Posted by Josh Katzowitz
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has shown a willingness in the past to trample over his current coach’s feelings by flying across the country to try to woo a new coach to his team.
Ross did it last offseason when he hopped a flight to California to try to convince then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh to take Sparano’s place (even though, ahem, Sparano was still the coach of Ross’ organization).
It was embarrassing and a complete emasculation for Sparano, and it undermined his ability to be an effective leader in the organization. So, when, CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman reported this week that the Dolphins have approached Bill Cowher about their coaching position (even though, once again, Sparano is still, ahem, the coach of Ross’ organization), it makes perfect sense.
But Ross, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, has denied going after the former Steelers coach.
"Not true,'' Ross said. "I'm not going to reach out to anyone while Tony (Sparano) is the coach. I hope he wins and stays the coach. Neither I nor anyone involved with me has contacted (Cowher), his agent or anyone around him."
Ross’ statement is laughable because of what occurred last year around the attempted hiring of Harbaugh. I believe Freeman's sources, but if Ross speaks the truth, his indignation that he never would go after another coach in that matter is ridiculous.
And when the Harbaugh wooing didn’t work, Ross then had some advice for Sparano. As Andy Benoit wrote in January:
There are a handful of NFL organizations that have been marred by meddling owners who inject their Joe Fan perspective into the team’s actual makeup. (Redskins fans know all about this.) But Dan Snyder, at least, has never been overtly public about his football opinions. And he’s never gone on radio to share the specifics of any advice he’s given to his head coach. Ross, whose background is in tax law and real estate, elaborated on the sage advice he gave to Sparano (who has over 25 years of coaching experience, including six years working with Bill Parcells).
“One great advantage in Florida as the Miami Dolphins, that other teams don’t have, and that’s we have the weather in August, September and October,” Ross said. “Our players are training in that weather, let’s take advantage of it. Let’s go with a hurry-up offense, let’s wear them down. We’ve never done that. This isn’t the north, where you want to just take it 4 yards and a cloud of dust. I think I look for a different brand. Seeing the Dolphins, how fans want to see them, how we win, we’re going downfield, the days of Dan Marino, the days we all want to go back to.”
Which was an awesome thing to say, considering Miami’s quarterback at the time, Chad Henne, isn’t exactly a Dan Marino clone.
OK, so we see that Ross is willing to fly cross-country to get what he wants, and when that doesn’t work, he’s willing to dole out advice to a long-time football man in Sparano. Why wouldn’t he go after Cowher after the way this disaster of a season has opened? Of course, he would.
For now, Cowher supposedly told his agent that he won’t agree to coach a team unless that team has a vacancy, and since it’s highly unlikely he would leave his TV gig in the middle of a season to take over the directionless Dolphins, a deal, if one is forthcoming, wouldn’t happen until after the season is complete.
When Sparano almost surely will be fired, and Ross can hire whomever he wants without having to humiliate Sparano to do so.
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