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Miami's search to be a little more conventional

Clayton

By John Clayton

ESPN.com

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Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga is not like most owners.

 

As a chief executive officer of numerous successful companies, Huizenga loves having one main decision maker. During Jimmy Johnson's final couple years as Dolphins head coach, Huizenga was willing to let Johnson skip training camps and early-week meetings if that's what it took to keep him as the man making the decisions for the Dolphins. Huizenga didn't care that not having the head coach around all the time was unorthodox. He trusted Johnson and wanted to keep him.

 

Under the circumstances of Nick Saban's departure, though, it's unlikely Huizenga will find the right coach who will be the main decision maker. That's why this hiring process, which started Wednesday, is going to be more traditional. As much as Huizenga would like to find the next Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson or Nick Saban, he doesn't have that luxury this time.

 

In other words, the unconventional Dolphins will be more conventional in the hiring of a new coach.

 

Sure, it's not out of the question for the Dolphins to go for the home run. USC coach Pete Carroll doesn't appear to be in the 2007 NFL hiring spree. He has a great situation at USC and he's putting out absolutely no feelers about getting back into the NFL this year. Carroll will return to the NFL only for a team that gives him complete authority. Besides, he left for a week's vacation after the Rose Bowl and doesn't seem to be giving thoughts to anything but staying at USC and resting.

 

The Dolphins did make a quick move on Wednesday, officially making contact with the San Diego Chargers to request an interview for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

 

The formal request arrived in the Chargers office late Wednesday afternoon, and the Dolphins will have to make arrangements to interview him before Sunday. On Tuesday, the Cardinals put in a similar request for Cameron.

 

Cameron remains one of the league's hottest assistant coaches. He calls plays for a Chargers offense that leads with league with a 30.8 average, produced a running back (LaDainian Tomlinson) who set the NFL touchdown record with 31 and made Philip Rivers a Pro Bowl quarterback in his first season.

 

The 45-year-old Cameron coached quarterbacks for the Redskins from 1994 to 1996 and was head coach at Indiana from 1997 to 2001. He joined the Chargers in 2000.

 

Kirk Ferentz of Iowa is another college coach who will go to the NFL only under the right circumstances. Although the Pittsburgh native might have interest in the Steelers' job, expect Ferentz to stay with Iowa.

 

That leaves the Dolphins' head coaching search on the same plane as Arizona and Atlanta. They all will be interviewing hot assistants. In addition to Cameron, expect them to reach out this weekend for Ron Rivera of the Bears. The interview windows for Cameron and Rivera close this weekend, and they won't be able to resurface as candidates after that until their teams are eliminated from the playoffs.

 

Dolphins defensive coordinator Dom Capers will get more consideration with Miami than with other teams. Huizenga is going to be interested in continuity, and Capers could provide that. Don't read much into Jason Taylor's retirement talk. He isn't retiring at 32. Taylor and Zach Thomas are the leaders within the Dolphins' locker room and they love the scheme Capers ran. Taylor is the leading candidate for defensive player of the year, but he doesn't want to go into a rebuilding process that often accompanies a new coach, which is where all this retirement talk started.

 

Capers could stay as the head coach and keep several of the high-paid assistants, such as Mike Mularkey (offensive coordinator) and Hudson Houck (offensive line coach). Taylor and Thomas would be all for that. Such a move would give the Dolphins a base to build on for the offseason. Even though their front seven is getting old, the defense still will be tough with Taylor and Thomas as the centerpieces.

 

Former Dolphins defensive coordinator Jim Bates probably also will also be in the mix. Huizenga and the players loved what he did as an interim coach in Miami. Even though he might switch the defense back to a 4-3, Taylor and Thomas love the scheme and there are enough parts from the pre-Saban days to make it work.

 

Other than that, the Dolphins probably will be talking to Ken Whisenhunt of the Steelers, Jim Caldwell of the Colts, Mike Sherman of the Texans and other assistant coaches.

 

Huizenga didn't know until he hired Saban that his main decision maker labored too much on his decisions. Saban wouldn't delegate authority, but he should have. Every personnel decision was painful and agonizing. He drove staffers and assistant coaches crazy going back and forth on decisions, sometimes at the expense of losing players.

 

As a result, the Dolphins' defense got older and the offensive personnel didn't seem to have a direction.

 

Owners rarely repeat what they did last. And with Huizenga not selling the team, you can expect he might go back to the CEO type coach, but there isn't as much time for the Dolphins to find such a person this time. Expect a hot assistant to get the job.

