The Miami Dolphins have hired two key assistant coaches today and new head coach Adam Gase is working on others to fill out his staff.
The team has hired Cincinnati Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph to become the team's defensive coordinator. This according to team and other sources. The story was first reported by ESPN.
The team has also hired Cincinnati Bengals linebacker coach Matt Burke to become Miami's linebacker coach. This according to a source close to Burke. The story was first reported by, well, me.
These hirings got done quickly. As of only three days ago, the Dolphins and these two coaches had had zero talks about coming to Miami.
Other moves tonight include the hiring of Shane Day as the team's tight ends coach, the hiring of Chris Foerster, the Dolphins offensive coordinator in 2004, as the offensive line coach, the hiring of Shawn Jefferson as the wide receivers coach, and the reassignment of assistant GM Eric Stokes to senior personnel executive.
Some background on these men:
Day arrives in Miami after two seasons (2014-15) as the assistant offensive line coach with the Washington Redskins where he worked with Dolphins offensive line coach Chris Foerster in 2014. Prior to Washington, Day was the quarterbacks coach at Connecticut for two seasons and coached quarterbacks for the Chicago Bears from 2010-11. Day also spent three seasons on the offensive staff with the San Francisco 49ers (2007-09) as an offensive quality control coach. He worked with the team’s quarterbacks in 2007, running backs in 2008 and offensive line in 2009. Previous coaching stops for Day include the University of Michigan and Auburn Riverside High School in Auburn, Wash. A wide receiver at Rhode College in Memphis, Tenn., Day was a two-sport athlete, also playing baseball. He graduated from Kansas State in 1999 with a degree in English.
Foerster (pronounced FURR-stir) brings 23 years of NFL experience to Miami, including 20 years as an NFL offensive line coach. He spent one season as the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator in 2004 and returns to Miami from San Francisco, where he was the 49ers’ offensive line coach in 2015. Throughout his lengthy coaching career, Foerster has mentored six players that were selected to 15 Pro Bowls – center Jeff Christy (2000), center Tony Mayberry (1996-99), guard Randall McDaniel (1993, 1995, 2000), tackle Jonathan Ogden (2005-07), tackle Joe Staley (2015) and tackle Trent Williams (2012-14). Foerster came to San Francisco after spending five seasons (2010-14) as the offensive line coach for the Washington Redskins. Foerster worked for the 49ers (2008-09) and the Baltimore Ravens (2005-07) where he oversaw the offensive line for each team. In Baltimore, he also held assistant head coach responsibilities. Foerster was the Miami Dolphins’ offensive coordinator in 2004. He has also held coaching positions with the Indianapolis Colts (2002-03), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-2001), Minnesota Vikings (1993-95), University of Minnesota (1992), Stanford (1988-91) and his alma mater, Colorado State (1982-87). Foerster played center at Colorado State, beginning his career as a walk-on before earning a scholarship as a sophomore.
Jefferson played wide receiver for 13 seasons in the NFL and spent the past 11 years coaching for the Detroit Lions (2005-12) and the Tennessee Titans (2013-15). As the wide receivers coach for the Titans the past three seasons, Jefferson mentored wide receiver Kendall Wright, who ranked 12th among AFC wide receivers in receptions (187) and receiving yards (2,202) from 2013-15. Prior to Tennessee, Jefferson spent eight seasons on the Detroit Lions’ coaching staff. As wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s position coach, Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards (7,080), receiving touchdowns (5) and receptions of 25 yards or more (70). A Jacksonville, Fla. native, Jefferson played at Central Florida from 1988-90.
Interestingly, both Joseph and Burke are available because the Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs over the weekend and players they coach had troubled games.
Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was a key player in that he had an interception and a key sack of Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. But he also had a helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Antonio Brown that drew a key 15-yard penalty. After that penalty, cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones was flagged 15 yards for pushing Pittsburgh assistant coach Joey Porter, who had come onto the field to see to Brown's status.
The combined 30 yards helped put the Steelers in position to kick the game-winning field goal.
Despite this troubling afternoon, both Joseph and Burke come with great reputations. Joseph, a first-time coordinator, has a reputation for having a commanding presence. He is supposedly an excellent communicator and his players swear by him.
Burke comes after coaching two seasons in Cincinnati. Before joining the Bengals, Burke coached in Detroit (so he is familiar with Ndamukong Suh) and helped a defense that was No. 6 against the run. Burke will be working with Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins as well as a new starting linebacker who the Dolphins will try to find either in the draft or free agency.
It should be said of how this is shaping up: In 2012, the Dolphins hired an inexperienced an NFC North offensive coordinator with no head coaching experienced as their head coach. And that new coach hired a Cincinnati Bengals defensive backs coach who had never been a defensive coordinator to be his DC.
In the past week, history has repeated.
Will the results be different?