<
>

Chris Palmer a Dolphins name to consider

For the second straight season, the Miami Dolphins have a coordinator opening.

Last year, the Dolphins fired defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni and seemed to already have his replacement in mind, hiring Mike Nolan a week later.

The process might not be so snappy in finding somebody to take offensive coordinator Dan Henning's vacated post.

Miami probably has known for a long time Henning wouldn't be back, thereby compiling a list of possibilities head coach Tony Sparano can spring on.

One name that stands out because of all his links to Sparano is Chris Palmer, the former Cleveland Browns head coach and New York Giants quarterbacks coach.

There are several dots to connect:

  • Palmer was University of New Haven head coach with Sparano on staff as his offensive coordinator in 1986 and '87.

  • Palmer went to Boston University as head coach in 1988 and took Sparano with him.

  • Palmer was Cleveland's head coach when he gave Sparano his NFL break, hiring him as an offensive quality control assistant in 1999 and promoting him to offensive line coach in 2000.

  • Palmer was Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach when Sparano was assistant head coach, O-line assistant and run game coordinator under Bill Parcells.

  • Palmer is head coach and general manager for the UFL's Hartford Colonials. His assistant defensive line coach is Tony Sparano Jr.

I'm not saying Palmer is the frontrunner, but that's a lot of linkage to ignore.

Palmer was Giants quarterbacks coach when they knocked off the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Palmer retired after last season, but was lured back to be a head coach and general manager in the short-season UFL. He is said to be willing to come back to the NFL as a coordinator.

Eli Manning's passer rating improved every season under Palmer. Without him this season, Manning threw 31 touchdowns, but also 25 interceptions. Both were career-highs.