With Dolphins closing in on Harbaugh, Dolphins coaches start to pack boxes

Signs continue to point to the Dolphins landing Jim Harbaugh as their next head coach.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News has a source that says “all indications” are that Harbaugh will accept Miami’s huge offer, believed to be more than $7 million per season.  Miami would reportedly go above $8 million per year if the 49ers upped their offer.  (Translation: Harbaugh’s agent is playing this very well.)

“Not a done deal, but everything is pointing that way,” Kawakami said.

Meanwhile, Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that some Dolphins coaches are packing their boxes at the team facility this morning.  That does not include coach Tony Sparano, and its those coaches would be losing jobs even if Sparano stayed.

Still, this clumsy situation has to come to a conclusion soon.  Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is taking deserved criticism for hanging his coach Tony Sparano out to dry.

66 responses to “With Dolphins closing in on Harbaugh, Dolphins coaches start to pack boxes

  1. I’m a Pats fan but I feel bad for Sparano. He’s done nothing to deserve this shabby treatment by this new hollyweird obsessed owner Ross. Say what you will about Parcells but he had to have this dopey new owner in mind when he negotiated his right to bail out and get paid. Echos of BB bailing on Woody Johnson. Huizenga may not have known anything about the business of football but he seemed like a good guy who let his football operations guys do their jobs. I respect Sparano, & think he’s a solid coach. He will land on his feet somewhere.

  2. Unless they previously communicated to Sparano that they were going to go after Harbaugh. . . . IF they prepped him then he knew going into this week. . . . .

  3. I am no longer a Sporano fan and will be happy to see him go. However, he deserves respect from this organization and I am ashamed at how they are treating him. I’m not sure if I can continue to support Ross if this is how he’s going to run things.

  4. Sparano got the big money – he can take it.

    Funny how no one mentions Parcells in all this. There were his guys – and it’s his failure.

  5. Still, this clumsy situation has to come to a conclusion soon. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is taking criticism for hanging his coach Tony Sparano out to dry right now. Remember him? The longer this goes on, the harder it will be to go back to Sparano.

    Thats the best you can do this is clumsy, how about this is a classless act by a total a$$ and had it been a couple of owners from the NFC east you would be hammering them constantly.

  6. The whole situation doesn’t make much sense from any angle. Why keep Ireland? Why say Harbaugh’s asking price is OK when the same asking price from a Super Bowl winning coach is not? Why is Gruden out in light of the fact that Ireland is staying? And why does Sparano still have a job when Mike Nolan is a logical safety net?

    The only part of it that resonates with me is Harbaugh’s age. He’s a young guy, just like Cowher, Gruden, and Fisher were when they were hired. And Super Bowl winning coaches have a miserable track record of repeating their successes after switching teams (0%).

  7. I don’t feel sorry for anybody making that kind of money. Sparano prob has another year at 3 million left on contract whether he’s the Fins coach or not

  8. So why haven’t we had 16 billion posts from you guys about the Dolphins Owner making a mockery of the Rooney rule, like we’ve had with the Cowboys Owner? Does the Rooney rule only apply to Dallas?

  9. As a Miami fan, Parcells ran with the money and left the organization in turmoil. He did not turn this team around at all. The first year was a fluke.. 11-5 .. outcome from an easy schedule, the suprise of the Wildcat, and Chad Pennington not turning the ball over. Miami’s play calling was horrible this year, very frustrating to watch. I dont blame Soprano, Henning was making the calls, but the damage is done, you cant bring back Soprano after this.

    Harbaugh – good upside, ex NFL QB, i believe he will bring in the kick that we need to ignite Miami Offense. We have some playmakers. Hopefully they can solve the QB situation.!

  10. Why the sympathy for Sparano? He did the exact same thing to Chad Henne. What’s the difference? Sparano lost his job for not living up to standards as did Henne.

