Sunday was an interesting day. It showed yet again that anything can happen in the playoffs, as two road underdogs won playoff games and advanced to their respective conference championship games. But here we sit as Dolphin fans, unable to even reach the playoffs in what feels like an eternity. Oh well. No use talking about the past. So let's turn our attention to the future.
DOLPHINS SET FOR AN INTERESTING WEEK
We're all well aware that Jim Schwartz is scheduled to interview for the head coaching job on later on today. We also have heard reports that Mike Tice will be in for an interview as well, though there's still been no reports about this from the Florida media. Prior to yesterday's NFC divisional game, FOX Sports' Jay Glazer confirmed that Schwartz would be in today for an interview, but did not mention anything about Mike Tice. However, he also said that he expected Tony Sparano to be in for a 2nd interview if the Cowboys were to lsoe to the Giants. And behold, the Cowboys indeed lost to the Giants. So now this upcoming week certainly will be an interesting one for the Miami Dolphins. And according to Glazer, this 2nd interview is to be with owner Wayne Huizenga, among others. And if this is accurate, it's a sign that the team is very close to offering Sparano the job. There would be no need for Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland to waste Huizenga's time if Sparano wasn't the clubhouse leader for the job.
Of course, after today's tough loss, Sparano wasn't quite ready to start thinking about his future, whether it's in Dalls, Miami, or anywhere else. Here's some of what he said:
"I mean, I suffered this loss just like they did. I'm not speaking about any of those things."
"I have no idea," Sparano said of whether he had coached his last game for Dallas. "We just lost the game. This is the only thing I'm worried about right now is the fact we just lost the game."
His players, though, are certainly aware that this might be Sparano's last game in Dallas, and here's what Leonard Davis said of Sparano:
"I'll miss him. I like his demeanor and how he goes about his approach to the games. You can't knock that in a coach."
"He knows how to push buttons," Davis said. "Some coaches I've had, they really didn't know how to push guys' buttons to make them play at a higher level. He knows how to do that."
"He's got a passion. Everything we do, it doesn't matter how big or small it is, he wants his guys to come out on top. It doesn't matter if it's some sort of walkthrough drill. He wants his guys to execute and to be a winner. He'll accept nothing less."
And so begins Sparano Watch 2008! I just hope this process gets wrapped up a lot quicker than it did last year, when it seemed to drag on for too long.
POTENTIAL OFFSEASON TARGETS
It was pointed out in the diaries, but I thought it deserved some front page discussion. The Miami Herald had a good article on Sunday about some potential targets the Dolphins may look in to. I'll highlight some of the more interesting.
Many expect defensive tackle to be a position that will get upgraded this offseason. However, the top free agent, Albert Haynesworth, is expected by many to get franchise tagged by the Titans. But there are two names to keep an eye on according to the article:
This isn't the first time I've heard mention of Sopoaga's name. He's a guy who many think highly of and who won't be too hard on Miami's wallet. Williams, I'm told, is definitely wanted back by Green Bay for the right price. But nobody really knows that price is. Personally, I feel like Sopoaga has a good chance to land in Miami. He's not a big name, but he's a big man who has a ton of upside.
Cornerback is also a very high priority. Will Allen played well this year, but he is much more suited to be a team's #2 corner. In my opinion, this is the one position that the Dolphins should be willing to break the bank on. Landing one of the top free agents (who are all young) will go a long way towards rebuilding this franchise. The Herald article states that Marcus Trufant would like to re-sign with Seattle. However, the News Tribune of Washington reports that Trufant is not likely to give the Seahawks a home team discount:
Trufant became a Pro Bowl player this season, recognized as a shutdown corner who had seven regular-season interceptions.
He is in line to make an estimated $9 million a season in a multiyear contract. The Tacoma native suggested he is not willing to give the Seahawks a home-town discount if they are not willing to pay him market value.
"You always want things to go perfect and go the way they are supposed to," Trufant said. "But this game is a business, so you never know exactly what's going to happen. I'm just going to keep my eyes open and see what's going to happen."
Call me crazy, but if I'm the Dolphins, I offer Trufant $10 million per year and I get this guy down to Miami. He's worth every single penny and will still come cheaper than the other top cornerback, Asante Samuel. Nnamdi Asomugha, one of the most underrated corners in the NFL, is also a free agent but it's expected he'll either sign a long-term deal with Oakland or the Raiders will slap him with the franchise tag.
There's one final player I wanted to quickly touch on that isn't mentioned in the Miami Herald article. And that player is Roy Williams (the Lions' WR, not the Cowboys' overrated safety). MLive.com, a reliable Michigan website, reports that Williams could very well be made available in a trade this offseason:
I know what you are all thinking: he's going to cost way too much. Well, not according to the fine people at Rotoworld, who believe Williams can be had for a 2nd round pick. And I'll tell you one thing. I would gladly give up our 2nd round pick (the 32nd overall) for a 26 year old receiver who has all the tools and talent needed to become elite. And that's what Williams will become. I'd make this deal in a heartbeat if it was possible. But don't get your hopes up. The Lions haven't even officially said Williams is available. This could all just be speculation by a sports writer. But it's fun to dream, isn't it? Imagine Roy Williams and Ted Ginn lining up opposite each other. How sweet that would be.