Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano said he woke up Wednesday and didn't feel differently than he did the morning before. He didn't have more obligations. He didn't have to change the way he handles his team.
Business as usual was Sparano's mantra the day after Bill Parcells stepped down as vice president of football operations to the diminished role of "consultant." General manager Jeff Ireland has taken over football ops.
"My day didn't get longer today," Sparano said on a conference call with Buffalo Bills reporters in advance of Sunday's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "It's still a 16-, 17-hour day."
The Dolphins are a one-voice organization, meaning they want only one person speaking publicly on team issues. Although the main characters in this transition are Parcells and Ireland, we likely won't hear from either. Sparano is the spokesman.
So he was the one who had to field my question about Tuesday's surprise announcement and whether or not it is a distraction a few days before the regular season begins.
"The timing, to me, doesn't seem peculiar one way or the other," Sparano said in his first comments on the change. "When I came in here as the head coach and Jeff, Bill and I were together for the first time, we knew this was part of the plan and it was eventually going to happen. So the timing really is not something that [is], honestly, an inconvenience. "
Parcells observed Dolphins practice Wednesday from a golf cart, just as he had every other outdoor workout this summer. Sparano also said his dealing with the front office won't change.
"It really doesn't affect me in my day-to-day dealings right now one way or the other to be honest with you," Sparano said. "This is something that's probably more important to you the media right now and it affects you more than it affects me from my end. My day-to-day dealings mostly are with Jeff Ireland. He's the guy I talked to five, six times a day."
The move does give Sparano a higher profile. He was dismissive of my suggestion some people still probably viewed Parcells as the head coach. Whether true or not, Parcells was seen as a puppet master of sorts. A major reason Sparano didn't take consensus coach of the year honors in 2008, when the Dolphins rebounded from 1-15 to AFC East champs, was because Parcells received the credit.