Dolphins must retain Dan Campbell…somewhere


The Miami Dolphins will be, or at least should be looking for a new head coach in as little as three weeks. They will also need to make a decision on Dan Campbell.

Campbell has done well but far from great as the teams interim head coach since replacing Joe Philbin in week five. He has the right tools to become a great head coach but not now. Not yet. The Dolphins however would be very dumb to simply let him walk out the door after the season is over.

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The question is what do you do with him. The answer is almost anything.

Campbell is not going to be a head coaching candidate in the NFL this season and chances are he isn’t going to be next year either. He isn’t going to run any teams offense, call plays, or even coach quarterbacks. He is a savvy motivator and a well respected coach but Campbell doesn’t have the experience to be anything more than a tight-ends coach or a head coach. Miami is the only real option for him to remain in the head coaching position.

So what do you do if you are Miami? For starters, Campbell will remain under contract with the Dolphins and unless another team is willing to give him a “promotion” the Dolphins next head coach can pretty much do what they want with him. He can be assigned back to tight-ends and can carry a designation of assistant head coach. This will do two things. One of those is in favor of the Dolphins and the other in favor of Campbell.

What Campbell lacks now is experience and let’s be frank, working under Joe Philbin isn’t gaining experience. Campbell needs time to develop the in’s and out’s of coaching. He needs to learn the subtle nuances of gamemanship and game planning. That is something he can learn in Miami. Then if after a few years he has developed he might just be ready to move on. In the meantime, he can be culled to became an assistant offensive coach, maybe take over wide-receivers and really build up his resume.

For the Dolphins, they get to retain a young coach with a lot of potential down the road. It gives them someone on the inside to develop as a long term solution at head coach especially if the next HC doesn’t work out. In other words, Miami has options with Campbell.

The sad truth is that Campbell has a lot of potential and upside but none of that is ready now. On the other side of that coin is that Campbell just can’t summarily head back to tight-ends and he doesn’t have the experience to move on to calling plays or coaching another position. His best move is to stay with Miami and Miami’s best move is to keep him. Until he is ready to move on.