Dolphins fire defensive coordinator

MIAMI-- The Miami Dolphins have fired defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni after the team finished 25th in points allowed last season.

The team made the announcement Monday in a short statement and without explanation. No replacement was named.

Coach Tony Sparano hired Pasqualoni two years ago after both worked together as assistants with the Dallas Cowboys. Pasqualoni was head coach at Syracuse from 1991-2004, leading the Orange to a 107-59-1 record and nine bowl appearances.

Former Virginia coach Al Groh told ESPN.com that he hasn't been contacted by the Dolphins about the vacancy, but he'd welcome the opportunity to work with old boss Bill Parcells again.

Groh's name immediately comes to mind as a replacement because of his relationship with Parcells, the Dolphins vice president of football operations.

Groh and Parcells were defensive assistants together at Army. Groh also was an assistant on Parcells' first staff at Air Force. Groh also worked under him with the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets.

"I've done it five times," Groh told ESPN.com's Tim Graham. "Some people would say that I'm nuts. Some people would say that I'm fortunate. So, having done it five times already, yeah, obviously, there's a track record there."

Parcells handpicked Groh to succeed him as head coach of the Jets in 2000. Groh stepped down after one year to become coach at his alma mater, Virginia. He coached there nine seasons until getting fired in November.

"I have a criteria, and it starts with the people that are involved," Groh said. "Obviously, I've been very fortunate to have been associated with Bill Parcells for many years."

Groh declared he definitely will coach in 2010 and indicated no preference of whether he stays in college or returns to the NFL, but added being a defensive coordinator would "be a prime fit" rather than searching for another head coaching job.

Information from ESPN.com AFC East blogger Tim Graham and The Associated Press was used in this report.