Mike Nolan has been hired as the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator, the NFL team said moments ago.
Nolan leaves the Dolphins after two seasons as their defensive coordinator.
Nolan's defense was sixth in the NFL in fewest points allowed in 2011 after finishing 14th in the category in 2010. The move obviously leaves the Dolphins without a defensive coordinator even as the team is continuing to search for a head coach.
Yes, the coaching talent is leaking in Miami.
Nolan is a very good coach. The only way this is not viewed as a significant loss is if the Dolphins hire a defensive minded head coach such as Mike Zimmer. Zimmer, the current Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator, would run the 4-3 defense if he comes to Miami.
The Dolphins are and have been a 3-4 defense under Nolan.
The Falcons have been a 4-3 defense.
If the Dolphins, however, hire say Mike McCoy as their head coach, this is clearly a loss for the franchise. Yes, it will be painted as McCoy, an offensive coach, should get the right to hire his own staff. But let's face it, no one McCoy gets is going to be as experienced as Nolan and probably won't be as good.
I'm not, however, surprised Nolan is gone. He was disappointed the Dolphins didn't at least interview him for the vacant head coach job after Jeff Fisher turned the team down. The man has pride.
The argument could easily be made Nolan has more credentials than several of the assistant coaches the Dolphins have interviewed for the head coach vacancy.