I know that some of you will disagree with these predictions/wishes and that’s cool, I’m just a guy with way too much time on my hands and an absurd fascination with everything Miami Dolphins. I’m sure there are some who can relate to your wife’s relentless counter-punch “if you cared about me like you did your stupid dolphins then you would ________ (go ahead fill it in, lord knows I’ve heard it all)” which then I slowly look down to my feet and reply in a low weak and almost child-like voice “there not stupid, you’re stupid.” Ok enough of that, where were we?
The Fisher King has decided to take his talents someplace other than South Beach, oh well and good riddance, dolfans it’s time to stop looking at what could have been and now look forward to the future. Personally, my stance with Fisher being our next head coach was 50/50, take it or leave it, and the way I see it the ugly one that got away is always better than the ugly one you wake up to the next morning.
Yes I get it, most of you wanted an experienced coach that is well respected and could add instant creditability to our team, but take into an account with all that experience all 17 years the best he could do is 6 winning seasons with an overall winning percentage of .542, c’mon man do you really believe the guy is that impressive. Not to mention his offensive scheme is exactly what we as fans have been enduring for 3 ½ seasons, do you really want a guy that runs up the middle for 2 yards on every 1st down, or a guy that would rather play it safe with three than go for the back of the endzone. Because that is what Fisher is and what Fisher does, don’t get me wrong it works just look at San Fran old school football still works, but ask yourself do you really want to watch it. We want excitement and better yet if Ross wants our money he better bring excitement and Fisher’s offense is anything but that.
So now that we have established that Fisher will not be our next head coach, I’m going to take a crack at who I think our next coach will be plus the coaching staff he will put together. You will see after every name there will be a brief explanation as to why I think this person will be the right person for the job. So with no further ado let us get started.
And now bringing to the stage the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins (drum roll please……………)
Head Coach: Mike Zimmer
Zimmer has been the DC for the Bengals for the last 4 years. Before joining the Bengals he cut his teeth as a defensive coach for the Dallas Cowboys (1994-2006) plus one forgettable year for the Atlanta Falcons (but we won’t hold that against him.) Zimmer has paid his dues and now it’s his time to be a head coach in the NFL. Like it or not this guy is good at what he does, except for the disastrous year in Atlanta, every single one of his units have ranked in the top ten. Not to mention the man has ran both 3-4 and 4-3 base defenses and was extremely successful with both, that takes good coaching not anyone can pull that off. He is very well respected in NFL circles and his players absolutely love playing for him, on top of that every Bengals fan I talk has said they would prefer to fire Lewis and make Zimmer their head coach that speaks volumes to what kind of coach this guy is. And of course there’s the obvious connection to Ireland, for good or bad, Ireland likes familiar faces and people he can trust (which I find ironic since most people see him as an untrustworthy backstabber) but let us put that aside for now. My feeling is that Ireland knows Zimmer is a guy he can work with and somebody he can exert some power over since this is Zimmer’s first head coaching job. The only flaws I have found when researching him is I have no idea if he can assemble a good staff since most of the coaches in Cincinnati were brought over by Lewis and I don’t think he has a good shot at bring them over. He also has a piss poor record against the Patriots (0-2) the first lost in 03’ when he was Dallas’ DC and then again in 10’ when Brady completely wrecked Cincinnati’s defense throwing for over 200 yards with 3 tds and a QB rating of 120. Since Brady does this to us every year I’m not going to hold that last one against him, still it’s telling that his defenses have never performed well when facing Belichick. Plus he’s been in the league for 17 plus years, has been tremendously successful, and somehow has never been given a shot as a head coach, that’s a head scratcher to me.
Next on the list and probably the next biggest decision for the Dolphins is the Offensive Coordinator job. I really do like Daboll, and I kind of hope he can stay and continue his work with Matt Moore but I don’t see him being around next year. I’ll tell you one thing though, if we do let him walk I see him taking a quick flight to see his old pal Soprano. So with that said the next offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins will be:
OC: Todd Haley
I would be, and you should be, really happy if we were to get Haley as our next offensive coordinator. This guy knows how to lead an aggressive offensive attack that will hit you like Tyson in the unemployment line, never settling for a bitch slap fight with foam Hulk hands. According to every NFL source I can find, the consensus is that Haley is offensive passing guru. Don’t believe just look at what he did with the 2008 Arizona Cardinals. Under his play calling the Cardinals offense tied for third in scoring, fourth in total offense, second in passing offense, and ranked sixth in first down per game (that my friends, is the absolute definition of a highly explosive offensive.) That year the Cardinals surprised everyone by making it to the Superbowl but not after scoring 30 or more points in each playoff game prior to the Superbowl, 30 points in a playoff game is something we haven’t done since 1993 (extra pts to whoever can remember that game & no cheating.) Not only does he too have connections to Ireland through his days in Dallas but this would be a perfect opportunity for Ireland to stick it to the Jests, because it is widely reported that they want Haley badly on their staff. Just like Zimmer, it’s believed that players enjoy playing for Haley and he seems to get the most out of his players in return. For evidence look no farther than Dwayne Bowe who had his greatest season under Haley’s guidance in 2010 finishing the season with 1,162 yards and 15 touchdowns, this is great news because I highly expect Ireland to go after this guy when free agency starts. A couple of knocks against him are that he comes off as super aggressive to some of his players and has a history of causing friction with some who find his coaching style a little too intense, I say bring it on. There’s also the friendship connection to Soprano, would Haley be willing to look away from the fact that Ireland dogged Soprano during this time with the team? I say if the price is right all can be forgiven.
