Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Festering Problem

The Dolphins QB situation continues to occupy (obsess?) the minds of Dolphins followers. With the hirings of new Head Coach Joe Philbin and new Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman, decisions will have to be made relatively soon about how to address the decade-old QB dilemma. Stephen Ross has put the QB issue at the top of his Dolphins agenda. Jeff Ireland, admirably, has said that an "elite" QB is at the top of his wish list. A worthy goal indeed but a very difficult one.

How does one obtain such a valuable asset?

(1) Own a very high draft pick (perhaps # 1-3) in a year when an "can't miss" QB is available. In my lifetime, only two "can't miss" college QBs have proven to be elite (John Elway and Peyton Manning). The road is littered with failures. The current "can't miss" college QB, Andrew Luck, will be snapped up very quickly. Robert Griffin III is generally highly regarded but is not a guarantee to succeed. Cam Newton had many detractors last year but has proven to be elite. A team can certainly try to trade up to acquire a higher draft pick, at massive cost. Why not just set sight on someone and do this? Because a failure could set a franchise back 5-10 years or more. The Giants succeeded by trading for Eli Manning but there are no guarantees. The odds are not good.

(2) Try to obtain an elite QB by trade or waiver. This is pure fantasy. Elite QBs are treated like rare gems, never to be surrendered under any circumstance. Did everyone notice how the Steelers came to Ben Roethlisberger's defense when he had his legal troubles last year? The Steelers hadn't had an elite (or even a decent) QB since Terry Bradshaw in the 1970's. They weren't about to let Roethlisberger get away.

(3) Free agency. See #2 above. Elite QBs are never permitted to just "walk away" so this is likewise a pipe dream. It is possible Matt Flynn may grow into an elite QB but this is still debatable. The only examples I can think of are Kurt Warner, signed from Arena Football, and Johnny Unitas back in the day. Joe Theisman was an excellent QB, a Super Bowl winner, but wasn't elite.

(4) Serendipity. This is how the vast majority of elite QBs have been obtained in the past. Tom Brady? 6th round draft pick. Joe Montana? 3rd rounder. Dan Fouts? 3rd rounder. Roger Staubach? 10th rounder. Brett Favre? 2nd rounder. Bart Starr? 17th rounder. The sainted Dan Marino? Last pick of 1st round. You get the idea. The Dolphins had Hall-of-Fame QBs from 1967-2000 (except for Woodstrock 1980-1983). Few other NFL teams had such a long run with elite QBs but things have certainly evened out over the last decade.

My advice? Philbin should take a chance on Matt Flynn if the cost is not too great and the Dolphins aren't crippled by the move if it should fail. Otherwise, draft a promising second-tier college QB this year and coach him up. One never knows.

Brian Gaine interviews in St.Louis

Albert Breer of the NFL Network is reporting the Dolphins top scout and director of player personnel, Brian Gaine interviewed for the St.Louis Rams GM position today.

Dan Marino not sold on Matt Flynn

Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post wrote an outstanding article giving a lot of background information on Matt Flynn, his early years, his father, and how he has gotten to this point in his career ready to take the next step as an NFL starting quarterback. Not everyone though feels Flynn is ready to take that next step. Dan Marino with Joe Rose last week on WQAM  expressed some doubt whether Matt Flynn is ready to be a starter in the NFL. Marino said... "Sometimes there's a reason why guys are backups, you know?" 

Former Dolphins in the news

-Ricky Williams announced he will return and play in the NFL next year and serve as Ray Rice's back-up in Baltimore.

-Todd Bowles has been hired as the secondary coach in Philadelphia.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dolphins announce a bunch of assistant coaches

George Edwards
Joe Philbin is filling out his coaching staff and today the Dolphins on their team website announced a few more hires. George Edwards returns to the Dolphins to be their linebackers coach. Edwards was the Fins linebackers coach for 5 years before leaving to become defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins also announced Zac Taylor as their assistant quarterbacks coach. Zac was the Tight Ends coach for Texas A&M. Before becoming a coach Zac was the 2006 Big 12 player of the year as a quarterback at Nebraska.

The Dolphins also made it official that Darren Rizzi (special teams), Dan Campbell (tight ends), and Darren Krein (strength and conditioning) will be retained by Joe Philbin in their previous roles.

Brandon The Pro Bowl Hero

So Brandon Marshall had a spectacular Pro Bowl game and won the MVP award. 170 something yards and 4 touchdowns. This is what an elite QB does for me he said. I'm sure you've read all the quotes concerning what he said and that he reached out to Matt Flynn and would reach out to Peyton Manning should he be released. That is all well and good, but the thing I'm thinking about here is this...by my estimation he dropped a MINIMUM of 5 touchdown passes this season, not to mention other untimely drops. So, if Matt F was throwing those balls instead of Matt M, would he have caught them? If those passes had come off the arm of Peyton Manning would have have 5 or 6 extra touchdown passes this year? If the ball hits you in the chest it doesn't matter who threw it, you should catch it. Just saying......

Dolphins sign 8 players

The Miami Dolphins announced today on the team website that they signed 8 players for the 2012 season.

NT Isaako Aaitui (6-4, 315, 1/25/87, UNLV)
CB Vincent Agnew (5-10, 192, 12/28/87, Central Michigan)
CB Marcus Brown(6-1, 195, 1/27/87, Arkansas State)
LB Jonathan Freeny (6-2, 242, 6/15/89, Rutgers)
WR Chris Hogan (6-1, 220 , 10/24/88, Monmouth)
DB Anderson Russell (6-0, 205, 5/30/87, Ohio State)
RB Marcus Thigpe (5-9, 193, 5/15/86, Indiana)
DB Jonathan Wade (5-11, 200, 3/24/84, Tennessee)

Campbell staying; Rizzi gets extension

Darren Rizzi

FootballScoop  is reporting that the Miami Dolphins have retained tight ends coach Dan Campbell as well as have given special teams coach Darren Rizzi a 2 year contract extension to remain with the franchise. Rizzi was rumored to be on the short list of candidates for the open Rutgers head coaching job.

My Take On Quarterback 2012

We all know the names being tossed around. Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and Robert Griffin III. Those are the big three. And all three have questions surrounding them. First, there's Manning. One of the best of all time, Manning by all accounts is likely to be released soon by the Indianapolis Colts, who are going to draft Stanford's Andrew Luck. The divorce has already begun with Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay trading barbs this past week. The big question is his health. With three neck surgeries over the past year, it's possible he may never even play again. And even if he is declared healthy enough to play, he won't be the Manning of 5 years ago. There will be questions about his arm strength. And at 36, he would be very short term at best. My take on Manning? Pass. As I said, he is short term at best and damaged goods. The Dolphins need to start thinking long term at the QB position and stop with the quick fixes and band aids.

Matt Flynn. He had a GREAT game against Detroit. 480 yards and 6 touchdown passes. That one game will probably net him millions, but is it worth the risk? The Packers have a great offense. That game meant nothing for them. They had everything locked up. There was no pressure what so ever. They were out there having fun basically. If they won, big deal. If they lost, big deal. And a few of Flynn's TD were more on the player on the receiving end such as Ryan Grant's score. Grant took a short pass and turned it into an 80 yard TD. My take on Flynn? Buyer beware. He hasn't proved anything yet. How would he perform in an average offense? If he could be had at a reasonable price, I would take a chance. But the big bucks? Just ask the Arizona Cardinals if they have buyers remorse when it come to Kevin Kolb.

