Dolphins dump Paul Pasqualoni

In a surprise move, the Dolphins have announced the termination of defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni.

“I want to thank Paul for his services to the team, and I want to wish him the best,” coach Tony Sparano said in a release. 

Pasqualoni, who served as head coach at Syracuse from 1991 through 2004, was hired as an assistant in Dallas under Miami V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells.  Pasqualoni then became defensive coordinator in Miami under Sparano in 2008.

Our first reaction to the news was that the Dolphins possibly are jumping into the bidding for Romeo Crennel, who reportedly is heading to Kansas City.  But we can’t imagine Parcells and his son-in-law, Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli, getting into a tug-o-war over Crennel.

The other possibility in this regard would be that the Dolphins have decided to pursue Mike Zimmer, who worked for Parcells in Dallas before Parcells resigned following the 2006 season.  Zimmer’s contract in Cincinnati is expiring at the end of February, and it’s possible that the Bengals will release him from his obligation sooner than that.

UPDATE:  As a commenter astutely points out, another possibility would be former Virginia coach Al Groh, who also has a history with Parcells.  The fact that the move comes two days after the Bengals’ season ended has us intrigued by the possibility that the Tuna is eyeballing Zimmer.

39 responses to “Dolphins dump Paul Pasqualoni

  1. Tony Sparano is a pimp. He never could have out foxed Pasqualoni. But I did not know until this day that it was Parcells all along.

  2. Someone has to take the fall, but with two rookie corners, minimal pass rush and zero linebackers I don’t know how much more he could have done.

  3. I say the Bengals dump Marvin after the pitiful end to the season and first round playoff loss and promote Zimmer to HC to keep him from jumping ship to Washington, Miami or any other team.

  4. You cannot run a 3-4 unless you have linebackers who can stop the run.
    With no cap in 2010..say goodbye to Joey Porter and his horrible tackling. Porter goes now with no penalty OR serious dead money torching cap space.
    Questions is…will ownership spend money on FA’s…..they seemed a bit too eager to bring in ‘partners’

  5. CHANGE WAS NEEDED BADLY!!! The corners were getting better but the LB’s & D line were failing!!! Hopefully if it is Groh he is a better coodinator than the sorry jets coach back in the mid 90’s!!!

  6. Agree with image132… Zimmer is too valuable to lose, and Marvin hasn’t shown the leadership or inventivness to justify being kept the Mike Brown.

  7. Didn’t they say that Leslie Fraiser had a great interview? Could they be looking back into him?

  8. Good riddance.
    Florio, you missed another name: Fins assistant head coach/secondary Todd Bowles. Received some head coaching sniffs last season, nothing so far this season. Could be in line for a promotion.

  9. It would be great if the Phins got Zimmer. The D should have played a lot better than it did. The second half collapses early in the season and then 1st half breakdowns in the second half of the season spelled doom for him. The D was way too Jeckyl and Hyde.

  10. I doubt Parcells is going after Mike Zimmer since he’s the one that ran Zimmer out of Dallas.

  11. Mike Zimmer had problems with the 3-4 in Dallas under Bill Parcells, specifically with blitz packages and making in-game adjustments, so I doubt that he would be the hire for Miami, which also runs the 3-4.

  12. I would say that the steelers linebackers coach has a good shot at landing that job since he knows the 3-4 defense very well and has worked with both joey porter and sporano.

  13. With all due respect, it was Parcells who ran Zimmer out of Dallas, and it wasn’t a very popular move! Zimmer was inherited by Parcells upon his arrival and was doing extremely well with his 4-3 defense, actually having the #1 defense in the NFL one season! However, Parcells insisted on implementing the 3-4 defense, and Zimmer was subsequebtly run out of town! That being said, I’d highly doubt that Zimmer is even being remotely considered for the vacant position.. but stranger things HAVE happened!

  14. I think the reason they didn’t do this earlier was because they wanted to coach the SENIOR BOWL. The NFL wouldn’t have given the opportunity if they had an unstable coaching staff.

  15. I have liked Pasqualoni since he was he head coach of Syracuse, but this should not be a surprise to anyone. The Miami defense was pathetic. They were 28th in the league in yards allowed per play. By comparison, the Bills finished 9th despite numerous injuries and the Jets finished first.

  16. I didnt see this coming since the dolphins are coaching in the senior bowl. this dude who commented above me makes ralph wilson look like a genius.

  17. too many missed tackles and too many blown assignments for him to stay. as long as peezy and gibril wilson are gone then the next guy should be fine.

  18. He needed to go, but I am still suprised. Not sure why he refused to move the corners around to create better match-ups. Zimmer wasn’t any better down the stretch, and he had a more seasoned unit. I like Crennel, but agree with Desides that Bowles may be a sleeper. Don’t think Fraiser will make a lateral move.

