The Miami Dolphins “parted-ways” with Dennis Hickey on Saturday and on Monday they will officially begin their head coaching search. While rumors of top candidates have yet to mature, there is plenty of speculation as to who will considered.
Apparently there is no clear leader for the Dolphins, at least none that have been leaked to the media. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald points out that two potential names have at least ties to Mike Tannenbaum and that is a good place to start. Those names? Dirk Koetter of Tampa Bay and Hue Jackson of Cincinnati. Both coaches were represented by his coaching agency that Tannenbaum started.
Connections to Tannenbaum are not necessarily an indicator of a top candidate but as Armando pointed out, it’s worth noting and keeping an eye on.
Over the last week, Jim Mora of UCLA has had his name mentioned as a candidate. He has two previous head coaching NFL gigs. Hue Jackson is also on the list but the Bengals are a playoff team and as such the Dolphins may not want to wait until the Bengals are finished before hiring a head coach. That same line of thinking would also rule out Josh McDaniels and Mike Shula.
Salguero brings up one name that frankly I don’t want to hear, Doug Marrone. Marrone quite the Bills ala Nick Saban and took his guaranteed 2015 salary with him. He wasn’t fired and the new owners didn’t push him out the door. He simply woke up and quit. I’m not a fan of that. Wasn’t with Saban and don’t like a guy who is willing to take the money and run.
Aside from the names mentioned above there has been talk that Miami will pursuit Chicago Bears OC Adam Gase. They will have company as the Cleveland Browns are rumored to have him high on their list of candidates. The Browns are expected to fire Mike Pettine on Monday.
Dan Campbell will also get to interview for the job but he will need an out of this world interview and have a stacked hand of potential assistant coaches. He can’t walk into the room with names like Zac Taylor and Lou Anarumo. If he does, he isn’t getting the job and even if he doesn’t he is considered a long shot.
Recently Chip Kelly was fired by the Eagles and there is some chatter that the Dolphins will throw a line out and talk with him about coming to Miami. Kelly’s offense is almost perfect for Ryan Tannehill but his history of head butting in Philly may not mesh with Tannenbaum’s control in Miami.
Mid-season there was a lot of speculation that a deal was already in the works with New Orleans for Sean Payton. That talk has basically gone away. The Dolphins may pick up the phone and gauge interest from the Saints and maybe go so far as to talk with Payton if the Saints allow but compensation and timing may be too prohibitive for the Dolphins. There is also the question of whether Payton will want to work for Tannenbaum and Grier, the likely GM.
For now the talk really stops there but come Monday, everything might get a little clearer. We will keep you updated on every rumor, substantial or not through the entire process so check back often.