Finally there's Robert Griffin III, or RGIII as he is starting to be referred to. I watch very little college football, but I do know the story of RGIII as most of us do by now. He took over the Baylor Bears and took the team to new heights. He's a leader and a guy teammates respect. I've seen a lot of highlights of this young man but one play impressed me more than anything an that was the final play of Baylor's game against Oklahoma. On that play, with 8 seconds left and the score tied 38-38, RGIII threw a perfect 34 yard strike into the endzone with a defender right in his face to give Baylor their first win ever over Oklahoma. He's not as physically talented as Cam Newton, but I do think in the long run he will end up being a better all around QB. My take on RGIII? This is the guy I want. I would be very disappointed if the Dolphins didn't at least attempt to trade up for him. He's young, talented and a proven leader. It's time the Dolphins take a chance on getting a real QB.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brandon Marshall with a huge first half at the Pro Bowl

Brandon Marshall has a legit shot to win this years Pro Bowl MVP award if the AFC is to come out on top. In the first half Brandon has 2 receptions for 103 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has a 74 yard touchdown reception from Big Ben and a 29 yard touchdown reception from Phillip Rivers. Ricky Williams was the last Miami Dolphin to win the Pro Bowl MVP Award which was back in 2003.

UPDATE:: Brandon Marshall has caught a 3rd touchdown. A 47 yard touchdown thrown to him by Andy Dalton. Giving Marshall 3 receptions for 150 yards and 3 touchdowns. Each touchdown thrown to him has been by a different quarterback and its only the 3rd quarter.

UPDATE #2: Marshall has gone "Al Bundy" on us and has his 4th touchdown in this game. A 3 yard pass from Andy Dalton. Marshall is a lock to win Pro Bowl MVP.

Brandon Marshall was named Pro Bowl MVP! Congratulations Brandon

Breaking down Peyton to Miami rumors

It's time to address the Peyton Manning to Miami talk. Yes, everyone has seen the reports of "unnamed sources" saying Manning is sitting on top of Miami's wish list for this offseason. Remember, these are the same "unnamed sources" who said Mike McCoy was a lock to get the Dolphins job and it was a "done deal." I mean you have to take this stuff with a grain of salt when you read it these days. But, here is what we know for sure as of today. Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network on Saturday reported that the Colts ownership and management decided a few weeks back to move on from Peyton Manning and they will, as LaCanfora said, "almost certainly" make it official before the NFL Combine that is coming up. Assuming that report is accurate, now the fun begins.

Let me first state I don't know the details of Peyton's health status, nobody does. I'm not a doctor  and I know little about the in's and outs of  the whole "nerves in his neck" and how the recovery process is going. I heard Armando Salguero the other morning on his 640 WFTL radio show state things are going slower than expected. Yet then you read quotes from Peyton and he is saying he will play another 6 years and it won't be an issue. So, for the sake of this article lets just assume Peyton Manning is "healthy enough" to play football in 2012 and beyond. Whether he is 100% or 80% lets assume for the sake of this article he is just "healthy enough" to play.

If/when Manning is on the open market Miami has been rumored to be one of the two heavy favorites to land him. Those unnamed sources in Washington are saying Daniel Snyder has made it clear he will not be out-bid for Peyton. And if Peyton signs anywhere else he will be taking less money to do so. The Skins are the other team in hot pursuit if you believe the reports.There have also been rumblings about the Jets. Then you have heard teams like Seattle and San Francisco mentioned as well but not a lot of chatter coming from those two camps on the issue.

But Miami will be in the mix and as Mike Francesa on WFAN in NYC said this week NFL insiders and people in NFL circles he has talked to are saying Miami is the favorite to land Peyton and that is were the smart money is. And if you break it down it does make sense. 1) Miami is a warm weather climate and for someone coming off a neck injury playing and just plain daily living in the cold isn't ideal. 2) Going to Washington or the Jets means Peyton is breathing down his brothers back. Either in the same division as Eli where he has to try and beat him twice a year and is in direct competition or if he is in New York he will share a city and a stadium with Eli where the Eli /Peyton questions and comparisons will be 24/7/365 with the New York media. Will Peyton want to do that? Plus, he goes from playing indoors to now being on a team in a cold weather climate in both Washington and New York. 3) The Dolphins are a ready made team for a franchise quarterback to step in and lead to the playoffs and possibly beyond. You have Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush coming off huge years. You have an offensive line anchored by two young top draft picks in Long and Pouncey. Plus, you have a defense that was ranked 6th this past year in scoring defense. On the flip side, the Jets are in turmoil right now with a lot of in-fighting and the Redskins are a little further away than Miami in the talent department. 4) The Manning Family is a very tight group and I am not sure any of them from Archie, to Eli, to Peyton, to Olivia will like or enjoy direct competition of Eli/Peyton if big brother goes to the Jets or Redskins.

Bottom line as a Dolphins fan, if Manning is anywhere near 100% or even 80% Miami must make a play to sign him. I know when you line things up side by side between Matt Flynn and Peyton Manning it probably makes more sense to roll the dice on Flynn. He knows the offense like the back of his hand, he has worked together with the head coach already, Flynn is younger and has a longer shelf life in this league at this point. All logical signs say make a move for Flynn. With that said, this Peyton Manning we are talking about. One of the top five quarterbacks to ever play the game. Someone who if near 100% gives Miami a 2 or 3 year window to win a Super Bowl. While both Flynn and Manning are a roll of the dice (Flynn a bit unproven and Peyton with age and injury), the jackpot with Manning is the Super Bowl within the next 2 or 3 years. That is tough to pass up, really tough. 

Would I be upset if Miami went with Flynn over Manning; not at all. Would I be upset if Miami went with Manning over Flynn; not at all. 

In closing let me just say if Miami does meet with Peyton Manning at some point and the Dolphins have their team doctor look Peyton over and give him a physical,  I just hope its not the same doctor who told Nick Saban to go with Culpepper over Brees!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Joe Philbin's coaching strategy for 2012

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald talks with Joe Philbin

Carl Peterson will not join the Miami Dolphins

Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that Carl Peterson will not be joining the Miami Dolphins in an official capacity. He will continue to be in advisory role to Mr. Stephen Ross. Ireland is saying he likes having Peterson down the hall from Stephen Ross when Ross is in NYC.

"It's been good for me, when Steve is up in New York and Carl is right down the hall from him, to get a football perspective, rather than a non-football perspective," Ireland said. "You can imagine a lot of people are in Steve's ear who don't have a football background. So for Carl to be up there, really, he's on my side. He sees it the way I see it."

Dolphins don't plan to raise ticket prices

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald sat down with Dolphins president Mike Dee and is reporting as of now the Dolphins have no plans to raise ticket prices. In fact Dee said the team might lower "some" ticket prices but declined to say which areas will see a decrease in pricing. Dee went on to say the marketing this year will be more "football oriented" and centered less on the orange carpet and celebrity aspect.

