Dolphins fire Sparano as coach

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Tony Sparano was fired as coach of the Miami Dolphins on Monday, one day after the Dolphins lost to the Eagles to fall to 4-9. The defeat ended a recent surge by the Dolphins after they lost their first seven games.

Todd Bowles, who had been Miami’s assistant head coach and secondary coach, will be the interim head coach for the final three games. Jeff Ireland will remain as general manager and take part in the coaching search.

The Dolphins are assured of their third consecutive losing season, the longest such streak since the 1960s. They’ll miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years.

Owner Stephen Ross is expected to pursue a coach with star power. Among those mentioned as possible candidates are Bill Cowher, Jeff Fisher and Jon Gruden.

“I’d like to find a young Don Shula if that’s possible,” Ross said with a smile. Since Shula retired in 1996, no coach has made it through five full seasons in Miami.

CHIEFS: The losses kept mounting, the tension kept growing and ultimately general manager Scott Pioli decided the status quo was no longer good enough. It was time to part ways with Todd Haley.

The Chiefs on Monday fired the combustible head coach who led Kansas City to a surprising AFC West title less than a year ago. The Chiefs dropped to 5-8 after Sunday’s 37-10 loss to the New York Jets, their fifth loss in six games.

Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will serve as interim coach for the final three games, and Pioli said he will be considered for the permanent job.

PANTHERS: The team is considering bringing in kickers for workouts today after veteran Olindo Mare missed another big field goal in Caro­lina’s 31-23 loss to the Atlanta Fal­cons on Sunday. With the Panthers down 24-23, Mare hooked a 36-yard field goal wide left with 5:12 to go.

PACKERS: Wide receiver Greg Jennings will miss two to three weeks with a knee sprain but is expected back for the playoffs.

TITANS: Matt Hasselbeck is sore but walking around despite a left calf injury. Whether the veteran quarterback is strong enough to start against winless Indianapolis remains to be seen.


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