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Good, experienced coaches NOT in short supply

The Dolphins aren't just sitting around waiting for Jeff Fisher to say yes or no. They have interviews planned Friday and Saturday.

As the search has developed it has become obvious the Dolphins are reaching for the biggest-name, most experienced coaches first -- with a failed attempt at Jon Gruden and the current attempt at Fisher -- and then they're rummaging among the lesser-known assistants (Chicago's Dave Toub, who interviewed Wednesday and Green Bay's Joe Philbin who's interviewing by the weekend, according to the Milwaukee-Journal-Sentinel for example).

The question must be asked, however, are the Dolphins being comprehensive in their search of the best available coaching talent?

Or are they perhaps limiting themselves unnecessarily.

I've already told you the team is off the Brian Billick train -- adding themselves to the list of teams declining to hop on board with the former Baltimore coach.

But how about other higher-profile candidates?

How about Marty Schottenheimer? How about Mike Sherman? How about Jim Haslet?

How about expanding this search to include other men of character and experience? How about including guys that might just totally wow owner Stephen Ross, general manager Jeff Ireland and enigma-in-waiting Carl Peterson?

Schottenheimer, for example, would love a chance at coaching the Dolphins. And the Dolphins would be wise to speak to him. He's a winner. He's credible. He's respected. Don Shula once told me if he could have picked his successor, he would have picked Schottenheimer.

Schottenheimer is said to be eager, prepared and ready to go if the Dolphins were to call.

Yes, he's 68 years old. And I recognize the NFL is often a young man's league. But Marv Levy took his Buffalo Bills to the Super Bowl when he was 65 years old. And again at 66 years old. And 67. And 68.

And then Levy won the AFC Coach of the Year award in 1995 ... at age 70.

"He's got a fire in his belly," someone close to Schottenheimer told me recently, adding that the former coach with a 200-126-1 (.613) career record is ready to return to work.

To prove it, Schottenheimer took on the task of coaching the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL in March of 2011. He won the UFL championship in October of 2011.

The point I'm making is this: The Dolphins don't need to promise Schottenheimer the job by calling him. But they should at least interview him because when he sits in a room with Ireland, Ross and Peterson, he would be the most accomplished football man in the room and could probably teach the trio something.

And what if he's so impressive and surprising that he becomes a viable fall-back choice in case Fisher doesn't take the job? The Dophins would have guarded against major disappointment. If, on the other hand, the team decides Schottenhiemer isn't it but still learns something about football while listening to him, they still benefit.

It's a win-win.

It's also curious why Sherman isn't getting more attention from Miami. He just interviewed with the Tampa Bay Bucs this morning. He is a quality, experienced candidate.

An offensive mind? Yes. Prepared? Yes. Meticulous? Allow me to share this story:

When I worked for ESPN between 2001 and 2003, I covered Sherman and his Packers for a while. I remember a Thanksgiving Day meeting between the Packers and Lions in which the Pack came to Detroit the afternoon before the game and met with me and my crew for interviews.

I sat down with Sherman and asked him difficult questions. He was prepared. He wasn't dismissive. But I asked one question that apparently took him by surprise. He answered but when the on-camera interview ended, he went back to the question which he was obviously still on his mind.

"Can I get another shot at giving you a better answer?" he asked.

You're offering a better answer?

Are you kidding me?

We fired the cameras back up and off went.

Sherman is an impressive guy. Like Marty Schottenheimer. Like Haslet.

Men worthy of Dolphins interviews.

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Miami needs to go young and innovative. Rob Chudzinski has Miami roots from his days at The U and can navigate S. Florida. Look what he did this year with Cam Newton. Ross won't go bankrupt and he's a players coach..no brainer. Marty is too far removed from the game..bring back Shula before hiring a re-tred.

Uhhhhhhhhh............. wasnt Shula forced out at 68yrs old? At 68yrs old, didnt everyone think the game had passed him by?

Shula's been to 5 SB's winning 2. Marty's been to how many SB'sas a hc, let alone winning any?

ZERO....................................

Maybe you bring in Marty and let him rebuild our coaching tree. Let Marty bring in a good coaching staff and train the long term replacement.

I think we have been crazy the last ten years for not bringing in Marty. We are a leaderless ship right now. We need a serious leader.

Why wasn't Nolan interview?? Marty wins were ever he goes. And right now just getting us two games into the playoffs, crap one game in the playoffs would be great for me.

Wish Pennington could of held up that was a fun year.

Go Dolphins!!

shula71,

Good post, 1 big problem. Marty may set his son up to be his handpicked successor. It's widely known even though the Jets arent going to fire the younger Shottenheimer, yet.

THEY GREATLY HOPE HE WALKS THIS OFFSEASON.

Marty would set his son up to be his handpicked successor. I could so see that coming.

Plus I dont see Jeff Ireland and Marty Shottenheimer being a happy union. This should make for an explosive clusterbang waiting to happeb.