Also, CLICK HERE to watch VIDEO of Mike Dee talk about making Sun-Life Stadium a DOME, adding the water park to the stadium and where that stands, and future Super Bowls in Miami including possibly Super Bowl 50

Philbin talks to NFL Network

CLICK HERE to watch Joe Philbin's interview on the NFL Network

Friday, January 27, 2012

Brandon Marshall reached out to Matt Flynn

Jeff Darlington of NFL.com is reporting that Brandon Marshall has reached out to Matt Flynn about coming to the Miami Dolphins. Marshall did note it is not tampering because its just players talking to players and the team has nothing to do with it. The NFL when reached for contact on this said the same; that it is not tampering in any way. Anyway, here is what Marshall had to say.

"Hey man, listen, I'm out here at the Pro Bowl, and I'm not getting no balls thrown to me!" Marshall joked with NFL.com on Friday. "I need a quarterback. You've got Big Ben throwing to (Mike) Wallace, you've got Philip (Rivers) throwing to (Antonio) Gates and Vincent (Jackson), you've got Andy (Dalton) throwing to A.J. (Green). I'm the only guy out here, man!" We'd love to have that tandem out here." 
"You've got some guys in the draft, but there's not too many guys out there just walking the streets," Marshall said. "Matt is available. ... We've talked. I reached out to him.  I get it from Ray Lewis. Around this time of year, players talk to players."
"Obviously, Matt (Moore) had a great year," Marshall said. "You don't want to take anything away from Matt, but I think we really bring in somebody who can compete and make the team better.
"We need someone who is going to grab a hold of our offense, hold everyone accountable and be that leader."
Marshall also said he has heard only great things about Joe Philbin but did find the time to throw his past WR coaches under the bus and make a plea that Miami hire DJ McCarthy to be the new WR coach...
 "Unfortunately, the past six years, I've had a different receivers coach. I haven't had any chemistry with any of them to take me to the next level. I'm looking forward to working with a coach who can fine-tune my game and recognize my weaknesses. Coach McCarthy has proven that."

David Hyde talks with Joe Philbin

Joe Philbin took a long road to coach the Miami Dolphins

click the link above to watch a VIDEO of David Hyde interviewing with Joe Philbin

Announcements to come Friday

Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network and Joe Rose of WQAM are both reporting Miami will officially announce Kevin Coyle and Mike Sherman as their coordinators today (Friday.) Joe Rose is also reporting that Miami will switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What they do, not what they say

The NFL BS meter is at the highest level from the time the playoffs begin until the time the draft is completed. We are entering the peak of that season. NFL team executives go on multiple media outlets and spew nonsense about their teams' future directions and future plans. In reality, no competent executive would ever reveal any team secrets. The idea is to mislead others into assuming your team will make certain moves when, in fact, there is zero chance of those things ever happening. Teams are watching each other, hoping they can acquire needed players to patch holes at the lowest possible expense while increasing the costs of players that other teams may want to obtain to negatively influence their salary cap situation. A tough game indeed.

Jeff Ireland, Dolphins GM, is a master of misleading others. This week, some hints came out of Dolphins headquarters that the team has a very strong interest in Peyton Manning. He is certainly a future Hall-of-Famer whose name would certainly excite the public. As of today, it is totally unknown if Manning will ever play again. If he does, it is unknown if he can ever be a quality QB again. Plus, he is one defensive lineman hit away from permanent retirement or worse. Why would the Dolphins plant this story? Perhaps (1) to increase Manning's market value and thus the salary cap hit the NY Jets would take if they decide to sign Manning (they are rumored to be interested in him as well) (2) to throw other teams off the scent because the Dolphins may really prefer to obtain a QB via the draft or free-agency (e.g. Matt Flynn) (3) to give Matt Moore a little kick in the rear and put psychological pressure on him to step up his game or even (4) because the Dolphins might truly be interested in Peyton Manning. I don't know the answer and neither does anyone else except a handful of persons at the top of the Dolphin organization.

The other aspect of BS this time of year are potential draftee evaluations. A team will often feign interest in a number of college players and never draft any of them. Did anyone expect Jared Odrick to be the Dolphins' first round pick two years ago? I think not. Did Jeff Ireland talk up Mike Pouncey last year prior to the draft? I don't remember that ever happening. If the Dolphin brass has an attraction to any college QB, it will never be stated publicly to prevent other teams from holding that potential pick hostage by demanding exorbitant payment in return. A craving for a specific lineman will likewise be kept quiet, hoping he might still be available in a later round.

In my experience, about 90% or more of total draftees never fully pan out in the NFL. I don't have the exact statistics. Most are either complete busts, have short careers, or become second or third-tier players. As Dolphins supporters, we are only too well aware of this. Last year, for example, some draft "experts" were speaking very highly of QB Colin Kaepernick from Nevada-Reno. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. Anyone hear a peep about him since? I haven't. I know Jim Harbaugh helped to revive Alex Smith's career there but there has been no "buzz" about the many QB-starved NFL teams trying to obtain Kaepernick as they are Matt Flynn. There are many such examples.

The best thing to do this time of year is focus on analyzing results and finalized transactions without speculating and fantasizing about things that are intentionally planted and will likely never come to pass.

Sherman and Fins near deal

Mike Sherman
-Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post is reporting Mike Sherman interviewed today in Miami for the offensive coordinator position. Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that Sherman and the Fins are near a deal. Sherman was up for the Tampa job but lost that to Greg Schiano. It would be a total shock if Sherman isn't the Dolphins offensive coordinator considering the long relationship Philbin and Sherman have and the fact Sherman hired Philbin back in GB giving Philbin his first NFL job.

-Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald is reporting that the Dolphins and Kevin Coyle are close to signing a deal for him to be the new defensive coordinator. According to the report Coyle has told those in Cincinnati he doesn't have the Dolphins job locked up but its looking good. Coyle represents himself and doesn't have an agent and as Armando points out, he would know if its "looking good" then.

-Armando is also reporting that Mark Duffner, a 38 year veteran of coaching will follow Coyle to Miami. Duffner has been the linebackers coach in Jacksonville the last 7 years and will have the same role in Miami. His signing is also all but official. Duffner was the Bengals defensive coordinator from 2001-2002 and has worked with Coyle before.

-Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun is reporting the Dolphins have offered Ravens WR coach Jim Hostler a position to be their wide receivers coach.

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Mike Florio of NBC with Armando Salguero 

Mike Sherman to become the new Offensive Coordinator?

With the Bucs hiring former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano as their new head coach, Adam Schefter is reporting Mike Sherman is in Miami today to see if the two sides can work out a deal for him to become Dolphins OC.

Dolphins making change to 4-3 defense

Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that the Miami Dolphins have decided to transition from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 attack for 2012.  The report comes at a time when Miami has yet to officially hire a defensive coordinator, although all indications point to Bengals secondary coach Kevin Coyle getting the job.

The move allows Cameron Wake to move back to his original position as a defensive end.  It also affects several other players as Jared Odrick and Randy Starks would move from defensive ends to defensive tackle positions.  There's also the question of what to do with Paul Soliai.  Soliai played nose tackle in the 3-4 defense but now may be the odd man out in the 4-3.

Peyton to Dolphins? ESPN takes a look at the possibility

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Aaron Rodgers: Strong Possibility Miami will pursue Matt Flynn

Aaron Rodgers on his weekly 540 ESPN Milwaukee radio show said there is a strong possibility that the Miami Dolphins will pursue Matt Flynn. CLICK HERE to listen (make sure you click on the 1/25/2012 show)

Assistant Coaches Update

Here is the latest on the Dolphins search to add assistant coaches

Kevin Coyle
-Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that it is almost a lock that Bengals secondary coach Kevin Coyle will be the Dolphins new defensive coordinator. And he is bringing along Jacksonville linebackers coach Mark Duffner with him. Coyle and Duffner have worked together previously at Maryland and Holy Cross and are long time friends. Duffner also worked with Philbin in Green Bay.

-Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network is reporting that Mike Sherman is the leader to get the Tampa Bay head coaching job according to many people in NFL circles. So, Miami will have to expand its search for an offensive coordinator. Now, the Dolphins are not allowing Brian Daboll to talk to other teams currently and there is a chance Daboll could be retained in Miami as offensive coordinator. Other candidates could be WR coach Edgar Bennett and TE coach Ben McAdoo from the Packers. Like we read yesterday, taking Green Bay assistants is off limits, unless its a dramatic step up in grade. Which for a WR or TE coach to be a coordinator it would be. Also, the offensive coordinator hire will tell alot about the Fins quarterback search this offseason. If they go with a Packer coach, then no matter what is said or reported, Matt Flynn is atop their wish list. If Philbin keeps Daboll, then Peyton Manning is in play as Daboll doesn't run a west coast offense and Petyon isn't going to be playing in a west coast offense.

-Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel is reporting as of now only two Dolphins coaches from last year have kept their jobs. Defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers and Special Teams Coordinator Darern Rizzi.

In other news Gregg Rosenthal of NBCSports.com and ProFootballTalk.com is reporting he is hearing the Dolphins prefer Peyton Manning over Matt Flynn and Mario Williams over Rob Ninkovich.

Happy Birthday Mark Duper

The staff at DolphinsTalk.com want to wish a very Happy Birthday to former Dolphins WR Mark Duper. Mark recently had surgery when it was diagnosed he had cancer with a tumor growing on his right kidney. The surgery went well and Mark is doing great. Which I am sure is the best birthday gift he will get this year.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Don't expect any GB assistants in Miami

Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting that no Dolphins fans should expect to see many if any Green Bay Packers assistant coaches joining Joe Philbin in Miami. An unwritten rule in Green Bay is that once someone leaves the Packers for bigger and better things they are instructed to leave Green Bay assistants alone. Green Bay views itself more as "family" than a "franchise" and this type of staff raiding is looked down upon. Now, that doesn't mean a lower level assistant in Green Bay (say an assistant WR coach or an assistant linebacker coach, someone who aids the actual position coach) couldn't be had if it meant they were getting what would be perceived as a "big" step up in the coaching ranks. Or if a tight ends coach were offered an offensive coordinator position, something like that might be allowed.  But the idea of Tom Clements, Winston Moss, Mike Trgovac joining Philbin in Miami most likely won't happen. And according to sources Philbin is aware that Green Bay staff members are "off limits" but he might make a play for a couple of those lower level guys if he feels he has a spot for them.

Things to consider

It appears everyone is focused on the Dolphins' QB situation. Perhaps rightly so. The QB is the focal point of any offensive system. Teams feel as if they're never completely out of any game if they have a top-rated QB. But as Dan Marino and the 1980's Miami Dolphins learned, a Hall-of-Fame QB is no guarantee of the ultimate success. Offense leads the modern football age? That hasn't been borne out during these playoffs. 49ers, Giants, and Ravens are all top defensive teams. The Patriots, known for a high-flying offense, were in the middle of the NFL pack in terms of total points allowed. Not too terrible. Joe Philbin has many other things to consider besides obtaining a "franchise" QB.

I am very concerned about the Dolphins' defense. They just lost Mike Nolan, who did a fine job as defensive coordinator. A new coordinator will be hired and it is likely the defense must learn to transition to a 4:3 system. Paul Soliai, just named to the Pro Bowl, is a beast at NT. His contract is up and he will cost a bundle to re-sign. Players like him, especially durable ones, are very difficult to replace. I hope the Dolphins' brass makes the correct decisions on him and Kendall Langford, another top free agent. Philip Merling, a high draft pick several years ago, has been a disappointment thus far. It is likely he was misbranded by the Dolphins and might be a better fit in a 4:3 defensive system. His status needs to be revisited. Ditto for Koa Misi. The Dolphins' secondary, once thought to be the team's strength, hasn't lived up to expectations. Sean Smith has been a disappointment, Yeremiah Bell is aging, nobody has staked a firm claim on the FS position, and Nolan Carroll needs a great deal more seasoning. The Dolphins badly need better pass rushers. None of this stuff is glamorous but Philbin needs to address the defense as much as the offense. The Dolphins' depth last season was paper thin. I hope Philbin begins by selecting a quality defensive coordinator. Philbin released Todd Bowles today, which probably had more to do with personal reasons than anything else. After all, would anybody want a person working under him who applied for the exact same job and didn't get it? I think not.

All Dolphins' moves will be scrutinized very closely.

Todd Bowles released by Miami

Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel is reporting that Todd Bowles will not be a part of the Dolphins coaching staff under Joe Philbin. He is released from his contract and free to sign with any team now.

Jeff Ireland speaks from the Senior Bowl

CLICK HERE to watch Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel talk with Jeff Ireland about his thoughts on the Dolphins roster, his job, working on his own without Bill Parcells, and what needs to be done going forward.

Ireland also sat down with the Finsiders for an interview as well. CLICK HERE to listen to that.

Soliai to the Pro Bowl

Miami Dolphins nose tackle Paul Soliai has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster. He will be replacing Ravens nose tackle Haloit Ngata.

Final details of Reggie Bush trade make public

James Varney of the Times-Picayune reported the final piece of the Reggie Bush trade has been made public.The Dolphins and Saints will swap 6th round picks. All in all it ended up being a very good deal for Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins.

Darren Rizzi to stay on as Special Teams coach.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette is reporting Philbin plans to retain special teams coach Darren Rizzi.  Rizzi appears to be the only coach staying from last years staff.  The Dolphins special teams enjoyed a solid year under the direction of Rizzi in 2011.

Dolphins to interview Kevin Coyle for Defensive Coordinator

Jason La Canfora from NFL.com is reporting Bengals DBs coach Kevin Coyle has left the Senior Bowl and will meet with Dolphins regarding their Defensive Coordinator job.

Coyle has served as the Bengals DB coach for the last 9 NFL Seasons.  In those 9 years under Coyle, the Bengals have the fifth most interceptions (150) in the NFL.  In 2011 the Bengals ranked 9th against the pass, allowing 211.6 yards per game.

Dolphins show interest in another Packers assistant coach

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting the Dolphins have expressed interest in Ben McAdoo the GB tight end coach for the open offensive coordinator position. This is a fall back option if Mike Sherman gets the Tampa Bay head coaching position.

Monday, January 23, 2012

More bad news for Philbin in his quest to find assistants

More bad news for Joe Philbin in his search to fill openings on his coaching staff. The leading candidate to be the Dolphins offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman, is getting a 2nd interview in Tampa Bay for their head coaching vacancy according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

Andy Heck not coming to Miami

The Florida Times-Union is reporting the Jaguars are retaining Andy Heck as their offensive line coach. Heck is the only offensive coach Mike Mularkey is keeping. Joe Philbin and Miami must now look to fill the opening with someone else.

