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Answering the Jim Harbaugh questions with Miami Dolphins

My column in today's Miami Herald covers the scenarios Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will think of keeping or firing Joe Philbin if the team fails to make the playoffs.

And today is an important day in that regard because it is clear the Dolphins must beat the New England Patriots if they are to make that grasp at the postseason.

So what happens if the team loses today?

I believe ownership will begin to look at the landscape. I believe at some point Ross will find out through various channels -- not a direct flight to the Bay Area -- whether Jim Harbaugh would be interested in coming to Miami or whether the idea is not one he'd consider.

That is step No. 1.

Step No. 2 will rely on what Harbaugh's answer and is covered in the column.

About Harbaugh: I know that he is a mercenary. He would not come to the Dolphins or the Jets or even the Oakland Raiders as the guy who's going to coach the team 20 years.

That's not what he has done in his career. He was the head coach three years at the University of San Diego. He was the head coach at Stanford four years. He's been the San Francisco 49ers coach four years.

And while his moves from those college programs were about career progress, his looming move from San Francisco is, in part, because his relationships have soured with upper management and perhaps his act his worn thin with some players.

And you know how I view the idea of getting a guy who is likely to be gone in a handful of years because he wears everybody out?

I think it's a better idea to hire a guy who wins while grating on players and the organization than hiring a guy who is beloved but loses. That beloved guy? He's getting fired in four years, anyway.

So winning -- the idea of raising a mediocre team to a higher level -- trumps the problems associated with ego and personality in my book.