Dolphins coaching search down to three


Six days after Jeff Fisher spurned the Dolphins, the team has a trio of finalists for the gig.

The potential winner will be Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, and Dolphins interim head coach Todd Bowles.  (So much for those reports that owner Stephen Ross plans to hire a “superstar” coach.)

Actually, we agree with the idea of trying to find the next big thing before he becomes the next big thing.  But how does a team cast a wide net and toss out all but three fish in such a short time?  The fact that the guy who was on Tony Sparano’s staff and who finished the year with the job ended up as one of the final three makes us wonder about the overall breadth of the search.

Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel looks at the qualifications of the three finalists.  Missing from the analysis is something that no one can presently answer:  How these men would perform as a full-time head coach.

Bowles has some experience given that he was given the whistle once Sparano got the shoe.  But it’s one thing to play out the string; it’s another to be the coach throughout the offseason, training camp, preseason, and into the regular season.  And so the challenge for Ross, G.M. Jeff Ireland, and consultant Carl Peterson will be to determine based on a variety of tangible and primarily intangible factors whether McCoy or Philbin or Bowles is the best man for the job.

Though one of them may indeed be, we’d love to know how those three ended up being the final three of a universe of potential possibilities.

Beyond that, our guess is that Philbin will get the job, and that the Dolphins will throw some of the money that would have been paid to Fisher to Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn.

29 responses to “Dolphins coaching search down to three

  1. “So much for reports that Ross plans to hire a superstar coach”.

    Perhaps you could share with us just who you think is out there and available that qualifies as a “superstar” coach.

    I wouldn’t have put Fisher in that category. And if you did then who is #2 on that list?

  2. Mike McCoy is the most predictable play caller in the NFL. It’s laughable that he gets hyped up as this genius offensive coordinator that got the most out of Tim Tebow when it’s basically just a run, run, run, punt offense with an occasional deep throw on 2nd/3rd and long. The guy has a RB at QB but doesn’t use more spread 4-5 WR sets to play to his QB’s strength and when he does it’s either for the 2 minute drill else everyone in the world knows it’s probably a QB draw.

    As a fan, I could call out plays before the ball was snapped in most of the Broncos games. Defensive players who watch film know exactly what they are going to do and that accounts for the ineptitude of the Broncos offense outside of really the Pittsburgh and Minnesota games when the run was no longer an option. If Mike McCoy gets the head coaching job, Miami fans are in for it.

  3. As a Dolphin fan for 35 years, this is honestly the first time I really don’t care who they hire as head coach. Ross, Ireland & Peterson will only end up failing as usual. The only story about the Dolphins I would care to read about in the future is a story about Ross selling the team to someone that actually knows football. This organization is a disaster from top to bottom. It truely is sad to see what has become of this once proud & respected franchise.

  4. Surprised that Mike Zimmer doesn’t merit further consideration. His players respect him, and he’s an excellent coach who turned a crappy Bengals defense into a very solid one.

    I don’t think Stephen Ross has the first clue about how to run a football team.

  5. I am very surprised that the Miami Dolphins have settled on these coordinators. Miami with the “Hollywood” minority ownership situation I would have thought the Dolphins would have tried to get a big name coach “splash”. This franchise has been having trouble selling tickets and their fanbase is in need of some sort of hope.

    McCoy, Philbin or Bowles may turn out to be the next Sean Payton or Jon Gruden but the odds are heavily stacked against coupled by one of the weakest ownerships in the NFL.( I am surprised that Philbin is interviewing after the recent horrific events in his life) I couldn’t !

    The good news? Pats fans and fans of the other AFC East teams althoughafter next season there may be new HC’ s in Buffalo & Florham Park.

  6. Matt Flynn? I would like to see Matt Moore with a much improved O Line than Matt Flynn.

    Moore actually did one hell of a job with a sub par team and a nucklehead coaching staff…..

    Would be nice to see Philbin get a chance and have the Matt’s compete going into spring training.

  7. The Dolphins are crazy enough to make the following decision:

    Joe Philbin: Head coach with full control of the Offense and Special teams including selecting the Coordinators and Asst, Coaches.

    Todd Bowels: Asst. head Coach with full control of the Defense including all Asst. Defensive coaches

    Don’t laugh it may happen.

  8. I don’t really care for any of the choices but I don’t want Philbin and I would probably rather have Mike McCoy only because he would probably bring Jack Del Rio in as the DC because they l
    Know each other from the days in Jacksonville..

  9. It’s not all about how well a coach coordinates an offense or defense. He still has to connect to the entire team. Harbaugh for Baltimore was a special teams coach and he’s doing alright.

  10. I don’t know much about any of these guys but why does Philbin get so much attention. He basically gets the coffee and runs the offensive meetings at Green Bay. It’s McCarthy’s offense. I understand that he has an intimate knowledge of it but so does the QB coach and the receivers coach. From what I can tell, many Dolphins fans that want Philbin actually want Flynn. That guy has had like 2 starts and a few mop-ups. He may be a good QB but there is less on this guy than there was on Kolb. I hope they know what they are doing. If not, I hope they get very lucky.