Todd Bowles unlikely to stay in Miami

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald is reporting that Todd Bowles as well as offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, wide receiver coach Steve Bush, linebackers coach Bill Sheridan, and offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo are unlikely to be retained as coaches under Joe Philbin. According to sources Bowles has been told he is free to seek employment elsewhere and Philbin will not hold him back. Philbin and Bowles talked on Sunday and are expected to meet again on Wednesday.

According to Armando many of the coaches on the offensive side of the ball will not be kept and will be let go. Ike Hillard has already signed on to be the Redskins WR coach and has left Miami.

Dolphins have eyes for 3 Packers assistants

Mike Trgovac
Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that Joe Philbin has targeted 3 Green Bay Packers defensive coaches he would like to bring to Miami. They are Winston Moss (linebackers coach/assistant head coach), Darren Perry (safeties) coach, and  Mike Trgovac (defensive line coach.)

Volin is also reporting that as long as Mike Sherman doesn't get the Tampa Bay head coaching position he is the leading candidate to be the offensive coordinator for the Dolphins.

Assistant Coaches

Expect the news to come fast and furious this week out of Miami as Joe Philbin tries to talk to and hire as many assistant coaches as possible. Here is what we know thus far.

-With reports that Chip Kelly was about to be hired in Tampa Bay, it would have meant Mike Sherman would have been available to take an assistant coaching position ASAP. With the reports now that Chip is staying at Oregon, Sherman is back in play in Tampa. Regardless if Mike Sherman loses out in Tampa he will be settling for an assistant coaching position. With Philbin's long-time friendship with Sherman I would not be shocked to see Mike Sherman in Miami as an offensive coordinator or taking some sort of coaching position on the offensive side of the ball.

-Philbin yesterday met with Jacksonville offensive line coach Andy Heck.

-Reports out of Green Bay are that Tom Clements might be promoted to offensive coordinator and taking Philibin's old job. That hasn't been confirmed yet and Clements is in play for Miami. Also, keep an eye on Packers WR coach Edgar Bennent as a possible offensive coordinator in Miami.

-There was a report over the weekend that Philbin might consider Cincinnati secondary coach Kevin Coyle for the defensive coordinator position.

-There has been no update on Todd Bowles, but I would guess keeping him might be awkward to say the least. Having him work under the man he lost out to on the head coaching search. I don't see Bowles staying in Miami but stranger things have happened.

-Packers linebacker coach Winston Moss interviewed in Oakland for their head coaching position and from numerous reports the interview went very bad for Moss. Winston could be a defensive coordinator candidate for the Dolphins, something to keep an eye on. Although if Dom Capers gets the head coaching job in Oakland then Moss could stay in Green Bay and be their new defensive coordinator.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dolphins interviewing O-line coach

Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that Joe Philbin is interviewing Andy Heck for offensive line coach. Heck is highly sought after by Atlanta as well. Heck has been a coach for Washington, Chicago, St.Louis, and most recently Jacksonville. With Jacksonville the Jags o-line was 25th in sacks allowed and had the 12th best running game last season. In 2010 the Jags had the 3rd best running game and were 19th in sacks allowed.

Behind the scenes look at the Dolphins coaching search

Omar Kelly on WQAM gave some behind the scenes info on how the Dolphins coaching search went down and some info that hasn't been widely reported.

-The Dolphins interviewed 6 coaches and 5 of the 6 coaches came to Miami and presented Ross and Ireland with a plan to turn the Dolphins around. Which is normal and standard around the league in job interviews of this nature. The one coach that didn't present anything; Jeff Fisher. The belief was Fisher was using Miami all along and never seriously considered them. He used the Fins to get more money out of the Rams.

-Stephen Ross called Mike McCarthy to talk to him about Joe Philbin and his duties in Green Bay. McCarthy told Ross that Philbin did call offensive plays. But the "critical" plays and "important" plays McCarthy pulled rank on Philbin and took over play calling at times. So, this notion that Philbin never called offensive plays is false.

Kevin Coyle a defensive coordinator candidate

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network is reporting if the Dolphins don't hire Todd Bowles as their defensive coordinator that Philbin may turn to long-time Cincinnati Bengals secondary coach Kevin Coyle for the position. Coyle has been the secondary coach in Cincinnati for 9 years now. Before that he was a defensive coordinator in College with Syracuse, Maryland, and Fresno St. Philadelphia wanted to talk with Coyle last year about their defensive coordinator position but Cincinnati blocked them from doing so. No word if Mike Brown would do that again this time.

Flynn and Manning on the Dolphins Radar

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald is reporting that from people he is talking to in the Dolphins organization the Miami Dolphins have Matt Flynn on their radar. That it's just not a sports radio talk debate or some made up silly rumor; the Dolphins are in play for Matt Flynn. They might not get him if the price is too much, but they have him on their radar. The Dolphins are also tracking Peyton Manning and his situation in Indy and keeping an eye on that as well.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin

The Dolphins choice of former Green Bay OC Joe Philbin surprised me a little. I thought for sure McCoy was going to be the guy. I really didn't think Todd Bowles had much of a chance, but, as has been reported, the Dolphins are said to want to retain him as defensive coordinator. Good move there. I think Bowles has a bright future in coaching in this league. With the hiring of Philbin, I would also suspect the Dolphins are going to pursue QB Matt Flynn. I'll have some thoughts on that later on in the weekend, but now I want to say something about Philbin.

As most of you are aware, Philbin's 21 year old son passed away a few weeks ago. I can relate as I lost a daughter in an accident in our home back in 1993. People might wonder how can he work having that so fresh on his mind? Shouldn't he be grieving? How can he uproot his family at a time like this? Well, different people grieve in different ways. I took a week off from work and then I was right back at it. Just because you move on, doesn't mean you forget. You never forget. You still have a family that depends on you and you have to do what's best for them. I'm sure Philbin consulted with his family before making this decision and they completely support him.

Being an NFL head coach is a prestigious position and the opportunity doesn't come very often. It's also a position that takes a lot of your time and keeps you very busy. That's another thing that can help you get by at a time like this. Sitting around thinking about it does not help. In the end, I don't think this tragedy is going to have a negative effect on Philbin when it comes to coaching. In fact, it may make him a stronger person. I wish him the best and not just because he is now the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, but because we now have something in common.

Ross consulted with a Shrink about Philbin

Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross consulted with a psychiatrist to get feedback on whether he thought Joe Philbin could handle the job and pressures of being an NFL head coach while also dealing with the family tragedy of losing a son.

Press Conference Re-Cap

An interesting Press Conference to say the least. Hope you all watched it here on DolphinsTalk.com. Anyway, here is a brief re-cap for those of you who missed it.

-Ross took a shot at Jeff Fisher within the first 90 seconds to two minutes of the press conference. Referencing that they interviewed 6 people and 5 of them wanted the job.

-Ross began quoting old Al Davis catch phrases when he started referencing a "Commitment to Excellence"

-Mr.Stephen Ross is not a very good public speaker, but hey that is stressful for most people. Even billionaires.

-Joe Philbin said he would like for his offensive coordinator to call the plays on offense

-Jeff Ireland came out strong and said Joe Philbin has 100% final say on who is assistant coaches are. A clear shot at Mike McCoy and McCoy saying he didn't get the job because he wouldn't accept Todd Bowles being forced on him and his defensive coordinator. Ireland came out strong and made it crystal clear that Philbin has final say on his coaches

-Philbin said he won't take the Packers playbook and just bring it to Miami. (which left me asking, why not? It obviously works when its run correctly)

-Philbin came off very organized, in control, and like someone who is ready for the job. Didn't have the deer in the headlights look or the aww shucks I am just happy to have a job.

