No changes in philosophy

Just because the Dolphins have hired two former head coaches to help out on offense and defense doesn't mean you can expect the team's way of doing things to change. Nick Saban made that perfectly clear when he addressed the media from the Senior Bowl and talked, among other things, about the additions of Mike Mularkey and Dom Capers.

"Both have had a lot of success in this league and both will make a very positive contribution to our staff," Saban said. "I think everybody needs to understand that we're not really changing our offense, we're not changing our defense. We're going to keep things as consistent for our players as we can so we can grow and develop the things that we have already put in place in the first year.

"We're not going to make significant staff changes. That's not what we're all about. This is an opportunity to add quality people to our organization and I think anytime that you can do that, whether it's personnel, staff, players, coaches, that's only going to enhance your chances of people (being) successful and that's what we base our decisions on — what's going to give us the best chance to be successful and what gives us the best chance to play winning football."

Capers, hired Tuesday as Special Assistant to the Head Coach, has expertise in the 3-4 defense, which is what made him attractive to Saban.

As for Mularkey, his system when he was offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh from 2001-03 was more run-oriented than that employed by Scott Linehan last year, but Saban pointed out that "this offense we have is really the Miami Dolphins offense."

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With reports continuing to suggest that assistant coach Richard Smith, who was the defensive coordinator last year, will be leaving to join the Houston Texans staff, Saban had a strong reaction.

"You guys report all kinds of stuff that's not true," Saban said. "I'm not going to comment on speculation and innuendo. I mean, we've got guys leaving our staff and coaches going to decide about other coaches. You talk about throwing it out there and seeing what sticks. It's ridiculous. I don't think it's very professional to do things like that. I'm not going to respond to reports that basically have no foundation relative to what anybody said or what I said is going to happen. I have a respect for our coaches and the job they've done. Everyone is interested at this time of their career to be able to enhance their careers in some ways. If those opportunities are available to some of our coaches, we'll entertain those things when they come."

The New Orleans Times-Picayne, meanwhile, reported that Saban denied the Saints permission to interview quarterbacks coach Jason Garrett.

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What we suspected all along has become official, with Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor both pulling out of the Pro Bowl.

Thomas, who reportedly recently underwent shoulder surgery, will be replaced by the Jets' Jonathan Vilma.

Taylor, who played most of the 2005 season with a foot injury, will be replaced by Tennessee's Kyle Vanden Bosch.


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