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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tony Sparano hired as Miami's new coach

It is official. Tony Sparano will be the Dolphins fifth head coach in five years.

The Dolphins have offered Sparano the job left vacant when Cam Cameron was fired. The sides have ironed out details of a contract whose terms are still unavailable. A noon press conference has been called to present Sparano.

Club owner Wayne Huizenga, who officially offered Sparano the job, left the team's practice facility at 9:40 a.m.

How's that for anti-climax?

Sparano endured a breakneck day Tuesday. He finished up some Cowboys business at the team's Valley Ranch facility early in the day, rushed home to change and pick up his wife, then met Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, got on one of Huizenga's jets to South Florida, boarded an Aventura Limosine Denali upon touchdown, was escorted to dinner at Grille 66 on the Fort Lauderdale intracoastal, met Huizenga and other Miami brass for the first time, was escorted back to a local Renaissance Hotel where he is staying, and got tucked in by Bill Parcells himself.

Just kidding on the last one there.

But while Parcells didn't tuck in Sparano, he will pretty much be one of the first faces the coach sees every morning. Parcells typically gets to work around 7ish. And if he's starting around that time, everyone, including Sparano, is also.

Today Sparano and Ireland arrived at the team facility around 8 a.m. Parcells was already at work. Huizenga arrived at 8:45 -- he's allowed to show up whenever he freakin' wants because he owns the joint.

One of the items on the agenda today is Sparano meeting with Ireland and Parcells about the formation of a coaching staff. Dallas assistants Paul Pasqualoni (linebackers in Dallas, possible defensive coordinator in Miami), Todd Bowles (secondary coach in Dallas and possibly handling the same duties in Miami with assistant head coach title) and Kacy Rodgers (defensive line in Dallas) are no longer under contract to the Cowboys. So Sparano must share his feelings about working with those guys and others.

Sparano also has to get caught up on Miami's current sad talent state and give his take on the subject -- based presumably on his study of the Dolphins from afar.

As I reported yesterday, agent Jimmy Sexton, who represents Parcells as well as Sparano, has been doing his homework. He has gotten a feel for the contracts signed last year by first-time NFL coach Lane Kiffin, Mike Tomlin and even Cameron and will negotiate based on those deals for his client who is also a first time NFL head coach.

Sparano likely has signed a four-year deal based on the fact that is a typical length in the NFL these days and it parallels the four-year deal Parcells signed. Sparano is, in all likelihood, getting a deal worth between $2-2.7 million per season.

It has been widely reported that the Dolphins were close to signing Sparano and there was even one report a few weeks ago that he had been offered the job. That was not the case. While Sparano was always the undisputed front-runner, with no real candidate coming close, the Dolphins have pretty much played this one by the book.

This team is, shall we say, obsessive about doing things according to NFL guidelines. And the guidelines demand several things: Under NFL mandate, the team owner must be a significant part of the process to pick a coach and the Dolphins had not met that requirement until Tuesday when Huizenga met Sparano for the first time.

Also the team would not break NFL rules prohibiting the hiring of a coach before his team was eliminated from the playoffs and requiring that a minority candidate be interviewed, known as Rooney Rule.

Anyway, all of those benchmarks have been passed now. The next sound you hear will be Tony Sparano being introduced at that noon press conference.


Anonymous Martin K said...

I'm the 1st to leave a comment!!! I freakin' rule!
Thanks for the update 'Mando.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous martin k's boyfriend said...

Martin, stop messing around on this blog and get in the kitchen and make me my flapjacks.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous asmart said...

Very insightful comments guys! For some reason, I'm getting that deep down gut feeling that this is yet again not going to work out. This might actually be a good thing, because I was very happy about all the other moves they made and they did not turn out so well. I guess we shall see!

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Aphinsfan said...

Keep up the good work Mando..being a Finsfan from Va. I count on you daily to give us the word...Thanks

8:36 AM  
Anonymous RAC said...

I think these moves are going to work. They are building a front office rather than applying patches (e.g. Saban). Parcells and company will do a much better job on two important facets of the game: talent acquisition and game strategy. People overreact, and the Dolphins have more talent than their record indicates. We will have a .500 record next year, and will be in the playoffs the year after.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous SWFLAFAN said...

It was posted on Fox sports Web Site that the other coaches that interviewed have been already notified of the job going to Sporano. Any insight into that?

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay glazer already broke the story that the deal is done...sorry armando

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Winslow said...

