Pieces fall into place for Dolphins hiring of coach
With the Dallas Cowboys surprising loss to the New York Giants Sunday, coaching search frontrunner and man everyone including me have anointed Miami's next coach Tony Sparano is free to be hired by any of the three teams he has already interviewed with.
I still believe it will be the Dolphins.
And that is the reason Sparano will clean up some loose ends in Dallas early today and be in South Florida no later than Tuesday or Wednesday for his second and deal-sealing interview with the Dolphins.
Understand that Sparano's initial interview with the Dolphins was unlike any other interview the Dolphins have conducted or will conduct during this search. While Leslie Frazier and Rex Ryan flew to South Florida for their interviews last week, and Tennessee's Jim Schwartz is flying in today for a similar meeting, Sparano had his interview in Dallas two weekends ago.
While Ryan, Frazier and Schwartz all met or are scheduled to meet with the entire Dolphins brass -- including owner Wayne Huizenga -- Sparano met only with GM Jeff Ireland. So Sparano will come in sometime in the next few days to meet with the club's higher ups, shake hands with Mr. Huizenga, and then his agent will go about the business of opening negotiations with the Dolphins.
It probably will be. Sparano, I am told, is about 95 percent assured of landing the Dolphins head coaching job. The other five percent is left for the possibility Schwartz, the brilliant Titans defensive coordinator, simply blows everyone away on his interview or perhaps Sparano comes to his second interview somehow unprepared or disinterested. The first can happen, the second isn't reality.
There's also the tiny chance another team such as Baltimore or Atlanta make a run at Sparano. Just covering all the bases for you here, but let's face facts, Sparano's agent Jimmy Sexton, also happens to be Bill Parcells' agent and he isn't going to steer Sparano anywhere but Miami while Huizenga isn't likely to lose a bidding war to anybody.
Oh, almost forgot, there is an internet report saying Mike Tice is also likely to interview for this job. Although Tice fancies Parcells as something of a godfather and I have been told Parcells wanted to give Tice an interview, I have not been able to independently confirm that interview has been solidified. But even if Tice does come for a round of talks Monday or Tuesday, his chance of getting the job are slim.
So to recap: Sparano, assuming everything goes according to plan, should be in South Florida sometime in the next few days primarily to meet Wayne Huizenga. And the Dolphins will likely have a head coach by week's end.
Wonder who that will be? HMMM. This one is really hard.