-Philbin said he has been a "football coach" on some level for 10,061 days preparing for this opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL

-Philbin said he expects this to be his final job in life being he is 50 years old.

-Philbin said he hadn't thought about the Dolphins job between his family tragedy and the Packers game. His son Tim asked him about it a week ago and told him he should go after it because his son Mike, who had just passed away, would have wanted that.

In other news the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting Tom Clements will likely be the next offensive coordinator in Green Bay. Clements was rumored to follow Philbin to Miami and call the plays for the Dolphins. Leaving Philbin to now look for another offensive coordinator. Two popular names being mentioned are Mike Sherman the recently fired Texas A&M coach who is a long-time friend with Philbin and someone Philbin mentioned in the press conference today. And Edgar Bennett the Green Bay Packers Wide Receivers coach. And Armando Salguero is reporting that Joe Philbin will not be in attendance at the Senior Bowl next week as he will stay in Miami to address in-house work like trying to fill out his coaching staff.

Thoughts on the Hiring of Joe Philbin

The press conference is this afternoon sometime and I am sure we will have tons of news to go over from it, so let me take a few moments to give my thoughts on the hire since people have been emailing and tweeting me asking me what I think about the hiring of Joe Philbin. First off, I like it so lets get that out of the way. And I am not going to get into where his mind-set is with his son dying because I have no idea and to speculate on it would be pointless. I am going to talk about this from a football stand point. I like the hire because Philbin is bringing a proven "philosophy" and  "system" (the West Coast Offense) to Miami. A proven offensive philosophy that works in this league is something Miami hasn't had probably since the Shula years in all honesty. Jimmy and Wannstedt were just run the ball and play defense coaches, that style went out in the 90's and they were far behind the curve. Can you tell me what Nick Saban's football "philosophy" was? He really doesn't have one, he coaches through fear and delegation. If he hires a coordinator that runs a "pro set" offense, then Saban goes with that. The next year Saban could hire a "spread offense" coordinator and go with that. Saban isn't married to one style. Cam Cameron, I have no clue what he was doing in Miami and I watch the Ravens now and I still wonder how he keeps a job. And of course Sparano was a Parcells clone of run, establish the run, and establish the run some more, and then celebrate made field goals. What Philbin brings to the table is an offensive system that has a proven track record in this league. It is run in Green Bay, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Houston, Philadelphia...pretty much most of the successful teams in the league these days run this offense. The Dolphins have an identity now.

The Dolphins were not going to get that with Mike McCoy, Mike Zimmer, Todd Bowles, and hell even with Jeff Fisher they weren't getting that. The Miami Dolphins have a proven football system in place on offense now and its up to Ireland and the scouting department to fill the system with players that will succeed in it. Rome wasn't built in a day but this is a giant first step in the right direction.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cautiously pessimistic

A few short hours ago, media sources announced Joe Philbin as new head coach of the Miami Dolphins. This is, arguably, the most important hire in franchise history. The team needs coaching stability very badly and it is imperative Philbin stay around for a while, which will only happen if he succeeds. I am a diehard Dolphin supporter and, therefore, wish Philbin the very best in his new position. That being said, I am not very optimistic about the decision to hire him.

The most annoying thing certain individuals continually mentioned about Dolphin coaching applicants was who the applicants would bring from their previous teams. For example, some pushed for Philbin because "he will bring Matt Flynn with him". A coach should be hired on his own merits, not on the possibility he "might" bring quality players with him. Assistant coaches and coordinators often do follow others but players are quite different. They tend to follow dollar signs. Other non-football issues play a significant role in their decision as well. How many quality players did Sparano bring from the Cowboys? Anthony Fasano? Kevin Burnett (whom Sparano knew from his Cowboys days)? Not much there. There are a number of teams (e.g. Browns, Redskins, Titans, Seahawks, etc.) who are desperate for a QB, some of whom will overpay for an unproven QB such as Flynn. Recall how the Chiefs overpaid for Matt Cassell and the Cardinals overspent on Kevin Kolb. Flynn, due to the dearth of QBs, will command a huge salary on the open market. Is it really worth blowing one's salary cap on an unproven QB, one who has only played in a handful of NFL games? I think not. Flynn is, in no way, a "can't miss". I strongly object if this was the reason for Philbin's hire.

It disturbs me that Philbin, who is not a young man and has been in the coaching ranks for a significant period of time, was never considered to be an "up and comer" as a future head coach. He was never in the running for head coaching positions until this year unlike Todd Bowles, who everyone knows will be a head coach someday. Even some Green Bay sources seemed surprised when Philbin's name was tossed around as a head coach consideration.

Philbin didn't call plays in Green Bay. This was not necessarily his fault, as that was the scenario designed by Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. But it doesn't leave one with a track record, an ability to gauge Philbin's offensive preferences. All we know is that he worked in a west-coast offensive system.

Philbin has a reputation as a "nice guy" which is certainly a great change from the open hostility toward Dolfans that Sparano showed. Was the hiring of Philbin a "public-relations" hire that Stephen Ross is utilizing to get the fans on his side? I don't know. I hope not. Again, the winning of football games is my only priority. I also hope that Philbin wasn't chosen because he might keep Todd Bowles on as defensive coordinator. A new head coach should be permitted to choose his own staff based on his comfort level only, without having others "forced upon him".

I hope my pessimism is proven wrong. Welcome to south Florida, Joe Philbin.

Philbin Press Conference Saturday Afternoon

The Miami Dolphins are saying Joe Philbin will be announced as the Head Coach and will meet the press  Saturday afternoon. No word on the start time yet, keep checking back here for more info on when the press conference will begin.

Joe Philbin NEW Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins

ESPN and Chris Mortensen are reporting Joe Philbin has been named the new Miami Dolphins Head Coach. It has been reported there was a divide between Ireland (who wanted McCoy) and Ross (who wanted Phiblin) and it appears Ross has pulled rank and got his man.

Jay Glazer, Michael Lombardi, and Adam Schefter are now reporting this as well. Jason LaCanfora is reporting the Fins will try and keep Todd Bowles as their defensive coordinator. LaCanfora is also reporting that McCoy didn't want Bowles as a defensive coordinator and Philbin is open to the idea. Which was probably the deciding factor in Philbin getting the job.

UPDATE: Armando Salguero is reporting the Dolphins talked with Joe Philbin about the possibility of bringing Matt Flynn to Miami this offseason.

While you're waiting...

Since DolFan Nation is 'patiently' waiting for a head coaching announcement, here is something you can do in the mean time...

I am trying to dance independently this year in THON, a 46 hour, no sleeping, no sitting Dance Marathon held at Penn State from February 17th-19th. THON is the world's largest student-run philanthropy raising money to help fight pediatric cancer. Last year, we raised over $9.5 million For The Kids!

This weekend, thousands of Penn State students were supposed to travel across the east coast and collect money through "canning," but unfortunately due to inclement weather, the canning weekend was cancelled since student safety is a priority.

Since cancer doesn't take the weekend off, neither will I. Instead, we are participating in #CyberCanning, a way for donors to donate to THON online!

