Parcells hands control of Dolphins to Ireland

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Ireland rarely talks to the media but offered occasional glimpses into the how the regime worked under Parcells. For example, Parcells was very much involved in preparations for the most recent draft, Ireland said in April.

“It’s constant,” Ireland says. “It never stops. Bill and I have grinded through every single player two or three times.”

There have been occasional hints that Parcells had created an atmosphere allowing him to step back. One clue came when Sparano spoke two weeks ago of Dan Henning, the Dolphins‘ third-year offensive coordinator.

“Our relationship has really grown tremendously,” Sparano said. “Early on in the process he was a Bill guy. And now I would feel safe to say he’s a Tony guy.”

Parcells worked a full schedule during training camp, arriving early, watching practices from a golf cart and often offering players feedback. Safety Yeremiah Bell laughed when asked two weeks ago about Sparano’s ability to recall obscure moments in games.

“He probably gets some of that from Bill,” Bell said. “Bill is like that, too. Bill remembers every play. He’ll tell you about a play on Sunday you don’t even remember.”

As a coach, Parcells took over losing teams with the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys and transformed them into winners. He won five division titles in 19 seasons and led the Giants to two Super Bowl championships.

He quit coaching after the 2006 season with Dallas.

Ireland spent seven years in player personnel with the Cowboys, including his final three as vice president of college and pro scouting. Dallas went 13-3 and won the NFC East in his final season there.

Before that, he was an NFL scout for 11 years.

Ireland has been around football since childhood, spending summers as a ball boy during training camp for the Chicago Bears. His grandfather, former Philadelphia Eagles player Jim Parmer, scouted for the Bears. Ireland’s stepfather is E.J. Holub, a former linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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