The Miami Dolphins web staffers have found the new year to be rather busy. After coming back from the holiday, they have been changing a few things over there…such as the MiamiDolphins.com page for the Admin staff which has been down. As the dust settles, the only thing left is hiring…no one is left to fire.
Today the announcement that Cam Cameron was let go came as little surprise…I wish him well. The announcment that all but two members of the coaching staff were fired came as a bit of shock…but none so much as offensive line coach Hudson Houck who made a young underproductive unit a formidable rushing attack.
Ireland said in his press conference today that the Miami Dolphins will be protypical football players…which means big. He spoke of character guys and football players with heart and a desire to win. When asked what his plan was, Ireland simply said that they would build what amounts to an identity…a tradition. Something that has lacked in Miami for 11 years.
Of course as Jeff Ireland pointed out in his press conference today the rehiring of those coaches cut free today will be up to the new HC. Which brings us to who that may be. Read what you want into the following, some is speculation and some is rumor.
The first guy that looks to receive an interview is recently unemployed Baltimore Raven DC…Rex Ryan. Ryan will be interviewed first, but is also on the list of at least 2 other teams radars…including Baltimore.
The logical choice of course is Tony Sparano of Dallas. His name has been floated for some time since Parcells took over. Sparano has an outstanding working relationship with Parcells and Jeff Ireland. The problem is that he is not available until the Cowboys lose…which may not be until February. The Dolphins are supposed to coach one of the Senior Bowl team at the end of January.
Of course there are rumors…as there always is with coaching changes. The Dolphins must interview a minority candidate and that person could be in the form of former Bears DC Ron Rivera or Maurice Carthon. However, both would be extreme longshots for the vacated position.
So much centers on the Parcell/Ireland connection to Dallas though. Sparano had been rumored to be nailed to the name Ireland in Atlanta. The rumor went like this. Parcells told Arthur Blank that as part of the deal with ATL, that Rich McKay must be replaced by Jeff Ireland…insinuating that a deal would have already been done. Ireland in turn had already spoken with Sparano about coaching for him if that deal went through…well, it didn’t with Atlanta but it did with Miami. And for the record, Sparano is scheduled to interview with Blank on Friday…lending more credibility to the input of Parcells on who he wanted there.
The rumors however don’t stop there, and to some degree it appears that there is more going on that meets the eye. For example, Jerry Jones had a problem yesterday with the work that Ireland put into the draft prep and free agency prep in Dallas. Worried that Ireland might take that knowledge and use it against Dallas this off-season. Jones said that was a problem, but shortly after Ireland was named GM, Jones said that two teams had come to an agreement about that situation and Jones himself felt comfortable moving forward.
There was a report that Jones exited his office after the conference call with Miami with a smile on his face and said…”We’re good”…or something to that effect…to a staffer. So the question…and this is only speculation and nothing more…based on my opinion as well…that there is a possibility that JJ may have been able to get the first ball rolling in a trade for the Miami Dolphins number 1 pick in April.
Consider that it is absolutely no secret that Jones wants Arkansas RB Darren McFadden who will be long gone before JJ gets to pick with the 22nd pick from the Browns. So could the start of a trade conversation taken place? That is a logical question to ask.
Consider that if Jones was worried about Ireland taking secrets with him, then it would also bode well for JJ to not have anything to worry about if he had no picks in late round 1 to worry about.
So many rumors are flying now about what that trade could, if in fact it happened, could entail. Everything from both 1’s and one of the RB’s perhaps Marion Barber, to both 1’s plus another pick and one of the Rb’s. So many to count. Yet, in a way, it makes a lot of sense. Parcells wants picks and that means he wants bodies. He won’t get that by standing pat at number 1. He has already said he will entertain offers for the selection.
With the future clouded right now in what if’s, there is one thing that will continue…continuity is not it…there is little left to do but hire the entire coaching staff, find the talent the new staff wants, and 30 million of cap space to do it. Then the decisions will turn towards guys like Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas and the futures for both. The off-season has begun, and it has begun not with a bang, but with the force of a nuclear bomb.