  11. I agree with the post earlier, who is a superstar coach, we always hear Cowher and Gruden but Cowher will not coach unless he can have a dream team that cannot lose and Gruden is to busy telling us what we do not realize how great everybody is, they win a Super Bowl and they are great coaches? Give me a break.

  12. I do not believe the Dolphins have narrowed it down to these three. I just believe that these 3 are the only ones that have considered taking the job; other candidates want nothing to do with this mess. Talking to Ross seems to have that effect. Ask Harbaugh and Fisher.

    Give it to Bowles. As long as big changes are not coming, you might as well reward one of your own employees and give the guy a shot.

  13. As a Patriots fan I applaude the choices…Are u kidding me? This is what the great Carl Petersen came up with? The other posts are right, weakest ownership group arround, more focused on being friends with Will Smith and Marc Anthony…Condolences to the Fins fans…

  14. Please fins pick up Philbin, Matt Flynn combo immediatly! This is a no brainier! Make up for passing on Mike Tomlin, Jim Harbaugh, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan when u had the chance. If you pass on this opportunity you will regret it for the next 10 years!

  15. Hopefully, Ross gets his man and hires Philbin. I actually would put this guy ahead of Fisher in the sense that he understands the new style NFL rather than settling for mediocrity like Fisher did.

    Memo to Ross and Ireland: Don’t poop the the sheets on this one! Get Philbin and get Flynn and let the new Dolphin era begin!

  16. pooflingingmonkey says:
    Jan 19, 2012 8:14 AM
    Surprised that Mike Zimmer doesn’t merit further consideration. His players respect him, and he’s an excellent coach who turned a crappy Bengals defense into a very solid one.

    I don’t think Stephen Ross has the first clue about how to run a football team


  17. While hiring Philbin might make Miami more attractive to Flynn there is NO guarantee he automatically comes to the Dolphins. Some team is going to throw serious money at Flynn and he would be smart to go where he has the best chance to succeed. Philbin would likely have a similar playbook as GB so it helps, but definitely not automatic.

    While it’s a plus to have a new HC that has been successful at play calling, it doesn’t always translate. Great Coordinators that haven’t been great coaches include Phillips, Turner, even the great DC Dick LeBeau.

    The question that can’t be answered from a resume that the average fan sees is: Can the HC lead men? Bowles seems to be a man of very few words & emotions so its tough for me to get a sense of what he’s about. Philbin seems like the affable, friendly next door neighbor in the video interviews I’ve seen online, so unless he has a different persona in the locker room, I don’t see how he leads a team through adversity. In videos, McCoy seems book smart, but does he have the ability to fire up a team, instill a healthy fear of the HC, or lead a team through adveristy as well?

    Zimmer was my preferred choice because I do believe he possessed many of those traits I’ve listed. Too strong a personality for Ireland I guess. Would like to see Zimmer get his shot somewhere.

  18. I have no clue who Philbin is but if he can bring Matt Flynn and that offense to Miami, it sounds like a good plan.

    Flynn may not be the “winner” or “champion” that Tim Tebow is but …..

    Oh, wait, actually Flynn DOES have the same number of SEC and National Championships as Tebow – it just isn’t in the “news” every five minutes.

    And didn’t Flynn throw for more yards in his one start this year than Tebow has in his entire career?

    Go ‘Fins!

  19. While I would like to see Philbin as a HC, I think the best fit for Miami would be Bowles. He already knows the team and what they can do, not to mention he has seen what he shouldn’t do in Miami.

    It should be interesting.

  20. Of these 3 guys, I would prefer Bowles. He offers stability and the players like him and played hard for him. Beat the Jets; played well against the Pats and actually had them on the ropes. I’m tired of the high expectations 3 year plan and gut the team philosophy. No stability equals mediocre (at best) performances. Finding a new and capable DC is the more important hire.

  21. How on Earth does the fact that the interim coach wound up in the top 3 say anything whatsoever about the “overall breadth of the search”?

    They could have interviewed a thousand guys and still decided he was one of the best three.

    Just another article where the author tries to use “facts” to prove a conclusion he’s already made, whether or not they actually prove it or, as in this case, really aren’t relevant at all.

    Listen, I have no idea if any of these guys can be a great head coach, and neither do you.

    But what it looks like here is you set out to write an article critical of the Dolphins search and the best you came up with was that one of the finalists was already there.


  22. “Beyond that, our guess is that Philbin will get the job, and that the Dolphins will throw some of the money that would have been paid to Fisher to Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn.”

    My god, Mike. Sometimes your analyses just make me shake my head. Matt Flynn steps in for clean up duty in a couple of games and does well and all of a sudden he should be the next franchise QB? The dude’s stats are a product of the system in Green Bay. Sure maybe he’s decent, but we already have a pretty decent QB in Moore, who looked very good this year despite being thrown into the offense with minimal time to learn it or get timing down with receivers due to the lockout. I’m ecstatic about seeing what he can do next year after a full offseason with the team. We have our QB. Draft a 1st round G or S, and hello playoffs. Get outta here man.

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