Bill Parcells Almost Hired Rex Ryan as Dolphins' Head Coach

Rex Ryan is high on the hate list of most Miami sports fans. In his tenure as head coach with the Jets, he's managed to find innovative, almost unbelievable ways to make the team even trashier. Yet former Dolphin's exec Bill Parcells admits that Ryan was his second choice to coach in Miami. Instead Parcells went with Tony Sparano, but a year later strongly suggested to the Jets that they hire Ryan. Seriously Parcells? You gave advice to the Jets? Do you even understand what being a Miami Dolphin is all about? About two-thirds of it is hating the Jets.

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"I was very impressed with Rex when I met with him," Parcells said Tuesday night by phone. "I could just sense that, 'Hey, this guy's going to have a chance.'"

This was three years ago, when Parcells was the executive vice president of football operations for the Miami Dolphins and a man in dire need of a head coach. He sat down with Ryan and discovered a kindred spirit, a football lifer born in Oklahoma but one projecting that Parcellsian Jersey Guy vibe.

If Parcells hadn't shared a strong working relationship with his former aide in Dallas, Tony Sparano, he likely would have hired Ryan on the spot.

"Yes, that's correct," Parcells said.

He went with Sparano, breaking Ryan's heart if not his resolve. A year later, after Eric Mangini went poof in the night, Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum solicited his mentor's official scouting report on the Baltimore defensive coordinator with a big plan and a bigger mouth.

Parcells told his protégé he liked Rex and his pedigree, as in a lot, and Tannenbaum took it to the bank

On one hand, we ought to be thankful Parcells spared us from Ryan's big mouth and bigger foot troubles (obviously we're talking about the trip, what else would we be referring to?), on the other the difference between Ryan's on-the-field record with the Jets and Sparano's with the Dolphins speaks volumes. We probably could excuse Ryan's blubberings if he brought us some glory. Miami is tolerating LeBron after all.

Granted, Parcells came to the Dolphins with strong ties to the Jets, but the fact the guy was sitting in the front office in Miami while simultaneously offering advice and guidance to the team's biggest foe is despicable. In fact, his advice to the Jets seems to have worked out better than any guidance he gave the Fins. I think it's time to start wondering if Parcells was a Jets double agent all along.

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Kyle Munzenrieder