Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Miami Dolphins Offseason: Joe Philbin Is Best Option for Head Coach


With the Miami Dolphins reducing their coaching search to three candidates, we are really close to finding out who will take the reigns and hopefully begin a winning tradition. The Dolphins have narrowed their options down to Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Dolphins interim head coach, Todd Bowles. 
Joe Philbin is especially an intriguing candidate because, as many of you know, he didn't call the plays for the Packers, but had a lot to do with the fact that they constantly had one of the top offenses in the league.
With a new head coach often comes a new quarterback. Mike McCoy would probably want the Dolphins to give up an arm and a leg to be able to trade up to even have a chance to draft Robert Griffin III. Todd Bowles would most likely stick with Matt Moore and draft a quarterback in the second or third round and develop him. Joe Philbin would most likely be the coach with the most leverage in this department. He would have a foot in the door to signing Matt Flynn as long as the Dolphins are willing to pay. 
After his incredible Week 16 win against the Detroit Lions, Matt Flynn has established himself as the most coveted free-agent quarterback this offseason. He could possibly enjoy the same success in Miami if he is thrown in Philbin's system, which he has been in since he was drafted out of LSU in 2007. 
Another interesting aspect to look at as the Dolphins make up their mind about who they will hire, is the fact that Mike Nolan left the organization and decided to sign as defensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons. With Nolan's departure, it is vital that the Dolphins bring in an established defensive mind that will keep the defense playing at a high level. 
With Nolan at the helm of the defense, the Dolphins played in a 3-4 defensive scheme. They have been building the defense for three or four years and would most likely want a defensive coordinator that runs the same type of scheme. However, Paul Soliai is going to be a free agent and will most likely demand too much money.
Nose tackles are not an easy thing to come by in the NFL and there are not many prospects declaring for the draft this year. If Dontari Poe, nose tackle out of Memphis, is available in the second or maybe even third round, it would be a solid pickup for the Dolphins. If he's not available and they're not able to re-sign Soliai, the Dolphins are left in a mess running a 3-4 defense with no nose tackle. Randy Starks can play some nose tackle, but he's too good at the defensive end position to make a switch.
The Dolphins have a solid base in the front seven and it wouldn't be too hard for them if they have to switch to a 4-3 defense. Players like Randy Starks, Jared Odrick and Kendall Langford can easily transform to 4-3 defensive tackles and Cameron Wake would become a force at defensive end. Linebackers would probably have to be evaluated as well as the defensive end position opposite Cameron Wake. 
Philbin could also bring in Winston Moss from the Green Bay Packers and give him the role of defensive coordinator or assistant coach. Moss is currently the assistant coach of the Green Bay Packers and it would be hard to imagine he would give that up. Moss was a standout linebacker at the University of Miami (FL), and a standout linebacker for 11 years in the NFL.
He may want to go back to his roots in Miami and coach his hometown Dolphins. He would bring in a 4-3 base defense like the one he ran with the Packers. Miami has more defensive talent than the Packers do and that might entice Moss to give it a shot. Moss has been linked to the Oakland Raiders' head coaching job so the Dolphins are looking at a real long shot here, but nothing is impossible. 
It is unclear who Mike McCoy would bring in as defensive coordinator if he were given the job. Some speculations have been that he would hire Todd Bowles, which wouldn't be such a bad thing since he knows the players and they seem to play hard for him.
The coaching search is nearing its end and I'm more than anxious to find out who's going to be coaching this team, hopefully for the next decade or so. There's a lot of questions left to be answered for whoever walks through the door, but whoever it is will have the challenge of bringing life back to this franchise and once again making them competitive for years to come.

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