Simple question, not so simple answer. Should the Miami Dolphins’ Stephen Ross bank his teams future on a proven coach or go with the unknown to lead the team forward? What would the outcome be? How would fans react? Who is going to sell tickets? Poll on page 2.
That is the money question. Whomever is chosen as the next Miami Dolphins head coach has to be here for another ten years or more, otherwise, we are simply going to be doing this in another four years. Ross will eventually make up his mind and when he does he will sign that coach to a five year deal with a four year window to turn the ship around or look for another job.
Fans want their voices heard but even fans are lost in this mess when it comes to turning it around. Jeff Fisher was the “name” and today it has been announced that he will likely add Brian Schottenheimer as the teams OC. Something many fans are thinking is a blessing considering that is who Fisher would have tabbed for the job in Miami. Fisher however is nothing more than the marlin that broke off the line and swam away. You saw it breach the water enough to look like a wall trophy but never enough to see it all to be certain.
With the coaching search moving forward in what appears to be a slowed down approach Ross will look towards building a team, a coaching staff, and an enthusiastic fanbase. It’s not easy. Mike McCoy of the Denver Broncos is scheduled to interview for the job and it’s likely the search will not end with his visit. McCoy was instrumental in changing the Broncos offense from pocket passing Kyle Orton to more of an option style with Tim Tebow. Despite the failures of the team late in the season, the Broncos still made the playoffs and knocked out the Pittsburgh Steelers in round one.
Poll on page 2
If it’s youth that Ross seeks then forget about previous experience. There are no coaches who posses it. Not Rob Chudzinski, not Pete Carmichael, Jr., not Joe Philbin, and not Mike McCoy, David Toub, or Mike Zimmer. If Ross wants experience, then he must mend his view of Brian Billick, Marty Schottenheimer, and Jim Fassell and realize that any “experienced” coach will come with age. Schottenheimer is the exception to the 10 year plan. Ross can afford to hire Marty in Miami and allow an up and coming assistant to take over in five years. It’s also the smart play. Of course, I have hashed that out quite extensibely over the last month.
Word is that Schottenheimer is hungry. At the youthful age of 68, Schotty has told many that he is ready to put in the 80 hour work weeks and return to the sidelines. He wants this badly and Miami is a prime destination for a man who calls Don Shula a close personal friend and mentor, not to mention his relationship with Carl Peterson. For his part, Jim Fassell also shares that desire to coach in the NFL again.
Last year, Schottenheimer joined the UFL’s Virginia Destroyers at the urging of Fassell. The two faced off in the leagues season shortened Championship which Schottenheimer won. Yet again, if Ross wants youthful age and not youthful exuberance, then neither Fassell or Schottenheimer will be on their radar.
Today Dave Toub’s contract in Chicago expired allowing him freely to interview with any team for any position. It’s the first time since the coaching search began that the Dolphins could be on the short side of the proverbial stick. Toub would be an excellent addition to a new coaches staff but the problem is there is no coach in place. The Dolphins will have to either consider hiring him for the head coach vacancy or hope that another team doesn’t swoop in and add him to their staff.
While Rob Chudzinski has yet to interview and indications still remain that he will not, Ross will turn his attention to the methodical process of interviewing both the experienced and the younger inexperienced coaches. For fans, it’s a matter of time and to some degree impatience. Fans want to talk about the draft and free agency, whether we should trade Brandon Marshall or Jake Long or both for RGIII, or present a perfect package to Indianapolis for Andrew Luck. Unfortunately, without a head coach in place, there is no system in place. No system in place means no direction and that is what keeps fans drained. There is simply too much at stake right now for Stephen Ross. He can not afford to make a mistake.
As the weeks have moved forward, only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders remain with Miami in the search for their next head coach. Whether or not the Colts join the mix remains to be seen. So while we wait, the only thing to really debate is whether youth will set Ross free.