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Groh sounds ready to rejoin Parcells

Al Groh claimed he hasn't been contacted by the Miami Dolphins about their suddenly-vacant defensive coordinator's job, but he'd welcome the opportunity to work with old boss Bill Parcells again.

"I've done it five times," Groh told me Monday night by phone. "Some people would say that I'm nuts. Some people would say that I'm fortunate. So, having done it five times already, yeah, obviously, there's a track record there.

"I have a few things on the table right now that I'm interested in, and that might be one more to put on there."

You could detect a low, rumbling chuckle as Groh said that.

Groh said he has learned the Dolphins had fired defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni about a half hour before I called him Monday night. Groh's name immediately comes to mind as a replacement because of his relationship with Parcells, the Dolphins' vice president of football operations.

Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano would need to sign off on any hire, but Parcells' influence will be tough to deny.

Groh and Parcells were defensive assistants together at Army in the late 1960s. Groh was an assistant on Parcells' first staff at Air Force. Groh also worked under him with the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets.

Parcells handpicked Groh to succeed him as head coach of the Jets in 2000. Groh stepped down after on year to become head coach at his alma mater, the University of Virginia. He coached there nine seasons until getting fired in November.

"I have a criteria, and it starts with the people that are involved," Groh said of choosing his next job. "Obviously, I've been very fortunate to have been associated with Bill Parcells for many years."

Groh declared he definitely will coach in 2010 and indicated no preference of whether he stayed in college or returned to the NFL. But he added being a defensive coordinator would "be a prime fit" rather than searching for another head coaching job. He has been mentioned as possibly the next defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech.

"My No. 1 criteria at this stage of my career is when the game is over, walking out of the place with a smile on my face," Groh said. "It's all about winning, and that's it. There's nothing else involved.

"I've got a lot of energy and the ambition to achieve. Nothing has changed from 30 years ago."