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Miami Dolphins Coaching Searches: Peterson and Ireland Directing Separate Hunts

The Miami Dolphins on Tuesday met with Jeff Fisher, gauging how well the former Tennessee Titans' head coach would fit with the franchise. Tuesday night, the franchise wined and dined Chicago Bears special teams coach Dave Toub, before hosting him at the team's training facility later today in a formal interview. But, this isn't a coordinated scheduling of interviews. The Dolphins actually seem to have two separate coaching searched happening right now.

Miami General Manager Jeff Ireland is heading the Dolphins' coach hunt, and has been given the power by owner Stephen Ross to find the right guy for the job. Meanwhile, Ross has apparently allowed former Kansas City Chiefs President, and non-Miami Dolphins employee, Carl Peterson to direct his own search for the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

So, the Dolphins, the same team that went searching for a coach last offseason, while they actually still had a head coach, now have two separate coaching searches happening?

According to, that's exactly what the team is doing. And, who remains with the Dolphins, Peterson or Ireland, could very well depend on which coach is hired.

Fisher was a Peterson coaching candidate. He was flown in to the Dolphins' facility on Ross' personal helicopter, with Peterson on board. The majority of the interview was conducted with Peterson, although Fisher did meet with Ross and Ireland. And, Fisher left Miami, reportedly to interview with the St. Louis Rams next week, with an offer on the table.

Meanwhile, Ireland brought Toub in to Miami last night, with the formal interview scheduled to take place today. Toub will meet with Ireland and Ross, but absent from his itinerary is any time with Peterson.

Both Peterson and Ireland have reportedly made extensive lists of possible candidates. If Peterson lands Fisher, or one of the other candidates from his list, which reportedly includes Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, then he will be hired as the Dolphins' President. He would then replace Ireland, and the rest of the front office, with members of his staff from his Kansas City days.

Meanwhile, if the Dolphins hire one of Ireland's candidates, then the General Manager will stay on with the team, without Peterson in the organization.

Interestingly, if the team does not sign Fisher, they are expected to try to keep Todd Bowles, the team's interim head coach for the final three games of the season, and the first candidate interviewed for the job, on the defensive coaching staff in some role. Bowles is expected to be a valued commodity in the league this offseason, with teams looking to hire him as either a defensive coordinator or as a head coach.

As the Dolphins continue their parallel searches for a new coach, it will be interesting to see which list provides the right candidate. And, ultimately, who has a job with the Dolphins and who doesn't.