Inside the NFL  


Dolphins' coach search: Detailing a unique approach in Miami


The following item is excerpted from the Week 16 edition of Albert Breer's exclusive Inside the NFL Notebook:

The Dolphins brass -- led by executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum -- has started vetting candidates as it prepares to hire its next coach. Some of the work here has been looking at the decisions of the past to try and set up a brighter future. In particular, the Dolphins have delved into and studied the 2006 and 2009 coaching cycles, because those were the respective years Tannenbaum hired Eric Mangini and Rex Ryan in New York, and so they have institutional knowledge of those years. And part of that will be looking at what the Jets and others missed on available candidates like Jim Harbaugh, Ron Rivera, Sean Payton and Mike McCarthy, all of whom went on to pretty successful runs as NFL head coaches. Additionally, Miami has looked at names that were less popular ones (like Bruce Arians) that worked out to figure out why the market went away from those guys.

The overarching idea, of course, is to break the groupthink that envelopes the coaching carousel each year. And because there figure to be as many as a dozen openings, the guys in Miami know that there could be competition for a number of candidates. (One of the reasons Tannenbaum was hired was because of his connections in coaching and ability to land the right one.)

So the Dolphins have this to sell: a young, under-contract quarterback; a young group of skill guys led by DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry; foundation pieces for the defense in Ndamukong Suh and Reshad Jones; a league-high 29 players who are 24 or younger; and, of course, the weather and scenery and lack of state income tax.

The flipside is that owner Stephen Ross has a checkered rep in the coaching industry (pursued Harbaugh when Tony Sparano was still in place, fired Joe Philbin over the phone). But Ross has shown a willingness to both invest in the product -- the Dolphins basically will have a new stadium next fall -- and stay out of day-to-day football matters. And at least on the surface, it looks like Miami has used its head-start on the 2016 market wisely.

Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer.



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