Now that we have a head coach and offensive coordinator it’s time to address the defense side of the ball. I would love for Nolan to stay in Miami but I don’t think it’s going to happen, I see him moving on to Atlanta to help rejuvenate their struggling defense. If Nolan were to walk, I think the front office would love to have Todd Bowles step into the position, which of course, is if he doesn’t get a head coaching job somewhere else. It would do wonders to Ireland’s reputation if he were to keep Bowles here by giving him a well earned raise and promotion.
DC: Todd Bowles
This would be a great thing if Miami can keep Bowles on their staff, he is raising star in the NFL and his name has been linked to plenty of interviews for head coaching jobs, however, I don’t think his time is now. If Bowles were to be a successful DC for a year or two he will be one of the most sought out coaches in the coming years. Both Bowles and Ireland know this that is why I think they will be able to keep him on the staff. He has been with Ireland for a long time now, in addition to that he also coached alongside Mike Zimmer in Dallas, and he’s very familiar with Miami’s entire personnel. These are all reasons I feel Miami would be the perfect situation for him to make his debut as a defensive coordinator, I also expect those to be some selling points that Ireland would put on the table for Bowles. The only question I have is if Bowles will be willing to step down from once being a head coach in Miami to now being solely a defensive coordinator? I figure if Mel tucker did it in Jacksonville I see no reason for Bowles not to do it here in Miami.
So far so good, we have established one solid coaching staff with the likes of Zimmer, Haley, and Bowles now it’s time to address special teams. Some will like this choose and some will hate it, but I think this is the right man for the job, that’s if we can get him away from Kansas City which will be very hard since this will be looked at as a lateral move.
ST: Steve Hoffman
Many of you will remember this name that is because he was our assistant special teams coach in 2008 before he was poached by Haley to come join the Chiefs as their special teams coach. In Hoffman’s two seasons with the Dolphins he was key in helping Jay Feely establish a single-season record by connecting on over 90% of his field goals, he also tutored a then young punter by the name of Brandon (I love stretching) Fields who led all rookies that year with a 43.2 –yard gross average. In his first year in Kansas City he took a squad that was ranked 29th in 2008 to 12th in 2009, matter of fact only three teams made bigger improvements in rankings than the Chiefs that year. In 2010, the Chiefs coverage unit ranked 6th allowing opponents to average 20.2 yards per kickoff return. And again there is the Ireland/Cowboy connection but now he would be rejoining his old coach in Kansas City the same man that successfully took him from the Dolphins in 2009. Like I said before this would be seen as a lateral move and most likely the Chiefs will block it, but if I were Ireland Hoffman would be my first candidate for our Special Teams coordinator position.
If my predications/wishes were to come true that would mean that we would have one solid group of coaches, with the combination of over 60 years worth of NFL coaching knowledge to lead us into next year. So to wrap things up here quickly, I will also include some Assistant coaches I feel the front office would consider retaining or bring over from other teams. These guys may not get all the credit but we all know they are just as important as any other coach when it comes to preparation and game planning.
QB coach – Nick Sirianni: was Haley’s assistant in Kansas City, worked exclusively with Cassel during his most successful season in Kansas City. Young guy not much experience but will continue to learn under Haley’s guidance.
OL coach – Pat Perles: assistant OL coach in Kansas City, hired and worked under Haley for three seasons also has been mentored by the legendary Bill Muir during his time in Kansas City.
TE coach – Bernie Parmalee: I loved this guy when he played for Miami, he seems to be good in Kansas city probably won’t be allowed to leave, just like Cox he will reconnect the older fan base back to memoires of better years.
WR coach – Steve Bush: Seems to be a solid coach, has done well grooming Hartline, Bess, and others.
RB coach – Jeff Nixon: Helped Bush gain his first ever 1,000 yard season, seems like a good coach to keep on staff and has knowledge of personnel.
DL coach – Kacy Rodgers: has done a great job with our D-line, has Dallas connections, has worked with Zimmer in Dallas.
LB coach – Bryan Cox: always been a fan of his, brings experience, intensity, and knowledge of personnel to the team, time to give him more responsibilities.
DB/SEC. coach – Paul Guenther: is a great student of Zimmer’s defense, has been assistant secondary/special teams coach in Cincinnati, helped develop a pretty good unit under Zimmer’s guidance.
ST coach – Dave Fipp: funny looking dude but supposedly Ireland thinks high of this guy, has experience with Miami’s special team unit.
Wow… if you made it this far I would really like to thank you, but before I lose your attention (doing my best Tim Tebow impersonation) I want to go on the record and say one thing:
No matter what happens during this offseason, I will always be a fan of Miami Dolphin football. No matter how many coach we can never seem to get, no matter how many teams we will continue to honor during our halftimes, no matter how many players we will continue to ask if their mothers are prostitutes, and no matter how many times I have to throw up in my mouth after learning Ross just sold portions of my beloved Dolphins to the likes of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, no matter what…. I am and will always be a Miami Dolphins fan. Why put up with all this erroneous unexplainable mismanagement you may ask? Well…. because that is what true fans do (that’s not to say we can’t bitch and moan about it) but at the end of the day we stick with our team because that is what true fans do.