Doesn't anyone find it a bit worrisome that for the most part they are just rading the Dallas staff? Seems a bit narrow minded to me, or it could be that so few people can actually work with Parcells so he is choosing those that he already knows will bow down to his dangling duo....

9:45 AM  
Anonymous fat bastard said...

Great update Armando. As usual you are on top of the whole thing.

9:49 AM  
Blogger dolfanonack said...

Can we please stop beating this dead horse of and issue and finally move on to the draft?

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Sweet Carolina said...

Am I the only one that is worried that like Cam Cameron, this guy gets hired after his team underachieved in the playoffs?

Anyway, Very insightful post Armando. You are much appreciated throughout Dolphinsnation.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glazer didn't say the deal is done. He said the other guys have been told soprano is the guy.

Armando clearly writes on here the contract is not yet signed.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lot's of man lovers for Mando posting here, or could it be Mando making posts to show he has more support?

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Larry the Lounge Lizard said...

what a big mistake! did anyone else watch the dallas - giants game over the weekend? dallas must have the worst offensive line in football. it was a joke and dallas lost because of it. and we want to hire the coach of that line? as they used to say in the cartoons, you'll be sooorrrrrryyyy!

10:30 AM  
Anonymous fatchickfan said...

Armando, you rock and you rule baby. Keep up the fantastic and fabulous reporting that you do so well. You are my hero.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry look at how well that line has played all year and last. You can't judge them on one game. Also wasn't Wade Phillips the head coach of the Cowboys? Wasn't he the one who decided to give the players so much time off before their game against NY? Sparano is a lot like Parcells and you can bet your ass those guys wouldn't have been hanging out in Mexico on a beach days before their game if Sporano had any say in the matter. NYScott

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Sporano would have drafted the Ginn family or Quinn? Looks like we are a year late from getting that franchise QB....

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here we go again with the cynicism. The guy isn't even hired yet and we're judging him already? WOW, at least Cameron made it until the draft before the critics started tearing him apart. Here's an idea, why don't we give the guy a year of coaching before we make our assesment regarding his coaching ability? Parcells could be wrong in the end but for now I think it's a safe bet to say he knows a little more than any of us when it comes to football so lets give this guy a chance. NYScott

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Bad Karma said...

I lived in New Haven my enire life. The UNH teams Sparano coached there were always winners. Its about time dolphins get a proven winner with an NFL future in front of him.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous misohorni said...

Im going to puke if Coach P is hired. He SUCKED as HC at Syracuse. He is soley responsible for running that program into the toilet!!!

11:03 AM  
Blogger H.C.D. said...

This has been the worst kept secret in the NFL.

One thing that worries me is this guy’s experience. BUT, he’s got the mind of Parcell’s guiding him. I think for us to believe that this team will be solely Sparano’s, we’ve got another thing coming. This team is going to be run by Parcells and coached by Sparano. I honestly don’t care how they do it. I just care about this team winning and getting rebuilt into a proud franchise yet again.

Now that the so called coaching search is over, it is time to start talking about what moves this administration has to make to rebuild this franchise. Oh, and let’s make this clear from the start, the Dolphins are in rebuilding mode. They are not a few pieces away from winning, they are leaps and bounds away from winning.

So, as far as our roster goes, who stays, who goes?

What’s realistic in the free agency market?

What’s realistic as far as trading draft picks for a player? (Is Ocho Cinco worth a 3rd or 4th rounder?)

What position should be strongly considered for our first round pick? Do we go with best available or with need? Do we trade down? Do we take the best available (McFadden), then keep him or trade him like the Chargers did with Eli?

It’s going to be an interesting next few months leading up to the draft. I’ll be curious to see what the speculation is.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why it really matters that Jay Glazer, a national journalist, broke the story from Armando's own back yard.

11:09 AM  
Blogger L said...

So, what is with the brand new coach fetish? Our re-tred coaches (Johnson, Wannstache) fared a lot better than our first timers (Saban, Cameron). So what are we likely to expect? I'm not too excited at all.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Marc said...

It's done, also, there was no mention of ANOTHER Dallas exec hired:
Brian Gaine Named Assistant Director Of Player Personnel, all over it ;)

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Armando, can you please give a copy of "The Blind Side" to the three amigos? Michael Oher is so tenacious that in his first football game he nearly carried his opponent off the field and onto the team bus. Unfortunately, the fence and the coach stopped him. He is just what we need!

