensive coordinator. Bill Parcells left the Miami Dolphins with very few skill players due to poor drafting and free agency pick ups. This included the offensive line which was mostly ineffective this past season. Parcells should step up and take blame for his poor recruiting efforts on the offensive side of the ball. The drafting of Chad Henne and Pat White were huge mistakes. Tyler Thigpen a free agency pick up to be a back up was more productive with his few opportunities. Meanwhile Parcells left the team in his role as VP of Operations. He left with the owners money before the season was over. He was like a thief in the night. Much is being written about Ross and Ireland mistreating Tony Sparano. Well I see the actions of Ross to be nothing but frustration over Parcells not doing the job on the offensive side of the ball. Where are the players other than Marshall and the number one overall pick Jake Long. Atlanta, St. Louis, Kansas City and Detroit were all bad teams when Parcells took over the Dolphins. All are better off than Miami regarding talent. That was Parcells job as VP of Operations, to acquire talent.

  13. ravensrule says: Jan 8, 2011 2:32 PM

    “I, I, I, I, I-IIII I am an idiot”

  14. ninerfan94954 says: Jan 8, 2011 2:44 PM

    If I’m an NFL coach looking for an opportunity the Dolphins were just added to the Raiders as part of my 10 foot pole list. There’s a way to do things and well you know the rest.

  15. phinatic1 says: Jan 8, 2011 2:48 PM

    Great move Ross, so here’s what he said to Sparano, so after Cowher, Gruden, Harbaugh and T.D. the mascot, your our coach we always wanted now get in there and win us a Super Bowl, did I forget to mention you have no O.C. no quarterback, no running backs, and a below average offensive line, but what do I know I’m just the owner..

  16. j0esixpack says: Jan 8, 2011 2:53 PM

    What a class act Mangini is… he obviously knows there’s certain unwritten rules within the brotherhood of NFL coaches that just should never be broken. šŸ™„

    Still, his consulting would be invaluable to the Fins

    … simply find out what MangIdiot would do – and then do the opposite

  17. finfan316 says: Jan 8, 2011 2:54 PM

    Ok, you wussies, stop your whining.

    The Fins suck…but they didnt just start sucking when Ross took over. They have sucked for a long time. They will suck next year, regardless of anything Ross does.

    Sparano is the biggest reason they suck. He sucks as a coach. Hes not bright enough to be an HC in the NFL. High school coaches understand time mgmt better than he does.

    And to whatever dbag said “how can you expect the players to go all out for Sparano”..the answer is, you cant! Just like they didnt go all out for him in 2009 or 2010. They wont go all out for him because hes a g-damned fool.

    You idiot Fins fans…and you know who you are (if you hang out at, I am talking to you) who defend this moron, you get three more years of the same.

    Congratulations…its just what you losers deserve.

  18. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Jan 8, 2011 3:07 PM

    As relayed by a confidential source with ties to a team:

    “This guy Ross is a nobody. What has he really accomplished? His team doesn’t make any money and he hasn’t even sued his elderly fans for not paying for over-priced seats.”

    Daniel Snyder

  19. lawyermalloy says: Jan 8, 2011 3:13 PM

    What a “PUTZ”!

  20. hdahs143 says: Jan 8, 2011 3:37 PM

    finfan316: Did your mom have any kids that lived? You are hands down the biggest idiot on these boards. Get a life. And change your name. The odds of you being a Dolphin fan, are about the same as you moving out of mommy’s basement anytime soon.

  21. dawgpoundx19 says: Jan 8, 2011 4:00 PM

    Talk about an understatement… that the situation was handled poorly. The team all but neutered their head coach. The can sign a new contract, or what ever, it still feels like he’s a lame duck. I don’t see the team doing that well next year with this hanging over their heads. Sparano deserved better than this type of treatment. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

  22. reticarga says: Jan 8, 2011 4:02 PM

    What a day-bar-cla

  23. theuncletodd says: Jan 8, 2011 4:15 PM

    Mangini has more class and ethics than that piece-o-crap Ross. Congrats Miami on having a really scummy owner.

  24. tatum064 says: Jan 8, 2011 4:20 PM

    Ross isnt Snyder or Al Davis yet. He botched things, and didnt realize he had to close business before moving on to new business. I’d put that on Ireland if anything. Parcells abandoned ship, then Ross didnt consult Ireland as to the direction of the team after they were eliminated. The coaching search can be put off until the playoff teams are eliminated and remaining candidates can be vetted. The GM has to be aware of these things, notify the owner, then a plan is suggested. The architect of all this took off, so Parcells has some blame, but did they NOT go to the playoffs after going 1-15 and PUNK the Patriots the following year??

    As for Raiders’ Al Davis – his team went undefeated in their division – anybody else’s?

  25. lofatapoopoo says: Jan 8, 2011 5:00 PM

    am I wrong in saying Miami’s success was on the shoulders of the Wildcat? So when O-line injuries came, so went their success?

    I really could be wrong- I’ve missed several Miami games this year…

  26. mistrezzrachael says: Jan 8, 2011 5:19 PM

    No high level coach will ever come near Dolphins as long as Ross around…similar to Raiders…they are a cuckoo’s nest.

    Too bad, because 1st season there w/Parcells picking groceries, they were headed in right direction.

    Sparano has no chance to succeed there w/Ireland making the dumbest personnel moves in league history.

    Fear not America..Dolphins have best halftime shows, best instadium disco [ fully stocked w/Best fla BIMBO’S] the NFL…Thats has to count for something.

  27. culturalelitist says: Jan 8, 2011 5:26 PM

    “We deeply regret the way this situation was handled, but we will make absolutely no future effort to do the right thing, if being unethical better serves the corporate good. We are thus absolved from any wrongdoing because we stated that ‘We deeply regret the way this situation was handled.”‘

  28. eknirb says: Jan 8, 2011 6:53 PM

    Ross is the biggest NFL owner bozo I have ever seen because of this.

    You don’t publicly woo a new guy WHEN YOUR OLD GUY IS STILL ON STAFF.

    Whatta knucklehead.

  29. Nevis says: Dec 6, 2011 2:44 PM

    Why would Ross want to land Harbaugh? It’s not like he’s had immediate success at the NFL level.

    Oh wait….

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