That’s the plot thickens on which team will hire a head coach first, the elimination of the Baltimore Ravens Sunday in the playoffs will amp up speculation about their coach John Harbaugh departing for one of the vacancies. And make no mistake, the Dolphins are at the front of the line on trying to secure the Super Bowl winning Ravens boss.
Dolphins beat writer for the Palm Beach Post, Joe Schad, appeared with our colleague Chris Fisher on NBC 6 “Sports Final” late Sunday night in a segment discussing the Dolphins opening. And, he used a very strong phrase that makes him and a lot of others think the Fins are about to make a run at Harbaugh:
#Dolphins interest in #Ravens HC John Harbuagh is "Burning" as @schadjoe told us on Sports Final tonight. He also shares players thoughts on Gase's last season with Fins, and what attributes they are looking for in new Head Coach. pic.twitter.com/X2yrzEBKFZ
— Chris Fischer NBC6 (@FischerNBC6) January 7, 2019
So, Ross has “burning interest” in trying to secure one of the Harbaugh brothers as his coach? Again that’s not anything new, if you’ve been following Ross’s tenure as owner and trying to hire head coaches.
He wanted to hire John’s brother Jim, from Stanford University back in 2011. That did not happen and Jim Harbaugh ended up going instead to the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers.
John has been with the Ravens for 12 Seasons now and got a Super Bowl win at his brother Jim’s expense in 2012. This season was his seventh playoff appearance.
Further fueling the speculation that Harbaugh may be on the move is the Ravens have not given him a long-term contract. They have announced that he would be back under his current deal for 2019, but in the present-day NFL, that doesn’t mean an awful lot.
Harbaugh was under fire with the Ravens struggling early on this season, and then starting quarterback and former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco got injured. That’s when Harbaugh and his staff went to rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and changed their offensive scheme and play calling to suit Jackson’s running style.
Baltimore went on to win six of their final seven games and clinched the AFC North division making the playoffs.
However, their offense was dismal most of Sunday, as they fell behind the Chargers 23 – 3 before Jackson rally them for a couple of late touchdowns. Still, they lost 23 – 17 and now, the attention turns to whether Harbaugh will remain did Baltimore long-term.
One other aspect of the Dolphins coaching search that Fisher and Shad discussed on NBC 6 Sunday night is something that we have also written about: Miami may already have their John Harbaugh on staff in special teams coach Darren Rizzi.
Just like Harbaugh was given the opportunity to be the head coach after being the special teams coordinator for many years with the Eagles, there are many in the camp of Rizzi for him to get the same opportunity from Ross and newly-promoted head of football operations and GM Chris Grier.
It’s also well known that the Dolphins have done interviews with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and on Sunday night talked with Cowboys defensive assistant Chris Richard, as well.
There’s also the matter of compensation to the Ravens and if they are demanding multiple draft picks, is it smart for Miami, who is clearly in the rebuild mode, to part with them for a coach?
We will find out soon enough what “burning interest” translates into for the possibility of hiring John Harbaugh in South Florida.
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