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Miami Dolphins head coach search 2022: Is Vance Joseph headed for South Florida return?

Arizona Cardinals vs Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Could Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph be headed for a return to South Florida? The 2016 Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator is on Miami’s list of coaching interviews - a list Miami is not releasing pre- or post-interview this year - and could find himself the favorite to land the job.

Miami is believed to be considering seven coaches for the head coach opening created when they fired Brian Flores. Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, and Los Angeles Rams running backs coach/assistant head coach Thomas Brown have all been reported as interview targets, along with Joseph. Not mentioned - but again, the Dolphins are not issuing updates on their interviews this year - are former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson or University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, both of whom Miami could interview without having to submit a request, though Dolphins owner Stephen Ross seemed to eliminate Harbaugh earlier this offseason, saying he will not be the person to take Harbaugh away from Michigan. Ross is an alumnus of Michigan and a major donator to the school.

Joseph, Daboll, and Quinn have all been in Miami previously. Daboll as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2011, Quinn as the defensive line coach in 2005 and 2006, and Joseph in 2016.

Quinn appears to be the favorite for the Denver Broncos’ opening.

Daboll seems to be the early favorite, especially among fans, but he also could be the favorite to land the New York Giants head coaching position. New York just hired Joe Schoen as their general manager, pulling him out of the Buffalo assistant GM position. Could the shared Bills experience lead Daboll to the Giants job?

That leaves Joseph as someone who is familiar with the Dolphins. If Moore, Frazier, Brown, or McDaniel crush (crushed?) their interview, then maybe one of them jumps to the top of the list, but as of now, it seems like Joseph may be the favorite if Daboll lands with the Giants.

According to Giants beat reporter Art Stapleton of The Record and, the two names he is hearing the most when it comes to Miami’s head coaching position are Daboll and Joseph.

Sports Illustrated’s Alain Poupart also is speculating Joseph could become the favorite to head to Miami.

Over at the MMQB, Albert Breer also looks at Joseph as the potential next head coach of the Dolphins. Writing that he expects the Dolphins’ head coaching search to “accelerate in the coming days,” Breer writes, “If Denver were to take Quinn off the market, that could create some tension on Daboll—I’m told he interviewed well with the Dolphins, and his background with the organization, having been there in 2011, helps his cause. If the Giants try to close on Daboll? Then, Miami could turn to its ex-defensive coordinator (and current Cardinals DC) Vance Joseph, another candidate who’s positioned well with Miami wrapping up its initial set of head coaching interviews.”

Breer continues, writing, “And while it’s been stressed to me that Miami hasn’t made any decisions yet and remains focused on wrapping up the first phase of interviews, the standing relationships that Joseph and Daboll (and remember, Daboll has one with Tua Tagovailoa, too) have appear to be relevant now.”

Could Miami find their next head coach in their previous defensive coordinator? Joseph has something none of the Dolphins’ head coaching hires since Dave Wannstedt in 2000 has had prior to being hired - previous head coaching experience. Joseph served as the Broncos’ head coach from 2017 through 2018, moving from Miami’s defensive coordinator into that role. Could he go full circle and return to South Florida as his return to a head coaching position? It sounds like, he might be one of the favorites in Miami’s coaching search for 2022.