Mike Nolan proved one heck of a "get" for the Miami Dolphins at the beginning of the 2010 off season. Nolan had coached 1 year in Denver as defensive coordinator after being fired midseason by the San Francisco Forty Niners in 2008. Nolan replaced then Miami defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, giving the Dolphins some coaching credibility and experience.
Nolan spent two seasons with the Miami Dolphins as defensive coordinator in which he managed to comeback (this season) from a horrid 0-7 skid to almost blanking the Chiefs and getting the right mix of players defending the run and pass. Miami finished the 2011 season ranked 6th in points allowed and seldom allowed a 100 yard rusher. Nolan was applauded for his use of exotic blitzes out of the three and four technique, something that the Dolphins have the player personnel to accomplish due to size and speed.
However, Mike Nolan until today was set to be a Miami Dolphin defensive coordinator for the 2012 season since he was under contract. While there was much rumor and innuendo of Nolan to be named as DC in Atlanta, New Orleans, or Tampa; Nolan was quick to land on his feet and bring his 3-4 defense to the Atlanta Falcons because of his close relationship with Coach Mike Smith (they served on the defensive staff together in Baltimore).
As the defensive coordinator in Miami, the talk this off season was why didn’t Nolan get a chance to at least interview for the position of Dolphins Head Coach. The first knock against Nolan was his 2008 season was marred by a firing at midseason by current San Francisco Forty Niner president Jed York. Additionally, Nolan was fresh off the firing and fresh off of an apparent personality squabble in Denver where then head coach Josh McDaniels was in charge of personnel and dictated the movement of player personnel; agreed to give Nolan the lateral transfer to the Dolphins.
In 2010, the Dolphins were right to get Nolan from the Broncos and establish a very powerful and imposing identity on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive monsters such as Paul Soliai, Jared Odrick, Kendall Langford, and Karlos Dansby thrived under Nolan's defensive schemes in that they stopped the run and pressured the quarterback multiple times per game. The debut of the Dolphin defense under Nolan resulted in a 15-10 defeat of the Buffalo Bills one in which rookie Jared Odrick and Karlos Dansby made their prescence felt. Nolan's defense followed up the defensive effort with a stoppage of Adrian Peterson and the Vikings in week 2. However, the Defensive schemes in 2010 were out numbered in losses to the Jets (once), Patriots (twice), Browns(4th quarter), Lions (4th quarter), Steelers (4th quarter), Bears, and Bills (4th quarter). Nolan's 2010 campaign lacked finishing off teams in the fourth quarter and letting close victories slip away.
In 2011, the Dolphins slow start could be attributed to a lack of defensive depth at the linebacker and corner position and a lack of conditioning and toughness necessary to combat the weapons on the Patriots, Giants, Chargers, Texans, and Jets. The Dolphins began the season 0-7 largely in part for not finishing teams in the 4th quarter losing to the Browns, Broncos (blew 15-0 in 7 minutes), and Giants teams that Miami was dominating defensively until the final 2 minutes.
While Nolan’s players performed to the bitter end of every game, the current regime Jeff Ireland and Stephen Ross may have ordered the change by giving Nolan an out in his contract thus giving Nolan room to seek other opportunities. Perhaps this opt out in the contract was provided initially by Nolan's agent should Sparano be fired during Nolan's term as a defensive coordinator. One could only guess.
It is unclear, why Nolan did not at least get an interview, but one can surmise that the past experience in San Francisco of squabbles with ownership and a direct mishandling of player and personnel may have led to Miami thinking twice on interviewing him for the job.
Thanks for reading! Please follow @DolphinMick for insight and analysis!
Today we have some Dolphins news for you but NO the Dolphins didn’t hire a new head coach. The 3 week wait drags on as things are going to get ugly if they aren’t already with the teams fan base.
The Dolphins lost defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to the Atlanta Falcons. Nolan joins Mike Smith who he coached along side in Baltimore with.
Nolan is as good as they come in this league, leading the Dolphins to two pretty solid seasons and generally getting the most out of his players.
Nolan’s presence on this team will most likely be sorely missed as the Dolphins now have no direction in terms of whether to pursue a defensive or offensive minded coach. Nolan is leaving some pretty big shoes for the next guy to step into.
