The Miami Dolphins are starting from scratch once again. Time to shake up the entire coaching staff and start fresh. All Dolphins fans have been through this cycle before. Nick Saban. Cam Cameron. Tony Sparano. And now Joe Philbin/Dan Campbell. The Dolphins once were considered one of the most prestigious organizations in the NFL. That golden era, Don Shula, was the Dolphins Head Coach. In fact, since his departure the Dolphins have failed to live up to expectations, so why not bring back Shula?
Don Shula coaching days are over, however, his son, Mike is making a case to become the next Dolphins head coach. Mike and his Carolina Panthers are 10-0. 10 and 0! This coming from a team that many thought would be in a rebuilding year, based on the holes they had on their offensive line and with the season ending injury to their star wide receiver Kevin Benjamin. Fast forward to week 13, and the Panther have a legit chance of running the table, and matching the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins as the only teams that have had an undefeated regular season.
Make no mistake, Mike Shula’s is one of the main reason why the Carolina Panthers are 10-0. Mike has done something that Bill Lazor never even tried, he has built an offense on the strengths of his quarterback Cam Newton. Once Benjamin went down, Shula met with Cam and altered his playbook that would benefit Cam’s strength. Hidden boot legs, designed running plays that would keep opposing players on their back heels and passing plays that were designed to Cam strengths.
What a concept. A coach understanding what he has in his tool box, and simply asking his players what works best for them. This is a night and day difference from what we saw with Lazor. Lazor built his philosophy based on how he wanted his team to line up. Not allowing Ryan to audible at the line of scrimmage, is the best and most important argument that can be applied. Whereas Shula has entrusted Cam to alter his team based on what the defense gives him.
Don’t mistake this methodology as caretaker role. Rather it allows the QB to gain confidence in his own strength, which is game recognition. That type of strength can only grow with real life experience. That is the best coaching skill Shula allows his players to develop and the reason why he should be the next coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Who can Shula bring with him? On the Defensive side of the ball, look no further than the Carolina Panther existing linebackers coach; Al Holcomb. Holcomb has been the coach that is responsible for the best linebacking group in the NFL the past 3 years. Holcomb has built and taught Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis from the ground up. Working with Ron Rivera, Holcomb understands the importance of building and training your best assets – draft picks. Rivera has installed a similar system that mirrors his days with the Chicago Bears, where he once again had two premiere linebacker; Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher. Imagine what Holcomb can do for a team that is in desperate need of upgrading their linebacker unit? What would that mean to a player like Suh? Better yet, Holcomb comes from a 4-3 base system which allows Suh to remain in a similar system he loves.
On the other side of the ball, Shula will look to a familiar face. A coach that worked alongside him during his tenure as a QB coach in Jacksonville – Dirk Koetter. Koetter is running an efficient and effective offensive game plan for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers right now. Koetter understands how to utilize his best assets, Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin. Koetter will have a similar group in Miami with Jarvis Landry, Devante Parker and Lamar Miller/ Jay Ajayi. Make no mistake though, Shula will build an offensive mentality, but will allow Koetter to call the plays the dictate to the flow of the game.
Head Coach – Mike Shula
Defensive Coordinator – Al Holcomb
Offensive Coordinator – Dirk Koetter
If the Dolphins want to start heading back to the glory days, let history repeat itself, and allow for another Shula to take us there.