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Brian Daboll willing to embrace the unorthodox

I am a fan of unorthodox football.

I loved the 46 defense when it first reared its angry head. I applauded the Wildcat package. I was applauding passing the ball 70 percent of the time when Bill Parcells was winning titles running 65 percent of the time. Oh yeah, I also love the shovel pass, the quarterback draw, the safety and corner blitz and God bless Dick LeBeau and his Fire Zone.

So have we established that I like the unusual approach?

That is one reason I like Brian Daboll. The man isn't afraid to try different stuff.

This year, you've seen the Dolphins line up their entire offensive line on the right side of the center and try to out-flank the defense with a run to the strong side. You've seen Flea-flicker Wildcat plays on the first series of the game.

On Sunday you saw left tackle Jake Long split out wide as an eligible receiver who was really one very, very big blocking flanker for a receiver screen. No, the play didn't work because the timing was terrible. But when the Dolphins lined up, I just about fell off my chair with glee.

It was different. What can I say?

That willingness to embrace something different isn't the only reason I like Daboll. Let's face it, he was ripped for how terrible the Browns were scoring points last year. Dolphins fans were screaming at Tony Sparano for trying to improve his offense by hiring the guy who ran one of only two offenses in the NFL that scored fewer points than Miami last year.

Yes, Cleveland was 31st in the NFL in scoring. The Dolphins were 30th. But despite that seemingly fair point, Daboll has injected some life into the Miami offense this year.

With Daboll guiding him, Matt Moore has shown steady improvement. And the Miami offense that was 30th in scoring (just ahead of Cleveland) is tied for 22nd this year while the Browns are 28th.

Back in Cleveland, meanwhile, quarterback Colt McCoy has seemingly regressed this year after playing surprisingly well under Daboll last year.

So props to Daboll for everything but this: As he explains in the video below, he ran the tackle eligible screen last year also. Except it apparently worked there. (Turn up the volume, the sound is admittedly poor.)


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If Tony is to go, in my opinion B. Daboll should be the first to be considered for HC, not only because of his familiarity with this FO philosophy but also because he has experience coaching almost all offensive and defensive positions.

One word: Harbaugh

He came in a took a mediocre team and now has them poised to be the #2 seed in the NFC

Daboll doesn't strike me as someone remotely ready to handle a team of prima dona egomaniacs. He doesn't even seem comfortable speaking with the press. He has not even 2 full years experience as a coordinator. Too young, not tough enough, too green.


Good points at 4:27pm. I'm not so far removed from that same thinking as you might think.

Guys, what about the possibility of Daboll or Nolan as the Head Coach next year, with the understanding that the guy who takes the job keeps one of the coordinators. Just a thought....just throwing that out there.

Craig M......

I saw your post....and I see your points....but I think Sporano history is what ross should use to seal the deal....NO COACH should be fired on a whim....or even for a bad season.....

I think Tony has given us all enough of a body of work to make an informed judgment.....and hopefully Mr. Ross feels the same way as well.....

We all know how he felt last year.....

and as far as the lock-out argument....the 49ers have busted that myth...

and I am so grateful to them for doing that.....

Daboll is NOT head coach material. Period.



I can't argue with anything you've said. I'd just like to see how interesting things might get if they were to finish 3-1 or 4-0 and to beat BOTH the Pats and Jets. I think it would be hard for Ross to blow it all up after the team turns around an 0-7 start and finishes 7-2. You'd have to agree that's pretty impressive. Factor in games they SHOULD have won and this is a much different season.

NH....why not......

DA....who sounded more infortable in front of the camera than Belicheat.....now we all consider it "mystique....and "gamesmanship".....

but in reality....it all spurned from not being comfortable with the press.....

These things take time......

2012 Mock Draft (updated) - If season were to end today with current records and tie breakers (and predicted trades):

1.) Indy - QB; Matt Luck - Nothing to say here, no brainer.

2.) Minn - WR; Justin Blackmon - Need to get Ponder some weapons, Blackmon fits the bill.

3T.) Washington (via trade w/St. Louis) - QB; RG3 - The Skins have to move up to get their QB because Cleveland and Jax stand in their way. Shanny shocks the world and goes with RG3 over Barkley.

4.) Jax - QB; Matt Barkley - The new owner doesn't give a rats what Gabert was paid last year and he's only owed $4M due to the new CBA. It's water under the bridge for the new owner and he wants his own QB.