 

 

Some potential candidates the Dolphins might look at as they search to replace Nick Saban.

 

? Jim Bates, former Dolphins and Packers defensive coordinator

? Jim Caldwell, Colts asst. head coach/QB coach

? Cam Cameron, Chargers offensive coordinator

? Dom Capers, Dolphins defensive coordinator

? Pete Carroll, USC head coach

? Kirk Ferentz, Iowa head coach

? Ron Rivera, Bears defensive coordinator

? Mike Sherman, Texans offensive coordinator

? Ken Whisenhunt, Steelers offensive coordinator

 

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

 

 

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/stor...&id=2718722

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? Jim Bates, former Dolphins and Packers defensive coordinator

? Jim Caldwell, Colts asst. head coach/QB coach

? Cam Cameron, Chargers offensive coordinator

? Dom Capers, Dolphins defensive coordinator

? Pete Carroll, USC head coach

? Kirk Ferentz, Iowa head coach

? Ron Rivera, Bears defensive coordinator

? Mike Sherman, Texans offensive coordinator

? Ken Whisenhunt, Steelers offensive coordinator

 

Meh

Meh

Maybe

NO!

Not interested

No

Meh

NO!

Maybe

 

They don't exactly make my toes tingle.

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Ditto but really isnt anyone out there that makes me shout for joy. I like Norm Chow but I dont think others will take that risk on him (plus seems he gets very little notice as an asian american). Cameronwould be nice as an offensive coach.

 

What does everyone else think?

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Chow would also fit in the "Maybe" pile. I don't want any recycled head coaches unless the Fins manage to get one of the established coaches, which is doubtful. Please, no Mularkey or Capers. They fit under "recycled" and they're not helping the situation. See what they did in Buffalo and Houston, Wayne? Stay away.

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Chow would also fit in the "Maybe" pile. I don't want any recycled head coaches unless the Fins manage to get one of the established coaches, which is doubtful. Please, no Mularkey or Capers. They fit under "recycled" and they're not helping the situation. See what they did in Buffalo and Houston, Wayne? Stay away.

 

NO MULARKY THAT FOR SURE!!!

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Chow would also fit in the "Maybe" pile. I don't want any recycled head coaches unless the Fins manage to get one of the established coaches, which is doubtful. Please, no Mularkey or Capers. They fit under "recycled" and they're not helping the situation. See what they did in Buffalo and Houston, Wayne? Stay away.

 

NO MULARKY THAT FOR SURE!!!

 

 

I would like Jimmy to come back as a GM but our GM now is a good GM (was executive of the year and drafted great before).

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Based on what? He was great as far as drafting goes, but all he did down here as coach was...nothing. Oh yeah, and hire some guy named Wannstedt. Pff.

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Based on what? He was great as far as drafting goes, but all he did down here as coach was...nothing. Oh yeah, and hire some guy named Wannstedt. Pff.

 

Didn't jimmy take the fins to playoffs?? Didn't Jimmy draft hall of fame caliber players?? Jimmy has 3 rings for something and handed Berry one too..

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Based on what? He was great as far as drafting goes, but all he did down here as coach was...nothing. Oh yeah, and hire some guy named Wannstedt. Pff.

 

Didn't jimmy take the fins to playoffs?? Didn't Jimmy draft hall of fame caliber players?? Jimmy has 3 rings for something and handed a Berry one too..

 

Yes and yes, but I would follow that first yes up with...62-7

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Based on what? He was great as far as drafting goes, but all he did down here as coach was...nothing. Oh yeah, and hire some guy named Wannstedt. Pff.

 

Didn't jimmy take the fins to playoffs?? Didn't Jimmy draft hall of fame caliber players?? Jimmy has 3 rings for something and handed Berry one too..

 

Yes and yes, but I would follow that first yes up with...62-7

 

I guess Jimmy was the one who threw all those ints....

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Based on what? He was great as far as drafting goes, but all he did down here as coach was...nothing. Oh yeah, and hire some guy named Wannstedt. Pff.

 

Didn't jimmy take the fins to playoffs?? Didn't Jimmy draft hall of fame caliber players?? Jimmy has 3 rings for something and handed a Berry one too..

 

Yes and yes, but I would follow that first yes up with...62-7

That never happend. I dont remember it at all and I dont want to. Marinos last game was against the seahawks and then we forfeitted after that.

