Tag:Miami Dolphins
Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:36 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 5:23 pm
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Dolphins hire Joe Philbin as new head coach

Former Green Bay OC Joe Philbin is Miami's new head coach. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Dolphins have hired former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their head coach, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has confirmed through a team source. Philbin, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Todd Bowles, the Dolphins secondary coach who served as the interim head coach after Tony Sparano was fired in Week 14, were thought to be the favorites.

“We are thrilled to have Joe Philbin join the Miami Dolphins as our head coach,” owner Stephen Ross said in a statment released by the team. “Joe has all the attributes that we were looking for when we started this process. (General) Jeff Ireland and I felt Joe was the right choice to bring the Dolphins back to the success we enjoyed in the past. I know I join our fans in welcoming him as the newest member of the Dolphin family.”

Miami settled on Philbin after Jeff Fisher accepted St. Louis' offer last week (and the $7 million-a-year salary that came with it). The organization is expected to hold a press conference after Philbin signs his contract in the coming days. Details of the deal aren't known but the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero writes that it's for no less than four years.

Philbin becomes the 10th coach in Dolphins history and the seventh in eight years. He takes over a team that started the 2011 season with seven straight losses before winning six of their last nine games. Miami missed the playoffs for the ninth time in the past decade. It has been 19 years since they reached the AFC championship game, 27 years since they reached the Super Bowl and 38 years since they won an NFL title.

"You don't replace people like Joe," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Silverstein.  I'm going to miss him personally a whole lot, forget as a professional. ... He brings a lot to the table..His resume speaks for itself. But the No. 1 thing is ... he's an excellent communicator."

Packers tight end Jermichael Finley added via Twitter: "A huge congratulations to Joe Philbin. No one deserves it more than this guy. The Pack will miss him!"

Former Packers executive Andrew Brandt tweeted: "Worked five years with Joe Philbin. Calm, cerebral, humble and a skilled offensive mind. His style will resonate with players."

When Ross began the job search he said that he would like to give the franchise much-needed stability by hiring "a young Don Shula." Instead he chose the 50-year-old Philbin, who has 28 years of coaching experience, including 19 years in college.

“I want to thank Steve Ross and Jeff Ireland for giving me the opportunity to become the head coach of one of the premier franchises in professional sports,” he said. “I also want to thank the Green Bay Packers for all the support the organization has given me during my time there.

"The Dolphins have a strong nucleus to build around, and working with everyone in the organization, I know that together we will return the team to its winning tradition," he continued. "I have seen how much the fans in South Florida care about the Dolphins, and that passion is one reason why I’m really excited to be here. I’m looking forward to their support, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Miami's offense ranked 20th last season, according to Football Outsiders (20th pass, 27th rush). Owner Stephen Ross wanted to bring in an offensive-minded head coach and Philbin is certainly that. He served as the Packers' coordinator from the 2007-2011 seasons, which includes the entire Aaron Rodgers era.

Assistants becoming first-time NFL head coaches have had mixed results in recent years. The group includes the Ravens' John Harbaugh, the Saints' Sean Payton and the Steelers' Mike Tomlin, but also three coaches recently fired: Jim Caldwell by the Colts, Todd Haley by the Chiefs and Steve Spagnuolo by the Rams.

Before joining the Packers, Philbin was Iowa's offensive line coach for four years. The former small-college tight end has been an offensive coordinator at Harvard, Northeastern and Allegheny College.

Philbin will now begin assembling a staff. Bowles might remain as a replacement for defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who took the same job this week with the Atlanta Falcons.

Freeman writes that Rodgers' backup and soon-to-be free agent Matt Flynn could be an option in South Beach. (Chad Henne, the Dolphins' former second-round pick, suffered a shoulder injury during the '11 season and was placed on injured reserve. He'll be a free agent this spring and isn't expected back.)

"A source close to Flynn told me that Flynn would 'love to the challenge of being a starter' but emphasized he's loyal to the Packers," said Freeman Friday evening. "But if you had to wager don't put a lot of cash on Flynn staying in Green Bay."

Flynn, who completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 480 yards and six touchdowns against the Lions in Week 17, could be one of the most sought-after quarterbacks in free agency in the coming months if the Packers don't chose to re-sign him. We've already drawn the Kevin Kolb comparisions, and the Redskins have been mentioned as possible suitors. Now we can add the Dolphins to that list.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:07 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 11:36 am
 

Report: Colts called Jeff Fisher about interest

Fisher's only shot in a Colts jersey. (The Tennessean)
By Will Brinson

On Tuesday, the Colts decided to (finally) fire Jim Caldwell as the team's head coach. It was a smart decision by Jim Irsay and new GM Ryan Grigson, but the delay in removing Caldwell form his post was a bit odd.

