Miami Dolphins Part Ways with Defensive Coordinator Paul Pasqualoni
Numerous sources have cited that the Miami Dolphins have decided to part ways with their defensive coordinator, Paul Pasqualoni.
In a press release, head coach Tony Sparano said, “I want to thank Paul for his services to the team, and I want to wish him the best.”
Pasqualoni is coming off a season in which his defense ranked 22nd in the league. The real kicker was the NFL-high 140 points his crew gave up in the fourth quarter.
It seemed at first that Sparano would be lax in his judgement against the coach, attributing the poor play of the defense to a lack of execution by the players, but the fourth-quarter debacles and the defense’s susceptibility to the big play spurred Sparano to make the decision.
With Pasqualoni gone, the door is wide open for any one of the number of coordinators available in this year’s free agency market. According to several sources, the leading candidates are Romeo Crennel, Bill Sheridan, Al Groh, and Mike Zimmer.
Under normal circumstances, Crennel would be a legitimate contender for the job, but Kansas City and Cleveland are already actively pursuing him. Also, Kansas City’s GM, Scott Pioli, just happens to be Bill Parcells’ son-in-law and the two will not likely butt heads on the matter.
Mike Zimmer is still with the Cincinnati organization, but his contract expires at the end of February. His former coaching relationship with Parcells in Dallas could prove to be a deciding factor in who the Dolphins opt to hire.
Al Groh, the former Virginia coach, also has a coaching history with Parcells. However, Groh is already in serious talks with Georgia Tech about becoming their new defensive coordinator.
Sheridan is a long shot, but his philosophy fits that of the direction the Dolphins would like to pursue. Paqualoni’s “bend-but-don’t-break” zone scheme was no longer applicable to the youth and speed of Miami’s defensive corps.
Miami’s two vacant linebacker coach positions could also be a viable opportunity for Sheridan.