  11. I feel sooooo bad for Sparano. The poor guy had the bad luck to be the head coach of an NFL team and make lots of money… If he’s smart he’d move back to o-line coach if Miami gets Harbaugh or take the money he made and buy Dan Henning the book titled “How to Call Plays: for Dummies”…


    Lol the dolphins came back into relevance due to Parcells. The only thing they are still missing is a QB. Chad Henne is not the answer. They have decent WRs in Marshall and Bess. Their defense is also pretty good. They just need that last piece to compete with the Patriots and the Jets.
    This season the wildcat and running game never got going and it really exposed how bad Henne really is.

  13. The way the Dolphins are swooning after Harbaugh while Sporano is still in the building is mind-boggling. Does anyone think Ross went to Dan Snyder first for advice on public relations moves?

  14. For the record I really like the job Sparano had done, seems like a really nice and passionate guy. But he was still a part of the Trifecta that fired Bonamgeo, fired Paul Pasqaloni, and CONSTANTLY was churning the roster. This kind of stuff happens to players all of the time, so why should it really be THAT different now?

  15. The fine was $200,000 in 2003 when the Lions didn’t comply with the Rooney Rule. I wonder what it will be now, because there’s no way the Dolphins will find a minority willing to give a sham interview for the job.

  16. ofcourse all pats fans want sparano to stay.
    They beat the pants off of him

    This is a business. When sparano was firing people or cutting players no body felt bad for them. Sparano is walking away with 3 million for next year. I think he’ll be fine

  17. I don’t feel sorry for Sparano at all. Overall, he did a lousy job, in particular with the offensive line which is his supposed area of “expertise.” Oh yeah, and there’s that little thing of $3 million bucks he gets as a severance package (minus of course whatever he gets when he gets a new job…………which will probably be the UConn job in about 10 seconds after security escorts him off Dolphins property). Cry me a river.

    Also, what about when teams bring in players (constantly throughout the year) for tryouts. Those guys are being “interviewed” to take the spots of guys currently on the roster. How is this any different or any less “disrespectful?” When ten kickers are brought in on Tuesday, is there any secret the current kicker is on thin ice? Who’s apologizing to him? If teams can turn over stones to improve their roster, why can’t they do it to improve their coaching staff?

    This is a cut-throat business on a whole different level than 9 to 5ers are accustomed.

    We also don’t know what was said during the three hour meeting Ross/Dee/Ireland and Sparano had on Monday. This may have been teed up. Ross knows he has to pay Sparano 3 million dollars, so what does it matter whether he’s employed or unemployed.

    Ross is a billionaire. He didn’t get that way without being a ruthless business man. If anyone on this blog is a billionaire and wants to complain about the way Ross is conducting his business, then I’ll listen.

    To me, the bigger story is why is that moron Ireland gets to keep his job (who does he have pictures of) and what a weasel he is for obviously throwing Sparano under the bus to save his own worthless ass. Sparano spent the entire season being a company guy, gritting his teeth and talking about how great Henning and Henne and every other messed up thing was and in ten seconds, Ireland is blaming Parcells for the lousy draft picks and free agent and blaming Sparano for going 1-7 at home. I’m thinkin’ Parcells and Sparano just crossed him off their Festivus card list.

  18. You heard it here first!

    If Harbaugh takes a job that doesn’t have a set in stone QB he will want a QB that he is very familiar with. And here’s the big surprise! He will try to make a trade for a QB and there is no QB that Harbaugh is more familiar with than the Buccaneers Josh Johnson.

    Johnson played for Harbaugh all four years at San Diego and still knows his system and has proven that he can play in the NFL.

    If Harbaugh to the Dolphins becomes a reality, look for the Dolphins to send out yet another 2nd round pick to the Bucs for Josh Johnson.

  19. I really don’t get why they are offering Harbaugh such big bucks. He has no NFL coaching experience. I wonder if McDonald’s will pay me $7M with no experience.

  20. The 49ers is about to lose their biggest game of the season and another big one to come, Josh McDaniel. Hello raider 2.0 of the bay area.

  21. Why is everyone upset with Ross? He owns a team and wants to do better. He believes having Jim Harbaugh as his coach will accomplish that goal and he’s willing to pay good money to get him. Sparano will still get his contact money and he will be free to get another job. He isn’t being blindsided–he should have known this might happen as soon as Ross bought the team and Parcells left. Sparano, without Parcells around, hasn’t gotten the job done.

