Tony Sparano will live to see another season as the Dolphins head coach as talks with Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh have apparently fallen through, according to ESPN. Which basically makes the Dolphins looks like the awkward laughing stock of the NFL. No one comes off looking good. Sparano's been publicly ripped by fans and former players. GM Jeff Ireland comes off as a conniving dick, and owner Stephen Ross looks like a clueless fool who thinks he can just throw tons of money at a situation to make it better. So, yeah, next season should be interesting.
Ross and Ireland were all set to make Harbaugh the highest paid coach in the NFL, but according to ESPN those talks broke down last night for one reason or another (maybe Ireland asked Harbaugh if his mom was a prostitute?). The problem with that is that they never fired Sparano. I guess the strategy was that they wanted to make sure they could land someone better.
And, let's be honest, the Dolphins could do a lot worse than Sparano. You don't win the AFC East in your first year and go 6-2 on the road this season if you're just a gawd awful leader who has no business on an NFL sideline. Though, you do typically win more than one game in your home stadium in a season.
Basically the situation was like you telling your wife, "Listen honey, you're an OK wife. I'm not saying I don't want to be married to you, but I kind of have a chance with this really hot model chick. So, let's put our marriage on hold for a few weeks while I see if I can tap that ass, OK?"
Sparano has one more season on his contract, and if he fails in 2011 what coach is going to want to come in and work under Ireland and owner Ross after the way they treated Sparano? What coach can trust them? It's no mistake that Bill Cowher didn't want to come to Miami unless Ireland was gone, and that was even before the guy pulled off this classless stunt.
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So Sparano will come back next season. Maybe the whole situation is cathartic. Maybe he'll actually take the criticism of Ricky Williams and Jason Taylor to heart, lay off the micromanagement and rethink his coaching strategy? Or maybe he'll reemerge as a beaten down, paranoid man who goes to work every day with an organization he can't trust. Who knows?
As for Harbaugh, well it's not certain but he may end up back at Stanford. His star QB Andrew Luck announced he'll stick around for one more season despite being a guaranteed high draft pick. The Cardinals may have a serious chance at the BCS championship next year, and Harbaugh apparently wants to be around for the ride.
The Dolphins really only have one way to even begin to save face, and that's landing a decent quarterback of their own in the off season.