The Miami Dolphins' coaching search for 2012 is officially underway, according to an NFL.com report.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports Miami owner Stephen Ross contacted Bill Cowher's representation regarding the Dolphins' head-coaching job. Cowher, in response, said he won't discuss any job that is currently occupied. Tony Sparano is coaching the Dolphins, who are off to an 0-6 start.
There are a lot of ways to look at this development. Here are some thoughts:
Although it's no secret Sparano will get fired soon, this report still looks bad on Miami's ownership. Ross has shown little professional respect for Sparano this past year. He flirted with Jim Harbaugh during the offseason with Sparano still under contract. Now, Ross reportedly is trying to do it again with Cowher. If the report is accurate, this would show Ross hasn't learned his lesson from the Harbaugh fiasco. Ross has deep pockets and may not care. But other coaching candidates are paying attention to how Ross treats one of their peers.
Cowher's assertion that he reportedly won't talk to teams with a head coach could expedite Sparano's firing. Cowher most likely would listen to Miami's overtures if an interim coach is in place. Technically, the job would be open. Many have wondered why Ross is holding onto Sparano for this long when it's clear change is coming. It makes even less sense if Ross has already made up his mind that he wants a new coach, as this report suggests.
With all that said, I like that Cowher is reportedly at the top of Ross' wish list. In my opinion, Ross should be thinking Cowher or bust in 2012. The Dolphins need to make a splash in this coaching search. Fans in Miami have given up on this organization and it is showing in the stands. That hurts Ross' bottom line. A big-time coach like Cowher -- and perhaps some good fortune to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck -- would put Miami back on the right track.