The Miami Dolphins are moving on yet again and searching for a new head coach. He will be the 14th coach in team history. Once he is hired, he will need to assemble his staff.
Assembling a quality staff has not been easy for the Dolphins. As much as a head coach needs to develop players, the coaching staff needs to develop each other. Good teams have good coaches, great teams have coaches that can be replaced relatively easy without loss of performance from the players.
The Dolphins haven’t done a good job of finding quality coaching. It isn’t a Brian Flores issue either. It dates back a long time. Even Don Shula failed in his later years for sticking with a defensive coordinator, Tom Olivadotti.
The last time the Dolphins had a pretty good system in place was when Jimmy Johnson was the head coach. Nick Saban assembled a somewhat decent group. His OC’s were Scott Linehan and in his last season, Mike Mularkey as the OC and Dom Capers as the DC. His problem was QB.
Looking back over the last 2 decades is not pretty and exactly why the Dolphins have failed and exactly where the next head coach has to succeed.
Cam Cameron – 1 year
- DC – Dom Capers – holdover from Saban.
- OC – Cameron served as the OC reassigning Mularkey to coach the RBs
Tony Sparano – 4 years
- OC – Dan Henning – hired by Bill Parcells
- DC – Paul Pasqualoni – Miami’s defense was not very good
- In Sparano’s third season, Pasqualoni was replaced by Mike Nolan.
- In Sparano’s 4th season, Henning was gone and replaced with Brian Daboll.
Joe Philbin – 4 years
- OC – Mike Sherman
- DC – Kevin Coyle
- Sherman was Philbin’s mentor and Coyle came from the Bengals only having been a secondary coach and not a DC.
- In year three, Philbin was asked to fire Sherman and after Sherman told him it was o.k. he replaced him with Bill Lazor who had no experience calling plays.
- In his final season, Philbin fired Lazor and replaced him midseason with Zac Taylor. He also fired Kevin Coyle for Lou Anarumo who was not qualified for the job.
Adam Gase – 3 years
- OC – Clyde Christensen was an OC in name only, Gase called the offense.
- DC – Vance Joseph. Joseph did well enough and would leave after the season to become a HC in Denver where he wouldn’t last.
- In year two, Christensen stayed but Joseph was replaced by the unqualified Matt Burke.
- In his final season, Dowell Loggains replaced Christensen while Burke remained.
Brian Flores – 3 years
- OC – Chad O’Shea
- DC – Patrick Graham
- After a deplorable season following a massive teardown and rebuild that left very few quality players on the roster, Flores fired both of his coordinators.
- In his second season, Graham hired Chan Gailey to run his offense, literally taking him out of retirement. He added Josh Boyer to be the DC. Boyer has done well but it still remains unclear how much influence Boyer had on the defense as that was Flores’ group.
- Last season, Boyer remained as the DC but the offense was handed over to internal hiring of Eric Studesville and George Godsey in what was a laughable situation all season.
If we want to dissect the coaches who have run the team we have to look at their inability to draw a top coaching staff. The Dolphins need to do better at finding a coach who can bring a quality group with him. This year, there are not many who could do that immediately and that, could be another problem.