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.

43 responses to “Dolphins may not pursue a big-name coach, after all

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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).


    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?

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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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