A very interesting day at the Dolphins training facility in Davie today, as owner Stephen Ross, general manager Jeff Ireland, and head coach Tony Sparano sat with a media contingency in a conference room to discuss everything that has been going on in recent days.
Ross began the discussion with a lengthy opening statement that was highlighted by, among other things, his reiteration that his #1 priority is to bring a winner to Miami.
As for a timeline of recent events, Ross said that he met with Sparano on Monday afternoon to hear his evaluation of the 2010 season and what could be done to correct the team’s 7-9 record, which Ross was clearly not happy with. Ross said that Sparano presented an “exciting” plan and that he left the meeting feeling good.
Ross also said that he had a Sunday night conversation with Dave Brandon, the director of athletics at the University of Michigan, who told Ross that then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh would not be accepting a job in Ann Arbor and that he was likely headed to the NFL.
Later that night at Sun Life Stadium, Ross had a conversation with Harbaugh–their first ever meeting–prior to Stanford’s win over Virginia Tech in the Discover Orange Bowl.
This past Thursday, Ross said he had a previously scheduled business trip to California and with some extra time in the morning, decided to fly to the Bay Area and have a sit-down with Ireland as well as Harbaugh. Ross said he did not tell Sparano about this meeting, which he considered a mistake.
After meeting with Harbaugh, Ross said that he realized the grass is not always greener, and he felt as confident as ever that Sparano was the right man to coach the Dolphins in 2011 and beyond.
During the roundtable discussion, the team also announced that Sparano has been given a contract extension that will keep him as the Dolphins head coach through the 2013 season and that the search is on for a new offensive coordinator, to replace the now retired Dan Henning.
UPDATE: Here are some video highlights of the event to see Ross talk about Sparano being his man; to see him say that there was never any offer made to Harbaugh; and to hear about Carl Peterson’s supposed involvement in football operations:
Here is the Full Roundtable Discussion:
Watch Kim, Keith, and myself analyze the whole day’s events in a special edition of Finsiders TV here:
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