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Dolphins continue coach hires, must answer questions

The Dolphins continue putting together a coaching staff these days, with the most recent announcement that George Edwards, who left the Miami a couple of years ago to join the Gators then the Bills, is back with Miami after he was fired in Buffalo.

Also returning to the Dolphins 2012 staff will be tight ends coach Dan Campbell, special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi and strength coach Darren Krein, all three of whom were on Tony Sparano's staff last season.

Zac Taylor, a former graduate assistant and tight ends coach at Texas A&M under Mike Sherman, joins the Dolphins as an assistant quarterbacks coach.

More hires will be announced in the coming days as the staff is still incomplete.

But this much we know of the current staff: On offense, the hiring of Sherman shows a move toward experience and thus a possible upgrade with the hiring of Sherman.

On defense?

Not quite as good.

The Dolphins, as we all know, hired longtime Cincinnati assistant Kevin Coyle to become the defensive coordinator. Coyle is no rookie coach. He's been in the profession 35 years and has been in the NFL 11 seasons, the past nine as Cincinnati's secondary coach.

Coyle also served as the defensive coordinator at Syracuse, Maryland and Fresno State during his career.

But he has never been an NFL defensive coordinator. That is fact. So it will be interesting to see how his running of Miami's switching 3-4/4-3 defense does compares to the work well-regarded and experienced Mike Nolan did the past two seasons.

Nolan was granted his release despite being under contract and left to go to Atlanta -- not because he was advancing, but rather because he was unhappy he was not considered for the Miami head coach position while one defensive assistant -- Todd Bowles -- was a finalist and obviously got an interview. Bowles, by the way, also left to become a secondary coach in Philadelphia.

So the replacing of Nolan with Coyle glows in neon as the big question mark the Dolphins must answer. Nolan had served as the coordinator in Baltimore, Denver as well as head coach at San Francisco when he landed the Dolphins coordinator job in 2010. The Dolphins were sixth in scoring defense, allowing 19.6 points per game a season ago.

The Bengals, by the way, yielded 20.2 points per game and finished ninth in scoring defense.

Coyle faces something of a rebuilding job and does so as a first time NFL coordinator under a first-time NFL head coach.

We'll see.

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Ref: DC Nolan, was sorry to see him go, some on this blog believe Nolan wasnt that good a coach. Ive seen over the yrs that good players make good DCs, or OCs and HCs. Can a good coach make "middle of the road" players, play well? I suppose, but good players are going to play good more often then not. I think Nolan was snubbed by the Dolphins in the HC interviews, makes no sense, but since when has the Dolphin front office made any real sense?????

DC,

I hear you on that if Miami was more balanced at least they have a chance at the playoffs. And I don't care Nolan went elsewhere. Miami had a good defense but it wasn't elite and it wasn't SO good that it could carry the team. It was just a flat out good defense but nothing special. Nolan is a good coach but nothing special.

I know you like me harp on the QB issue and why not. I keep saying I am in favor of Matt Flynn because if Philbin thinks he is the answer then he at least knows Flynn can be successful in that system. Guys like AJ Feeley, Kolb etc all went from West Coast offense to whatever the offenses were but it certainly wasn't WC. Flynn even if he is more a Matt Hasselbeck type then elite is good enough for me because at least that gives Miami a chance at consistently competing for the playoffs and once your in who knows what happens.

To Kris and G,

I am not sure what you kids are arguing about, but if it whether coaches or players are more important - which I think one of you argued it was the players - I harken back to Don Shula and even Bill B. Pats coach.

Dream teams often fail...I have several examples, including Miami Heat, which only failed at the end. Eagles, Redskins a few years ago. Just because you put a bunch of really good players under the same roof does not make the perfect - or best - team. Someone needs to tame their abilities and egos.

Take Shula - in the 70's, his defense was called no-name cause they were. Shula, knowing their abilities, put them all in positions to do what they do well. AND THEY BECAME STARS.

Similarly, Bellichek does the same thing. He takes apparent cast-offs (mostly from Miami) and puts each in positions to succeed. You can hate Bill, but he is a masterful coach.

