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'Retread' coaches cannot, should not be dismissed

The best argument against the so-called retread head coach candidate is this: He failed at his last stop. He was fired. Why would we want to hire him here?

And sure enough, it is true that coaches with experience that are interviewing for the Miami Dolphins coaching job starting this week were indeed failures at post stops and were in fact fired. All except for Doug Marrone, who was not fired but rather opted out of his contract in Buffalo, a fact that raises its own questions and should be a topic of discussion at his interview.

But I am here to tell you that past failure is not always indicative of future failure when it comes to the hiring of NFL head coaches.

Indeed, if you look at the list of Super Bowl winning coaches this century, there are plenty of men who failed at their first or even second head coaching stop and then went on to hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy aloft in celebration.

Dick Vermeil held the trophy victoriously on Jan. 30, 2000. He hadn't won it at his previous stop in Philadelphia.

Bill Belichick won the Super Bowl in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2015. If only the Cleveland Browns, who fired him in the 1990s would've known.

Jon Gruden won the Super Bowl in 2001 for Tampa Bay. He had been traded from the Oakland Raiders because Al Davis didn't want to extend his contract at the pay the coach was surely about to command.

Tony Dungy won the Super Bowl in 2007 with Indianapolis after he'd been fired by Tampa Bay.

Tom Coughlin was fired by Jacksonville and he rebounded well because in his second NFL stint he took the Giants to two Super Bowl championships, in 2008 and 2012.

Pete Carroll washed out as the head coach of the New York Jets and New England Patriots but has taken his Seattle Seahawks to consecutive Super Bowl games, winning in 2014.

This speaks nothing of the fact two coaches on their second NFL head coaching stop -- Mike Holmgren and John Fox -- also took teams to the Super Bowl this century and lost the game.

So of the 16 Super Bowl games played since 2000, representing 32 opportunities to appear in the game, "retread" coaches took their teams to the game 16 times, and won the NFL's greatest prize 10 times.

Hiring retread coaches is not a bad idea, folks.

Still, there will be people that insist that hiring a retread is picking up someone else's trash and calling it treasure. You have no idea how many people lately have been tweeting to me @ArmandoSalguero or making comments in the section below about how some of the current "retreads" deserve no long look because they've recently failed.

They point to Mike Smith, who interviewed with the Dolphins on Monday and say he was 4-12 and 6-10 his last two seasons in Atlanta.

They point to Mike Shanahan, who interviewed on Tuesday, and say he was 3-13 his final season in Washington.

They point to Marrone, who is scheduled to interview Friday, and ask why? After all, he was 6-10 and 9-7 in Buffalo.

They point to Hue Jackson, who is scheduled to interview Sunday, and ask why? After all, he was 8-8 in his one-and-done season with the Oakland Raiders.

They even look at Coughlin and mock my idea the Dolphins should speak to him because he was 12-20 his last two years with the New York Giants.

These records are all facts. They are indisputable. But they aren't gospel. As reader Onix Torres pointed out to me, previous failure does not necessarily mean future failure.

Andy Reid, for example, was 4-12 his final year in Philadelphia and was then fired. Yeah, he is 31-17 in Kansas City, including two 11-5 seasons. And he's in the playoffs again this year.

Gary Kubiak was 2-11 his final year in Houston and then was fired before the season ended. And he's 12-4 this year in Denver and his team has home field advantage throughout the AFC tournament.

Belichick -- I love this one -- was 5-11 in Cleveland his final year and then he was fired. He's 187-69 in New England with four Super Bowl titles, and 12 out of the last 13 AFC East titles.

Pete Carroll was only a Philbinish 8-8 his final year in New England before he was fired. He's 60-36 with a Super Bowl win in Seattle.

Before he won those two Super Bowl titles with the New York Giants, Coughlin was 6-10 his last two years in Jacksonville.

I am not saying every "retread" coach is bound to become a winner. That's not what this is about. What I am saying is that people can learn. They can improve. Adjust. They can fail through extenuating circumstances at one place and then succeed wildly under a different set of circumstances someplace else.

This is not formulaic.

It does not mean every 'retread" is bound to succeed, either. That's an obtuse thought.

But it is simply wrong to argue that because a coach failed at his previous stop, he will fail at the next one.

All those raised Lombardi Trophies prove otherwise.

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