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Miami Terminates Contract of Defensive Coordinator, Now Pursue Al Groh

Posted By Josh Souder On Jan 15 2010 @ 4:39 am In Miami Dolphins | No Comments

Dolphins interview former Virginia coach Al Groh as Sparano thanks defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni for his services to the team.

The Miami Dolphins announced the termination of defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni’s contract.  Pasqualoni has been with the Dolphins for the last two seasons.

“I want to thank Paul for his services to the team, and I want to wish him the best,” said Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano.

Al Groh seems to be the front-runner for the vacant defensive coordinator position.  Groh interviewed Wednesday for the job, but it is still unclear whether Miami actually made an offer to the former Virginia coach.  Groh has worked with Bill Parcells five times during his career.  Groh was fired after nine seasons with UVA, but he is also considering an offer to be the defensive coordinator for Georgia Tech.

Miami has also received permission to interview Pittsburgh Steelers assistant coach Keith Butler for the vacant position as well.  Butler has been coaching Pittsburgh’s linebackers since 2003, and prior to that stint, he coached Cleveland’s linebackers from 1999 to 2002.  Sparano, an offensive assistant with the Browns for two seasons, coached with Butler from 1999 to 2000.

The Dolphins are also expected to hire former Giants defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, fired after one season with New York, to coach their linebackers.  Sheridan had previously coached the Giants linebackers for four seasons before replacing Steve Spagnuolo’s vacancy after his departure to the Rams.

Miami recently lost outside linebackers coach Jim Reid and inside linebackers coach George Edwards to college coordinator positions.  If Groh or Butler are not signed on to become the defensive coordinator for the team, it is possible that Sheridan could be offered the position.

In other news, left tackle Jake Long was the only Miami player to be selected to the AFC Pro Bowl roster, though he will miss the game because of an injury.  Long will be replaced by D’Brickashaw Ferguson from the New York Jets.

Ronnie Brown is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and it should be a top priority for Miami to keep him on their roster.  Though he has dealt with several injuries during his career, he remains a vital part of the Wildcat attack and is still a premier player in the league.

Brown will not come cheap though, as many teams will desire his services for next season.  Ricky Williams, who told the media that he is planning to retire after next year, should make the Brown signing more important for the future of the Dolphins.

With both players dealing with injuries this year, having each back on the roster for 2010 would be great insurance incase one of them gets hurt again in 2010.  Each player, when on the field, had very successful campaigns in 2009.  Williams did prove that he could carry the load if Brown does not find his way back on the Miami roster.

To date this offseason, Miami has signed ten players for the 2010 season.  Those players include: FB Rolly Lumbala, G Dimitri Tsoumpas, RB Tristan Davis, G Ray Feinga, WR Ryan Grice-Mullen, WR Taurus Johnson, DE Brian Johnston, TE John Nalbone, S Nate Ness, and WR Julius Pruit.


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