There are intangibles of course. The quarterback has to be arrogant/self assured enough to throw a ball up for Marshall to "go get it", which I did see Moore do a few times this year. And so quality of players is important on some level.

But the coach matters most. I understand why Ross wanted Harbaugh so much...he is smart, young AND arrogant enough to deal with star caliber players - and make them actual stars.

So, pertaining to that point, settle down guys. It's just a game.

The new coaching staff,

To me Philbin was a good hire. He was part of an offense whether he called the plays or not that can be very successful in the NFL. Philbin hired Mike Sherman and that was a good move. Why keep Daboll and try and fit a square into a round hole. As far as Nolan went why keep a malcontent? Nolan wasn't happy because he wasn't interviewed and was granted his release. Philbin hires a guy who has been in coaching a long time. The Bengals defense was top 5 in interceptions the past 5 seasons. That tells me at the very least he can coach what he is responsible which is the secondary. He had them guys in the right position to make plays. Bowles on the other hand is "so highly thought of" supposedly but he never coached a single player up to play above their heads or make the next step like Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, Reshad Jones or Chris Clemons. Now maybe them guys are what they are which is solid and nothing more but Vontae looks like he has the ability to take the next jump. He is immatute obviously but still hasn't taken that next step.

That wasn't Shula, that was Arnsaparger. People say Parcells didn't win it without Beliboy, well..Shula didn't win it without Arns.

Sko,

Yeah I heard that non-sense before about coaches not winning without other coaches the list goes on and on. That's like saying Belichick didn't win it without Romeo Crennel as well.

and clark and beathard.

jp gets it.

adjcazr....

I have passion for the FINS...so I aplogize for nothing...

Good debate is what this blog was created for...so I don't apologize for that either...

When the name calling and insinuating started...I bowed out...so I see nothing to apologize for there....

adjczar...if confrontaion bothers you....thats your problem not mine...


Mando, guess what. Every coordinator in the NFl at one point had never been a coordinator in the NFL. he's been a coach in the NFL for 11 years. I'm sure he'll be fine.

Andy

Yes. Someone has to get credit for those DC's even being there. Someone knew who to hire and trust with the position.

guys, the phins r gettin’ the gb mentality.
it will 2 qb’s early on.
1 in fa and 1 in the 1st.
watch. and finaaaaaaaaaly.

.

We still haven't heard anything about the Offensive Line Coach. Paul Boudreau anybody? He's available and is known to be responsible for some downright nasty offensive lines. C'mon, get this guy in here already!

nasty as in sux, or nasty as in mean.?. lol

Good debate is what this blog was created for...so I don't apologize for that either...

When the name calling and insinuating started...I bowed out...so I see nothing to apologize for there....

adjczar...if confrontaion bothers you....thats your problem not mine...


Posted by: Kris | January 31, 2012 at 09:38 AM


I WANT TO BE MORE LIKE MIKE!

PS: I MEAN.........KRIS!

odin, it's am, wtf r u doing up.?.lol

ahhh. the rogue odin.
lol

adjczar...if confrontaion bothers you....thats your problem not mine...


Posted by: Kris | January 31, 2012 at 09:38 AM

That Kris must have a corkscrew for a brain. LOL.

I think everything is looking up. Matt Flynn is my choice. Draft Tannenhil , and use the draft to fill needs. Get a RT in the first, the qb in the second. And as far as Ross goes...if he didn't want to win he never would have went after Harbaugh .....That's ball deep going for a coach before you let the other go. He wants to win so much he didn't think about hurting anybodys feelings.

Odin...your a crazy one man....

i thought nolan misused davis and smith until the last few games when he finally let them press. when they were both allowed to get their hands on WRs off the line the completions went down and the int's went up. hopefully croyle will do the same. he did a great job with the secondary in cincy.

DC,

Come on man....are you really judging Mike Nolan's defence by their won/loss record? REALLY? YOU? Aren't you the guy who's been hammering the drum for all to hear that 'it's a passing league' and 'you can't win without an elite QB' and now you're judging a defence by it's won/loss record? Pre-tel?......I'm confused....which is it?