5.) Cleveland - WR; Alshon Jeffery - The top 3 QBs have been taken, leaving Cleveland out in the cold. Landry Jones is falling like a rock and would be a reach at 5, if he declares at all. The Browns look to address their QB needs elsewhere but draft some weaponry here.

6.) Tampa - CB; Morris Claiborne - Barber is in his twilight, so it's time to think about the future of that position. Tampa is in perfect position to take Claiborne.

7.) Carolina - G/T; David DeCastro - They would have loved Blackmon, Jeffery, or Claiborn, but all three are gone. They look to the versatile DeCastro to upgrade the O-line.

8T.) St. Louis - OT; Riley Reif - They wanted Kalil, but there are reports that he's not coming out. Thus St. Louis makes the trade back with Washington to pick up the 2nd best option....Riley Reif.

9.) Philly - ILB; Luke Kuechly - This may look like a reach, but Kuechly fills a big need. He's also climbing many boards and wowing scouts. Look for him to move into the top 15 at least.

10.) Miami - QB; Landry Jones - Many variables here...if Sporano stays, that means the Phins continue to win and thus move down the board. Regardless, I don't see Miami picking beyond 15 and in fact, Jones may still be there at 15. There are a number of reports out now that he may drop out of the first rouind altogther (should go back to school at that point). Also, if Sporano stays, he may be quite happy with Moore and finding a backup/competion via FA. I could also see WR Michael Floyd here if the Dolphins get serious about a true #2 threat...unfortunately, I could also see OT Jonathan Martin. Martin is great....just tired of seeing O-line taken here.

11.) Arizona - OT; Jonathan Martin - Fills a huge need and fits the billing at #11. They need to protect the substantial investment they have in Kolb.

12.) Seattle - CB; Dre Kirkpatrick - Seattle has issues in the defensive backfield and Kirkpatrick would be an immediate boost. I could also see T Richardson (RB) here.

13.) San Diego - DE; Quinton Colples - Coples doesn't work in a 3-4, but with the coaching changes looming, they could go to a 4-3....they need an overhaul on the D-line.

14.) Kansas City - NT; Brandon Thompson - The Chiefs play a 3-4 but have never invested in a NT...they rectify that situation and Thompson just happens to fit the bill at 14.

15.) Buffalo - WR; Michael Floyd - If Miami goes QB or OT and passes on Floyd, Buffalo will kindly pick him up. A much needed weapon for Fitazpatrick.

Craig, I think Cleveland is where we were last year with henne. Except that I think McCoy has shown more. He probably gets the three year grading period. I think its only fair to him and you know how I feel about non first round qbs. Odds are long that they turn out. Still he probably gets one more with some legit vet competition.



The Defense is playing very impressive ball.

The offensive turn around is unmistakeable.

NOW, the Offensive Line is playing among the leagues best!

Forget the Bills, NOBODY Circles the Wagons like Coach SpOrano.

I guess all that's left to do is run the table and draft our Franchise QB.

OK Seriously, it's probably too little too late. But there is one aspect of this that I am really enjoying.

Tony SpOrano ain't going down without a FIGHT! ValHalla!!!!

Back against the wall, 4th and forever, running out of bullets. Yet there's Tony SpOrano, swinging away until the final Fis t Pum p!





I don't think Beli sounded remotely uncomfortable. I really don't. I think he was just very guarded not to give away any sliver of information. Intentionally boring. Plus Beli had far more years experience than Daboll when he took over.

I do not see Daboll remotely ready to be a HC and I think its a huge stretch to even suggest it.

Thats my take.

Craig M.....

Your points are solid as well.....

we will have to see in January.....

Nobody is gonna want to hear this....but I think the FINS go 0-fer the rest of the season.....were not know for great December's.....not even when we had really good teams....weather IS a factor......

but if Sporano pulls it out....we can cross that bridge......

A tiny win streak after a LOOOOOOOOONG losing streak and people are talking Daball as HC? He is not even finished with his second year as an OC an was never an OC on a winning team.

Jumping the gun I say.


Good job on the mock. They only thing I'd take issue with is this notion that RGIII goes third. I would completely shocked. Reason? I believe if Barkley is there Shanahan will take him. Safer pick, no real weakpoints. He's be perfect for Shanahan. So if he's trading up he will pick Barkley. I also think, as part of Gabbert has shown, that the Jags will trade back with someone like us and get more weapons for Gabbert. He's got MJD and Lewis and that's it. They have LOTS of holes and could use some extra picks. They will leverage us and a team like Seattle or Cleveland for RGIII, IMO.

