Friday, January 15, 2010

Miami Dolphins spurned: Al Groh, Keith Butler decline defensive coordinator job

Despite reports last weekend that Al Groh-to-Georgia Tech was close to a done deal, many in the media and Miami Dolphins fan base assumed that Groh would alter course and head to Miami when the team fired defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni on Monday.

I was among them, predicting that Groh would be named the Dolphins' defensive coordinator by the end of the week, and it seemed it seemed to be coming to fruition when Groh interviewed for the job on Wednesday.

But it was the Dolphins, and not Georgia Tech, that were spurned by Groh, as it was announced today that Groh would indeed take the Yellow Jackets' defensive coordinator job.

For whatever reason, a long history with Bill Parcells and the appeal of a pro coordinator job versus a college on was not enough to sway Groh.

The Dolphin have also reportedly lost out on another top choice of theirs in Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler, who has declined Miami's offer and will remain with the Steelers.

With Groh and Butler declining the Dolphins' offers, Mike Zimmer staying put in Cincinnati, and Romeo Crennel heading to Kansas City, all of the Dolphins' top and/or most sensible candidates are now off the table.

It seems more likely now than ever that Assistant Head Coach/Secondary Coach Todd Bowles will earn an in-house promotion, although I know many of us would prefer a fresh face in the mix after last season's struggles.

The Dolphins could also hire former Giants defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, although it is believed the team was looking at him as simply a linebackers coach and not a coordinator candidate.

The Dolphins' defensive coordinator job is very much up in the air right now, and unless a mystery candidate is waiting in the wings, it's quite possible the Dolphins will have to do some settling to fill the position.

Pasqualoni heads back to Big D

The Dolphins are still looking for their new defensive coordinator, but the one they fired already has a new job.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Cowboys have hired Paul Pasqualoni as their new defensive line coach.

Pasqualoni will replace Todd Grantham, who has been hired as the new defensive coordinator under Mark Richt at the University of Georgia.

This will be Pasqualoni's second stint with the Cowboys, as he served as the team's tight ends coach in 2005 and later as linebackers coach in 2006 and 2007.