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  • Wannstedt denies that he faced a staff mutiny

    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."

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  • Nick
    Dolphins head coach Nick Saban accepts University of Alabama job
    by Nick
    After repeated denials, Saban takes Bama job news services
    Wednesday, January 3, 2007

    Nick Saban has accepted an offer from Alabama to coach the Crimson Tide and leave the Miami Dolphins, two weeks after declaring "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."

    Saban's agreement with Alabama is for eight years and a fully-guaranteed $32 million, according to's Len Pasquarelli. Saban can potentially earn an additional $700,000 to $800,000 annually in bowl-game bonuses.

    Saban told team owner Wayne Huizenga of his decision in a face-to-face meeting Wednesday morning. Saban then informed all of his coaches by speakerphone that he was leaving the franchise to coach Alabama.

    In a news conference at the team's facility, Huizenga told reporters he was not upset by Saban's departure.

    "It is what it is. We have to move forward," Huizenga said. "We want the best for Nick and [his wife] Terry. I like Nick a lot and think he could have won here. I'm a Nick Saban fan."

    As of late Wednesday morning, Saban was not yet headed to Tuscaloosa for a formal introduction.

    "All indications are that he's coming, but I know they're not in the air yet," an Alabama athletic department official told's Mark Schlabach.

    Saban had issued repeated denials that he was interested in coaching Alabama, one of the most high-profile and high-pressure college coaching jobs in the country. After he turned down the Tide in early December, they offered the job to Rich Rodriguez, but he decided to stay at West Virginia.

    Alabama made a formal offer Monday after rumors swirled for weeks that the Crimson Tide were continuing their pursuit of the former LSU coach, who spent five seasons in Baton Rouge before leaving for the NFL. Saban was 48-16 at LSU and won the 2003 BCS national championship.

    He walks away from the Dolphins with three years left on a deal worth approximately $4.5 million a year.

    In the past, Huizenga has been persuasive when dealing with coaches. He talked Don Shula into retirement in 1996, talked Jimmy Johnson out of retiring three years later -- Johnson lasted one more season -- and was able to lure Saban to the pros in 2004 after other NFL teams had failed.

    But this time, Huizenga failed to change Saban's mind.

    "First of all this was never about money," Huizenga said. "It's never been about money, Nick never talked to me about money, Nick never talked to me about an extension. I honestly believe this was not about money.

    Saban was 15-17 without a playoff appearance in his two seasons as Dolphins coach.

    "In my opinion, the Dolphins have always been about winning. I just want everyone to know that it's really all about winning now," Huizenga said. "I don't...
    -01-03-2007, 10:15 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Dolphins sign former Kowboy Bobby Sippio for two years
    by DJRamFan
    01 Jul 2004
    By Rick Pedone News-Gazette Staff Writer
    Anyone who saw Bobby Sippio play football and basketball at Osceola High six years ago probably guessed that one day Sippio would be a star at the collegiate and professional levels.

    Although it took longer than expected, and the course was more circuitous than he would have liked, Sippio has made it.

    Last week he signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins to play wide receiver and defensive back.

    “It feels great. It’s a dream to make it to the professional level. I know I speak for every athlete when I say that this is the dream for all of them; they all want to make it,” Sippio, 24, said from his parents’ home Monday.

    After coming out of Western Kentucky University as a junior two years ago only to be snubbed in the 2002 NFL draft, Sippio resurrected his career after two seasons of Arena football.

    During the 2003 season with the Dallas Desperados, Sippio caught 75 passes for 1,218 yards and scored 32 touchdowns. He had 28 tackles and two interceptions playing defense.

    In 2002, Sippio played for Greensboro of the AFL2 and caught 57 passes for over 1,000 yards. He made 66 tackles and had five interceptions there.

    Sippio’s receiving yards are impressive considering that he never played the position before the 2002 season.

    “The Arena League really helped me. It gave me a clue about receiving and how to run the routes because I had never played receiver before,” said Sippio.

    His agent, Marvin Prince, said from his California office that several teams sought Sippio, who also tried out for the Tampa Bay Bucs last week.

    “Dallas wanted Bobby to wait until July 8 before trying out so they could try to pick him up, but Bobby and I sat down and talked about it and since Dallas had the last (waivers) option on him it didn’t look like he’d be going there anyway,” said Prince.