Although the news, as reported by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that the Colts called Jeff Fisher and inquired about his availability before Caldwell was fired and before Fisher took the Rams job makes the timing a bit more interesting.

(The Colts also reportedly interviewed Steve Spagnuolo for the position of defensive coordinator on Monday night, before firing Caldwell.)

However, Fisher was "not interested" and turned down the Colts.

This is fascinating because, as we mentioned on the podcast yesterday, it seemed like Fisher could've landed Andrew Luck (or Peyton Manning?) if he'd waited a few days, returned to the weakened AFC South and been handed the keys to a franchise in full rebuild mode.


Perhaps it was too much rebuilding, though, and that could tell us all we need to know about the future of Manning with the Colts: Fisher has to believe he can win now (to a degree) with the Rams.

If he hits a home run with the No. 2 pick, coaches up the defense and gets an offensive coordinator who can bring the best out of Sam Bradford, he probably can.

In Indy, things might not be quite so simple. There's more work to be done and Grigson was already in place, meaning Fisher would have to work with his vision as well.

It's also entirely possible the Colts called, found out he was getting $35 million over five years and considered just hanging up the phone.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:28 pm
 

Fins to take 2nd look at McCoy, Philbin, Bowles



By Josh Katzowitz

It sounds like the Dolphins are getting closer to hiring a new coach. At the same time, they’re not getting very close at all.

After failing to land Jeff Fisher, who spurned the organization for St. Louis, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will get his second interview with Miami owner Stephen Ross when Ross travels to New York to meet with him. But … just because you’ve received a second interview doesn’t necessarily put you in elite company.

That’s because Todd Bowles, who replaced Tony Sparano for the final three games of the season (and went 2-1 in the process), will get a second interview as well. As will Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin (before you count out Philbin, whose 21-year-old son died earlier this month, the Miami Herald reports that Philbin wants the Dolphins job and is eager to relocate his family to Miami).

In fact, it seems the only coaches who didn’t make the second interview cut were Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer -- who, once again, probably won’t get the head coaching job he deserves -- and Bears special teams coach Dave Toub, who signed a two-year contract extension with Chicago on Tuesday.

So, the Dolphins are making progress, down from five candidates to three. But it seems like it’ll be a couple more days before Miami fans find out who will be next to lead the team.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:27 am
 

Report: Dolphins to interview Denver's Mike McCoy

Miami will reportedly interview McCoy on Monday. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy's name shot up coaching candidate lists after a season that saw him turn Tim Tebow and an unconventional offense into a division winner. And according to multiple reports, he'll interview with the Dolphins for their head-coaching position on Monday.

Both the Miami Herald and NFL Network report that McCoy will head to South Beach for an interview.

McCoy's worked under John Fox with the Carolina Panthers for several years before taking the offensive coordinator position under Josh McDaniels in Denver beginning in 2009; he was retained when Fox replaced McDaniels in 2011.

In his three years in that position, he's authored the league's No. 1 ranked rushing offense (2011) and a passing offense that ranked in the top 15 in passing yards twice (2009, 2010).

Perhaps most impressive about McCoy, who's just 39, is what he's done with limited resources. The Broncos traded away Jay Cutler before the 2009 season and under McCoy, Kyle Orton still threw for more than 3,500 yards in two consecutive seasons. After the Broncos traded Brandon Marshall following the 2009 season, Brandon Lloyd became a Pro Bowler.

And, of course, in 2011, McCoy re-engineered the offense in the middle of the season to fit Tebow's skills and helped Denver win a division title.

When the Dolphins struck out on landing Jeff Fisher Friday, they began turning to other candidates. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's a hot name in South Beach right now, Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin could get a second interview and according to the Herald, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael has been "discussed internally."

If the Dolphins are truly looking to become a potent offensive team, McCoy could very well be their best choice.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 7:02 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 7:03 pm
 

Dolphins owner 'not discouraged' about Fisher

Miami owner Stephen Ross says next coach 'with something to prove is going to be better' than Fisher. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It took a while, but Jeff Fisher finally made a decision Friday, choosing the Rams over the Dolphins as his next head-coaching destination.

Miami owner Stephen Ross has now lost out on his top candidate two years running. Last offseason, Jim Harbaugh opted to say in the Bay Area instead of moving to South Beach, and the 49ers, 13-3 and division champs during the regular season, are still in the playoffs. But Ross says he's "not discouraged at all" by the latest snub.

