Kris Richard not landing with the Miami Dolphins would be disappointing

RENTON, WA - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Kris Richard of the Seattle Seahawks poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
RENTON, WA - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Kris Richard of the Seattle Seahawks poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images) /

Kris Richard has become the leading candidate to become the next Miami Dolphins head coach. Dolphins fans have become so enamored with the idea, that  it would be a disappointment at this point if he doesn’t land the job.

Black Monday left eight head coaching vacancies to be filled, and they are starting to fill up quickly. As it stands now, only the Dolphins, Jets, and Bengals, are continuing their searches with the latest reports from Wednesday indicating that Vic Fangio will be the next head coach in Denver, and that Freddie Kitchens is getting the promotion in Cleveland.

With the news coming out today that Darren Rizzi will finally be interviewing for the position on Friday with the team, Miami has now interviewed five candidates for their vacant role. All indications appear that neither Eric Bieniemy nor Dennis Allen are being further considered for the position. Rizzi has the support from current and former players, and holds the edge when it comes to familiarity within the organization.

The Dolphins also seem to be very high on (depending who you ask) Brian Flores, but if we had to guess today, it would appear that the next head coach in Miami will be Kris Richard. Richard has become the fan favorite over the past week since the news broke that the Dolphins were reaching out to him. When it was announced on Monday that Miami was out on Vic Fangio after electing not to interview him, nearly all eyes turned to Richard.

Now Rizzi is well liked in Miami, and is probably the preferred choice of the players, but he is still unlikely to land the job. He would be more well received than if the Dolphins were to hire Flores, but the more people do their research on Richard, the more they like him.

None of the remaining coaches have head coaching experience, but of the three, Richard has the best resume. He was a former player that went to college at USC during the tenure of Pete Carroll. Richard bounced around a little bit in the NFL, which included a short stint with the Dolphins in 2005. He began his coaching career in 2008, following Carroll from college to the pros up until 2017.

He is highly credited to the success and formation of Seattle’s famous Legion of Boom, helping to develop a strong group of players in Seattle’s secondary. In 2015, after Dan Quinn took the head coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons, Richard was promoted to defensive coordinator. In Richard’s first two seasons as coordinator, the Seahawks continued to dominate on the defensive side of the ball.

In 2017, the defense took a dip, although nowhere near drastically. Apparently, it was enough for Carroll to fire his longtime coach, however. This season, Richard has spent his time in Dallas as the Cowboys defensive backs coach, and you can see a major difference on that side of the ball.

Richard has been credited for a lot of the Cowboys success thus far, and it’s easy to see why the Dolphins have a vast interest in him. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross even attended last weekend’s win for the Cowboys over the Seahawks prior to meeting with him. Although the Seahawks called one of the worst offensive games ever seen by non-Dolphins fans, Ross had to have been impressed by what he saw from Richard.

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Fans on social media have grown a liking for him not just because of what he’s done so far, but the passion that comes with it. There are several videos featuring Richard getting pumped up, getting his players pumped up, and/or leading by coaching with strong energy. Cowboys fans have also expressed their displeasure at the thought of Richard leaving. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones even joked that he would badmouth his defensive backs coach or do whatever it takes to keep him.

In addition to the Dolphins, Richard also interviewed with the Jets and the Bucs. The Bucs have already signed Bruce Arians to be their next head coach, and it appears that Richard is not a serious candidate in New York. That leaves the door wide open for him to come to Miami. All of the signs and expectations that he will be the next coach in South Florida have become so clear that many are already moving on into the next phase as to which coaches he will fill his staff out with.

In regards to the other remaining candidates, Rizzi could be an option, but it would feel like a meltdown of sorts from some considering all of the hype that Richard is receiving. Flores has been an unpopular pick by the majority ever since it was announced that the Dolphins were interested in interviewing him. Even our own editor here at PhinPhanatic, Brian Miller, expressed his displeasure of Flores, and love for Richard, in a recent tweet.

A Flores hiring would be highly aggravating for many across the fan base, and the biggest disappointment given the remaining names. Patriots coaches haven’t exactly done well once they’ve left New England. Although he has a long track record in New England, the Patriots defense is not impressive by any stretch, and he was practically given the label as defensive coordinator, even though everyone knows that it is Bill Belichick calling the shots. Flores is more well known as the Patriots linebackers coach. Miami has some young talent on their defense, but I’m skeptical that Flores would be able to come in, and turn them around, all while addressing an offense that was dreadful in 2018.

No matter who the next coach will be, the Dolphins are taking their time, and doing their due diligence before announcing their decision. With Rizzi’s interview lined up for Friday, and both Richard and Flores still involved in the playoffs with their respective teams, it’s likely we won’t hear anything further until at least next week.

In my personal opinion, I think the job is already Richard’s, and the Dolphins are just waiting until the Cowboys are eliminated from the postseason before making it official. Of the remaining candidates, he seems to be the most qualified. His high energy and defensive mind are probably what Miami needs most at this time. In a perfect world, Richard gets the job, and convinces Rizzi to stay on, but it would make sense if Rizzi decided to pursue other options.