The more money I raise, the more chances I have to be selected to dance at THON 2012! If you would like to help me raise money and help better the life of a child battling cancer, please click HERE to donate online and be sure to credit your donation to Independent Dancer #1833!!

Thank you all so much for the support! Every dollar counts!

For further incentive I will rotate Dolphin jerseys every hour for every Dolphin Fan who donates!

"One day we will dance in celebration, until then, we will dance for a cure"

Danny More: Joe Philbin is OUT in Miami

NFL Insider Danny More on with Armando Salguero on 640 WFTL is reporting that Joe Philbin has been eliminated from the Dolphins coaching search. It is now down to Mike McCoy and Todd Bowles.  He is also reporting McCoy flew back to Denver after yesterdays interview in NYC with Ross.

UPDATE: Armando Salguero is now reporting that sources are telling him that Joe Philbin has not been informed that he has been eliminated from consideration for the Dolphins job.

Stephen Ross flying to Miami today

Armando Salguero on his 640 WFTL morning radio show is reporting Stephen Ross is scheduled to fly out of New York City at 8am and arrive in Miami by 11am. When he arrives in Miami it is expected Ross will have made a decision on who the head coach will be and an announcement could come anytime this afternoon or tonight.

There are unconfirmed reports out of Denver stating Mike McCoy has gotten the job but take all of those reports with a grain of salt as none of them state they have been told by a source or anyone with knowledge that Mike McCoy is the next head coach of the Dolphins. As of now there is no solid word or indication on which why Ross and Ireland are leaning.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Head Coach to be announced on Friday

Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting the Dolphins plan to announce their new Head Coach sometime on Friday.

Jeff Fisher tells Jim Rome Dolphins were never his 1st choice

McCoy interview just ended

It's 6:45pm on Thursday night and Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post just tweeted that McCoy's second interview with the Dolphins ended 90 minutes ago. It was a late afternoon interview.

Rosenhaus says its McCoy

Sports Agent Drew Rosenhaus on WQAM with Joe Rose this morning says he believes Mike McCoy will be the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Remember though, one week ago he said Jeff Fisher will take the Dolphins job over the Rams job. So take Drew's report with a grain of salt. CLICK HERE to listen.

Also, there is a great article on NFL.com written by Jason Smith that points out Mike McCoy is the "future of the NFL". CLICK HERE to read it

Could Tressel be a darkhorse option?

After the Ohio State Scandal involving selling football memorabilia in exchange for tattoos, the Buckeyes were sentenced with some pretty harsh sanctions, which in my opinion, came two years too late.

One of those sanctions carried onto former Head Coach, Jim Tressel, current gameday consultant for the Indianapolis Colts. Tressel, who resigned after the scandal broke, was sanctioned with a 5-year "show-cause" which essentially prohibits him from taking a coaching position in the NCAA for the next five years, meaning he won't be eligible until he's in his 60's.

With that being said, is Tressel a viable candidate for the Dolphins? Reports are saying that he would be a good choice for Miami. As a Penn Stater, hiring Tressel is the equivalent to hiring the Devil, but to be fair, he did lead the Buckeyes to 6 B1G Championship Titles, a National Title, and an overall record of 94-22 since he began coaching in 2001.

Do I think this is a possibility? No, but with the year I have been having as both a Dolphins and Nittany Lions fan, anything is possible- I mean, the new Penn State head coach is responsible for the Patriots' offense. Evil is everywhere.

Besides, it's too hot in Miami to wear an orange sweater-vest.

Reggie Bush might get dragged to court in a Kim K lawsuit

Let's all take a break from the coaching search for a few minutes. In other Dolphins related news it looks like Reggie Bush is going to get dragged into court in the lawsuit between Kim Kardashian and The Gap. Old Navy (who's parent company is The Gap) used a Kim Kardashian look-a-like in a commercial and Kim K. is claiming that by doing that they created confusion in the market place and violated her rights to her name and likeness.

As much as I like to kid about Kim Kardashian, she is totally 100% in the right on this and has a valid point and case. The Gap for some odd reason wants Reggie Bush as a witness for them. Bush has dated Kardashian and he also started dating the look-a-like in the advertisement that The Gap used (Melissa Molinaro) after this add became public. The Gap feels he can give insight on how the advertisement had no effect on Kim K's career and the claims made by Kardashian are false. They figure to prove that Molinaro was a star in her own right, hence she was able to land Reggie Bush as a boyfriend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

McCoy says NO to Raiders; eyes Dolphins job

The Denver Post is reporting that Mike McCoy has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Oakland Raiders head coaching job and is said to be eyeing the Miami Dolphins Head Caching position. McCoy is set to meet with Mr. Stephen Ross and other Dolphins officials in New York City on Thursday for his 2nd interview with the organization this week.

I gotta be honest after being turned down by Harbaugh, Cowher, Gruden, and Fisher it is kind of refreshing to hear someone actually wants to be the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Schefter: Ross wants Philbin, Ireland wants McCoy

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that word around the league is that Stephen Ross wants to hire Joe Philbin while Jeff Ireland wants to hire Mike McCoy. It will be interesting to see who wins this battle and if Ireland gets his way then we really know he is here for the long haul and Ross has total belief in him.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that he thinks Philbin is the favorite but that McCoy caught their attention with his interview early this week.

What will the SPIN be

Well now we are down to three. Philbin and Bowles will have their 2nd interviews today and McCoy on Thursday. Each guy has their pros and cons, but in all honesty looking for the pros with Todd Bowles you gotta look hard cause honestly I don't see many. What I want to do here is give a little insight about each guy and their potential drawbacks and then I tell you what you can expect to hear IF they get hired and the "SPIN" the Dolphins will put on the hire.

Mike McCoy
Reality: He learned at the feet of Dan Henning and we know how popular Henning is among Dolphins fans. McCoy's offense in Denver was god awful at the start of this year before Jesus and Tebow started working magic. He is very young and being so young you must be careful he isn't Josh McDaniels 2.0.

Dolphins SPIN if McCoy is hired: "Mike McCoy is one of the hottest coaching properties around the league who was coveted by many organizations this offseason. We here in Miami are lucky to have him and feel he is the next young Don Shula, which is what we were looking for from the outset of this coaching search. His ability to adapt to a unique situation this past season with Tim Tebow also is a big plus as making changes on the fly is all part of being a head coach."

Todd Bowles
Reality: This man has interviewed for everything under the sun the past two years and landed no head coaching or even a coordinator position. He has never been a coordinator and I can't count those final 3 pointless games of this year as "meaningful head coaching experience." His claim to fame is he almost got the Lions job a couple years back. Yeah, and I almost won the lottery, but I didn't. Todd is a Parcells guy and we just had a guy from the Parcells coaching tree who failed miserably. It would be a total "status quo" hire and a guy to hold down the job until the next "big name" coach is on the open market for Ross to chase and throw his millions at and give helicopter rides to.

Dolphins SPIN if Bowles is hired: "Todd Bowles is a bright young coach who has earned the right to be a head coach in this league. We feel the familiarity of having Todd be our next head coach is a major positive as we try and build off of the second half of this past season. The current players  respect and like Todd Bowles. Todd's vision is in line with Jeff Ireland's as both have worked together for many years which we view has a major plus. Numerous teams were interested in Todd and we feel lucky to retain him and make him our next head coach."

