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Dolphins may not pursue a big-name coach, after all


It has become widely believed that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will chase a big-name coach after the disastrous 2011 season ends.  Per a league source with knowledge of the team’s current thinking, it’s not a given that a superstar will be courted — in large part because a big-name coach will command a big-time payday.

As the source explains it, no decisions have been made about the future.  For now, the Dolphins are carefully evaluating how they got to this point, and how to apportion blame for a series of blunders that have contributed to their current predicament.  The source says that Ross and company are attempting to identify whether recent personnel decisions (such as the failed decision to trade for — and pay — receiver Brandon Marshall in 2010 and the ill-advised selection of Pat White in round two of the 2009 draft) were made and/or supported and/or lobbied for by former V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells, G.M. Jeff Ireland, coach Tony Sparano, or some combination of the three.  Although it would be difficult to keep Sparano absent a dramatic turnaround, Ireland could survive if it’s determined that the Tuna was the driving force for the bulk of the errors that have been made, dating back to the first decision of the Parcells regime:  Passing on quarterback Matt Ryan for tackle Jake Long.

If the house is cleaned, don’t be surprised if Ross chooses to take a more conservative approach, finding men who are on the rise for a more economical price.  In this regard, the Dolphins are keenly aware of the approach taken by the Falcons in the same year that Parcells rode into town on a white elephant.  The Falcons plucked Thomas Dimitroff from the Pats front office and Mike Smith from the Jaguars coaching staff.  Though both teams enjoyed strong and stunning turnarounds in 2008, the Falcons have maintained their momentum while the Dolphins have fallen apart.

For now, the news is that Ross truly has made no decisions about how to proceed.  As a result, he’d be wise to work even harder to get the word out that the white elephant won’t be dispatched to bring Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden to South Florida.

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43 Responses to “Dolphins may not pursue a big-name coach, after all”
  1. drumzan says: Oct 30, 2011 10:30 AM

    Rob Ryan. Dude knows how to beat Tom Brady. And he has amazing hair.

  2. isphet71 says: Oct 30, 2011 10:31 AM

    Not a coincidence that this story closely follows the other Miami story headlined

    “Losing settles in: you get used to it.”

  3. cspades99 says: Oct 30, 2011 10:35 AM

    Even though this site has continued to reference this all week, I still don’t quite get the insistence on labeling the drafting Long as a mistake.

    Has Ryan proven himself at all to be a Super Bowl caliber QB?

  4. haywoodjablomee says: Oct 30, 2011 10:36 AM


  5. coolhand5930 says: Oct 30, 2011 10:36 AM

    One thing I don’t understand is how Parcells gets so much hate for the Dolphins on this site from the readers.

    Dude won 2 Super Bowls with the Giants (albeit 2 decades ago), got the Pats to another Super Bowl, and left both the Jets and Cowboys in much better shape then before he joined them.

    He then takes his most “hands off” role with the Dolphins. He picked the GM, had a say in the coach, and the first year, they make an incredible turnaround. Then he pretty much falls back out of the scene, and they begin to tank. Is that on him, or more Sporano and Ireland? Compare their previous lack of experience prior to to joining the ‘Fins, and Parcell’s track record, I’m more inclined to point the finger at Ireland/Sporano.

  6. mrbigass says: Oct 30, 2011 10:37 AM

    Tuna…..funny. Just make sure he has a cool nickname. Flipper comes to mind…….

  7. jc1958cool says: Oct 30, 2011 10:38 AM

    don’t take any of the packers coaches! someone will be looking after the REPEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. FinFan68 says: Oct 30, 2011 10:43 AM

    Ross has proven that money is not a concern so I question the veracity of this report that seems to be purely speculative. Ross offered to make Harbaugh one of the highest paid HCs in the league and I have no doubt that he would do so again if the right guy is available.

    The organization does need to address how they got there. Parcells made some questionable decisions, as has Sparano and Ireland. Ireland’s questioning of Dez Bryant ought to reveal to Ross a serious question about his tact, professionalism and competence. If Sparano must go, so should Ireland.

    Wipe the slate clean and give the players and the fans a semblance of hope that the ship will be righted. A superstar coach may sound great but it hasn’t translated to success in the past. Regardless of who they get, that guy needs to have a fire in his belly, an unwillingness to accept mediocrity and the personality necessary to hold the players accountable for their shortfalls on and off the field. The new GM should have the ability to evaluate talent that is compatible with the NFL competition and the schemes that the Dolphins plan to use going forward. It shouldn’t be that hard to improve but Ross needs to accurately assess each individual’s current ability. (Peterson is not the guy to rely on in the NFL of today)

  9. fin72 says: Oct 30, 2011 10:44 AM

    Hiring Gruden would be a HUGE mistake! I’ve never seen a more overhyped self-promoter ever.