For the record, Mike Nolan is a very good defensive coach. How do we know this? He's in demand. When there was a possibility that he was made available, the Falcons snapped him up in a heartbeat. He's done well everywhere he's been, the exception being as a HC in SF. He did the best he could with the players he had and he can hang his head high that he did his best. He has every right to feel slighted for not getting a HC interview and that won I don't get. If Ross was doing his due dilligence, Nolan would have at least got an interview. Nolan was a class act until the end and we heard very little from him negatively towards the organization.

Guys will hammer hard on Nolan and his defence for a soft start and letdowns in some big games. That's true but with players only reporting to camp a month before the season started, how is that Nolan's fault if they didn't show up in better shape? The defence played a LOT better in the second half of the season, especially guys like Davis, Odrick, Wake and Burnett.

So ericatl, who would you rather have. For the candidates that were out there, we got the best of them. Please don't mention Jeff "3yeards and a cloud of dust" Fisher.

were the Dolphins the ONLY team that got locked out....or did it happen to the 31 other teams as well...

These are the excuses that allow us to accept a 7-9, 7-9, and then take a step backwards to 6-10...and STILL rationlize away why this team has sucked....

its the lockout
its the coach
its the players
its the fans
its the owner
its the gm
its the vendor
its the equipment manager
its the wives
its the girlfrend
its the parents
were to hard on Henne
its Marshall

gimme a break...

Coaches coach...players play.....GMs gm.....nothing else matters...

I could care less about Nolan too. Defense was average. Is this what we've become? Crying over coaches that get average results? Then again, I blame the personnel guys more for the average results. This defense was built to stop the run. Great philosophy.

The two teams in the super bowl were twentieth and thirty second (dead last) in the run.

Brilliant!

Andy, agreed. We need better balance.

Craig, I think you misunderstood. I'm commenting on Mando's usage of the point-scoring stat as any useful signifier to an aspect of the team. My point was if you're going to use ONE stat, to make some general comment of a side of the ball, use the win/loss record. Generally (isn't always the case, esp. this year with GB/Saints/etc.) but better teams (in record) have better than avg defenses. Worse teams have worse defenses.

Before you find the exception to the rule, I'm just speaking in the most general terms. Am I using the win/loss record to say Nolan sucks, no (I said he's a good Coach).

My ultimate point was asking for BETTER defense than what Nolan produced to me is silly, when there's so much improvement that can/should happen offensively (for this particular team). We'd do better to improve the offense to the level of Nolan's defense, and we'd have a pretty good team.

Now, Nolan's defenses (last 2 years) had some holes. But, like others said, that's not all on him, that's also the caliber of players he has. I agree and take that into consideration.

However, if you guys are telling me we're nothing without Nolan, I disagree. I don't think we were anything WITH Nolan, so to me it doesn't really matter. What matters most is if we balance both sides of the ball better, and stop asking the defense to do everything, maybe we'll have better results (in our standings).

I don't think Nolan or Sparano made the game-time adjustments that you have to make in order to beat teams like NE, NY, and any other team that has a good coach & QB.

We were always getting out-coached, IMO.

At the moment, and I know it's early, I have confidence that the new staff has the IQ to play the game within the game.

I may feel differently 4 games into 2012, but for now, I have hope.

The bottom line is this....

Nolan is gone...and Croyle is in....

You have the ability to make a sunny day look like rain! I'm so tired of you constantly talking about the glass not only being half empty, but usually more so. And yet I keep clicking on your articles to see if maybe someday you write something good. So far you have yet to suprise me in that regard.

Before you find the exception to the rule, I'm just speaking in the most general terms.

Posted by: DC Dolfan | January 31, 2012 at 11:18 AM
-------------------------------------------

LOL DC....

People are great at finding the EXCEPTION to the rule...LOL....

i still don't believe ireland knows how to "build a team". he can draft players,hire coaches and acquire FA's but team building is very different. its all about a "system" where parts become interchangeable, much like the giants and the pats. each player is put into a position to succeed and knows his role whether he is a 1st round pick or undrafted. ocho cinco/albert haynesworth found out quickly about the pats "system". its all about the team concept.