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Based on what? He was great as far as drafting goes, but all he did down here as coach was...nothing. Oh yeah, and hire some guy named Wannstedt. Pff.

 

Didn't jimmy take the fins to playoffs?? Didn't Jimmy draft hall of fame caliber players?? Jimmy has 3 rings for something and handed Berry one too..

 

Yes and yes, but I would follow that first yes up with...62-7

 

I guess Jimmy was the one who threw all those ints....

 

Nope, but he coached. And if coaches get fired nowaday for the way their teams perform then JJ atleast gets some of the blame for that game.

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Based on what? He was great as far as drafting goes, but all he did down here as coach was...nothing. Oh yeah, and hire some guy named Wannstedt. Pff.

 

Didn't jimmy take the fins to playoffs?? Didn't Jimmy draft hall of fame caliber players?? Jimmy has 3 rings for something and handed Berry one too..

 

Yes and yes, but I would follow that first yes up with...62-7

 

I guess Jimmy was the one who threw all those ints....

 

You cant argue it both ways. You cant give him credit when they win and then blame a qb when they lose.

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I wouldnt mind Cam Cameron at all.

 

 

Ugh. Why would any Fin fan want a guy who was 18-37 as a college football coach???? The dude couldn't hack it at Indiana University, why would he be good for the Dolphins? I could have the Chargers as a top 10 offense with the type of weapons they have.

 

 

JUST SAY NO TO CAM CAMERON!!!!

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I wouldnt mind Cam Cameron at all.

 

 

Ugh. Why would any Fin fan want a guy who was 18-37 as a college football coach???? The dude couldn't hack it at Indiana University, why would he be good for the Dolphins? I could have the Chargers as a top 10 offense with the type of weapons they have.

 

 

JUST SAY NO TO CAM CAMERON!!!!

 

I am not trying to bash the dophins but Rivers, LT and Gates are much better than Harrington/Culpepper/Lemon, Brown and McMicheals.

He has good numbers at SD because of the talent they have on that side of the ball. I dont think that exists in miami right now.

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Anyone interested in Steve Mariucci?

 

If I may answer that with a quote from the Austin Powers trilogy: How 'bout NOOOOO

 

Enough of this revolving door in coaching. The Dolphins need one of the following: A proven winner (a Holmgren, Belichick, Dungy, etc.) but chances are that IS NOT happening. So the next best thing is hiring a top NFL assistant or coordinator like a Norm Chow. Seemed to work for the Saints and even...ugh, the Jets.

 

I wouldnt mind Cam Cameron at all.

 

 

Ugh. Why would any Fin fan want a guy who was 18-37 as a college football coach???? The dude couldn't hack it at Indiana University, why would he be good for the Dolphins? I could have the Chargers as a top 10 offense with the type of weapons they have.

 

 

JUST SAY NO TO CAM CAMERON!!!!

 

I am not trying to bash the dophins but Rivers, LT and Gates are much better than Harrington/Culpepper/Lemon, Brown and McMicheals.

He has good numbers at SD because of the talent they have on that side of the ball. I dont think that exists in miami right now.

 

Well, sure, you're going to have big numbers when you have 2 players on offense that are the best at their positions. Rivers, on the other hand, is average. Atleast for the time being. It's still early.

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

Anyone interested in Steve Mariucci?

 

If I may answer that with a quote from the Austin Powers trilogy: How 'bout NOOOOO

 

Enough of this revolving door in coaching. The Dolphins need one of the following: A proven winner (a Holmgren, Belichick, Dungy, etc.) but chances are that IS NOT happening. So the next best thing is hiring a top NFL assistant or coordinator like a Norm Chow. Seemed to work for the Saints and even...ugh, the Jets.

Mariucci's 49er teams:

- 1997: 13-3

- 1998: 12-4

- 1999: 4-14

- 2000: 6-10

- 2001: 12-4

- 2002: 10-6

 

That gives him an overall record of 57-41, or a .582 winning percentage, a darn good rate in the NFL. You should also note that the 49ers did not get rid of him because of his performance. Mariucci wanted more input into personnel decisions but that didn't fly with the San Fransisco brass, so they let him out of his contract.

 

Then, in 2003, Mariucci moves to Detroit, where Matt Millen had recently fell into the position of CEO and President of Football operations. There isn't a person who pays attention to this league who thinks Millen has made any sound personnel decision in his time there. He's a first class moron who has no place in an NFL front office. Mariucci was fired after two years because the teams Millen created didn't succeed (fired by Millen, I might add).

