« Rams travel to mountain top to get Fisher wisdom | Main | Landry Jones returning to Oklahoma as senior »

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.