11:22 AM  
Blogger Marc said...

Press conference can be seen @ noon on the teams's site...

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder what last year's draft would have been like if Bill and Tony were calling the shots instead of Randy and Cam.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous NYJeff said...

Can Tony Sparano block, catch, run, tackle, pass and kick? I hope so because what we need most on this team right now are players who can play! I think we are headed in the right direction as we almost can't possibly get worse. So, WH, I hope your ploy works and we start climbing our way back to the top

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Cam Cameron said...

Last year's draft? You've got a starting center, k/p returner and starting wideout and a tailback/split end in Lorenzo Booker who will develop into a dangerous weapon.

As for this year's draft, no way will Parcells or Ireland pick Dorsey, if they can't make a trade. Dorsey isn't that big and rarely, if ever, dominating a game for LSU. Even in the title game, at best all he did was make OSU double-cover him. If Miami keeps this pick, it will either be Long the OT or Long the DE.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Marc said...

I think we should trade our #1 and #3 for Derek Anderson.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Cam Cameron said...

Get lost, Spielman

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's hope he brings more to the table that Cameron. Sparano looks like he will be tougher. If they feel it starts in the trenches then that is even better.

We need violent people in the trenches. Not the type of player we have now. Ooohhh did I knock you down? Are you OK? I hope you aren't hurt Mr Brady? They play like friendly Dolphins. I want the shark type dolphins.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

Such gay bloggers here. Amazing world, coaches and player get millionaire contracts to entertain a bunch of dweeb grunt workers.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Well, I can't say I
m sold, but I already like his demeanor better than the last 4. He seems like a no nonsense guy...If you could just lose all the "OKAY"s, and "At the end of the day"s...

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Dibs on Simon! said...

Welcome Simon... :o*

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A number 1 and a number 3 for Derick Anderson? Tell me you are joking please. That might be the dumbest thing I have ever read on this blog.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous td miami said...

With the hire of BP, and later all those hires,Ireland Sparano,etc,etc...They are going to implement 3/4 Defense System,that's meant we are not going to see again ,playing for the Dolphins,to Zach Thomas.My question is: Do you think this comming draft will be a defensive mind,or a offensive one?

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy Spandex is just a line coach ? He must a puppet for Bill.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

He's not "just a line coach"...If you listened to the conference he called most of the plays on offense last year...Unless I completely mis-heard that...

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

I, for one, am happy with this hire. Something about Sparano I really like. Looking back at his coaching stops, every team he has been associated with has been very successful. If this were Cameron or another coach who was not hand picked by Parcells I would be worried Bill would ride the guy out of town, but I don't see that happening here.

I just have a good feeling about this... My spidey senses are saying this is going to work out well. You gotta trust your spidey senses!

1:03 PM  
Blogger j dizzle said...

LOL ...........Spidey Senses!!!

I'm just glad all the games are over, we knew before Jeff was hired that Tony was the next coach!! Now maybe we can fast forward a little and start looking at the free agency and the draft there are plenty of issue's that must be addresses. And I personally want to see how many big names Bill and his staff can lure to Miami!!!

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Feel good and as well feel yourself good, because the other 3 teams in the division will be 3 steps ahead for the next few years. With the level of competition currently in the AFC, don't bank on any 8-8 wild card births for the fishies anytime soon. Happy feelies.

1:22 PM  
Blogger j dizzle said...

Armando the guys in the I.T department at the Herald not like you?? Why haven't they changed that article that you've had posted for almost TWO WEEKS??

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Greg from Denmark said...

To the guy who signed in as Cameron and wrote "Get lost, Spielman!" - one of the funniest things I've ever read on this blog!!!!!!

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Biggz said...

Another article written like a woman who pretends she's not criticizing you, yet if you read between the lines she's really just saying, "I told you so, I told you so."
We all get that you were just so clever in figuring out that Parcells wanted who Parcells wanted. So what? How is it a bad thing that they wanted to cover all their tracks with the "rules" and what not, so as not to catch flack for it later? I just wish your reporting was more about actual reporting, and less about your pompous blog-writing.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What huge turd got lodged in Biggz ass?

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it was a turd. I think it was an armando chubby.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it was a turd. I think it was an armando chubby.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Ron in Charlotte said...

Larry theLounge Lizard:

Seriously do you know anything about football? Dallas OL got tired because they passed the whole second half and NY's front four is the biggest and strongest in the league. Yeah they fell apart but that isn't coaching alone...

