Wannstedt denies that he faced a staff mutiny
By Joe Schad
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 02, 2004

DAVIE — Coach Dave Wannstedt on Wednesday denied a report that there was a "coaching staff revolt in the off-season when Joel Collier became overwhelmed with the role" as offensive coordinator and Wannstedt "had to make a change."

Collier had been promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator but quickly stepped down. Marc Trestman, then the team's new quarterbacks coach, was passed over in favor of tight ends coach Chris Foerster.

According to the story in USA Today Sports Weekly, "The offensive staff basically told Wannstedt they'd quit if Trestman was promoted to the coordinator's role."

On May 10, Foerster, a former Indianapolis Colts tight ends coach, was promoted by the Dolphins to offensive coordinator, over Trestman, who had been an offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco *****, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders.

Citing exhaustion, Collier returned to his job as running backs coach. Wannstedt, who has long declined to make Trestman available to comment, said he wanted him to develop Miami's quarterbacks.

"I gave my reasons 1,000 times," Wannstedt said. "With what we're going to do on offense and everything considered, I definitely believe that to keep the thing headed in that direction, that's why I picked Chris. But no, it didn't have anything to do with the other offensive coaches. I made the decision solely by myself."

Wannstedt said the quarterback play has never been better. And that Miami's challenge on offense is getting players to execute, not getting coaches to get along.

"The communication with receivers coach Jerry (Sullivan) and Joel and Chris and Marc has been as good as we've had here," Wannstedt said. "I'm telling you the truth. No one might want to believe it, but it's the truth. We're working through things and have been. Getting ideas is not the problem."

Ahanotu signs: The Dolphins signed defensive end Chidi Ahanotu, an 11-year veteran who played last season with San Francisco, recording 30 tackles and four sacks.

Wannstedt said the Dolphins will use Ahanotu as an inside pass rusher. Last season, Rob Burnett, who is now retired, played a similar role on third downs.

"They say anybody who plays with Jason (Taylor) automatically gets double sacks, and I'm waiting for mine to come," Ahanotu joked after his first practice.

Ahanotu is a friend of fellow Nigerian and former Dolphins defensive end Adewale Ogunleye. They have stayed in contact since flying to Las Vegas together to watch a Roy Jones Jr. fight this year.

Ahanotu, 33, played the first eight seasons of his career with Tampa Bay and has since played in St. Louis, Buffalo and San Francisco.

Noteworthy: Cornerback Will Poole worked as a punt returner Wednesday. "I'm not scared," said Poole, who returned punts at USC. "Run me out there."... Defensive end Otis Grigsby, who has worked opposite Damion McIntosh the past two days, has been floored by the tackle's recovery from injury. "He can get the job done," Grigsby said. "He's punching hard. To get that kind of effort this late in camp is enjoyable to see." ... Arturo Freeman will start at free safety on Friday against New Orleans.... Cornerback Korey Banks (neck injury) returned to practice.... Asked if he already has a good idea who will start at quarterback and free safety, Wannstedt said: "Oh yeah. Sure we do."