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Miami Dolphins

Is Bret Bielema coming to Dolphins or now staying in New England?

Florida Football Insiders



Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots touched down in Atlanta on Sunday night preparing for Super Bowl 53. And, there continues to be a behind-the-scenes shuffling about which coaches will be staying and whom will be leaving after the game has been played Sunday night against the L.A. Rams.

We already know that the Dolphins have apparently agreed to hire defensive assistant Brian Flores to take over as their new head coach. However, NFL rules still currently forbid teams from officially hiring coaches that are still coaching in the postseason.

That applies to Flores and anyone else associated with the Patriots or with the Rams.

However, the Fins met with Flores for a second formal face-to-face last Wednesday, and all signs are pointing to him taking the job after the big game is played Sunday.

An intriguing part of his hire is what coach or coaches might Flores be trying to bring with him from New England?

We wrote previously about current Patriots “defensive consultant” Bret Bielema and whether the former Arkansas and Wisconsin college head coach would be coming with Flores to South Florida?

Now, another report Sunday in Boston says it may not be the case, because Bielema may be offered Flores’ old his job as the defensive play caller.

While New England usually remains tight-lipped about staffing plans, Ben Volin, who’s an NFL and Patriots insider for the Globe, indicated that Bielema is telling others that he’s sticking around to take over that role as opposed to heading to Miami.

And, we already owe from numerous media reports that Flores apparently has offered the defensive coordinator position for Miami to Packers assistant Patrick Graham.

Again, none of this can be made official because the Patriots are still playing.

A further complication is that former Buccaneers and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator at Ohio State after three seasons, was at the Senior Bowl last week in Mobile, Alabama. And, he was apparently leaking to media members that he’s going to be part of the Patriots staff in some role. And there were further reports that Schiano is trying to angle to be defensive coordinator.

Still, as Volin indicated in his story, that’s not the “Patriots Way.” Rather, they usually promote from within for their coordinator positions (like with Flores and Matt Patricia before him). And, someone coming from the outside would coach on the staff for at least a year or two, before getting a shot to call plays on either side of the ball.

So the mystery continues about: who’s coming with Flores and who’s staying in New England?

This is especially intriguing, as obviously the Dolphins and the Patriots play each as AFC East division rivals twice every year.

Miami Dolphins

Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

Florida Football Insiders



John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:

In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.

However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.

As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan

He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.

It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.

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Miami Dolphins

Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday

Florida Football Insiders



Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:

The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.

Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.

Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.

Colorado’s athletic director Rick George said in a statement Sunday night,

“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.” 

The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.

Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.

Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.

Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.

Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.

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