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Sparano speaks

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Tony Sparano speaks! This is going to take some adjustment. I can't remember actually posting quotes of any significance on this blog from Sparano. The Cones of Silence that Bill Parcells placed over the whole organization will be lifted in the Wade Phillips era, at least I'm guessing that will be the case. I remember when I first heard Sean Payton speak when taking over the Saints. I thought - so that's what he sounds like. Anyway, here's Sparano:

"It's obviously been a long process, from obviously the delay with Bill making a decision, and then of course, the hiring process," said Sparano. "Jerry, obviously, was very thorough, and me, being one of the first to go in there (for an interview) ... it seems like dog years after that. Now, it's still going on, kind of. We're just waiting for some closure."

That closure involves what Sparano's role will be in the Phillips' regime. He called the plays last year for a very successful Cowboys offense but Jason Garrett was presumably brought in for that role as part of his grooming for a head coach job. Sparano has to be feeling a little frustration over being passed over - presumably - and not being allowed to interview with other franchises.

"From my standpoint, it's flattering that the Cowboys want me to stay here and be a part of this thing," said Sparano. "I'm the only coach left on that side of the ball (from the Parcells regime), which tells me everything I need to know about how they feel about me. Mr. Jones has treated me great. Coach Parcells was tremendous to me. But like anybody else out there, you always want the ability to advance professionally if you can. It's been a little bit hard that way, with the situation last year and (the situation the last three weeks)."

While interviewing for the head coaching job may have boosted Sparano's profile league-wide and media-wide, "at the end of the day, I'm not the head coach and I may not be the coordinator. So the perception is that it's a demotion," he said. "That's a concern of mine, because that's now where I see this. Nonetheless, it is what it is."

This is funny.

In a surprise twist, newly hired Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer will interview for the vacant San Diego Chargers head coaching post, according to an NFL source with knowledge of the development.

San Diego fired head coach Marty Schottenheimer Monday and contacted the Falcons Tuesday to request permission to speak with Zimmer, who was hired in mid-January to head the defense under new coach Bobby Petrino.