It’s not ‘I could care less’ – the saying is ‘I couldn’t care less’
If you could care less then that implies you do care to some extent.

Argh!!!!

I just can't believe people are still crying over the spilled (assistant coach) milk here. Pretty much everyone got what they wanted, which was Sparano gone. What the hell did you think would happen? New coaches bring in their own people and are almost always allowed full control over THEIR coaching staff. Sometimes they retain some folks.....but generally, not many, and generally, not the high level coordinators.

What the hell did you all expect? Stop crying about getting what you wanted in the first place. You all sound like my toddler.

Don Shula turned out playoff quality teams when his co-ordinators where the legendary Gary Stevens and Tom Olivadotti.

Trust me -- the man could coach.

DC,

I may have read your post incorrectly earlier. I understand better what you are saying now. You're right, the offence needs to get better and it may not be completely fair to judge Nolan's defence on a single stat. As kris has said, it doesn't matter anyways....Nolan is gone. Time to move on....

didnt the Dolphins go the SB during a STRIKE SHORTENED SEASON...

Just saying....

Lets put this "woe is our team beacuse of the strike" to bed....

I'm changing gears here for a second...

I was thinking about this last night and I know it's not the topic of the day but I wanted to bring it up anyways...

If I'm Jim Harbaugh, I'm looking at what I have at QB in Alex Smith and I'm realizing this guy isn't good enough to win Championships with. He's Chad Pennington-like...good enough to get the team to a point but not good enough to win a Super Bowl with. I suppose everything could click like it did with Dilfer in Baltimore and they have that one GREAT season but if I'm running the show I take a chance on a guy like Matt Flynn. You know what Smith can do and it's not good enough....Flynn?....don't know. Maybe...but it's worth the risk.

So for my money, throw SF into the ring of contenders for Matt Flynn and for the record it's not going to be ANYWHERE near $60 million.

I read a few weeks ago that Noloan did not want to be Head Coach at the moment.Now I read he left Miami because he was not asked to interview for the Head Coach ?
Which journalists can you believe nowadays???

Kris,

I read your posts earlier today and I sense you're in a fighting mood today....

Good for you....you're going to have to find another partner. You're a guy that likes to look at FACTS.....the FACT is the defence was 'gassed' in the first game of the season against the Pats and guys were coming out with hamstring injuries and dehydrated. Davis missed patches this season with injuries. Wake wasn't himself until about halfway through the season. Burnett was much better in the second half than the first. Smith was lacking energy at different times during the season.

Those are all FACTS kris......the team wasn't ready to go out of the gate. I don't know what was going on with other teams...I'm not talking about them, I'm talking about the Dolphins. You want to throw Nolan under the bus because the defence didn't play the way you wanted them to, I'm saying there were reasons for that. If you want to ignore that fact, that's up to you.

The fact that they placed Bowles as interim HC means that Ross/Ireland/Peterson wanted to go in a different way than Nolan as DC. Why? I don't know. In Ross we trust.

Craig M....

I have been wondering the same thing...but I don't think Flynn goes they're for some reason...one of those gut feelings....

The BAR is pretty high in SF...and there is nowhere to go but down....not a good career choice....annything less than a SB...and Flynn's career as a starter starts off on a failing note....

What's up everyone,

Kris, I see you had more than one cup of coffee this morning? :)

DC,

I agree on the balance topic. We've needed some offensive focus for awhile. Hopefully some of these offensive minded guys coming in can change the culture a bit.....without losing too much on the defensive side hopefully

Ohio...whats up...

yeah...guess i'm pretty fired up today...

the blog would be boring if we didn't have some fired up people in here

Kris,

You might well by right on Flynn. Just something I was thinking about last night. He'll be in demand and there will be numerous options for him. I just think we're getting ahead of ourselves if we think it's a foregone conclusion that he comes here because Philbin is here. He's no different than Harbaugh was last year when looking at places to go.....what option gives him the best chance to win? If SF is interested and they have the cap room they become a viable option for him.

