On Friday night, NFL.com reported that Miami Dolphins Owner, Stephen Ross, contacted Bill Cowher’s agent regarding the Dolphins head coaching job. The report also suggests that Cowher has refused to discuss any head coaching job while the job is currently filled. Last time I checked, Tony Sparano’s name was still on the Head Coach’s office at Dolphins headquarters. When I first saw this report I thought that there was no way the Dolphins billionaire owner could be this stupid. After all, we all flipped out on him 2 weeks ago when reports surfaced that “intermediaries” from the Dolphins had talked to people close to Cowher. Since Cowher has made it clear for weeks that he would not discuss any job that is currently filled, why in the heck would Ross reach out to his agent? It makes no sense!!
Later Friday night, the Miami Herald contacted Ross for a statement and the Dolphins Owner denied having any contact with Cowher’s agent….Of course he would. Even if he did contact Cowher’s agent, Stephen Ross would HAVE to deny it. After all, this is the same owner who made a cross-country trip to meet with Jim Harbaugh in January and embarrassed the Dolphins organization and Tony Sparano (who was still the Dolphins coach at the time).
So what are we all to believe? Do we believe an unnamed league source or Stephen Ross? I think (and I could be wrong), that Stephen Ross is too intelligent of a man to reach out to a loose lipped agent about Cowher. Do I think an “intermediary” might have broached the subject of coaching the Dolphins in 2012 with Cowher? Yes. Do I think Ross, or anyone from the Dolphins contacted Cowher’s agent? No. Ross and the Dolphins have too much to lose. Ross, according to people around him, is said to be trying to fix his tarnished reputation within NFL circles. The last thing he needs is to be caught reaching out to another coach, while he still has one employed.
Ross needs to ride out this season, see how it goes and fire Tony Sparano sometime in November. This will give the Dolphins more than enough time to court and negotiate with potential replacements, including Cowher. He needs to show that the management in Miami is not incompetent. Yes, he wants to win very badly. But, he must also be patient and bide his time, as everything he does from here on out, will be seen by potential coaches. If you were a potential Dolphins coach, and you saw the Owner actively talking to replacements for the head coach, would you want to work for him?
I wouldn’t completely discount the NFL.com report. However, consider that there are a lot of people within the NFL that like to talk and they all have their own agendas. Could Cowher’s agent be saying things like this to drive up the price? Or create competition between the Dolphins and another organization that might need a coach after this season? Possibly. Also remember that the Dolphins could very well be in position to draft Andrew Luck (God willing) in April. If the Dolphins are seen as a dysfunctional organization, Luck might have second thoughts about coming to Miami and could…COULD pull an Eli Manning and demand a trade. Who would benefit from this? Other teams that want Luck.
It’s all hypothetical and speculation. But, just remember that an unnamed source is unnamed for a reason….they don’t want to be associated with the story. Ross and the Dolphins just have too much to lose and the risk is not worth it. I think Ross wants Cowher to coach the Dolphins moving forward, but I believe he will be on his best behavior until the time comes when it is appropriate to conduct a coaching search.