Darlington: Drama-filled Round 1
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has overseen plenty of ups and downs in South Beach during his tenure, but he believes the franchise has turned a corner.
"This organization is functioning the best since the (Don) Shula days, (because) I picked the head coach with Jeff Ireland," Ross told WAXY-AM on Friday, via The Miami Herald.
"(Sparano) could never put it behind him," Ross said. "I don't think he was the right head coach for the Miami Dolphins. I didn't hire him. We're a much better organization today than then."
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Hurt feelings on Sparano's part were understandable after Ross voyaged to the Bay Area to interview Harbaugh. That meeting went nowhere, but it left a toxic cloud over the organization. Harbaugh wound up in San Francisco, while Sparano -- on the heels of an 0-7 start in Miami in 2011 -- was fired before the end of the season.
Ross remained loyal to Ireland through the wreckage, and the Dolphins today eye a sunnier horizon. Philbin and his general manager are two peas in a pod, and the owner is, at long last, feeling optimistic. We'll see how long this lasts.