Maybe the Miami Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross have an “ace-in-the-hole” plan to land a big-name head coach?
Maybe, they zeroed in on a coordinator like Eric Bieniemy, Chris Richard or Brian Flores that is coaching in a playoff game this weekend and will be hired after it’s over?
Those are questions that are up for debate.
Here is what is not:
By taking 10 days, and counting, to find a new head coach, the Dolphins have clearly lost out on one key component for whomever their new head coach is going to be. That’s hiring a strong assistant staff including your coordinators.
The flurry of activity all over the NFL from Arizona to Cleveland to Tampa Bay to Green Bay with head coaches being hired over the last two days is what’s “on the Marquee,” the TV and the internet.
However, the battle behind the scenes for which assistants and specifically, what coordinators the teams end up with, is also ongoing.
Take the Tuesday night hiring of Bruce Arians by the Buccaneers. He obviously wanted his former defensive coordinator in Arizona, Todd Bowles to join him in Tampa Bay. But, because Vic Fangio left the Bears to take over as the Denver head coach on Wednesday morning, that meant the Bears now had an opening at defensive coordinator, as well.
And Bowles was obviously interested in going to Chicago and talking with them, before eventually agreeing to come with Arians to the Buccaneers and call the defense
There are numerous other examples going on like that. Adam Gase, the new Jets coach as of Wednesday night, is in search of a defensive coordinator. And he may end up with either former Broncos coach Vance Joseph (who was with him year one in Miami) or longtime defensive coordinator-former interim Cleveland coach Gregg Williams joining him in the Big Apple?
Kliff Kingsbury, who’s never coached in the NFL, revealed at his opening Cardinals press conference Wednesday afternoon that GM Steve Keim is assisting in making the phone calls/helping line up coordinators and coaches with him.
Those talks are ongoing, as we speak for Thursday and also, Friday.
And, circling back to the Dolphins, that’s where they are missing out on this part of the process, because they’ve not hired a head coach.
The only other franchise that made a coaching move and doesn’t have a head coach at the moment, is the Cincinnati Bengals. And, while that puts them at the same assistant coach disadvantaged position, it shouldn’t make dolphin fans feel any better. They are the Bengals, after all, and haven’t won a playoff game in this century.
No one is suggesting that the Dolphins do anything rash with their hire, but clearly, if this is delayed because of indecisiveness of what to do, they (Ross) are costing themselves.
And maybe, one of the assistants that the Dolphins interviewed for the head coaching job has their staff already mapped out and shared that in a meeting with Ross and GM Chris Grier?
Short of that, the Dolphins are already behind before 2019 really gets underway. And they’ll have to make up ground quickly for quality coaches to join whichever boss they pick or it could be trouble already before the the smiling press conference is held coming soon.
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