DA - agreed...Daboll is too 'green' and needs more seasoning to become a head coach.

Case in point: Cam Cameron

Genius OC, crappy HC

OK guys, peace out, been a good week. Enjoy the weekend!!!

Daboll is doing a very good job.

When you consider his starting QB went down and his back up had basically no off season work with the team, it's impressive.

No off season, short camp, new running backs, etc, etc.


What's your problem with Daboll getting an interview? I agree with kris, I think he's earned. In no way do I see him being a strong candidate for the job but what's your problem with him getting a sit down. I don't think he's ready either but I think he's done nothing to not be considered for the job.

Mark, we'll disagree that McCoy has shown more thn Henne to this point. There is NOTHING from McCoy to date that has make me think he's going to make it in this league. You obviously didn't watch the game last night but there were INTs at key points in the game. I had hope for this guy coming out (I foolishly thought he had a chance to be the next Drew Brees). I'm just not seeing it from this guy and I think he'll only get another chance if a guy like Barkley isn't there staring Holmgren in the face.

It's Miller Time!
Enjoy the game and GO FINS!

Let's not forget Ross has full control over the situation. If he wants to keep Daboll and Nolan as coordinators, he can simply demand that any new coach accepts it.

I don't see any high power coach available out there that has enough clout to demand anything. I don't see Cowher or Gruden coaching next year.


I don't see any point, not even a tiny pinpoint, in giving Daboll even an interview. If anything, they may consider giving Nolan an interview over Daboll.

I'm shocked so many of you are even suggesting Daboll as HC. Let the guy earn it. A year and a half OC experience on two losing teams is not my idea of earning even an interview.

NH....wasn't Belicheat considered a Crappy HC......and a genius DC.....(btw...his D stinks in the past few years)......

Nobody should be judged on one season alone....


Like I have said before....he deserves an INTERVIEW.....CONSIDERATION.....

I capitalize those words...not to be a smart @ss......but to drive home the CONTENT of what I am saying.....

I haven't said hand Daboll the job hands down....

I said...he deserves consideration.....

Guys....NOBODY is giving Daboll the head coaching job...relax. But why would you not let a guy who is familiar with the personnel, who has done an admirable job in his short time here and who appears to be liked by his players, a sit down. It's what the good teams do. Why would let a guy who could be something special in this league walk out from under their nose? It's part of the process and I'll be surprised if he doesn't at least meet with Ross.

I hear you Kris. And I don't understand it for a minute.

A three game win streak and all of a sudden that warrants an interview for the HC? Not with his youth and limited experience. Just don't see it.

I hear you. I hear Craig. I don't see it, not remotely. Let the guy pay some dues first.

I don't think he is remotely ready to handle a whole team of players and all the head cases.

DA...i find it funny that you don't consider continuity as a factor when considering a HC....especially one that has brought exactly what the owner has been asking for....More excitment.....

with a back-up QB...

Daboll has earned the right to continue as OC. That I give him. To interview for the vast responsibilities of HC? Don't see it no way.

If is not TS or Daboll as HC next year, then, who would you bring that would not implement drastic changes on the Team and it's assistant Coaches and lead us to at least a 9-7 Season?

Continuity? That is a weak argument. The guy hasn't even been on the team a year. Continuity at his position fine. Elevating him to the responsibilities as HC? For a guy that young and green? Gruden I understood, he was a tough character, could manage a team of crazy athletes. I don't see that in Daboll at all, not at this juncture. That is a huge stretch.

Let's not execute the Peter Principle here and elevate the guy a notch above what he is capable of doing well.


With all due respect, if an owner did what you're suggesting he would be blind. You're doing what people did when it was announced that Daboll was to be the OC, you're labelling him based on his offence's past performance. Based on what his offence did last year, you wouldn't even have given him an interview to be the new OC. Hoepfully, you can see that approach would have been wrong.

I want an owner who is going to do his due dilligence and lok under every stone, especially the ones in his own backyard.

You could have the next hot...young...up and comer on your roster....and you don't give him an interview....you tell him NO CHANCE.....upward mobility....i think Ross has better business sense than that....

I guess an interview would be harmless.

But I have to agree with the DEVIL!

I don't believe Daboll is ANYWAY NEAR ready to be a Head Coach in the NFL.

I'm not saying he doesn't have the potential or that he won't ever be a Head Coach. I'm saying it purely from an experience standpoint.

