The sudden departure of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan from the Broncos raised plenty of eyebrows around the league.
Why would Nolan want out of Denver? And why would Broncos coach Josh McDaniels let him go?
Steve Wyche of NFL.com has some answers. But, as is often the case in matters of this nature, the answers only give rise to more questions.
Per Wyche, the Dolphins submitted to the Broncos a written request to interview Nolan. McDaniels then asked Nolan whether he prefers to be with the Broncos or the Dolphins, and Nolan chose the Dolphins.
So McDaniels and the Broncos let him walk.
But how exactly did Nolan know that he’d get the job in Miami? And why in the hell would the Dolphins submit a request to interview Denver’s defensive coordinator for the very same job in Miami?
Usually, such requests are made when the position would entail a promotion, like when McDaniels allowed offensive line coach Rick Dennison to leave Denver to become the offensive coordinator of the Texans, or when McDaniels eventually decided to allow running backs coach Bobby Turner to augment his position with the title of associate head coach in D.C.
So we’re supposed to believe that the Dolphins took a shot in the dark in the hopes the Broncos would allow Nolan to make a lateral move to a team with which Denver potentially competes every year for wild-card positioning and/or home-field advantage, and Nolan took a leap of faith that by walking from the Broncos he’d have an equivalent job in Miami.
Or maybe, just maybe, the Dolphins contacted Nolan to work out a tentative deal, if Miami could persuade the Broncos to let Nolan walk. Of course, that would be tampering, but the Broncos apparently didn’t have the desire to claim that the Dolphins had unauthorized contact with Nolan.
Even if that’s precisely what occurred.