The Miami Dolphins are on a search for a new offensive coordinator after relieving Mike Sherman of his duties in that role yesterday. Sherman spent the last two years leading the Miami offense, but the team never became the explosive unit owner Stephen Ross so desperately wants and the offense regressed as the year progressed.
With Sherman out, where could the Dolphins look for a new offensive coordinator? Here are some candidates:
- Ben McAdoo, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach - McAdoo is the leading candidate at this point thanks to his ties to Miami head coach Joe Philbin. When Philbin was the offensive coordinator for the Packers, McAdoo was his tight ends coach. Philbin wanted to hire him two years ago, but was denied interview rights by the Packers. This year, McAdoo's contract guarantees he will be able to interview for offensive coordinator jobs, so it could line up that Philbin is able to get the guy he wanted two years ago.
- Rob Chudzinski, former Cleveland Browns head coach - Chud was fired by the Browns this year after just one season as the head coach. Before that, he served as the Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, turning around a stagnant offense that was near the bottom of nearly every statistical category in 2010 and finishing in the top 10 in 2011, with rookie quarterback Cam Newton. However, the offense under Chudzinski regressed in 2012, so he could be a risk.
- Karl Dorrell, Houston Texans quarterbacks coach - Dorrell is a familiar name in MIami, having served as the Dolphins' wide receivers coach from 2008 to 2010, then as the quarterbacks coach in 2011. Dorrell has been an offensive coordinator and head coach at the college level, and has been a candidate for offensive coordinator positions several times in the past. He could be someone to consider, but it could also leave a bad taste in fans' mouths as it would appear to be bringing the Tony Sparano offensive minds back to Miami.
- Gary Kubiak, former Houston Texans head coach - The former quarterback worked his way up along the offensive side of the coaching positions, serving as a running backs coach at Texas A&M in the early 1990s, then a quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers and offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. He was hired as the head coach for the Houston Texans in 2006, before being fired this year. As an offensive coordinator, Kubiak earned two Super Bowl titles, and had an offense that amassed more yards and touchdowns than any other team during his tenure with the Broncos.
- Bill Lazor, Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach - Seen as a potential head coaching candidate, Lazor could be a target for the Dolphins at offensive coordinator if none of those top level jobs materialize. He's been a quarterbacks coach most of his coaching career, though he did serve as the offensive coordinator for Virginia from 2010 to 2012. In 2013, Lazor oversaw the rise of Nick Foles as the Eagles' quarterback.
- Scott Linehan, former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator - Another potential Dolphins assistant who could return, Linehan spend the 2005 as the offensive coordinator for Miami, working under Nick Saban. He was hired as the St. Louis Rams head coach after that season, working there from 2006 to 2008. From 2009 until this season, Linehan had been serving as the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions until the firing of head coach Jim Schwartz. Under Linehan, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for the top three single season passing seasons in Detroit history, including a 5,038 yard season in 2011.
- Ken O'Keefe, Miami Dolphins wide receiver coach - Philbin could look to stay within house, turning over the offense to O'Keefe, who he pulled over from Iowa's staff where O'Keefe had been the offensive coordinator. O'Keefe has various offensive coordinator and head coaching experience at the prep and college levels, but the Dolphins position is his first NFL experience.
- Kyle Shanahan former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator - The son of Mike Shanahan, Kyle was relieved of his offensive coordinator duties with the Redskins when his dad was fired as head coach. The younger Shanahan is said to be looking to re-start his career away from his father, and had been seen as an up-and-coming coach in the league before the Washington stint. He was made the youngest offensive coordinator in the league in 2008 when the Houston Texans promoted him from their quarterbacks coach position, and he served in that position until 2010 when he resigned to join his dad. Now, looking to get away from the shadow of Mike, Kyle could be an option for a number of teams building new staffs, including the Dolphins.
- Norv Turner, former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator - As long as it's not a head coaching position, Turner could be a worthy consideration. He spent the last season with the Cleveland Browns, and is technically still employed by them, but is expected to be let go once the Browns find the head coaching replacement for Chudzinski. If he is released, Turner will immediately jump onto the radar of several teams. He's had poor results in his various stints as a head coach, most recently with the San Diego Chargers, but he always lands on his feet in an offensive coordinator role, including the 2002-2003 seasons with the Dolphins.
Obviously there are other candidates out there, and Miami will likely consider a lot of possible replacements for Sherman. The coaching staff knows this upcoming season will be their make or break year, so picking the right offensive coordinator is key. Whenever the choice is made, that coach needs to be given the latitude to make further changes to the offensive assistant coaches, meaning there could be more moves coming for the Dolphins this offseason.
Do any of these guys excite you? Who would you target this offseason to fix the Dolphins' stagnant offense?
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