The Miami Dolphins did Vic Fangio a solid. They let him out of his contract so he can return to Philadelphia and be closer to his family. Now they need a new DC.
It is going to be very interesting to see what direction the Dolphins go in their search for a new defensive coordinator. Very interesting indeed. Miami could stay in-house where Anthony Campanile or Renaldo Hill could be options.
Chances are, the Dolphins will go outside and in doing so, could see a completely new direction for the defense.
Under Fangio, the Dolphins leaned heavily on the safeties and corners while asking the linebackers to play multiple roles. They were not considered a full-on blitzing team as Fangio liked to disguise his coverages and his blitz packages. Will that change?
Personnel could also change. Will a new DC want to run man-to-man with the secondary or focus more on zone? Will he want to run a 3-4 or a 4-3? Will they rely more on linebacker intuition or schemed drops? What about the defensive front?
It will be interesting to follow this as it could mean Christian Wilkins becomes more important to the next system or less important. There are simply so many variables to consider and it surely will make Chris Grier's job a little different.
The problem is a new DC can't simply step in and continue to run the Fangio system because there really isn't a set system. Fangio designed it himself and it isn't easily continued without him on the field to instruct it.
Dolphins players were starting to get used to the system and now, for the 3rd time in 3 seasons, they will be looking to likely learn a new system again. Not the continuity you want for either side of the ball.
McDaniel is going to have to be certain of his choice. His own career could hinge on him finding the right coach to run the defense. Why is this important? For the first time in his head coaching career, he is being thrown a curveball.
Last year, the Dolphins had little choice to move on from Josh Boyer and Vic Fangio was the veteran coach that McDaniel needed to help him grow as a coach. This year, now, McDaniel will need to find someone innovative, perhaps younger, and ready to build a unit that is more physical.
Ideally, the Dolphins would have had someone like Robert Saleh to bring in. Saleh can coach a really good defense but he isn't the best head coach. There will be plenty of options for the Dolphins to consider but Mike McDaniel is the one who has to get this right.