Dolphins begin search for new coach
Mike Nolan decided against buying a place to live when he came
to town two years ago as defensive coordinator of the Miami
”I’m a renter now,” Nolan said with a laugh. ”It’s a complete
change in philosophy. I think renting’s the way to go
He made a good call. The Dolphins face an offseason of big
changes, and a lot of players and assistant coaches will be moving
Owner Stephen Ross and general manager Jeff Ireland began their
search for a head coach Monday by interviewing Todd Bowles, who was
interim coach for the final three games after Tony Sparano was
The team is also expected to interview former Tennessee Titans
coach Jeff Fisher, and perhaps several other candidates.
”Steve Ross and I have a plan in place that is designated to
ensure that we identify and interview an outstanding set of
candidates for the head coaching position,” Ireland said in a
statement. ”That search has begun and there is no designated
timetable. … Steve and I are excited to embark on this process,
and we are confident that it will result in the selection of an
outstanding individual who will return the Dolphins to their
longtime status as one of the most successful teams in the
The status of the franchise has declined dramatically in recent
years. The Dolphins have reached the playoffs only once in the past
decade, and they’ve endured three consecutive losing seasons for
the first time since the 1960s.
This season Miami lost its first seven games, then played much
better and beat the New York Jets on Sunday to finish 6-10.
”Our ultimate goal was to make it into the playoffs and make
some noise there, so that’s disappointing,” Pro Bowl receiver
Brandon Marshall said. ”Hopefully we can take some of this
momentum we’ve had in this second half and run into next year
The Dolphins would prefer to hire someone with NFL head-coaching
experience, such as Fisher, who coached the Oilers and Titans for
17 years and led them to a Super Bowl. Ross is drawn to celebrities
and apparently willing to spend big, but competition will be stiff
thanks to a slew of vacancies around the league, including all
three Florida teams.
Some situations are more appealing than the Dolphins, who have
been plagued by instability. The next coach will be Miami’s seventh
since the start of the 2004 season.
The ongoing search for a franchise quarterback is another issue.
Newcomer Matt Moore played well after Chad Henne was sidelined by a
season-ending right shoulder injury, but with a top-10 pick in the
April draft, Miami will be tempted to draft a QB.
Henne, a free agent this offseason, said Monday his shoulder is
healing well and he would like to remain with the Dolphins. Given
Moore’s emergence, that’s unlikely.
”I love being down here, and hopefully I get another
opportunity,” Henne said. ”If not, I’ll try my luck elsewhere.
Obviously I want to be a starter, and I feel I can be in this
Heading for retirement is NFL active sack leader Jason Taylor,
who decided to call it quits rather than try to break in yet
another new coach. Among those certain to return is Reggie Bush,
who reached the 1,000-yard rushing milestone for the first time in
his first season with Miami.
The Dolphins had trouble with pass protection and pass coverage.
Blowing late leads and losing close games became bad habits. Those
issues will all be addressed by a new coach, but Bush believes the
team needs only few tweaks, not major renovations.
”The chemistry is there. The foundation is laid out,” Bush
said. ”I think whatever coach they bring in will fit right in, and
I think we’ll be fine.”
Perhaps. But the next coach might want to try renting.