 

Of the coaches available, I think Mariucci is as good an option as there is. Plus, I think he deserves another shot to prove himself after being Millen's whipping boy in Detroit. And finally, the Dolphins need someone with headcoaching experience. They cannot afford to hire another question mark who may or may not have what it takes to be a head coach in this league. And that's exactly what former assistant coaches and former college coaches are: question marks.

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Source: Steelers' Whisenhunt on list for Miami opening

By Len Pasquarelli

ESPN.com

 

Add the Miami Dolphins to the Ken Whisenhunt Sweepstakes.

 

Just one day after coach Nick Saban bolted the Dolphins for an eight-year, $32 million deal with the University of Alabama following a two-year NFL tenure, team officials made contact with representatives for Whisenhunt, the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive coordinator, in an attempt to arrange an interview, ESPN.com has learned.

 

It was not immediately known if the Dolphins have yet sought formal permission from the Steelers to interview Whisenhunt for their vacancy. Such permission would be a formality, though, since Pittsburgh officials would have to grant the request, since the Dolphins are seeking Whisenhunt for a head coach job.

 

Sources said that the Dolphins want to arrange an interview, one that likely would include owner Wayne Huizenga, as quickly as possible, at a site Whisenhunt could select. That could be difficult, however, given Whisenhunt's schedule.

 

The coveted coordinator interviewed Thursday with Atlanta Falcons officials in a session that sources said left both sides very impressed. Whisenhunt then flew to Phoenix to meet with the Arizona Cardinals on Friday. He is expected to stay in the Phoenix area through at least early Saturday, then probably will return to his Pittsburgh home.

 

Whisenhunt will formally interview for the Pittsburgh head coach job, which will become vacant on Friday afternoon when Bill Cowher announces his retirement, early next week, possibly Tuesday. He and Steelers assistant head coach Russ Grimm are the two in-house candidates who will definitely be interviewed by Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney, president Art Rooney II, and director of football operations Kevin Colbert.

 

An Atlanta native who played collegiately at Georgia Tech, and then played tight end for the Falcons for four (1985-88) of his nine NFL seasons, Whisenhunt, 44, has arguably become the hottest commodity in the coaching market. Of the five teams now with vacancies, he is on the so-called "short list" of four of the franchises. The fifth team with an opening, Oakland, interviewed Whisenhunt last year, but he removed himself from consideration.

 

A fearless play-caller, and adept at creating advantageous matchups, Whisenhunt has been Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator since 2004. Under his stewardship, the Steelers' offense, statistically, ranked No. 7 in the NFL in 2006. The Steelers were 16th in 2004 and 15th in 2005, when they won Super Bowl XL.

 

Although some perceive Whisenhunt's strengths as the creative use of formations, motion and personnel packages, he also believes in a power-based running game.

 

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

 

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2720876

 

 

 

 

 

This would definitely be an interesting canidate.

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I'll like to Jimmy Johnson take the helm. I know he left in bad terms but I think Jimmy is man for the job..

 

Chow would also fit in the "Maybe" pile. I don't want any recycled head coaches unless the Fins manage to get one of the established coaches, which is doubtful. Please, no Mularkey or Capers. They fit under "recycled" and they're not helping the situation. See what they did in Buffalo and Houston, Wayne? Stay away.

 

NO MULARKY THAT FOR SURE!!!

That would mark the darkest day for the Dolphins. Please, God, no.

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Bill Parcells. There's talk in league circles that, if the Fins decide to keep GM Randy Mueller, a Mueller-Parcells pairing could work. Parcells, we're told, has always had a good relationship with Mueller. And there is an increasing belief that Parcells has had all he can take of owner Jerry Jones.

 

 

CNNSI

 

Tell me this wouldnt be very very interesting?

 

 

Bill Parcells will be then just the bills away from completing the AFC East

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My # 1 choice is Norm Chow. Either that or bring back Don Shula for a year or two and then lure Bill Cowher out of retirement. I guarantee with Shula at the helm we'd be 10-6 again next year. :thumbup

Bingo. That's what they should do. I can actually see Shula being pissed off enough by the Saban thing to want to come back to coach the team for a year and take them to the playoffs just to prove a point.

 

And I can't stress this enough: NO MORE COLLEGE COACHES.

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