I have been busy packing and organizing and getting ready to move, meanwhile the Miami Dolphins have been embarrassing themselves by putting up back to back fledgling performances, that utterly destroyed their playoff chances. It was weirdly similar to how last season came to an end, all Miami had to do was win to gain playoff entry, when they dropped two games inept fashion and forfeited their playoff spot. The smoke is now settling and as it does it looks more and more likely that Joe Philbin will be out the door at seasons end. Here are a few quick hits on NON-HARBAUGH head coaching replacements, followed by my thoughts on the Harbaugh situation.
Gus Malzahn: This one should be Miami's first choice. If Harbaugh eludes Miami again they should immediately look to sign someone who as a winning track record and head coaching experience. Malzahn's uptempo, no huddle offence will fit well with Ryan Tannehill's strengths and will give Miami a real identity, something this team has lacked for a long time. I have heard concerns that he wont leave Auburn, but if Ross flashes the check book, you never know.
Todd Bowles: Todd Bowles could return as Miami's head coach, this time with out the interim tag. I don't really see this as realistic and in all honesty I hope it isn't. While Bowles has built great defenses everywhere he has been (including Miami), I am not looking for another first time head coach. It is time Miami went for someone who has established themselves as a head coach already. I am sick of Miami being a training ground where coordinators learn how to coach on the job, which leads me to our third and final candidate.
Rex Ryan: If you remember back to my first ever blog post here, I said that I wouldn't be surprised if we were looking for a head coach at the end of the year. I also suggested Rex Ryan for the job. Here we are and Miami is probably going to be looking for a coach and Ryan is available. Let me be clear, Rex Ryan coaching the Dolphins isn't my favorite outcome... but I do think it has some appeal. The most appealing aspect would be seeing what Rex could do with the strong pieces we have on defense. Cam Wake and Reshad Jones would thrive in a Rex Ryan defense, as would our young corners. Dion Jordan could be used to his potential under Rex's tutelage. Another positive Rex Ryan's candidacy is that Ryan's hands off approach to offense would allow the Dolphins to keep Bill Lazor and his continuity with Tannehill. This would prevent Tannehill from having to learn another offense and give him an opportunity for further development.
Other Names you'll likely hear rumored: Urban Meyer, Hue Jackson, Gary Kubiak.
The Harbaugh Effect
Tonight, news broke of a 6 year 49 million dollar deal being put on the table by the University of Michigan to acquire the services of Jim Harbaugh. This does not, in any way, negatively affect the Dolphins chances of getting Harbaugh as their head coach. If anything it helps. This story was most likely leaked to the media by Harbaugh's camp to leverage offers from NFL teams. That would imply Harbaugh would be open to leaving the west coast if it means staying in the NFL. More concretely, if Stephen Ross wants Harbaugh in Miami he will not be outbid, especially by a school he is a significant donor of. Ross has donated more than 200 million dollars to U of M, that is a significant factor. U of M will not spurn Ross if Ross wants Harbaugh.
Ross is also one of the biggest spenders in the NFL, he wants one thing, to win, if he thinks Harbaugh will accomplish that he will not let money won't stand in his way. The biggest obstacle at this point is going to be what Harbaugh wants. At this point only Jim Harbaugh knows what Jim Harbaugh wants... the rest is just noise until then. Patience DolFans.