While the media and the fans count the ticking of the clock leading up to the four o’clock press conference officially announcing the hire of Joe Philbin, it’s likely that Philbin is working the phone lines and lining up his coaching staff. From internal interviews of coaches still employed by the Dolphins, friends he has worked with over the years, and of course poaching coaches from Green Bay, the list can get quite long.
So who will be his coaching candidates? That will be the next question that needs to be answered.
The general thought is that QB’s coach Tom Clements of the Packers is an ideal choice for the Dolphins OC job, but Clements may also be offered the same position with the Packers. Clements served as an OC in Buffalo in 2004-2005 and is currently interviewing for the head coaching job in Tampa Bay. Rules of the NFL do not allow lateral moves without team permissions however a team can not block a coach from taking promotions. The Dolphins will still need to gain the Packers permission to interview their contracted coaching staff.
Another possibility is Packer WR coach Edgar Bennett. Bennett is a candidate as well to take over for Philbin meaning that if Philbin wanted one of the two, he should find success in gaining their employment.
Mike Sherman is another candidate as well. His time with Texas A&M is over and he could join Philbin in Miami as their OC. Sherman was also the Packers head coach under which Philbin worked and grew. As I write this, speculation is that Tampa Bay may name him their new head coach as well. Sherman has served as an offensive coordinator as well in Houston.
Moving to the other side of the ball, Philbins options may not be so strong.
Winston Moss currently is serving as the Packer’s LB coach and is also interviewing for the Raiders HC position. Moss also serves as the teams assistant head coach. The Packers current DC, Dom Capers is not an option for Philbin.
If a report from the Miami Herald earlier today is accurate, the DC position may reside in the hands of Todd Bowles. Armando Salguero wrote that Mike McCoy was certain that he would get the job but that Jeff Ireland wanted McCoy to keep Bowles as the DC, something that Salguero states was something that McCoy would not waiver on only stating that he would interview him for the job but did not want to be forced into accepting staff that he did not appoint or agree to.
Whether that is true or not does put Philbin in a position to keep Bowles, in all likelihood. Bowles has never been a defensive coordinator but has served as a secondary coach and has been the teams assistant coach working closely with former DC Mike Nolan. Bowles would be a logical choice and fit considering the teams production over the last two seasons however, Philbin may not believe in the same philosophies of Nolan. It will be interesting to see if the Dolphins new HC appoints Bowles as the DC.
Bowles is also currently interviewing for HC gigs as well.
For the most part, there is no way of knowing who or when Philbin will begin appointing his assistants. The scouting department will likely remain mostly in tact as Jeff Ireland will stay the man in charge of scouting but from the OC to the assistant line coaches, Philbin could make a lot of changes. It’s unlikely that Brian DaBoll will be retained in any form either.
Over the course of the next week we will learn more about coaching candidates and with them will come a better understanding of the philosophical shift that may occur on both sides of the ball.