The Dolphins coaching search is currently headed in the wrong direction.
That’s my conclusion just days after the Dolphins fired head coach Adam Gase.
According to multiple reports, the Dolphins have five assistant coaches on their interview list with varying backgrounds. However, none of them has the right background. They are:
Name Current Position Current Team
Vic Fangio Defensive Coordinator Chicago Bears
Eric Bieniemy Offensive Coordinator Kansas City Chiefs
Brian Flores Defensive Coordinator New England Patriots
Mike Munchak Offensive Line Coach Pittsburgh Steelers
Kris Richards Secondary Coach Dallas Cowboys
Darren Rizzi Special Teams Coordinator Miami Dolphins
There is no claim that this list is complete and I certainly hope that is the case. Because none of these candidates has the one thing everyone, including Miami, needs: an offensive head coach who can coach quarterbacks.
Right now the trend in the NFL is toward offensive head coaches. And rightfully so. The success of Matt Nagy, Kyle Shannahan and Sean McVay, not to mention old hand Andy Reid, has undoubtedly put owners and general managers in the mood to follow the lead of these teams.
Head Coach 2018 Playoff Team Former NFL Coaching Position
Andy Reid Kansas City Offensive Coordinator
Bill Belichick New England Defensive Coordinator
Frank Reich Indianapolis Offensive Coordinator
Bill O’Brien Houston Offensive Coordinator
Anthony Lynn L.A. Chargers Offensive Coordinator
John Harbaugh Baltimore Special Teams Coordinator
Sean Payton New Orleans Quarterbacks Coach
Sean McVay L.A. Rams Offensive Coordinator
Doug Pederson Philadelphia Offensive Coordinator
Matt Nagy Chicago Offensive Coordinator
Pete Carroll Seattle Defensive Coordinator
Jason Garrett Dallas Offensive Coordinator
Of the twelve 2018 playoff teams above, nine have offensive backgrounds including three of the four top seeds (Belichick is always the exception, isn’t he?). Of those nine, all but Sean McVay and Anthony Lynn have a background coaching quarterbacks.
And given those numbers, offensive head coaches who can coach quarterbacks should be in high demand. Because more and more it becomes evident that is what the game is about and there are few losing teams who won’t either be looking for one somewhere or who won’t be looking to develop one that they already have.
Team Potentially Looking for Head coach Likely 2019 Draft Position Likely 2019 Quarterback
Arizona 1 Josh Rosen
New York Jets 3 Sam Darnold
Tampa Bay 5 Jameis Winston/Draft Pick
Denver 10 Case Keenum/Draft Pick
Cincinnati 11 Andy Dalton
Green Bay 12 Aaron Rodgers
Miami 13 Draft Pick
Cleveland 17 Baker Mayfield
Of the eight teams looking for a head coach, the only team without an established projected starter is Miami, and even then, the Bengals and the Packers may still take a QB with an eye towards developing him for the future.
Almost all of these teams certainly understand that the only way to keep a fertile offensive mind is to make him the head coach. Anyone else who is any good will almost certainly be pilfered the minute a head coaching position is open.
Yes, Miami tried this once with Adam Gase and it didn’t work. But the fact that Gase wasn’t the guy shouldn’t deter them from doing it again. And again and again and again. Until they get it right.
Miami should be looking to do two things in the offseason: draft a quarterback and hire someone who can coach him. The odds of winning consistently without both are low and the best way to establish stability is to make the second is the head coach. And that’s what they should be trying to do.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
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