When you bring in a new Head Coach, you want to plan on giving him AT LEAST two full season, if not three. If you brought in Daboll and it turns out he's just not ready, it sets your Franchise back nearly half a decade.

I think it's just too big a chance at this point.

Gruden I understood, he was a tough character, could manage a team of crazy athletes

Really.......could he.....


I'm not labelling anything.

Seriously. I don't see your point. You don't want to evaluate people on their past performance. Can you evaluate them on their future performance? .

It's beyond me that anyone sees him remotely ready to handle a team of ego maniac characters or that he has nearly the experience to handle the duties of HC.

I do not even think he deserves an interview for the position.

Now that I think about it, to be HONEST, I'd keep SpOrano before I hired Daboll.

You haven't answered my question. Who instead?


I agree with you.

DA, no of us are saying Daboll should be the next head coach. I defy you to show me anyone who is saying that. But what message are you sending to future co-ordinators of this time, that if there's a coaching change, 'you won't even get an interview'. Who knows this team better than the guys that are coaching this team right now? The guys that are around the players all the time? The guys that are putting in 16-18 hour days? To not even recognize that because you've already got your mind made up on a guy is a bit short-sighted, don't you think?

I agree with kris, I believe if Sparano goes, that Daboll will in fact get a sit down, if for no other reason than a courtesy to him.


This backwards blog....never ceases to amaze me....

Odin...you keep throwing Sporano's name out there as a possible keeper...

regardless of what he has shown himself to be...3 years of losing season's....

He deserve's an interview......thats all i'm saying....

Craig M @ 4:50 -

You're probably correct in RE to Washington taking Barkley if they move up (why I said, "Shanny shocks the world) :). I like to throw a little zig zag in my mocks sometimes just to keep from getting too board.

My general line of thinking in RE to Gabert has been much on the same lines as you're saying. I read a couple articles yesterday and today that have made me re-think a bit. Apparently, he's only owed ~$4M or so and the new ownership doesn't seem all that concerned about what he was paid previously and has serious interest in a QB of his own.

I could see that one going either way at this point. I don't, however, see Miami trading up in anyway, particularly if we continue to win. It'll be a lot harder to trade up from 10-15 than it would be if they ended up between 5-8 or something. Either way, it would most likely cost a fortune. I guess if Ross demanded it....that's about the only way I could see it happening.


You are labelling the guy. You're basing your decision on what he did last year in Cleveland, with no talent to work with and the little bit of time he's been in Miami. I guarantee you that Ross doesn't even know the guy. The hiring was done by Ireland and Sparano and I'll bet you that Ross stayed out of it. Doesn't it fall upon the owner to at least find out what the guys he's had working for him are all about as it applies to HC?

21st Offense in the league(13th rushing, 23rd passing).

15th Defense in the league(5th Rush, 24th pass).

OC- Daboll
DC- Nolan

Anyone considering Daboll or Nolan getting HC interviews need also consider these men were just as responsible, if not more, as Sparano for having thier invidual units fully ready to play at the season's onset. Keeping both coordinators should also mean keeping the HC.

Guys, like it or not, the snails crawl out of the starting gate cant just be attributed to a single coordinator or the hc. It was a combination of so many other things(lockout, players not fully in football shape(Dansby admits being far overweight), integrating new fa's, integrating the rookies,....).

Not to mention the injury to Henne, his none progress in 3rd down conversions and redzone prowess. Then you have Matt Moore, who hadnt taken a single 1st team snap, suddenly plunged into trying to lead the offense. An offense entirely new to him.

To tell you guys the truth, I dont know a HC in the league who could have overcome all of these adversities and come out the gates like Secretariat. A sweep of the final 4 games and Im definitely onboard with Sparano's stay!

He deserve's an interview......thats all i'm saying....

Posted by: kris | December 09, 2011 at 05:15 PM


I said I would stipulate to an interview. What do you want from me-LOL.

I don't and haven't advocated Keeping SpOrano(not YET :). I was just kind of sarcastically saying, that before I hired someone so inexperienced, I'd keep SpOrano first.

PS: I'm about 4 very CONVINCING victories away from advocating another year of SpOrano.

........that's all I'm saying.........oh yeah, and: Period ;)


I see the Dolphins trying to do something similar to what the Jets didn in moving up from 11 to 5, to take Sanchez. I forget what they did to make that move but I think it would be realistic for us to do the same. I'd be in agreement with them doing that to take RGIII. I know in your mock you had us taking ?Jones aroung 10 and I woould be fine with that too. I'm not as down on him as others here and I think being on the sidelines for 2-3 years could benefit him. Aaron Rodgers dropped like a stone in the draft and we know how that turned out. Hopefully we could have that kind of success with Jones.


