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.”