With Marty Shottenheimer aboard, his son may become our next OC.

Slam...attention paid. Unfortunately, you didn't respond to what I said. I said he's still coaching and not sitting on the couch like Cowher or Gruden. You said what can best be described as crickets chirping.

Besides Fisher, Marty is not really a bad idea since he is still doing it and not sitting on the couch like Gruden or Cowher.

I think you guys may have forgot Marty rubbed some folks the wrong way. That's why he was basically blackballed 6 years ago.

It would be interesting to see come in an interview. I think he can still bring it. Dude is intense.

when people possibly get their wish and matt flynn comes to miami and sucks worse than chad henne people are going to be bitching why the hell did they get him. bottom line, flynn is a career journeyman backup, just like henne is.

I like Marty and would love to see him the head coach, but I guess a special teams coach gets more attention, I was glad they fired Tony but they do need to make a smart move here and a proven coach would be a smart move in my opinion.

Why, do I have to find out on profootballtalk.com that the Phins are going to interview Philbin this weekend? Where is the local reporting?

This is a brilliant suggestion!

But why stop at Schottenheimer? I hear the rotting corpse of Vincent Lombardi is available, and cheap.

if we cant get fisher bowles is our man period.we have a solid base of good young players and if we keep adding pieces bit by bit we are gonna be a contender so why rip it up and start over.

Marty,s last season was 14-2 I know they lost in the playoffs but norv Turner never got close to 14-2 or won in the playoffs, the Chargers had the pats beat in that game with a pick at the end until THAT DUMMY TRIED TO RUN WITH IT AND FUMBLED IT AWAY REMEMBER, MARTY HAS HAD SOME BAD LUCK IN THE PLAYOFFS HE IS GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN A SUPER BOWL IN MY OPINION

"Schottenheimer holds 200 NFL wins, the sixth most in league history. "

Fisher is the best option but Marty is an option also.

I think I was the first one here to tout Weeden about one and a half months ago, 28 yrs old or not. Now, after seeing him in action, I'm off him and after Nick Foles. So? Does that prove Weeden will fail? No.It only proves that I as am unsure as anybody else about which College QB will be succesful in the NFL.

I love how everyone (well not everyone) come on here and bash Armando when most of u don't know jack about anything and probably get hardons whenever he posts a new blog. Keep up the good work Armando.

Sorry for the bad writing but I'm making Bolognese sauce(complicated).

The thing about Armando that ticks me off is that he attends this crummy Blog more than he does his Column. Don't you People realize that he's playing around with you here?

If Dolphins hire Old Schotty or Young Schotty, I'll jump ship, and go root for the Seattle Seahawks.

Schottenheimer would be great if you set the bar at just making the playoffs but he's never brought home a trophy. Not that that is a deal breaker for some of the younger guys but at Marty's age that ship has sailed.

Haslet? Meh. Nolan is a better Dc and probably more deserving of an interview than Haslet does.

If the Dolphins lose Nolan which looks more and more likely they're taking a HUGE step backwards. Especially to bring in Fisher who runs a 4-3. Burnett and Dansby are the strength of the defense and breaking them up would be retarded. (No offense to the criminally retarded... I'm looking at you Jeff Ireland).

Sherman makes some sense too.

I'd go Billick, Sherman (been a HC before), Philbin, Nolan (exp edge over Chudz), Chudzinski, Bowles and let Fisher go to St. Louis. Not that he isn't a good coach, he is, just not the right fit for Miami.

please,no Haslet.

Its no wonder that Ireland is pushing for an assistant. The greener the head coach, the more power Ireland retains so he can continue his acorn philosophy of team building.

i wonder sometimes if this bunch is really commited to winning

Of that, you can have no doubt, tommy.

Mando, agree about Marty being worth an interview and actually would prefer him to Fisher although I still would focus on a HC who is an innovator on the offensive side of the ball given the NFL trend or making rule changes to continue to open up he offense to increase scoring which brings fans in. Interview Jay Gruden, the Panther's OC formerly of UM....

Thanks Kris!!!!!

Jim Fassel is my second choice to. Marty...check out fassel's Wikipedia page...Very impressive!

Mando:

This article isn't journalism, it is wild speculation. How do you know they HAVEN'T reached out to some of those coaches you mentioned? NEWSFLASH - Not EVERYBODY wants to interview for the fins coaching job and not everyone they reach out to will want an interview.

Tired of folks asking "how many Super Bowls has ______ won".

If any of these coaches we're talking about had been racking up Super Bowl wins, well, they wouldn't be unemployed right now. Every year 1 teams wins and 31 teams don't - the odd's aren't very favorable.

And let's don't forget... as far as coaches go, nobody has won the Super Bowl with two different franchises. Nobody. However, several coaches who have been fired from teams have gone on to win Super Bowls with another team.

greggoatee:

My father and I had been discussing marty Schottenheimer the last 3 months. My Dad says "He's too old." I laughed and said, "Dad, are you too old to do the the job you retired from?" He said "No." There you go!