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“I have mixed feelings [about Fisher choosing St. Louis over Miami],” Ross told the Sun Sentinel's Dave Hyde. “But I feel very confident we’ll find the best man for this organization. I feel very good about it. I’m not discouraged at all.”

Also worth pointing out: the Dolphins don't have a 1a) after Fisher. It's not quite back-to-the-drawing board time, but there aren't any big names on the list, either. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just the reality in Miami right now.

The club released a statement Friday afternoon admitting what everyone already knew ("We did have conversations with Jeff Fisher about becoming the head coach of the Dolphins.") before trying to assuage fans' concerns about the team's immediate future ("We are excited about those people under consideration, and we are confident that the individual we eventually select will be the right person to lead this football team.”)

CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chris Perkins provides details:

"Miami’s next head coach could come from a group of interviewees that includes Todd Bowles, the interim coach; Dave Toub, Chicago’s special teams coach; and Joe Philbin, Green Bay’s offensive coordinator. It’s conceivable Miami could extend its coaching search beyond its interviewees. Mike Mularkey accepted the Jacksonville job."

Perkins adds: "Interestingly, all the former full-time Miami coaches that aren’t retired have relatively high-profile jobs. Tony Sparano was recently named the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron. is Baltimore’s offensive coordinator, Nick Saban just won a national title with Alabama, and Dave Wannstedt is Buffalo’s defensive coordinator. Don Shula and Jimmy Johnson are retired and aren't coming back to coaching."

Not to worry, though. The owner of a team that has made one playoff appearance since 2002, and last won a playoff game in 2000 feels good about the franchise's future.

"It's funny, in the back of my mind, I've really believed you go with people who have something to prove and are younger. That's how I've always worked in my business. I was always fighting that idea in my mind while I was talking to (Fisher). Something told me if I get someone like him with that experience it'd be good. At the same time, I don't feel lost. I believe someone really good who has something to prove is going to be better."

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 3:35 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 3:44 pm
 

Winners/losers from the Jeff Fisher saga

In every contest, even coach hirings, there are winners and losers. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

With the news that Jeff Fisher picked the Rams over the Dolphins now confirmed by CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, we figured we'd take a look at the saga from the knee-jerk perspective of picking winners and losers.

Trust us, someone always wins. And someone always loses. It's life. Leave yours in the comments.

WINNERS

Jeff Fisher: Stop us if we're being too obvious, but the dude straight cleaned up, you guys. We don't have contract details yet, but Mike Freeman's already reported that the Dolphins feel "used." If that's the case, Fisher's getting a pile of money from the Rams and the word on the street is he'll be picking his own general manager. He got everything he wanted and more when he became the top candidate in the coaching candidate class, even if he's not worth it.

Mike Zimmer: As Albert Breer of the NFL Network notes, Zimmer now moves to the front of the Dolphins coaching list. He's previously worked with 'Fins general manager Jeff Ireland in Dallas, and could be a good fit in Miami. He's also getting mentioned for the Buccaneers gig (and will interview with Tampa Bay), which means the Dolphins might feel a need to hurry things up on Zimmer and get something done, which could land him his first job as a head coach. At the very least, he has leverage now.

Carolina Panthers: When Jay Gruden pulled out of the running for the Rams gig, it looked like Fisher picking the Dolphins could really open up the door for St. Louis to hire Panthers offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski. Instead, Chud's primary option is to bolt for the Bucs, which seems less likely.

Gregg Williams: Williams is doing just fine with the Saints now, but his contract's up and there's a decent chance he bolts to work with his old boss in Tennessee. It's not like he was going to get canned from New Orleans (we don't expect him to anyway), but now he has leverage with both the Saints and Rams and could potentially pick the job he wants. Or, if New Orleans wanted to move along after a bad defensive year, Williams wouldn't be burnt. Plus, if he can turn around the Rams defense, he'll likely parlay that into another head-coaching gig.

Lake Dawson: The current VP of Football Operations for the Titans has already interviewed with the Rams. He seems like a pretty solid bet to land the general manager position with St. Louis now.

Mustaches: Fisher's got one a stash that's strong enough to grow icicles, store lunch for later and generally support the weight of a pint of Guinness head. Him patrolling the sidelines for an NFL football team only enhances the manly allure of lip fur.

LOSERS

Stephen Ross: For the second year in a row, Ross' Dolphins have come in second place while chasing a big-name coaching candidate. Last year it was Jim Harbaugh (how's that working out for the 49ers?) and this year it was Fisher. At least this time Ross wasn't already employing a coach when he went chasing after a big name.

