[Update #2, 10:55 pm: A source has told ESPN's John Clayton that the Dolphins and Mike Nolan are "close to an agreement" to become Miami's next defensive coordinator. If this gets done, it's great news for the Dolphins.]
I've been having some trouble really pinpointing my personal favorite candidate for Miami's defensive coordinator position. Well that all changed tonight with the firing of Broncos defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
Nolan himself released a brief statement that said he "can't say anything other than Josh and I mutually agreed to part ways."
Now it's up to the Dolphins to make their move. According to Adam Schefter, via his Twitter page, the Dolphins aren't wasting any time. Schefter writes:
Broncos and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan part ways. Nolan won't wait long for work -- Miami already planning to interview him.
Sounds good to me. Get him on a plane and down to Miami for tomorrow morning. And then hire him tomorrow afternoon.
It would be an ideal scenario for the Dolphins. Nolan loves running the 3-4. And in Denver last year, Nolan helped transform a defense that ranked 29th in the league in 2008 to the 7th best unit in the league this year. And this is despite the Broncos having just slightly above-average talent and having to learn a new defensive scheme. Not a bad job.
John Bena of MileHighReport writes of Nolan's departure:
This is a shock, at least to me, and in a lot of ways puts the Broncos back at square one from a defensive standpoint. Sure, they will likely keep the 3-4, but Nolan had the unit playing hard, playing together. Now it will fall on someone else.
Nolan also has that "Parcells connection" that everybody likes to talk about. Mike was the defensive coordinator of the Jets in 2000 when Bill Parcells was the GM of the Jets.
Let's hope the Dolphins get this thing done and Mike Nolan joins this staff as defensive coordinator. It's an ideal fit for both sides.
[Update: Adam Schefter now adds on his Twitter page that the Dolphins had already sent in a request for permission to interview Nolan before he and the Broncos had parted ways. So it's clear the Dolphins have a lot of interest in him - and it'll be easier to lure him to Miami following his departure from Denver. Perhaps the Dolphins knew something about the situation even before Nolan left. Bill Parcells could have heard "through the grape vine" that Nolan wasn't happy in Denver. How? Well Parcells is on good terms with Bill Belichick. And Belichick is on good terms with Josh McDaniels. So it's not that far-fetched. We'll see what happens next.]