  22. $7 mill is a lot of money. But Harbaugh should also take into consideration the way the Dolphins are handling Sparano right now. Are those people you really want to work for? Or is his agent trying to squeeze more money out of the 49ers because that’s where Harbaugh really wants to go?

  23. When will teams learn that no college coach has come in and been successful since Jimmy Johnson (no I don’t count Barry Switzer). Dallas won the lottery with Jimmy Johnson, when under today’s way would have been fired after going 1-15. Mark my words, “Jim Harbaugh will have no more success than Tony Sparano, maybe less.”

  24. Few different sources saying Sparano has been fired. Shocking.

    What a weird roller coaster of emotions someone would have to get fired from one of only 32 jobs on earth…………….and then realize you get 3 million dollars as a going away present.

  25. Ross is turning Dolphins into laughingstock of NFL…easily taking title away from jets, Raiders and Vikings.

    He advertises their games as best show in S Fla…but instead concentrates more on his in stadium Disco [ complete w/the best Bimbo’s money can buy]….and GREAT halftime shows.

    BUT….due to poor GM….they have an inept squad….Poor to no depth…and no future with this retard owning them.

    So, who has accomplished more as NFL coach???? Sparano or Harbaugh?…Who could or can win more games with this current roster?…..

    Ross jumps headfirst into the Harbaugh sensation and down the tubes goes this franchise….Truth is..Buffalo on much better footing and direction…Forget about NE..thats like comparing pop warner and NFL

  26. I get a kick out of a Pats fan claiming Sparano is a “solid coach”and for ripping the Fins for how he is being treated. He is a mediocre coach at best who went 1-7 in his own building this season. He flunked with his QB, his o-line, supposedly his specialty and background, is horrible, his team’s special teams might be the worst in the HISTORY of the NFL, and he hasn’t made the playoffs since Chad Pennington took a mediocre team on his back and used a weak schedule to squeak into the postseason a couple years back. Would this same fan call Belicheck a “solid coach” if his team missed the playoffs 2 years running and won 1 game all year at Gillette Stadium? Please….The new owner is not bowing to any egos or Parcells loyalties – he is trying to build a winning program. Let’s hope he ousts the GM who thought Chad Henne was an NFL starter – that is enough to be fired as far as I’m concerned…

  27. Question #1: How did Ireland keep his job?

    Question #2: Is Harbaugh bringing his current offensive coordinator?

    Question #3: Even without the dopey story line of the “Michigan Connection,” does Henne come back with a legit shot to be the starter?

    Question #4: Did Ireland ask Harbaugh if his mother was a prostitute?

  28. I’ve been a Dolphin fan since Day One. I sure miss the class that was with this organization when Joe Robbie owned it and Don Shula Coached. What happens in the next couple of days may end this fan’s loyalty. You can’t buy class.

  29. There are two things you can’t overspend on – A Good QB and a Good Head Coach.

    You can be all the foolish you want to be if in the end you corral one or both of those.

  30. That would be second worst Special Teams in NFL history. That prize goes to the Chargers this year. Five blocked punts, numerous kicks returned for touchdowns, etc….

    Miami was awful………..the Chargers were video game awful.

  31. Unless Harbaugh can bring Luck with him (Andrew that is) then he’s going to have the same problem Sparano had. Maybe the “Michigan Man” can turn Henne into a better QB than he was or Henne is now.

  32. Ross is not an idiot, he obviously told Tony he was going to search for new coaches. He probably told him straight up we’re looking at so-and-so to take over, but if we can’t get them, you’re still in. Tony probably was fine with that, as there’s no way he makes more next year somewhere else than if he remained the Dolphins head coach.

    A recent article said Parcells was responsible for passing on Matt Ryan for Jake Long, and for drafting Pat White. Ireland’s recommendation was to draft Ryan and pass on White. I like Ireland more after that. We have still had some very solid drafts with him around.

  33. “Miami would reportedly go above $8 million per year if the 49ers upped their offer.”

    Are you kidding. That would make him the highest paid coach in the NFL. Not bad for someone that is unproven in the NFL. Nick Saban worked out well…..

