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Miami Dolphins Coaching Search Now Targeting Pete Carmichael

The Miami Dolphins are continuing their search for a new head coach this week, with one of the bigger named assistant coaches currently the top target for the team. The New Orleans Saints lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Divisional playoffs this weekend, clearing the way for New Orleans offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael to interview for the Dolphins' vacant head coach position.

Carmichael has twice spurned advances from the Dolphins, but both of those were for an offensive coordinator position. Now, with the head coach job available, Carmichael will most likely take the phone call.

The Dolphins are expected to interview Carmichael sometime this week. He and his family are happy in New Orleans, so it may take a good showing from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and general manager Jeff Ireland to convince him to come to Miami. Or, it may take Ross' deep pockets.

Miami is also expected to meet with the Denver Broncos' Mike McCoy early this week. McCoy is interesting because he had to completely revamp his offensive scheme in mid season, running a traditional offense to start the season, and then switching to an option based offense with quarterback Tim Tebow. Despite only reaching 8-8 on the season, the Broncos won their division, and proceeded to beat the league's top defense in the Wildcard round of the playoffs, dispatching the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23.

Rumors also state the Dolphins are interested in speaking to the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. However, the Ravens are still in the playoffs, heading to the AFC Championship game next weekend, meaning Miami would have to wait until next Monday at the earliest to speak to Pagano.

The Dolphins have interviewed their own interim head coach, Todd Bowles, the Chicago Bears' special teams coach Dave Toub, the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, and the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. The team had offered the job to Jeff Fisher, who elected to head to the St. Louis Rams over the Dolphins.

Bowles is considered a candidate for the Oakland Raiders head coaching vacancy, and is currently under consideration by the Minnesota Vikings for their defensive coordinator position. The Dolphins are thought to want to keep Bowles in their new system, if not making him the head coach, possibly promoting him to defensive coordinator if current DC Mike Nolan is let go.

Meanwhile, Philbin is dealing with the loss of his son last week. Michael Philbin, Joe's 21-year old son, drowned in a Wisconsin river. Joe had been interviewed by the Dolphins the day before.

Carmichael took over as the play caller for the Saints earlier this year when head coach Sean Payton broke his leg on the sidelines. When the offense suddenly took off, Payton continued to allow Carmichael to call the plays - leading to quarterback Drew Brees breaking Dolphins' legend Dan Marino's single season passing yardage record.

The Dolphins are one of three teams still searching for a head coach, joining the Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.