Sparano talks about coordinator switch

Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano finally has spoken about the club's decision to fire defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni.

The team had been silent on the matter, but there's no way to avoid reporters at the Senior Bowl, where the Dolphins' staff is coaching the South squad.

"Just a feeling that I had," Sparano said per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "It takes a while sometimes to sort it out in your head, but it's just the way we had to go."

The Dolphins ranked tied for 25th in scoring defense and 22nd in total defense in 2009. A year earlier, they ranked ninth and 15th, respectively.

"It was a very tough decision," Sparano said. "I think the world of Paul Pasqualoni. He's a tremendous football coach. I respect and I thank him for everything he did for us and the Miami Dolphins.

"We tried to change the culture here and we're starting to get there, and he was a part of that," Sparano said. "We had to make a decision. I did and we moved on and we got a great guy right now to help us."

They replaced Pasqualoni with Denver Broncos defensive coordinator and former San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan, a coup of a move.

Nolan rehabbed the Denver Broncos' defense from one of the NFL's worst in 2008 to respectability.

The Broncos ranked 30th in scoring defense and 29th in total defense the year before Nolan arrived, but he trimmed nearly eight points and 60 yards a game. The Broncos ranked 12th in scoring defense and seventh in total defense this season.

"I've always known his work, played against him several times," Sparano said of Nolan in a Palm Beach Post report. "His defenses always have been very fundamentally sound. He has not had a history of allowing the big play."