Stan Kroenke: If the reports that Fisher doesn't have a contract are true, um, WUT? Why would Kroenke let himself get in this situation? No general manager, a coach who "picked" him and no agreement with that coach in place other than "you get power"? Doesn't this mean Fisher kind of runs the negotiations on his contract and salary from here on out?

Jeff Ireland: Whether or not the rumors about Fisher demanding power are true is irrelevant, because they're out there, and that means it looks like, to many people, that the Dolphins front office is a bit of a mess. (The "Carl Peterson might be running his own coaching search" rumors don't help much either.)

St. Louis Rams: Oh yeah, we went there. Though it's entirely possible that Fisher will be a good hire and he'll lead the Rams back to respectability quickly, St. Louis is still going all in on Fisher at this point. What if they're wrong and just handed a pile of cash, the power to select a general manager and a long contract to a guy who only won 10-plus games six times in his 17-year career with the Titans? Oh, right. They did just do that.

Justin Blackmon: Given that the Titans only once used a first-round pick on a wide receiver (1998, Kevin Dyson), it would be somewhat surprising to see them pull the trigger on Blackmon at No. 2 overall. Obviously this can change depending on how he works out and what sort of trades emerge, but Fisher's spent a lot of picks on defense during his days in Tennessee.

LeBron James: Because one of Fisher's highly-publicized choices was the Miami area, everyone and his brother will now use the line "Take his talents to St. Louis." It won't ever die, LeBron.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 2:12 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 4:05 pm
 

Jeff Fisher picks Rams over Dolphins

St. Louis has replaced Steve Spagnuolo with Jeff Fisher. (Getty Images)
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By Will Brinson

Jeff Fisher picked the Rams over the Dolphins, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has confirmed.

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Fisher stated last week that he was down to two choices: Miami and St. Louis. One (Miami) featured an owner willing to pay big, big bucks. The other (St. Louis) featured a young, star quarterback in Sam Bradford, potentially more front office control and the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Fisher chose the latter and he'll be roaming the sidelines for the Rams in 2012.

"I'm pumped," fullback Britt Miller told The Associated Press. "I figured that because he wanted a little more control that Miami was probably not the place for him. I'm really pumped."

Fisher's been the hottest coaching name this offseason, getting mentioned in rumors involving the Rams, Dolphins, Colts, Buccaneers and even the not-even-vacant position in Chicago, which was supposedly Fisher's dream job.

It's believed that Fisher could bring current Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who worked with Fisher in Tennessee, to join him in St. Louis.

Momentum reportedly swung back to the Dolphins earlier in the week, but here's an interesting tidbit from Yahoo Sports Mike Silver: Fisher was willing to meet Dolphins owner Stephen Ross "halfway" on personnel matters, letting general manager Jeff Ireland still retain plenty of power. However, Ross/Ireland reportedly weren't willing to budge and it may have ultimately cost them a chance to land Fisher.

Reports also indicate that Fisher will choose his own general manager in St. Louis, so the amount of leverage he pulled out of these two teams really can't be overstated.

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Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:48 am
 

Sounds like Fisher is leaning toward Miami

FisherBy Josh Katzowitz

By the end of Thursday, this post could be obsolete. Hell, it might be outdated by the end of breakfast.

Or Jeff Fisher could continue making us wait as he tries to figure out his next move and whether he wants to be the coach of the Rams or the Dolphins. While at least one person on Twitter speculated that Fisher was stalling so he could determine what new Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and owner Jim Irsay will do with coach Jim Caldwell, NFL.com is speculating that Fisher’s most likely option involves him taking his talents to South Beach.

Fisher interviewed with the Rams and Dolphins last week, and apparently since then, he’s been torn on which job to take.

Some believe the Dolphins can offer more money, but others think that the Rams already have a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford that could make Fisher’s transition easier. Some theorize that Fisher isn’t all that fond of Bradford, while others wonder how enthralled he’d be with the Dolphins organizational structure. He might not like the possibility of St. Louis moving to Los Angeles, and, I don’t know, maybe he’s worried about how much of his money will go to buying sunscreen in south Florida.

But Jason La Canfora’s sources tell him that, “one of the issues holding up a deal between Fisher and the Rams is compensation … Fisher is seeking to be among the higher-paid coaches in the league, in the range of $7 million per season … Rams owner Stan Kroenke has not displayed a willingness to reach that stratosphere to this point.”

Either way, it seems like Fisher’s decision could come soon. Maybe even before you’re done reading this post.

Until then, check out this week’s latest coaching news and rumors post.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com