|Does Miami owner Stephen Ross want a vetern big-name head coach? (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Tony Sparano wasn't the next Don Shula. We know this because Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said Monday, shortly after firing Sparano, that he's looking for the next "young Don Shula."
"We're looking for the best head coach," Ross said. "It's important that the head coach and the general manager be able to work together, so you're not going to find someone who has a conflict to start with. You want to have the time to talk to people so you create that chemistry that's required to create a winning environment."
Ross' public comments indicate that he's leaning toward an up-and-coming assistant, perhaps someone like offensive coordinators Jay Gruden (Bengals) Brian Schottenheimer (Jets), or even Josh McDaniels, who coached the Broncos in 2009-10 and now serves as the offensive coordinator in St. Louis.
There's also the possibility that, despite what Ross said about finding the next young Shula, the Dolphins could purse a big-name coach. Like, say, Bill Cowher, who said on October 30, amid reports that he had been contacted by the Dolphins about replacing Sparano: "I am here to say to you today: I do not plan on coaching next year. I love where I work, more importantly, I enjoy the people that I work with up here. So I can put all this speculation to rest and if I have to repeat this in December again, I will."
Well, it's December and Cowher might have to repeat himself.
The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson writes that "the Dolphins are not convinced that he’s adamant about that and are expected to contact him once the job is open, according to an associate of Ross."
And if Cowher's not interested, Jackson says that "Ross is expected to turn his attention to ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, former Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher and former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick. … Philadelphia’s Andy Reid likely would be considered if he and the Eagles surprisingly part ways."
So here's what we know: the Dolphins are looking for a head coach between the ages of 35 and 65.
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