You are wrong about what I am basing my opinion on. I am basing on what I have seen since he has been here and the fact he only has less than 2 years experience as an OC. From what I have seen I don't think he is remotely ready to be HC, and therefore, why fuddle with an interview for an interviews sake just to stroke the guys ego. You interview people when you seriously believe they may be ready, not to make them feel good.

OC/DC are most responsible for having thier units ready to play. Even more so than the hc, because they work more directly and hands on with thier units.

I wonder about you guys sometimes. You want Sparano's head, but, wanna replace him with the guys even more responsible for thier units readiness to play(OC/DC). Fire Sparano and replace him with the guy(s) even more responsible for having his unit ready to play. Hmm.............................

Do you want a HC starting here, a guy that has NEVER done it before in college or the pros, learning on the job? I don't. I want a guy with a solid system in place, experience, someone a little more commanding than Daboll.

I don't offer who instead. I do not have the time nor resources to investigate any or all the possibilities.

I'm not from the politically correct school of giving people interviews to make them feel warm and fuzzy inside. Business is business. Stick to it.

Daboll is doing better now, let him continue to improve where he is and not quickly elevate him to a position beyond which he can perform well.(The Peter Principle).

If you are so enthused with him, great, let him stay on as OC, lets have a great OC for the next 5 years.


If I'm wrong on what I was saying you were basing it on then I apologize.

You interview the guy because that's what good owners and good teams do. It's ALL information. You do it because the good teams give their out-going co-ordinators an opportunity to further their careers. You don't want the message to get out there to other co-ordinators, 'Don't go work for the Dolphins. They don't even give their coordinators a chance'. We went the BEST guys working here and that's how you treat the BEST guys.


Show me where you have found that all NFL teams interview all their coordinators for HC openings. I do not believe that is true.

And if you are so high on that, why aren't you saying Nolan deserves an interview? Or are you going to judge him based on his past work and not Dabol?

DA.....politically correct or not......

It is done all the time......

Don't consider it a politically correct....think of it as the real world of the NFL.....

Most owner's know who they want...before the coaching search even begins....

even if we had landed Harbaugh...Ross still had to do some "Rooney Rule".....interviews.....

Devil's, if you're talking egomaniacs, look no further than Cowher, Chucky, and other similars.


I would agree with you if Daboll had been the OC for the past 5+ years. Not for a young guy with limited experience who just boarded the ship.


I can't answer that for Craig M....but I can give you my take.....

Nolan has been a HC before and has failed....

His defence...is suspect at times.....and he is tied to past failures of this regime.....

even this year it has taken him to long to put quality on the feild...even tho he has had multiple years to implement his system.....

IMO...that is why.....

oscar, sure they are egomaniacs, different issue, the issue is can Daboll handle a group of NFL prima donnas? And ALL the duties of the HC?

One little win streak in a 4-8 season is not enough to convince me. I don't see anything in his background that suggests he should even be interviewed for the HC.

Now, I have no problem if they do interview him. Fine. I don't think Daboll will be an HC anywhere in the next 5 years.

Nobody is annointing the guy as HC just yet. It's only a possibility if Tony goes and nobody else is suitable for HC here.


That's why I advocate giving Sparano at least one more year. Cowher(and I was at one time on his bandwagon), and Gruden both scare me that in 3 seasons both would decide to go back to broadcast booth leaving the job unfinished. Ala, you know who(JJ).

After those two, there isnt anyone available that's any kind of appreciable upgrade to Sparano. Andy Reid? Hell, no! If you wanna boot Sparano for not having a team ready to play. Then why bring in Reid if he's available?

Reid didnt have a far more talented "dream team" ready to play this year. Also, should we beat Philly Sunday, that rightfully should squash all replace Sparano with Reid talk. At least amongst those who claim to have good sense!


Well that goes against Craigs argument that says I shouldn't judge Daboll on the 31st ranked offense last year, since you are judging Nolan on his past performance. Craig says we should not judge on past performance.

I'm judging on what I see, all included, the big picture. I do not see a HC in Daboll at this point in time nor the need to stroke his ego with an interview. His ego is plenty well stroked being an OC in the NFL.

Oscar @ 5:36....says it best.....

simply offering options....not end all...be all solutions.....

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