Schottenheimer was an excellent coach and got a bum deal when San Diego fired him rather than thier GM, Smith.

His last team was 14-2 and lost because of a fluke play at the end. It was NOT coaching. Marty's teams were normally always a tough out in the post-season.

I'm not saying he is the best choice now, but after Jimmy Johnson left, then he would have been a GREAT choice.

In my opinion, the main problem with the Dolphins is not coaching (except for Cameron), but personnel decisions. Shula stuggled at finding defensive talent. Johnson struggled at finding offensive talent. Since then, the Dolphins have had very, very little talent on thier roster.

Currently, they need help at QB, WR, RG, RT, TE, CB, OLB, and FS. They may need DT and DE replacements as well. They need at least eight new starters and they need depth at OL, TE, WR, and QB. Even worse, they need playmakers at least at a few of the skill positions.

It's crazy that in the past four (really, the past 13) years, that the Dolphins have not invested what is needed to find a top QB. Now, this year, they may have to ignore this position again and focus on the rest of the team.

Again, in my opinion this a 6-10 team that is not close to being elite or even very good. They are not on the verge of being elite. I know some here believe differently and I freely admit I may be mistaken.

Ross needs to get rid of Ireland and simply start over with a commitment to the new regime for four years. That's plenty of time to build a winning team and a winning program.

I'm not sure I want Billick - no coach has ever won the Super Bowl with one team and then coached another team to a Super Bowl victory - several coaches have lost with one team and then won with another (Shula, Vermeil, etc.) - this makes Fisher the obvious choice.

I wish the Dolphins would just hire a young hungry coach (like Tomlin or Harbaugh) - someone who has physical pain when the Dolphins lose. Someone who lives and breathes football. I'm tired of all these re-treads.

With all these names being dealt out , which doesnt say much , how about throwing Dick Lebow from the Steelers into the equation. He has developed a stout defense ,I know he is 70 yrs plus but his defensive mind seems really intact and defense wins titles.

Why not Chip Kelly?

Armando, what is it with you and retreads?! Fisher, Sherman, Schottenhiemer, Haslett? I agree that Schottenhiemer is a viable alternative, but the NFL today plays a totally different ball game than even as little as five years ago. Haslett, a looser. Sherman, a looser. I rather have some new blood. Marvez was right, Fisher is a cloud of dust guy. Always has been. That's why his teams have never had the ability to come back when the opponent is ahead in the fourth quarter. Look at the record.
SIXTEEN SEASONS, SIX WINNING SEASONS. Are we, the Dolphin fans since 1966, going to have to wait five, six seasons to see us have another winning season because you want RETREADS? Please, get us new blood. NO FREAKING RETREADS!

THOSE COACHES MENTIONED WON'T GET interviewed because THERE IS TOO MUCH STUPID RUNNING THROUGH ROSS AND IRELANDS VEINS. NOT TO MENTION THEY SHARE THE SAME BRAIN.
ANYONE WHO MIGHT KNOW MORE THAN THEY DO (which is almost anybody) IS TOO MUCH OF A THREAT TO THEIR CONTROL.

I love how Mando has posted lots of stories about how we NEED to be all about passing because the league has changed, yet he's going crazy over Fisher and Schotty who both prefer to play Wanny-Ball.

anyone from the New England coaching team avail?

Armando is stirring the, err, pot. If people were upset with Sparano getting wood over and fistpumping field goals, then they'd be livid with Marty Schottenheimer. The man epitomizes "conservative".

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Mando,

I see a lot of names here in your posts except for one that appears to several Dolfans radar: Rob Chudzinski.
If Ross was telling the truth about a young Don Shula kinda guy who better than Chud?

He has proven himself at the NFL level leading successful offenses in Cleveland (yes Cleveland!!!), San Diego and now Carolina where he has helped a young man named Cam Newton to blossom into a super star.

His TE background is very appealing especially to counter Belichick in NE, and his Canes ties are a big plus tickets and talent-wise. The cherry on top is that he can bring his current QB coach, Mike Shula, as his OC.

Chud is obviously not in your radar, I mean it appears you are more willing to resuscitate a mummy like Marty Schottenheimer better than talk about a guy that deserves at least to be past of the conversation here, do your job right Mando in an unbiased and professional way.

Um, Mando, as a Texas A&M fan, I'd like to inform you that you might want to look at the Aggies' 2011 season before you go suggesting we consider Sherman. Pretty sure we had several second half debacles that were the driving force to his firing this year. Yes, firing. Mike Shermann was fired at the college level because he couldn't properly hold onto multiple double digit leads in the second half of games. You brought up a point in one of your recent posts about how quickly teams adjust, mentioning college teams adjust in the second half...you were right, because all of them sure as hell adjusted to Sherman and the Aggies. What does that tell you that he couldn't stop it? I'll pass on him, thank you.

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