  34. 1-7 at home inexcusable. Parcells made this team relevant..haaaaa, are you kidding me? We lose at home to Cleveland Detroit and Buffalo consecutively. Parcells is lazy and sits in his little golf cart during practice and he ran with the money, he couldnt stick around to face the music and threw his staff under the bus. The season was doomed from the beginning when he left. Parcells is getting jobs based off hype from when 1990, come on way overrated.

  35. Harbaugh makes perfect sense while keeping mike Nolan. He inherits a top 3 defense which will only get better. He inherits Marshall and Bess and Jake long and some good young linemen.

    All he has to do is concentrate on his side of the ball.
    Draft Ingram or Mikel Leshoure to add some punch to the run game.
    Install his system with a veteran like Orton, while drafting a Mallett, gabbert or Andy dalton and the Fins are well on their way, No rebuilding here.

  36. I am Fins fan and for those who have posted defending or supporting Sparano I have news for you: the guy had to go, he was in over his head, not qualified as head coach in the NFL, overmatched in gametime decisions and basically a puppet placed there by the Mercenary (Bill Parcells), who hightailed it out of town soon as he realized what a butcher job he had done in player acqusition. Yeah, it’s too bad Sparano is being made to look a fool because it is the the Mercenary who deserves the public’s scolding in this disaster of a situation that we see today unfolding in Dolphins land. Also, for those not entirely up on Dolphins happenings over these 3 forgettable years what Sparano is going through now is in many respects akin to getting a taste of his own medicine. The Trifecta as they were known had a pathetic record of dealing with players and assistant coaches, much worse with the media in So. Fla. Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas were kicked to the curb, publicly ignored and embarrased. Matt Roth, Justin Smiley, Ernest Wilford, among others were kept around, hibernating not knowing their playing status. Assistants were fired as scapegoats for the front office’s miserable record of talent acquisiton. So, don’t feel too bad about what’s happening here, payback can be a bitc*!.

  37. Personally, I think it’s VERY ignorant to assume that Sparano wasn’t told by Ross in their year-end meeting that the team was going to upgrade the HC position if the right candidate is courted and accepts the job. Ross is a very intelligent guy, so why would he not? Sparano is a lame duck head coach anyway you look at it, and you’d be stupid to assume Ross knew nothing about his micro managing ways that suddenly “came to light”. Like most Fins fans I love Sparano, but I would take Harbough over Sparano in a heart beat, and apparently most of the players would too! Football is big business with no room for crybabies and sensitive egos, so get over it and write Harbough the check already. And Sparano: I love ya big guy, but don’t let the door hit ya on the way out!

  38. no offense but if you’re paying a guy like harbaugh 7 mil a year you have totally lost it and you have way to much money. Mainly because you’re stealing from the fans.

    just looking at harbaughs sideline antics makes him look pretty immature for a head job in the NFL.

  39. “godofwine330 says:
    Jan 6, 2011 1:12 PM
    When will teams learn that no college coach has come in and been successful since Jimmy Johnson (no I don’t count Barry Switzer).”

    Tom Coughlin

  40. I don’t feel bad for anyone, but $7 million per year for a guy who’s never coached a pro game? And you know it’s at least a three year deal, which means a total of $21 million.

    I don’t see it.

    I wonder how many existing coaches with Super Bowl wins are going to raise their eye brows.

  41. Its about time. Sorry but any coach that pumps their fist after a 35 yard field goal should not be running a team. With the offensive knowledge he has and what nolan brings to the defense(if he stays) this should be beautiful. But what about this bill parcells guy i keep hearing about?

    in all seriousness, parcells has turned into the father thats never home. sell out!

  42. Once the coaches had all their possessions in the boxes, Tony Sparano came along and stuffed their bodies on top. Then nailed the lids shut.

  43. xpensivewinos says:
    Jan 6, 2011 1:16 PM
    Question #1: How did Ireland keep his job?

    Question #2: Is Harbaugh bringing his current offensive coordinator?

    Question #3: Even without the dopey story line of the “Michigan Connection,” does Henne come back with a legit shot to be the starter?

    Question #4: Did Ireland ask Harbaugh if his mother was a prostitute?

