There is only one candidate to replace Tony Sparano that we know will absolutely, positively interview for the job: Todd Bowles.
Bowles, 48, will coach the Dolphins in the final three games of the regular season as their interim coach. He has been told he will interview for the opening once the season is over and that makes sense because he is black and that meeting will fulfill the Dolphins' Rooney Rule requirement. (That may sound cold, but the NFL is a cold business.)
That is not to suggest Bowles is not worthy of the interview.
The truth is Bowles has already interviewed for three NFL head coaching jobs -- in Detroit, Kansas City and Denver. And, according to one NFL source, Bowles came very, very close to getting the Detroit job that eventually went to Jim Schwartz.
Detroit General Manager Martin Mayhew loves and believes in Bowles. The two played for the Washington Redskins together in the 1980s and early 90s.
Bowles is also a guy that former Dolphins football czar Bill Parcells believes will eventually make a good football coach. So there's that.
All that, of course, will have very little sway in whether Bowles gets a legitimate opportunity to land the job after the season. You must understand that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is intent on hiring a big-name candidate to fill the post.
What if Bowles wins this week at Buffalo? And then wins next week at New England? And finishes undefeated with a season-finale victory over the Jets?
I know, I know, it's improbable. But that's precisely my point ... what if the improbable happens?
Suddenly you have a coach on your hands that took over a terrible (4-9) team and made them perfect. You have a coach who went into games against division opponents that had a 2-1 record against the Dolphins earlier in the season and gives you a 3-0 return. You have a coach that beats Bill Belichick. You have a coach that throws a wrench into the Jets' playoff run.
You have a hot coach candidate, no?
I am not saying the Dolphins will actually be able to raise their game for Bowles to the level of being able to win out. Even if they accomplish the feat, Bowles would remain a second-tier choice for Miami.
But would that be correct? What if the Dolphins have the next big thing in coaching right under their noses and don't know it?