The Miami Dolphins announced several coaching changes yesterday, including three promotions and a replacement for assistant special teams Dave Fipp, who was hired last week by the Philadelphia Eagles to be Chip Kelly's special teams coordinator.
The team promoted assistant quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor to quarterbacks coach. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman has also been holding the quarterbacks coach title, working with his Texas A&M quarterback and Dolphins' rookie Ryan Tannehill throughout the season. However, even back in training camp, the Dolphins' stint on Hard Knocks showed Taylor was working more closely with the quarterbacks than Sherman. Under Taylor's direction, Tannehill set team rookie records in passing yards (3,294), attempts (484), completions (282) and he became the first quarterback in Dolphins history to start all 16 of the team's games in his first year in the league.
To replace Taylor, the Dolphins promoted offensive assistant Ben Johnson to the assistant quarterback coach position. Johnson is entering his second season with the Dolphins after being named offensive assistant on February 10, 2012. In 2012, Johnson worked with the offense in various roles including assisting with the signaling in the plays to the offense during games and assisted with a unit that finished fourth in the AFC in rushing touchdowns (15) and tied for third in the NFL in fewest offensive penalties (39).
The third promotion moved defensive assistant coach Charlie Bullen to assistant defensive line coach. Bullen is also entering his second season with the Dolphins after being named defensive assistant on February 10, 2012. In 2012, Bullen assisted a defense that finished seventh in the NFL and third in the AFC in points allowed per game (19.8). The defense's 42.6 percent of red zone touchdowns allowed was the lowest figure in the NFL. Bullen spent time assisting with the defensive line, which featured two Pro Bowlers, Cameron Wake and Randy Starks.
Finally, the team named Marwan Maalouf as their assistant special teams coach, replacing Dave Fipp who left the team to take the Philadelphia Eagles' special teams coordinator position. Maalouf joins the Dolphins after spending the 2012 season as the Special Teams coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts. During the 2012 season Colts punter Pat McAfee finished third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL in punting average with a 47.9 per punt average. McAfee, who also handled the kickoff duties for Indianapolis finished fourth in the AFC and eighth in the NFL with 43 touchbacks on kickoffs.
Prior to joining the Colts, Maalouf spent four seasons (2008-11) as the assistant special teams coach for the Baltimore Ravens. In 2010, Maalouf helped then rookie kickoff returner David Reed lead the NFL in kickoff return average (29.2) and coached a unit which finished third in the league in opponent average starting position (27.2-yard line). Kicker Billy Cundiff also earned his first Pro Bowl after tying an NFL mark with 40 touchbacks (since kickoffs moved back to the 30-yard line).
In 2009, Baltimore ranked second in the NFL in both kickoff return average (26.3) and opponents' average starting field position (26.9). Maalouf joined the Ravens in 2008 and that season coached punter Sam Koch, who had the NFL's fifth-best net punting average (39.9). Koch also led the league with 18 punts inside the 10-yard line and was second in the league with 34 kicks inside the 20-yard line. Maalouf also helped guide special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo to his third Pro Bowl selection.
Prior to coming to Baltimore, Maalouf spent the 2007 season working for Scouts Inc., writing weekly scouting reports and game reviews for ESPN.com and worked as a volunteer coach for Baldwin-Wallace.
From 2004-06, Maalouf was the special teams quality control coach for the Cleveland Browns. During his final season, he coached Josh Cribbs who ranked third in the NFL with 1,545 total return yards. The Browns' punt return average of 10.3 yards also ranked seventh in the NFL.
Maalouf spent two seasons (2002-03) as an assistant offensive line coach/graduate assistant at Rutgers following a brief stint at Eastern Michigan as a graduate assistant. He also held positions as an assistant offensive line coach for Fordham (2001) and Baldwin-Wallace College (2000).