Nolan got the most out of players like Cam Wake and Randy Starks while building one of the best run defenses in the NFL.
In other Dolphins related news, the Chicago Bear extended Coach Dave Toub to a 2 year contract taking him out of the picture for the Dolphins head coaching search. Also the Colts fired Jim Caldwell making even more competition for the Dolphins.
Sadly, things to only be looking to be getting worse, it really is time now that Ross gives us some good news we can hold on to.no comments
Hello Phins Phocus nation,
Today we got some pretty exciting news, NO the Dolphins don’t have a new coach but even better we have added a third blogger to our team Sebastian ( @sebastianmaich ) .
Sebastian is a huge Dolphins fan and was looking for a way to express his thoughts on the Phins and we felt Phins Phocus was a perfect forum for him. Hope you all enjoy what he has to say.
Ps : Step it up Ireland and Ross !no comments
The Miami Dolphins coaching search presses on into the third week of the offseason.
Thus far the Dolphins have interviewed interim coach Todd Bowles, Dave Toub, Jeff Fisher, Joe Philbin, Mike Zimmer, and now Mike McCoy.
The Miami Dolphins have not tipped their hand toward a clear cut agenda or vision except for sound bites generated by owner Stephen Ross as looking for the next young “Don Shula.”
Since being informed by Jeff Fisher that he was taking the Rams job, the Miami Dolphins have been in scramble mode to continuing casting the net even wider to include coaches on playoff losing teams. These candidates can be hired right away.
Based on all of the interviews that are known, the Dolphins could narrow their option to three candidates and decide soon or in the near future. Of course, teams such as Tampa and Oakland could take some of the preferred coaches off Miami's hiring list.
The three candidates deemed worthy of serious consideration are Joe Philbin, Mike Zimmer, and Mike McCoy.
Joe Philbin has a chance to be the coach of the Dolphins because of his offensive acumen. He has been a position coach in Green Bay since 2003 after having had stints in Harvard, Iowa, and Northeastern as an offensive line coach. He was named offensive coordinator in Green Bay in 2007 and has had a hand in Aaron Rogers and Matt Flynn’s development. It is safe to say that Philbin has a wealth of experience with the West Coast offense and creating plays that include multiple receiver sets and play fast and explosive football. Philbin is a highly recommended coach because of his experience working with Rogers and assisting him as a Super Bowl winning quarterback. Some drawbacks to Philbin are that he has never been a head coach at any level and thus far in Green Bay’s system he has never called plays (Head Coach Mike McCarthy does). In addition, Philbin recently lost a son in a tragic accident last week and it is not known if Philbin wants to be a head coach leaving the highly supportive and family oriented atmosphere in Green Bay. Philbin is scheduled to interview in Tampa Bay and Oakland in the near future.
Mike Zimmer is a tremendous football coach and has been a defensive coordinator in Dallas, Atlanta, and Cincinnatti. Zimmer has developed and designed defenses that have helped lead the Bengals into the playoffs two out of the last three seasons. Zimmer shows versatility in his area of expertise as a defensive coach by changing his defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 when Parcells took over as head coach in Dallas. In addition, Zimmer survived coaching changes in Dallas prior to joining staffs in Atlanta in 2007 (left because Bobby Petrino quit on the team) and then Cincinnatti in 2008. However, questions arise with Zimmer that deal with the recognition as a head coaching candidate now as opposed to earlier in his coaching career and why the Dolphins are considering him. Could it be that Jeff Ireland is reaching for familiarity since both were in Dallas under Bill Parcells? Nonetheless, Zimmer garners interest based on his tough, hard-nosed style. He is known as a compassionate coach of his players, has provided chances for success with Tank Johnson in both Dallas and Cincinnatti, and has competed at the highest level in the AFC North a very tough division to win.