You guys that don't like Ireland, well, you have your wish of at least seeing him sweat to fit the demands of this Owner. Ross wants a QB that fill seats in the Stadium. Period.

Kris,

I have to tip my hat to you if you are typically off to the gym at whatever unGodly hour you go. Commendable...

For me, I'm usually doing one of two things at the hour and unfortunately for me, being that I'm getting older (LOL), it's usually sleeping.

So are you throwing some serious weights around at that time in the morning?

I was never a big fan of the 3-4 Defense. I have bad memories of it with Chuck Studley in the 1980s and Tom Olivadotti in the early 1990s.

I prefer the the 4-3 defense Jimmy Johnson and Wannestant ran from 96-2004.

Never really liked Nolan either. Glad he is gone.

Nolan made the same critical error that Sparano did...he stuck with players that weren't performing, based on potential not reality. Our defensive secondary was shredded by every good QB we faced. And his head coaching experience was a joke. I don't think there is any drama to report here.

San Franicso and Matt Flynn,

It doesn't make sense to me. Alex Smith is the bridge for Harbaugh's hand picked guy who he traded up to get which is Colin Kaepernick from Nevada. Remember it was Kaepernick who people thought heading up to the draft was the QB a team like Minnesota or Miami would reach for in round 1 not Christian Ponder.

Craig M...

Thanks...I have always been a morning person....So for me...5 AM is the best time ensure I can get a work out in...plus...once its done...I feel better about the rest of my day...

Craig M....

as far as the weights....i don't get up that early to waste my time....so....push a pretty good amount...

AndyNJ,

I get what you are saying but if Harbaugh is smart he sees in Smith, himself. A guy who will keep you competitive but who'll just come up short when you need it most. Harbaugh was like that too. Not the most skilled guy in the world but a gutsy, trier.

I like Kaepernick too but I still think he's a couple of years away. Harbaugh needs to realize he's got the defence to be good for 4-5 years, how does he beat GB, NO, Philly, Giants and Atlanta every year to win a championship. If he can get a little bit better QB play maybe it's good enough. All of those teams can score and SF is going to have to rely on their defence to do it.

If Flynn works out for them, you can always trade Kaepernick at some point or maybe even trade Flynn when Kaep is ready.

AndyNJ...

I forgot a Kap....good point...

Kris,

No question about feeling better after a workout. Even days I dread going, I always feel a lot better afterwards. Good you can do it at that time....I don't have your discipline.

though I feel this sense of disaster next season with all these changes with first time staffers, I gotta say TS/nolan had it coming. You can't start the season 0-7, that was ridiculous. And you can't use the short training camp reason because you look at how that effected the 49ers bringing in a whole new staff.

IMO, if we get the QB position squared away (be it moore, manning or whomever), things have a chance to come together.

go dolphins!!!

Craig M,

Who knows how ready Kaepernick is but I do know Andy Dalton and Cam Newton have set the bar for rookies to a whole new level. Harbaugh grooms QBs! That is what he does! I see Kaepernick as the guy sooner than later in SF. Harbaugh has to be pretty convinced with Kaepernick he traded 3 picks to get him in early round 2.

Flynn will have suitors in Miami, Washington and Cleveland. Which ever team doesn't a scouting combine deal in place with St. Louis for Robert Griffin is the team Miami competes with.

Forget the Peyton Manning fantasy. The nerves in his tricep isn't worth waiting on or what he will cost. Could he recover and be like Montana when he led KC to the AFC championship? Absolutely! But his star has faded. The injury is reversable even if it does get better. It's a pinched nerve which can get tweaked at any movement or hit again.

Flynn, Flynn, Flynn!!!

and STILL rationlize away why this team has sucked....

its the lockout
its the coach
its the players
its the fans
its the owner
its the gm
its the vendor
its the equipment manager
its the wives
its the girlfrend
its the parents
were to hard on Henne
its Marshall

gimme a break...

Coaches coach...players play.....GMs gm.....nothing else matters...


Posted by: Kris | January 31, 2012 at 11:09 AM

You can make stuff up, but I didn't see even half that list of excuses in that debate.

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