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Dolphins hiring former Browns assistant Daboll for OC job

The Miami Dolphins are set to announce Brian Daboll as their offensive coordinator, a league source said Monday.

Daboll, who spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns, takes over for Dan Henning on coach Tony Sparano's Dolphins staff.

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Daboll guided a Browns offense that netted 10 wins in two years and this season ranked 31st in points per game (16.9), 29th in total yards per game (289.7), 29th in passing yards per game (186.8) and 20th in rushing yards per game (102.9).

Daboll wasn't expected to be retained after Browns coach Eric Mangini was dismissed following a second successive 5-11 season. Henning left the Dolphins after three seasons as their coordinator.

New Browns coach Pat Shurmur is expected to interview candidates to replace Daboll this week. Shurmur initially plans to call Cleveland's plays and will bring in a coordinator whom he can groom.

Daboll's job this season was complicated because of injuries at quarterback, and the Browns finished last in the AFC in points with 271, two fewer than the Dolphins. Both teams were criticized for predictable, conservative play-calling.

The Dolphins are looking for a boost on offense after ranking 30th in points per game (17.1) and 21st in total yards per game (323.1).

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has pledged the offense will be more aggressive, creative and exciting in 2011. That promise came as Ross gave coach Tony Sparano a two-year contract extension following a disappointing 7-9 season.

Before joining the Browns, Daboll spent two seasons with the New York Jets as quarterbacks coach, working with Brett Favre in 2008. Daboll also spent seven seasons on the New England Patriots' staff, as a defensive coaching assistant (2000-01) and wide receivers coach (2002-06), and won three Super Bowl rings.

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Dolphins backup quarterback Chad Pennington, who worked under Daboll when he was with the Jets in 2007, told The Palm Beach Post that he learned plenty from the coach.

"A lot of the coverage knowledge that I have, and understanding defenses, comes from Brian," Pennington said. "The year I spent with him, I just learned so much about how defenses attack offenses and all of the nuances of coverage that I didn't understand before. ...

"He made me a better quarterback and helped make me become a quarterback who not only understood what I was doing, but how to do it, and why -- why we are running certain plays and why we were attacking certain coverages the way we were."

Daboll worked with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer with the Jets, whose offense has similarities with the one that Cam Cameron used in San Diego and Baltimore, and with Josh McDaniels under Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel with Bill Belichick's Patriots.

Pennington told The Palm Beach Post that he expected Daboll's offense to reflect his mentors but not be overly different from what Henning ran for three years in Miami.

"I think he's taken what he likes from the New England style of offense, and what he's liked from Brian Schottenheimer," Pennington said. "I think it's going to be a combination of things -- things that he liked and things that he felt really good about how to attack a defense.

"There may be some things that carry over from Dan's system, which I think is a positive, so that everything is not totally new. And then there's obviously going to be some new concepts and some new ways of doing things, the way Brian wants them to be done, and I think it's certainly a positive step for the Dolphins."


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Dallas Cowboys tight ends coach John Garrett and San Diego Chargers tight ends/assistant head coach Rob Chudzinski -- also a former Browns offensive coordinator -- were believed to have interviewed for the Dolphins' offensive coordinator job. Garrett will remain with the Cowboys to serve as passing game coordinator, and Chudzinski on Monday was hired as the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator.

Pennington said he planned to return next season after undergoing a fourth career shoulder surgery last month.

"I'm going to make a run at it, and the reason I am is that I still have that fire inside," Pennington told The Post. "I have to go out and see if my shoulder can respond. If it doesn't respond, I can live with that. But if it does, or it could have responded and I didn't give it a chance, I don't think I could live with that."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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