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Debunking a false narrative about the Miami Dolphins coaching staff

The Miami Dolphins today will introduce their coordinators to the media and, in so doing, to you as well.

Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will be introduced locally for the first time and assistant head coach/special teams coach Darren Rizzi will be reintroduced because he's been with the team dating back to the Tony Sparano staff.

And I want to take this opportunity to tackle a topic that has been making the rounds on social media and even some mainstream media sites: Let's tackle the narrative that the Dolphins had a weak coaching staff the last couple of seasons under Joe Philbin and new head coach Adam Gase kept nine coaches from that staff.

And thus this Dolphins staff is still weak.

And Gase obviously had trouble finding better people.

Executive vice president in charge of everything Mike Tannanbaum dismissed those two narratives this week:

"We feel really good about the result," Tannenbaum said. "We spent the better part of January working, Chris {Grier} and I with Adam, talking with [owner] Steve {Ross] daily about where we are. We feel good about blending some continuity with some of the coaches we felt good about as well as having new blood. We're excited about the staff and the guys that were held over were decisions made by Adam and he felt strongly about those guys."

And here is the truth:

Yes, the Dolphins kept nine coaches from the previous staff. but of those only three are leading the room at their positions. Williams is the defensive line coach, so that's his room. Anarumo is taking a step back from his interim defensive coordinator duties to return to being the DB coach, so the secondary is his room. And, obviously, Rizzi continues to be at the head of the special teams meetings.

Let's consider two of those three for a moment. Anarumo had three interview requests put in for him by other NFL teams to be considered as a defensive coordinator after the season ended. He went on one of those interviews -- to Jacksonville. And although Gus Bradley didn't hire him as the coordinator, he wanted to hire Anarumo as some sort of hybrid defensive backfield pass defense coordinator.

That didn't fly with the Dolphins who retained Anarumo. So he was in demand.

Rizzi had four interview requests from around the league put in on him. The Dolphins turned them all down.

The point is these guys were well regarded in league circles.

Dave Puloka was the assistant strength coach last year. He also dates back to the Tony Sparano staff. He also is highly regarded in league circles and would have had no problem finding work if he was let go. The Dolphins promoted him to head strength and conditioning coach instead.

The other five coaches who were retained from Philbin's staff are either assistants to the position coaches or have been reassigned to the research department.

Ben Johnson was an assistant QB coach last year and is an assistant WR coach this year. New hire Shawn Jefferson is the wide receiver coach.

Charlie Bullen was assistant defensive line coach last year and is assistant linebacker coach this year. New hire Matt Burke is the linebacker coach.

Marwan Maalouf was the assistant special teams coach last year and remains in that position. Rizzi is the special teams coordinator so to speak.

Ken O'Keefe was the wide receiver coach for Philbin, was reassigned when Philbin was fired, and now has been reassigned again as a senior football research analyst.

Blue Adams was an assistant DB coach last year and is now a football research analyst.

So, yes, the Dolphins retained nine members of last year's staff. But, without diminishing the role of an assistant to an assistant coach, that's what most of these are doing.

Gase, meanwhile, hired 13 new coaches -- eight of which are the lead coaches at their positions. 

That's the breakdown.

I'm not saying this is 100 percent, absolutely the second coming of the 1994 Green Bay Packers coaching staff (look it up).

But fair is fair.

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