  19. Zimmer’s contract is until the end of February, after next Sunday he is allowed to speak with other teams.

  20. i would imagine its Zimmer over Groh. Groh’s ties are with Tuna not Sparano and from I remember its Sparano who has the right to pick his own coaches. Tuna wouldnt mess with that since he didnt want any FO messing with him and who he wanted as coaches.
    It could even be Dave Campo, DB coach of Dallas. Although I think he likes the Jones’ too much.

  21. Mike Florio said:
    “Our first reaction to the news was that the Dolphins possibly are jumping into the bidding for Romeo Crennel, who reportedly is heading to Kansas City. But we can’t imagine Parcells and his son-in-law, Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli, getting into a tug-o-war over Crennel.”
    Why not, Florio? You think it’s all tea and crumpets at Parcells family outings? LOL.
    No, Crennel has just agreed to contract terms with Kansas City in the past 20-30 minutes…so you can rule him out.
    Now Al Groh on the other hand…well Al is one of Bill’s “5 guys he can count on with one hand” that he is closest too. Miami let’s go of basically their entire defensive staff with respects to the linebacker coaches. Groh is a linebacker coach extraordinaire…and a former Parcells pick as a DC and a HC.
    So yeah, I think it’s fair to say Al Groh is the target here. Further evidence in that he didn’t accept the Ga Tech position…

  22. Doesn’t matter who we get, how are you suppose to work magic with the crap we have on defense?!

  23. HEY FIN FAN, LIGHTEN UP!!!!!!!!!
    You could be a redskins fan, ya know. You guys felt good, like you’re building a bright future. We were simply awaiting our doom all year.

  24. strange: love the godfather reference. hits the nail on the head. also thought parcells/zimmer was an uneasy marriage of expedience probably to keep jerry from paying zimmer not to coach, although those closer to the situation at that time in big d may know otherwise.

  25. Lets hope The Tuna makes the right choice and gets a good DC. Not that Pasqualoni was bad but….Defense WINS Championships….

  26. Tuna inherited Zimmer. After 1 year, of letting Zimmer run the 4-3, Tuna switched to a 3-4.
    Later, he explained that he left the D intact because it was rated highly. AND, he said it was one of the bigger coaching mistakes he’s ever made. He said that he should have put his defense in place immediately, and it forestalled the eventual rise of the team as a whole.
    Zimmer? I highly doubt it. Ditto for Frazier with his Tampa-2. It’s Groh or Bowles. My paycheck would be placed on Groh.

  27. Pasqualoni had to go. Even though we didn’t have a ton of talent on defense, there were very little (or NO) adjustments made throughout the year to compensate for deficiencies. After being gashed by every TE all year, at no point did we change schemes, coverages, or give any help to LB’s.
    It isn’t so much the bad performance for me as it was the lack of adjusting to what he had.
    All that said, I’m not sure Groh is better. He has a great football acumen, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good DC. I’m getting somewhat tired of this Parcells connection train. Just because Parcells knew them, doesn’t mean they were good.
    Zimmer I don’t see coming. This team is committed to the 3-4, and does Zimmer run that? By all accounts he’s a 4-3 guy, which makes him a longshot, I would think.

  28. Why don’t you try researching the guy (Groh) first and then opening your mouth…As opposed to doing it exactly the same way you did with Weis. When you made another ridiculous claim of “Weis only being good because of Brady”.
    You’d think some people would learn the first time around…

  29. Al Groh phone interview by Tim Graham last night:
    Al Groh claimed he hasn’t been contacted by the Miami Dolphins about their suddenly-vacant defensive coordinator’s job, but he’d welcome the opportunity to work with old boss Bill Parcells again.
    “I’ve done it five times,” Groh told me Monday night by phone. “Some people would say that I’m nuts. Some people would say that I’m fortunate. So, having done it five times already, yeah, obviously, there’s a track record there.
    “I have a few things on the table right now that I’m interested in, and that might be one more to put on there.”
    You could detect a low, rumbling chuckle as Groh said that.
    Groh said he has learned the Dolphins had fired defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni about a half hour before I called him Monday night.
    Groh and Parcells were defensive assistants together at Army in the late 1960s. Groh was an assistant on Parcells’ first staff at Air Force. Groh also worked under him with the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets.
    Parcells handpicked Groh to succeed him as head coach of the Jets in 2000. Groh stepped down after on year to become head coach at his alma mater, the University of Virginia. He coached there nine seasons until getting fired in November.
    “I have a criteria, and it starts with the people that are involved,” Groh said of choosing his next job. “Obviously, I’ve been very fortunate to have been associated with Bill Parcells for many years.”
    Groh declared he definitely will coach in 2010 and indicated no preference of whether he stayed in college or returned to the NFL. But he added being a defensive coordinator would “be a prime fit” rather than searching for another head coaching job. He has been mentioned as possibly the next defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech.
    “My No. 1 criteria at this stage of my career is when the game is over, walking out of the place with a smile on my face,” Groh said. “It’s all about winning, and that’s it. There’s nothing else involved.
    “I’ve got a lot of energy and the ambition to achieve. Nothing has changed from 30 years ago.”

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