  10. guvsta says: Oct 30, 2011 10:50 AM

    Drafting Long was not a mistake. He’s one of the best players at an incredibly important position. Taking Ronnie Brown at number 2 in 2005 was a mistake because you can always get RBs later on. Until Ryan makes a Pro Bowl or wins a playoff game, I honestly dint think he’s much better than Henne.

  11. nyfcat says: Oct 30, 2011 10:50 AM

    Ha! What a joke. The decision was Jake Long vs. Chris Long vs. Glenn Dorsey on draft day. The Falcons took Ryan at #3 at it was widely regarded as a major reach (most had him going #10 to the Ravens).

    And PS.. Ryan is a glorified Chad Henne. That’s why the Falcons are stuck in neutral.

  12. jcw000 says: Oct 30, 2011 10:51 AM

    Rob Ryan seconded. As a Pats fan, the season would be more difficult for us, but he’d make the division much more exciting. And his hair is luxurious.

  13. snarkzilla says: Oct 30, 2011 10:55 AM

    He needs to start with a GM.

  14. bunjy96 says: Oct 30, 2011 11:00 AM

    snarkzilla says: Oct 30, 2011 10:55 AM

    He needs to start with a GM.


    And Peterson is not it!

  15. snarkzilla says: Oct 30, 2011 11:04 AM

    >And his hair is luxurious.

    It looks like a yellowing 80s wig found behind a couch in a single wide.

  16. polegojim says: Oct 30, 2011 11:10 AM

    There are good reasons Parcels accepted front office but wouldn’t accept the HC job. He didn’t want the responsibility or accountability of the on-field failures that were guaranteed.

    The entire Dolphin system needs an enema.

  17. melissata says: Oct 30, 2011 11:10 AM

    The best coach for Miami is someone who will most likely be out of a job at the end of this year, and who is known to be very good at getting the best out of quarterbacks — Andy Reid.

  18. derekjetersmansion says: Oct 30, 2011 11:13 AM

    Rob Ryan is a clown. Rex can, at least, act like he’s normal.

  19. heirshouse says: Oct 30, 2011 11:18 AM

    I hear Dave Wanstedt is available and interested..and his stache is sweeter than ever

  20. PurpleRaid18 says: Oct 30, 2011 11:24 AM

    Brad Childress.

  21. promickey says: Oct 30, 2011 11:27 AM

    Obtaining an offensive guru as HC would work in Miami. Ireland may not be to blame for the poor blue print. That’s reserved for the guy pictured at the top of this post. However there may not be much respect for what Ireland has done this season; Releasing linebacker Channing Chowder, one of the Dolphins most productive defenders. The defense suffered from that terrible move which was a vendetta against Chowder who is in his prime at 27. There have been enough other dumb decisions this season to consider dumping Ireland. If Ireland was no longer in the picture Chowder most likely would consider returning to the Dolphins.

  22. Jorge says: Oct 30, 2011 11:27 AM

    Jake Long has been arguably the best pick of the Bill Parcels era. I too doubted his decision to draft him ahead of Matt Ryan;however, in hindsight, Bill Parcells made the right choice. Matt Ryan has been avg despite the plethora of weapons the Falcons have put around him. If he wins a couple of playoff games, I might have to eat crow. But until then, Jake Long was the better choice.

  23. realitypolice says: Oct 30, 2011 11:29 AM

    No chance, zero, nada, that Ireland survives.

    The country, yes, the GM, no way.

  24. realitypolice says: Oct 30, 2011 11:31 AM

    nyfcat says:
    Oct 30, 2011 10:50 AM
    Ha! What a joke. The decision was Jake Long vs. Chris Long vs. Glenn Dorsey on draft day. The Falcons took Ryan at #3 at it was widely regarded as a major reach (most had him going #10 to the Ravens).


    That’s the way I remember it too. I don’t remember a single person touting Matt Ryan as the possible number one pick.

    Isn’t revisionist history wonderful?

  25. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Oct 30, 2011 11:38 AM

    Enough already. Leave us alone. Let us suffer through the season in peace.

