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Mike Smith first candidate interviewing with the Miami Dolphins

I promised surprises. Here's a surprise:

The Miami Dolphins are in talks with their first head coach search candidate as we speak, one day after concluding their season. The team is today meeting with former Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith. 

The Dolphins are not confirming this interview. The club's policy is to not discuss interviews until they are completed.

Smith, 56, was with the Falcons from 2008-14 and he compiled a 66-46 record (.589) and went to the playoffs four times in those seven seasons. The Falcons were 13-3 in 2012 and Smith was named the Sporting News Coach of the Year.

Smith did not coach in 2014 and so he was able to interview even before the season ended.

Dolphins executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum today said Miami's search will span all quarters, meaning there is not specific type of coach -- hot coordinator, college coach, experienced former coach -- the Dolphins will look at.

Tannenbaum simply said he wants "the best coach" for the job.

“We’ve done a lot of research on what makes a successful NFL head coach and tried to reverse-engineer the last 20 years literally of every hire, from their degree to really almost sort of every valuable and I can tell you that there’s a lot of different permutations, a lot of different answers," he said. "So we want to get the best coach and we’re not going to narrow it to any sort of background, being a first-time coach or not. I know there’s one theory out there, like some of the recent Super Bowl winners, Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, all did it on their second hire. But we just want to get the best head coach regardless of their background."

Smith is the first guy to fit that possibility.

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