Joe Philbin
Reality: The man's son just passed away and you have to wonder where his head is at. Philbin has said his head is clear and he is ready to move on, but is he being totally honest. He has never called plays and is known more as an o-line guru; wait, didn't we just have that in Tony Sparano?! Philbin has never developed a quarterback before either. Armando Salguero wrote a column stating you don't hire Philbin because he might bring Tom Clements with him and he might be able to lure Matt Flynn to Miami, you hire Philbin because you want Joe Philbin. To that I say Bull$hit. The fact he might bring Clements and Flynn might be the only reason you hire this guy in all honesty.

Dolphins SPIN if Philbin is hired: "Joe Philbin is one of the most respected coaches in the NFL. He has helped architect one of the most prolific offenses in the league up in Green Bay with Mike McCarthy. We feel this is the type of knowledge and style of football needed right now to turn the Miami Dolphins around and to bring back exciting football to the Miami Dolphins fans."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Close to a decision

Jeff Fisher has decided to go to the St. Louis Rams. No great surprise there and, in my view, no great loss either. Today Dave Toub, my favorite head coach candidate, was rejected and Mike Zimmer is no longer in the running to be head coach of the Miami Dolphins. The latter is a bit of a surprise considering Zimmer's personal history with Jeff Ireland. Columnists, pundits, and bloggers have been speculating while simultaneously creating and feeding all types of rumors. The reality is that the Dolphin coaching search is top secret and nobody besides the participants really knows why some candidates are still in the running for the job and why most others have disappeared. Many observers are promoting specific candidates for reasons of personal self-interest. My only interest is to have the Miami Dolphins win games. I would love to be a "fly on the wall" at these interviews but, of course, I am not. Therefore, I will not speculate on the inner workings of the Dolphin hiring process.

A head coach is very different from a coordinator. The latter requires technical, detailed knowledge of a specific aspect of football. A head coach should, ideally, know everything his coordinators know plus have administrative skill, a keen overview of the entire team situation, an ability to motivate highly-paid individuals, a degree of charisma, and an eye towards the future. The vast majority of coordinators fail as head coaches because they lack one or more of these characteristics. There are potential disadvantages to hiring either successful coordinators or those with prior professional head coaching experience. The former may not be able to successfully translate their success as coordinators to the head coaching arena. The latter may not have learned to correct their errors from previous jobs. In essence, it is a bit of a crapshoot. College coaches are another option but, historically, most have failed at the NFL level. Jimmy Johnson and, now, Jim Harbaugh are two notable exceptions.

I prefer that the Dolphins hire an offensive-minded head coach. The team has been so offensively-challenged for so long that fans are starved for some semblance of consistent scoring. The two top rumored candidates, Mike McCoy and Joe Philbin, are offensive-minded. Both appear to be excellent prospects. I tend to favor McCoy because of his history with Matt Moore but Philbin is highly respected as well. Todd Bowles, a defensive-minded person, is still in the running and has the huge advantage of being a known quantity with detailed familiarity with the Dolphins situation. As time progresses and the Senior Bowl nears, Bowles application strengthens for this reason.

What are some take-home lessons from this difficult search for a Dolphins head coach? (1) The Dolphin organization is not highly respected any longer. This is gut-wrenching for any Dolfan who remembers the glory days of the 1970's when the team was the model NFL franchise (2) Stephen Ross is not regarded as a good owner and his failed pursuit of Jim Harbaugh last year was very costly in terms of organizational reputation (3) The Dolphins are regarded as a semi-permanent 9-7, 8-8, 7-9, 6-10 mediocre team that isn't bad enough to get a top draft choice nor good enough to make the playoffs (4) The burning Dolphin desire to obtain a franchise QB may be "too little too late" for most potential head coaches (5) Floridians' view of southern Florida as a tropical paradise that would help to attract the best head coach talent is not shared by most others in the NFL (6) Jeff Ireland may be disliked by Dolfans but is very highly respected in NFL circles (7) A quality QB may not be everything but head coach applicants very much prefer to start to construct a team at that position (8) Personal relationships are important but not a guarantee that the applicant will be hired (Ireland/Zimmer, Ireland/Fisher) (9) The ability to hire a quality staff quickly is an asset for a potential new head coach but not an absolute requirement (McCoy, Zimmer, Philbin) (10) The days of one single person running an NFL franchise a la Belichick and Shanahan may be coming to an end because of the complexity involved and (11) Teams must show good judgment and balance between keeping a failed head coach too long (Waanstedt) and the too rapid turnover of head coaches (Saban, Cameron, Sparano), the latter hurting the Dolphins presently.

I am still convinced that better days are ahead for the Miami Dolphins.

McCoy to get 2nd interview on Thursday

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that Mike McCoy is going to New York City on Thursday to meet with Stephen Ross (who is in NYC currently) for a second interview. To this date he is the only candidate to have a second interview of record.

Some tidbits on McCoy; he learned under former Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning, he has worked with Brandon Marshall and Matt Moore before, and with Kyle Orton as a free agent QB one would wonder if this put's Orton on Miami free agent radar as a fall back option of some sort.

UPDATE: Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald is reporting Todd Bowles and Joe Philbin will also get a 2nd interviews and that Mike Zimmer is no longer in consideration for the Dolphins head coaching job.

UPDATE #2: Armando is also reporting that Joe Philbin is ready to accept a head coaching job and relocate to a new city and has his family's blessing in the wake of his son's death.

UPDATE #3: Jason LaCanfora on the NFL Network tonight on NFL Total Access reported Mike McCoy blew away Dolphins upper management with his interview on Monday. He did an outstanding job and impressed everyone.

Mike Nolan leaves Miami

Jay Glazer is reporting that the Falcons have hired Mike Nolan as their new Defensive Coordinator.  Nolan served as Miami's DC for the 2010 and 2011 NFL seasons.

Scratch Dave Toub off the list of HC Candidates

Chicagobears.com is reporting Dave Toub has signed a 2 year extension to stay on with the Bears.

UPDATE:  Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports the Dolphins had informed Toub he is no longer in the running for the head job.

Dolphins need to be proactive

Listening to Dan Marino on WQAM yesterday morning with Joe Rose he said something that I totally disagree with. Dan said the Dolphins have showed patience thus far so don't rush and have more patience in looking for the coach even if it takes another 2-3 weeks. Well, of course Miami shouldn't rush and make a silly hire just for the sake of making a hire, but time is of the essence here. The Senior Bowl is next week and you would like your head coach in place at the very least if not your offensive and defensive coordinators hired as well.

Another point Dan didn't consider is the PR battle Miami is in. The Dolphins are in the business of trying to sell some tickets for next year, something they didn't do at all this past year. The Dolphins losing to the St.Louis Rams (YES, the Rams) in the Jeff Fisher sweepstakes wasn't a shining moment for this organization. Shows they are already on their "plan B" in this coaching search.  Now we have reports that Tampa Bay and Miami are interviewing essentially the same group of people for their head coaching positions. If Miami targets a guy and loses him to an in-state rival because that person decides he would rather coach in Tampa over Miami, you will have a fan base revolt and a lot of orange empty seats next year as Miami moves down the list to "plan C."

I would expect and hope the Dolphins can wrap up this coaching search by this Friday at the latest. I think if this drags into next week it really starts looking like this group can't make a decision and has no clue what they are looking for.