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Danny said...

I feel more confident about this hire than I did about Cam Cameron a year ago. If Bill Parcells thinks Sparano is the guy that can be successful with the Fins, then we as fans have to trust him. He has a proven track record, and Sparano seems to be the kind of guy that commands respect and gets it. I think you will see a tougher Dolphins team next year. After watching the press conference, I can definitely say that Sparano seems more fit to turn this hapless situation around than Cameron did. But, no matter who is the coach of this team, they have got to get the quarterback situation straightened out. Whether it's Beck or not, this team will continue its downward spiral until someone capable is behind center.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous prez. giuliani said...

do we really HAVE to have rookies at every coaching position on the team? you mean to tell me that the defensive coordinator, offensive cordinator [unless tony calls the plays like he threatened in his presser]?

thats just to dang much. you have to have SOME proven leadership in the ranks.

dont want to be the cloud of doom, i really respect what parcells has done over his career, but rookies across the board with tony and pasqualini and bowles, etc.... come on!!!

what are we? the apprenticeship program of the nfl now?


i am already starting to question "this thing of ours".

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: T. Sparano
To: All you Fucs
Re: me and my press conference

U think this is some kind of joke? U think i'm funny? At the end of the day i'm gonna get my guys to research all your fu**in addresses and come visit U in person. Bruno & Rocko will show u how things are gonna be handled around here from now on. U think that short sh*t Saban means anthing to me? He'd be my Fu**in gofer. And that $#%@&% Cam Cameron? What kind of Fu**in name is Cam Cameron? My guys would have beat him with a baseball bat for the kind of bullcrap he was feeding you guys. WTF? And U think i'm Big Bill's mouth piece? I'll be here long after he's gone. Don't fuc with me fellas, i'm here to do a job, nothing more nothing less. U make it personal with me I'll make it personal with U. Let's see U stand up in front of a group stugatz. I don't need no fu**in public speaking skills. I just gotta win. And i will, one way or another. And don't even start with that New england sh*t. I'll take care of them in my own time, in my own way. 1111

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has all of Ted Ginn's family been drafted yet?

If not, at least that takes the guessing game out of the draft.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous oscar_g said...

The post by Sparano was great.


6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least Sparano was successful in his foray into head coaching unlike Cameron. He also has experience coaching OL, where we need to be stronger and tougher. If Parcells likes the guy, and thinks he can mold him into an effective coach, I have to be happy about it.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of people saying they don't like the hiring because he has no head coaching experience. Johnson,Wanny, and Saban all had head coaching experience and that didn't work. So I'm curious to find out who all of these people would have picked as a coach. ANYONE have any answers? And if someone is thinking about writing Carroll please go jump off of a tall building. NYScott

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please refer all of your "Ted Ginns family" jokes to Cam Cameron. It hasn't been funny since last April and now that the new regime is in place it makes no sense. NYScott

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about time we get some New Yorkers in the front office! Enough of these goofy cluless red necks from the south. The NY guys will show everyone how to work hard and be tough. No more team trips to disney movies and the beach. Time for some serious work to get done by guys who know how to get the job done, Go Dolphins!
Frankie "The Nose" Valente.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Jay said...

Jaymesh from London, UK

I hope that Tony Sparano is the guy for the Miami Dolphins.
6 years for this team is way to long not to be in the playoffs!

We need to forget the past and move onto positive things here in Miami. We must pick wisely in the draft and also pick up some much needed talent in free agency at positions which require it.
I think improvements must be made in the coming season and who knows we could be in the playoffs in the 2nd season under Sparano.
Let's get it done Dolphins!!!

The Miami Dolphin players are great!! I met them during their training session in London, UK in October 2007.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a couple of thoughts.....

While everyone is talking about Sparano I think it's Ireland we should be talking about. I think that our last couple of coaches have been decent guys, it's the personnel decisions that have sucked.

I can't believe we've been busy raiding the Cowboys and still haven't signed their biggest ticket attraction. Let's get Jessica over here on a three year deal :)

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the factual report, much better than your opinions and what-if scenarios.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous tunafishfan said...

hey guys is any one going to get an interview with these guys ,or do we guess what they do and like from from philly been afin fan all my life,if these guys were hired here they would already of done a sit down with there parents and kids then alone them. i know there style and philosophy, but we dont know whats with them.lets get on the ball,armondo,jay and andy slackers and guessers.

10:21 AM  

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