Parcells' new role changes little for Dolphins, Sparano says

DAVIE, Fla. -- Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland sat side by side at practice Wednesday, as they often do, assessing the Miami Dolphins' roster.

Only now Ireland is the final judge.

A change in hierarchy announced Tuesday left Ireland in control as general manager, while Parcells remains as a daily consultant. Safety Yeremiah Bell said the timing was odd, with the move being disclosed the week of the season opener at Buffalo, but coach Tony Sparano said he doesn't consider the matter a distraction.

"It's not something that's a surprise," Sparano said. "The first day I got here, I knew eventually this day would come. It's business as usual. The guy I speak to several times a day is Jeff Ireland. For me, it doesn't change anything."

The Dolphins said the change was part of a long-range plan when Parcells took over at the end of the 2007 season and hired Ireland shortly thereafter. The regime -- including Sparano -- took over a Miami team coming off a 1-15 season and led it to the playoffs in 2008.

Bell viewed a reduced role for Parcells as a setback.

"It is unsettling, because he's the guy who turned us around from 1-15," Bell said. "He brought in all the players to turn this thing around, and with him being gone, we're definitely going to feel it."

Actually, the Dolphins said Parcells will remain a daily presence. And Sparano said he already was working more closely with Ireland, while talking with Parcells once a week or less.

"If Bill has something to say to me, he knows where to find me, and he'll come and do that," Sparano said. "There are still things that come up I bounce off Bill. It's a great resource to have in the building. As long as he's in the building - which he is -- I'm going to use him."

Quarterback Chad Henne said personnel decisions should be off the players' radar, whatever Parcells' role.

"We move on as an organization, whether he's here or not," Henne said. "We're just worried about winning Sunday."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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