The Miami Dolphins season ended over a week ago, the NFL playoffs are in full and dramatic swing and I still get emails and tweets to my twitter account asking for a reasonable, logical reason Dolphins owner Stephen Ross kept Joe Philbin as the team's head coach.
First of all, let it go, people. Joe Philbin is your coach. Stephen Ross paid $1.1 billion for the right to make that call and he made it. It is done.
Secondly, if that doesn't appease you, think of it this way ... Ross had a pretty good reason for keeping Philbin that had nothing to do with 8-8 or "Kodaking" (ask the community in the comments section), or perpetual mediocrity, or losing three of the final four games, or missing the playoffs, or getting "queasy" on an NFL sideline.
It had to do with firing someone and then possibly hiring someone new who might not be as good.
Think what you will of Ross or Philbin but I am convinced the owner decided he would rather keep a solid coach over the idea of hiring someone he simply didn't know would be great or even good. Ross, I believe, chose to keep a coach with experience over one that might have to take the franchise back to a proverbial Square One and learn on the job as a first-time NFL head coach.
I am convinced that once Ross looked around the coaching landscape beyond Jim Harbaugh -- whom Ross publicly denies considering but I know was considered -- he saw no one he was certain was better than Joe Philbin.
And, with perhaps a couple of exceptions, I agree with that assessment.
All one has to do is study what the teams that currently have NFL vacancies are doing to fill their openings and it is enough to make you thankful the Dolphins are not travelling that path of uncertainty.
The San Francisco 49ers, by all accounts the jewel of teams currently without a coach, over the weekened interviewed Mike Shanahan, according to multiple reports. They're interested in current defensive coordinator Vic Fangio as an in-house candidate. They like Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is said to interest them. Rex Ryan was scheduled to interview over the weekend as well.
And, Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, perhaps the hottest coordinator on the market, is scheduled to interview with them also.
Quick ... which one of those is guaranteed to win the NFC West next year?
Personally, I think Ryan might have been a fit in Miami had Ross decided to make that move. But he's not a slam dunk. He's missed the playoffs four consecutive seasons. He's a great defensive mind but has proven incapable of figuring out offense. He has some off-field interests that a few years ago became embarrassing to the Jets.
The point is Ross wasn't sold on Rex.
And I'm not sold on any of those other candidates.
The Jets got rid of Rex Ryan and their high-priced search committee consisting of former GMs Ron Wolf and Charley Casserly is reportedly very high on Doug Marrone.
Marrone has a 15-17 career record as an NFL coach. And he's the star of this offseason's coaching search for the Jets. Think about that.
The Buffalo Bills, left at the altar by Marrone last week, have interviewed Quinn, Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Quinn, I must remind you, is a former Dolphins defensive line coach.
Anyway, unless Gase is promising in his interviews to bring Peyton Manning, unless Bevell is loading up Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, and unless Quinn is bringing the Legion of Boom with him, I find all three guys kind of, well, uninspiring.
Obviously, I'm not in on the interviews. But none of these guys have the reputation that Mike Tomlin brought to his interviews back in 2007 when he was still a position coach.
All of these men will get head coaching jobs and immediately have to start learning their craft on the job. None are slam dunks.
The Raiders are considering Tony Sparano and the usual suspects named above.
The Falcons like Rex and New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was fired as the Denver coach after two years.
The point is Jon Gruden isn't raising his hand and saying, "interview me."
John Harbaugh doesn't seem to be in a hurry to leave Baltimore.
Nick Saban isn't coming back to the Dolphins -- or the NFL at this point.
(If I were San Francisco or Atlanta, that's exactly who I'd try to lure).
There also are no Andy Reid or John Fox types on the market this year -- men who are proven winners at one NFL stop that have for whatever reason worn out their welcomes and are ready to start winning in new surroundings.
My expectation is that Ross looked at all this before he decided stick with Philbin. My hope is the owner was so sophisticated that he understood upgrading was not a certainty this offseason (outside of Harbaugh) and so he chose not to reshuffle a deck in a very high stakes game.
If that is true, I can respect that approach because, frankly, I don't see any shining sure-fire hires this coaching cycle, either.
So Joe Philbin.
Learn to accept it or find a new team.