  26. richc111 says: Oct 30, 2011 11:40 AM

    I always get a kick out of stories like this one. 1st the media throws out that they are going after big name but. Then they’re not going after big names. In the end no one knows. I actually met Bill Pollian once years ago. I asked him about the trade where he got C Bennett which was really one of the biggest trades in the league. If you don’t remember it look it up. He laughed and made the comment that you didn’t hear about the trade on the news did you. Which tells me that true deals and moves are held tight to the vest and speculation is left to the media

  27. rajuncajun28 says: Oct 30, 2011 11:50 AM

    Ummm…the Falclowns won a SB? Not! Their organization fom owner to gm to coach are failures….nothing else defines success other tha a Lombardi…fact….so, Falclowns are losers…

  28. Single Filament says: Oct 30, 2011 11:52 AM

    Can we get Wayne Huizenga back?

  29. phinfan says: Oct 30, 2011 11:54 AM

    Another sign that Ross is a loser.

    At least get Fisher and please do not hire MANGINI!!!!

  30. fumblenuts says: Oct 30, 2011 12:01 PM

    The way I see it now, it makes TOTAL sense to make Rob Ryan or Jeff Fisher the next head coach of the Dolphins.

    The Phins NEED someone that has the balls to come in and shake things up BIG TIME.

  31. jrobitaille23 says: Oct 30, 2011 12:04 PM

    First off, Parcells in every stop he has been at and had success….had Bellichik there with him. At EVERY stop until Bill B. showed up Parcells teams did nada. I just don’t get the adulation for that fat $%#&!!! You know what you’ll never hear…EVER? Our left tackle led us to a Superbowl. It doesn’t matter whether Ryan is the guy or not, the Dolphins haven’t had a franchise QB since Marino. You keep taking a QB in round one until you find a franchise guy…period. You CANNOT win in the NFL without some semblance of a franchise QB. Only time that has happened was Ravens with Dilfer and their D was legendary and their opponent weak. Ireland is the culprit and Sparano as nice a guy as he is is over his head. They don’t necessarily need a big name coach, what they need is a great personnel man and an Xs and Os coach which Cowher is not. You hire Rob Ryan and a good GM, you draft the best QB you can at where you in the draft and you go from there. It’s really not all that hard to see.

  32. jpb12 says: Oct 30, 2011 12:05 PM

    Whatever’s cheapest and sells most tickets.

    Rob Ryan

  33. august1969 says: Oct 30, 2011 12:12 PM

    Wanstedts stache is not sweet! That thing is weak!

  34. nomoreseasontix says: Oct 30, 2011 12:15 PM

    I believe Art Shell can be had for the right price.

  35. 2ndaryinsanity says: Oct 30, 2011 12:21 PM

    This may be a case of big-name coaches saying “He## no, I don’t want to be a part of that circus down in Miami!” Less well-known coaches may be the only one’s willing to come into the disaster of this organization.

  36. j0esixpack says: Oct 30, 2011 12:27 PM

    They can probably hire Parcells as GM pretty cheaply. I heard he stunk it up in his last job and now wants to prove himself again.

  37. scottnrsv says: Oct 30, 2011 12:29 PM

    Rob Ryan would be great, and i say that as a Jets fan. To see Rex and Rob go at it twice a year would be great.

  38. lostsok says: Oct 30, 2011 12:49 PM

    Whomever the worst option is…Ross will make it. He’s easily the worst owner in Miami history and a strong candidate for worst owner in the league.

    And that’s in a league with Dan Snyder!

  39. Robert says: Oct 30, 2011 12:52 PM

    Why not Jim Zorn?

  40. pftstory says: Oct 30, 2011 1:11 PM

    How can the Dolphin regime be dinged for not taking Ryan instead of Long? No one was recommending Ryan as the right pick for them at the time and many were saying the Falcons should not have taken Ryan when they did.
    That debate still rings true today when people point out the Ravens got better value with Flacco in the late teens.
    So it may turn out to be true that the Dolphins made the wrong move. But picking Ryan instead is a move no one else would have made, so again, how can the Dolphin regime be wrong for having the same view of the future as everyone else did?

  41. Gordon says: Oct 30, 2011 1:59 PM

    Matt Ryan has already peaked, in terms of skill. He’s a solid QB, nothing more. Finding a Pro Bowl LT that’s gonna be there for 10+ years is hard to do. I don’t think they made a mistake on that pick.

  42. stinkinfish says: Oct 30, 2011 2:52 PM

    As a Dolphins fan, I had no problem with them taking Long in the first round that year. At this point in their respective careers, Long is a better player than Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco.

    As far as GM/HC goes, I’d like to see a guy like Ron Wolf as a very experienced personnel man and JAY Gruden as a young, hungry coach looking to make his mark. He’s proven to be a good play caller and has head coach experience, albeit in a lesser league.

  43. vomitingliberals says: Oct 30, 2011 6:09 PM

    I hear that David Shula might be willing to listen to offers. He comes highly recommended with endorsements from BOTH Marion Cambell & Bert Bell!

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