Ideas. Knowledge. And occasionally, disagreement.
"What we didn't want to hire is guys who are just 'yes men' that shake their head 'yes' in the room," Sparano said Thursday. "We wanted to bring idea people into the room. We have idea people. I feel like our staff is full of knowledge right now to be able to help these players."
With the Dolphins coming off the worst year in team history, Sparano will need all the help he can get. Sparano, who was hired from the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 16, completed his coaching staff Monday when former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Dan Henning joined the Dolphins more than a quarter-century after his first stint with the franchise.
Miami has also hired Paul Pasqualoni as defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles as assistant head coach and secondary coach and former UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell as wide receivers coach. Bowles, Pasqualoni and new Miami defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers all worked in Dallas with Sparano, the former Cowboys' assistant head coach.
"These guys have done it," Sparano said in the 20-minute press conference. "They've been in some of these battles before. And it'll make it a little easier for us."
Miami lost its first 13 games and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season. The Dolphins fired head coach Cam Cameron and general manager Randy Mueller after the team went 1-15 last season.
"I spoke to a lot of players, I had sit-downs with several of them," Sparano said. "Not so much direction or any of those things. It was more me getting to know them and them getting to know me, and a little bit of what I expect and what I'm looking for."
Defensive end Jason Taylor, Miami's only Pro Bowl player, was the first player in Sparano's office after he was introduced as head coach, and Sparano said he has also met with linebacker Zach Thomas, who was sidelined for all but five games last season.
Sparano said he is reviewing game film from 2007 and the preseason, as well as some film from 2006 games.
"Right now, the most important thing to me was to see what we had in-house and to evaluate our personnel," Sparano said. "We're still in the process doing that right now."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press