    Good one on #4..best line of day.

    Least Ross could have done is offer Dez Bryants mom a job in the in stadium disco…All the silicone you can handle, thats why theres no tables..Just lay your drink on the biggest hunk of plastic you can find.

    This guy Ross is one very serious fool..What a loser

  44. I said last year that th eBrowns should have included something like this is the Sanchez trade to get an extra #1 or at least #2, but they didn’t. All they got were a bunch of “Mangini’s guys” who were probably going to get cut anyway, and now they are about to be cut again because the guy whose guy they are is no longer the guy in Cleveland.

  45. @shackdelrio coughlin wasn’t a college coach..he coached the jaguars back in the day (to an AFC title game) THEN went to college, then came back. he was also a long time assistant in the NFL.

  46. A Pats fan feels bad for Sporano or hopes Ross keeps Sporano? Sporano has no business being a HC due to a lack of general football knowledge. I like him but he is an o-line coach in the NFL. The only worse HC would be a kicking coach. Dan Henning and QB coach David Lee were also both horriblebut a good HC would have stepped in and done something about it.

  47. I liked Sparano initially but his inability to step up and fix mistakes his OC was making on a daily basis, his lack of understanding about the basics of a 2-minute drill and his penchant for striving for field goals have made him a liability to the team. That being said, the way he has been treated lately is one of the most classless acts any owner has done to their HC. The only one I can readily think of that comes close to this is the way the Al Davis/Lane Kiffin fiasco was handled. The owner should have been professional and he has been nothing close. Harbaugh could be good, but then again, he might suck. There is nothing that says he is worth what he is being sought for. As long as Nolan is retained (and at this point I hope he still wants to) it doesn’t really matter who the HC is. A stud OC is still the more pressing concern

  48. Listen up! Shoola knows all. Sign Harbaugh now and cut Henne immediately also. Le the “new” Phins come in and Punish their oppents next year! We have plenty of man power but don’t have a man at the helm that is worth chit! Henne has no pocket presence, scrambling ability to make BIG plays or even the intelligence to read a defense. He hands pick sixes out like they’re Halloween candy! You blow Henne! If you had any class Henne, you would have benched your azz and not put soo much heat on Saprano! Actually surprised Tony didn’t send Pauly, Chris, Bobby or Uncle June over to take care of the situation. Shoola knows all!

  49. @jcjets – Coughlin coached Boston College from 1991-1993, going 21-13-1, then took the Jaguars job their first year in the league.

    jcjets says: Jan 6, 2011 2:15 PM

    @shackdelrio coughlin wasn’t a college coach..he coached the jaguars back in the day (to an AFC title game) THEN went to college, then came back. he was also a long time assistant in the NFL.

  50. Echos of BB bailing on Woody Johnson
    umm he didnt own the jets when that happened so no echo there fact maven, huh ckl?
    typical pats fan..

  51. I heard Dan Henning couldn’t find the boxes he packed. Somebody put them in the end zone at Sunlife Stadium.

  52. We will never win unless we get a quarterback in the first round! The Dolphins haven’t drafted one in the first round since Marino! That’s the longest amount of time any franchise has gone without doing so.
    Just look at some of the best teams, why are they so good, look where their qbs were drafted:
    1. Atlanta: Matt Ryan 3rd overall
    2. Chicago: Jay Cutler 11th overall
    3. Philadelphia: Michael Vick 1st overall
    4. Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers 24th overall
    5. Indianapolis: Peyton Manning 1st overall
    6. Pittsburgh: Ben Rothisberger 11th overall
    7. NY Jets: Mark Sanchez 5th overall
    8. Baltimore: Joe Flacco 18th overall

    (Phillip Rivers would have made this list if Norv Turner could actually coach). Drew Breese was the second qb taken in the draft with the first pick in the second round!
    Brady & Cassell are the only qbs that are successful and weren’t drafted in the first round. (Bill Belicheck’s magic rubbed off on them)

    The bottom line is Jeff Ireland needs to grow a pair and move up in the draft like Mike Tannenbaum did with the Jets & finally draft a franchise quarterback!

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