    Tampa Bay also wanted Sippio, but it didn’t have a roster spot available.

    “They were trying to get us to wait before Bobby tried out somewhere else to give them time to clear a spot, but we didn’t want to take that chance,” said Prince.

    Sippio’s workout at Miami impressed both the offensive and defensive coaching staffs, said Prince.

    “Bobby had a plane to catch two hours after the workout, but they literally wouldn’t let us leave until they had a contract,” said Prince. “They finally decided to give him the offensive and defensive playbooks, and they are going to let him choose where he wants to play.”

    Sippio is unconcerned about learning two positions for the Dolphins.

    “It’s not as hard as you think. It’s basically just learning the pass routes. And there are only so many techniques you can learn on defense,” he said. “I’m not nervous about it at all.”

    -07-05-2004, 01:37 PM
  • DJRamFan
    [Dolphins] Dolphins get down to the nitty gritty
    by DJRamFan
    Jay Fiedler is respected by teammates for tough and courageous play. But consistent turnovers have weakened his job security.


    [email protected]

    Taylor Whitley has more respect for Jay Fiedler than anyone he has ever shared a huddle with, and that is pretty much the sentiment of many Dolphins players.

    The quarterback has flooded a reservoir of respect and good will among his coaches and teammates with his tough play, determined demeanor and 35-21 record with Miami.

    But that reservoir is being drained now because Fiedler is in a drought.

    He has only two touchdown passes in his 13 quarters this season while throwing six interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns. His 50 percent completion rate is the lowest of his starting career, and his quarterback rating has also hit career bottom at 51.1.


    So while Fiedler is still Dave Wannstedt's choice to start for the 0-6 Dolphins on Sunday against St. Louis, he is on notice that toughness and determination might not matter that much longer.

    ''Not turning the ball over is the job of any quarterback, and the turnovers from that position haven't been good,'' Wannstedt said Wednesday. ``[Jay is] working hard to correct them, but you still have to recognize that it did happen.''

    Wannstedt recognizes it and admits he talked with assistants about starting A.J. Feeley against the Rams. Despite not making the change, the coach said Fiedler will get 60 percent of the practice snaps while Feeley gets 40 percent -- perhaps early preparation for an eventual move.

    But Wannstedt won't commit to making a change yet because Fiedler's popularity in the locker room is a factor the coach considers.

    ''It's part of it,'' Wannstedt said. ``But it's not the determining factor. The determining factor has been and will be the guy that gives us a chance to manage the game, and that's what's been disappointing overall.''

    Fiedler knows he has played better in previous seasons but recognizes playing better this year might mean correcting many issues not all within his control.

    ''It's hard to pinpoint one thing,'' Fiedler said when asked why he isn't playing to previous form. ``A lot of it is the amount of turnover we've had throughout the offense from coaches to players all the way down.

    ``We feel we've progressed and gotten better with it, but we don't feel like it's where it needs to be yet.''


    And Fiedler is aware his play has to get ''where it needs to be'' because his starting status is at stake. He knows this because he's asked about it regularly, much to his displeasure.

    ''That's something you'll have to ask coach about,'' he said. ``I'm not going to speculate about what his thought process...
    -10-21-2004, 02:16 PM
  • Nick
    Schottenheimer says NFL coaching return unlikely
    by Nick
    Schottenheimer: NFL return unlikely
    Posted on Sat, Jan. 12, 2008
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    [email protected]
    Related Content

    If former Dolphins coach Cam Cameron found all his other routes to employment suddenly blocked off, you would figure he could always wait until former San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer got hired somewhere else and be his offensive coordinator again.

    But that option might have the biggest ''Road Closed'' sign of all.

    Not that 1-15 has soured Schottenheimer's opinion of Cameron, his offensive coordinator for four seasons in San Diego.

    Nor is it that Schottenheimer couldn't get an NFL coaching job again if he wanted -- for all the criticisms of his playoff record, there are several franchises that would take consistent 10-to-14-victory seasons to get a chance to lose in the playoffs. But Schottenheimer doesn't seem to want that.

    ''In all likelihood, I'm not going to be back,'' Schottenheimer said by phone from North Carolina.