Mike McCoy is a very curious candidate in that it was not known that he would be interviewed until late yesterday, even though the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero suggested it was possible he would be a candidate. While Coach McCoy has been an Offensive Coordinator since 2009, he has learned under John Fox (Dan Henning was the OC with McCoy) and Marty Schottenheimer. Among the offensive coordinators available to interview for advancement to head coach, he comes in with experience in dealing with a variety of different quarterbacks. He has worked with Jake Delhomme and coached in a Super Bowl under John Fox. He has worked with Miami’s current starter Matt Moore and Tim Tebow the past two seasons. McCoy has an incredible amount of experience as a developer of QBs and play design. He has even called the plays in Denver this season. This season as the Broncos began the season at 1-4, McCoy designed a game plan for Tim Tebow that would play to his strengths and thus propelled the Broncos into the playoffs. All of this was done mid-season! Coach McCoy brings quarterback experience in college and in the World League (Amsterdam) and Canadian Football League (Calgary Stampeders). The knock on McCoy is he has not been a head coach at any level. However, he brings that young and fresh mind as a rising star on John Fox’s current staff in Denver. He is being sought after by the Oakland Raiders and just concluded an interview in Miami.
Unlike deposed Dolphins coach Tony Sparano, none of these candidates have ever been a head coach at any level. However, being a head coach in the NFL takes NFL experience. All of these coaches have risen in the past 10 years to the coordinator position. Jeff Ireland and owner Stephen Ross have some thinking to do.
Personally, I really think that Mike McCoy fits the mold of the Miami coach. He is young at age 39, he is vibrant, he is versatile in changing the playbook entirely for Tim Tebow, and he brings a passion for winning and success with limited parts on offense and multiple injuries. His game plan beat the Steelers in the playoffs! He has all the tools and experience in working with good quarterbacks in the past. He has coached in a Super Bowl early in his career. In addition, he has experience in the only NFL and could put together a quality staff.
For those of you who follow me on twitter (@phindaniel) you already know I was quite upset today when hearing the news that the Dolphins had lost the Jeff Fisher sweepstakes. I went on a little twitter rant however I felt I could best reach my audience through blog.
I’ve been a Dolphins fan for all my life and while there is plenty of to complain about in modern day history I’ve decided to only write how I feel Dolphins fans should feel since the Stephen Ross took over the team in 2008.
Today was a day in Dolphins history where I think the fans should legitimately be fed up and frustrated. While I know Ross made a strong push at Fisher even offering 64 millions he came up short again for his fan base.
I am not a fortune teller and I cannot predict whether losing out on Fisher will turn out good, bad or ugly however I can tell you that I think there is a bigger picture to be looking at here.
The fact is in this on going Dolphins search the boys upstairs have struck out on all three of their top options. No Cowher, No Gruden and No Fisher. Whether these 3 were the right options is not the point the point is that the Dolphins brass decided these 3 were the best candidates and most qualified and failed on each occasion to land any of them.
As all of you know this isn’t the first time Ross has come up short in the coaching search department as this years Jeff Fisher sweepstakes was eerily similar to last years Jim Harbaugh fiasco.
Then there is the fact that Ross and the Dolphins have absolutely no idea how to deal with PR. Time after time this franchise has been seen as a laughing stock since Ross signed on as owner. Whether it’s having celebrity owners, an orange carpet, coaching searches gone wrong, empty fans in the stands, the bottom line is Ross’s Dolphins are from the glory days.
While I still haven’t grasped how Jeff Fishers decision will affect the Dolphins going forward I can tell you as a fan I am tired of settling.
Whether it’s Chad Henne, Matt Moore ( solid backup don’t mean to hate but no franchise QB) big name coaches, second rate GM in Jeff Ireland.
I am tired of 6-10, 8-8 and 7-9 and if were losing we can’t even do that right taking ourselves out of position for Luck or RG3.
When I think of Stephen Ross’s Dolphins I think of the team that is constantly settling. So please Mr. Ross do something about it. If you make a big move and fail FINE, but do something out of the box, find us the next QB, whether it’s Ireland who does it or someone else make sure it’s done.
The NFL clearly can’t be controlled by a pocket book so if you don’t think your qualified step aside but for once please stop making me settle as a fan.no comments
Today at about 2:30PM Eastern time, the Miami Dolphins and the rest of Dolfans everywhere learned that Jeff Fisher got free from Steve Ross' proverbial hook.
Saddened as much as Dolfan Nation was, many took to Twitter to voice their frustrations and took to the radiowaves on Sid Rosenberg's daily show on WQAM in Miami.
Jeff Fisher, the coach that Steve Ross and Jeff Ireland gave the royal tour complete with choppers and caviar took the job with the St. Louis Rams.