    Before the ''why'' could be asked, Schottenheimer told how he just spent three hours with his granddaughter, and grandpa probably enjoyed it more than the child.

    Off the NFL coaching treadmill for the first time since 2000 -- the year before his only season in Washington -- and at 64, Schottenheimer is finding his life with four grandchildren preferable to all-nighters trying to figure out new ways to squeeze an extra yard out of the off-tackle play.

    As he continued to talk about his family life, he sounded like many a grandparent who has found the truth in that bumper sticker: ``If I knew grandchildren were so much fun, I'd have had them first.''

    As a coach, Schottenheimer's teams have been known for being strong on ball control, good defensively but unable to close the deal in the playoffs, even as favorites. Part of the blame has gone to Schottenheimer turning to conservative play-calling at the end of games.

    Still, Schottenheimer has a reputation for coaching winning teams, so his name gets thrown into the rumor mill for coaching openings.

    ''I'm never going to say never,'' Schottenheimer said. ``When I'm in a situation where I don't have to make a decision, I won't. But I have a full life right now.''


    As far as Cameron, he said on the unlikely chance he did come back, he would readily welcome Cameron.

    ''The guy's an outstanding football coach and did terrific things with us in San Diego,'' Schottenheimer said. ``I don't have any doubt he'll rise above this.''

    Cameron isn't the first to look much better as a coordinator than as a head coach. Part of that had to do with the situation.

    At Indiana, Cameron was at a school lacking in talent and whose only consistent coaching winners...
    -01-12-2008, 02:09 PM
  • MauiRam
    Could the 2009 Rams Duplicate the 2008 Dolphin's Season?
    by MauiRam
    One can only wonder how bad it is in the Rams locker room these days. One would imaginine that it is devoid of both group and individual self-esteem. Reading about the woes of last year's Dolphins when the team hit rock bottom, made me realize that we will have the same opportunity to improve. Sure Billy D. isn't in the same echelon as Parcells, (few are), but he'll have the chance to prove he belongs there .. We have a chance to tie last year's dismal record this Sunday, but it appears unlikely we'll get a win on the road in Atlanta .. The removal of Shaw and Zygmunt was our Xmas gift from the Chipster .. Let's hope Billy D. can hire the right coach and personnel gurus to lead us to the promised land.

    FOX Sports on MSN - NFL - Dolphins are one win from complete turnaround

    Dolphins are one win from complete turnaround by Alex Marvez.

    Alex Marvez is a Senior NFL Writer for He's covered the NFL for 14 seasons as a beat writer and is the president of the Pro Football Writers of America.

    The Miami Dolphins highlights airing on a locker room television caught Vonnie Holliday's eye.At this time last season, the Dolphins defensive end would have turned away. The only Dolphins footage being shown was future material for a "Football Follies" special. And now? Miami can complete the greatest turnaround in the NFL's 88-year history Sunday by defeating the host New York Jets.

    As Terrell Owens would say, getcha popcorn ready.

    "To be in December and have people talking about the Dolphins in a good way is what I'm most proud of this season," Holliday said Wednesday at team headquarters. "Here we are in the thick of things. Last year, we were the butt of jokes. This year, we're for real. "Really.. By defeating the Jets, Miami (10-5) would win the AFC East. Snow in South Florida seemed more likely entering the season. No one-win team had ever rebounded to post double-digit victories the following year, let alone make the playoffs.

    "I don't think if you would have looked at our roster at the beginning of the season that you would have seen a 10-5 team," Dolphins cornerback Andre' Goodman said. "But the fact is we are a team. We lift each other up. You didn't feel that last year. "Goodman admits he couldn't have fathomed such a reversal of fortune when the 2007 Dolphins were sitting at 1-14 heading into a season-ending home loss against Cincinnati. What a difference......a year makes. The Dolphins have gone from 1-15 to 10-5 and in the playoff race. A look at the statistical turnaround:

    Stat 2007 2008*
    Points scored 267 321
    Points allowed 437 300
    Turnovers 29 12
    TO margin -7 +14
    Pass YPG 207.4 237.4
    Rush YPG 98.1 118.1
    * -- through 15 games

    "You heard at the beginning of the season about what we can be, but...
    -12-27-2008, 01:38 PM