The Rams, a team that has spent 10 years with mainly losing seasons have landed a very good coach in Jeff Fisher. Fisher, reportedly stands to make upwards of 7.5 million per year on a 5 year contract and has final say on personnel.
For the Dolphins, dollars and cents were not the issue. Steve Ross reportedly was willing to out spend anyone for the coach that Steve Ross badly wanted. Steve Ross was very willing to go above and beyond for the coach that would turn the Miami Dolphins franchise into a contender and a pearl of the AFC East.
Just last night, Adam Schefter reported that Jeff Fisher had a better than expected rapport with Steve Ross and Jeff Ireland. The main thing was the organizational structure of the Dolphins franchise and Schefter acknowledged that control was a main issue for Fisher to be coach of the Dolphins.
Adam Schefter, a very well admired and respected reporter for ESPN believed as early this morning that it was an 80/20 chance that Jeff Fisher was coming to the Miami Dolphins to be the 10th head coach in their history.
Many Dolfans were waking up this morning hoping and wishing that Jeff Fisher was going to be appearing for a press conference later this afternoon and that Jeff Fisher was going to bring in the best coaching staff that money could buy.
As the day wore on, the report came through on text 239 (Sun-Sentinel Sports news) or ESPN via text on all of our phones:
Jeff Fisher has agreed to join the St. Louis Rams.
So why did this happen?
Based on my observations around the web:
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports hit the nail on the head this evening with his article on the Miami Dolphins letting Fisher slip away.
In his article, he quoted a conversation that Fisher had with Steve Ross where Fisher admitted, basically pouring his heart out:
Fisher discussed the need for final say and control over personnel when he reportedly told Ross:
“I’ve been a head coach for 17 years and 12 of them sucked because I had to fight for what I wanted.”
Steve Ross, either dismissed what Fisher said, or lives up to the reputation as the micro-managing meddling owner.
Is this direct quote by Cole a direct shot at the Miami Dolphins' Steve Ross and Jeff Ireland? It very well could be and it could help explain at how this exact situation unfolded into becoming a media frenzy filled with rumor and innuendo.
In the coming days, the Miami Dolphins complete with the twosome of Jeff Ireland and Jeff Fisher will be dialing for dollars in getting in more coaches for interviews.
The Miami Dolphins desperately need a coach and might be watching their coach on the sidelines of this weekend's four playoff games.
Here is a synopsis of some possibilities:
Just today: Chris Kouffman @ckparrot a well respected draft guru at universaldraft.com mentioned Vic Fangio (DC Forty Niners), Chuck Pagano (DC Baltimore Ravens), and Milke Zimmer (DC Cincinnati Bengals) as possible head coaches for the Miami Dolphins. He did not discount Dave Toub as a strong possibility. (More on this later).
In addition, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald mentioned quite possibly that an expanded coaching search of former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman, current Carolina Panthers OC Rob Chadzinski, and New York Jets DC Mike Pettine would be in for interviews.
Lastly, as reported by the Miami Herald and confirmed by Chris Kouffman through a source with the Orlando Sentinel, the current special teams coach Dave Toub (pronounced Tobe) will be in for a second interview thus solidifying his chances of landing his first HC job in the NFL.
Many other current college coaches could receive overtures from Jeff Ireland in the next few days such as Chip Kelly of Oregon (denied interest, but he's in recruiting mode), Greg Schiano of Rutgers (has ties to the University of Miami), and any other surprise candidate that nobody knows about.
If your head is spinning? It can't possibly be as bad as the Dolphins "spin" on the response and message that Steve Ross and Jeff Ireland failed to land Fisher.
In a parting shot, Steve Ross ended his statement today about not landing Fisher:
“[Fisher] was the only candidate that had any head coach experience. I would’ve liked that in a way, but I don’t feel any worse off. . . . We’re very excited about these other coaches we’ve interviewed and we’ll continue to interview. I think all of them are outstanding.”
Sure, but Steve Ross will feel much worse than today and hideout in his office on 5th Avenue in New York if the Miami Dolphins do not bring in a winning season and give the fans more than zero blackouts to cheer about.
What makes these interviewed coaches outstanding and certainly better than Jeff Fisher?
I suppose as Dolfans, it's back to the grind on twitter and the web for a glimpse of who is going to be the next "Young" Don Shula.
Thanks for reading!
@DolphinMick on Twitter