Fans are speculating as rumors and reports are coming out that frustrated Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is planning on either firing VP of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum or cleaning house entirely. I am truly ok with any of it, I am more ok with Head Coach Adam Gase staying put for at least one more year as long as he gives up play calling and focuses on just being Head Coach. I don’t anyone would be against Miami firing Tannenbaum but I am sure they are plenty to make the case as to why they should or should not fire Gase or General Manager Chris Grier.
Grier defenders will point to his recent draft selections of players having a positive impact on the team and players who look to have a future in the league, players such as; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Jerome Baker, and Kalen Ballage in 2018 or Raekwon McMillan, Davon Godchaux, and Vincent Taylor in 2017 or how about 2016 with the selections of Laremy Tunsil, Xavien Howard, Kenyan Drake, and Jakeem Grant. While Grier detractors would point to his draft failures or potential failures in his stint as general manager or his involvement with bad picks in the 16 years prior. Those questionable picks include Mike Gesicki, Charles Harris, Cordrea Tankersley, Isaac Asiata, and Leonte Carroo.
Gase defenders will point to his first-year playoff appearance in 2016, while detractors will point that he took a Joe Philbin team with Jay Ajayi, Jarvis Landry, and Ndamukong Suh leading the way. Detractors will also point that he is directly responsible for those aforementioned players departure. Defenders will point to Ryan Tannehill’s injury in 2017 and injuries to many of Miami’s impact players in 2018 as a reason for falling short and missing the playoffs two years in a row but others will call that an excuse. Detractors will point to Gase’s undeserved loyalty to Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler when he should have gone to the other quarterbacks on the roster while the defenders will say what other choices did he truly have? Detractors will also say he is no quarterback nor offensive guru and should have or needs to give up play calling, while defenders will say give him the players suited for his offense and healthy team and he’ll get the offense on track.
No matter what side on the aisle you’re on, all have valid points and both are equally as frustrated as owner Stephen Ross and want improvement from this team. Let’s say Miami goes the route of cleaning house, which candidates should the Dolphins target – starting with Mike Tannenbaum’s replacement as VP of Football Operations:
Dan Marino – The most obvious choice for the VP spot. He held the position some years ago but resigned days later after realizing the work that needed to be put in but now seems ready for the spot. He is in owner Stephen Ross’s inner circle and is a close advisor as Tannenbaum was before being hired for the VP spot. He also spends a lot of his time with the players in practice and has worked with the quarterbacks and watching film with the QB’s in the quarterback’s room. If Miami decides to keep Adam Gase and Chris Grier, Marino might be the best choice as he has a good relationship with both. If Ross decides that it’s best to clean house and hire Marino, the new VP will need to hire a general manager with extensive scouting experience to make up for his lack of experience in that area.
George Paton – Minnesota Vikings Assistant General Manager
The hottest name on the GM circuit right now is George Paton and the Dolphins are linked to him. The Vikings recent success and his recent draft classes has risen the stock of Paton.
Joe Douglas – Philadelphia Eagles VP of Player Personnel
Talking about recent success, coming off a Super Bowl win last year – Look for Joe Douglas to get an interview or two by some teams. His experience in recent draft classes and seeing how to successfully build a team in way that can compete no matter the injuries or holes on the roster should make him a viable candidate.
Reggie McKenzie – Former Oakland Raiders General Manager
The man who drafted Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, and helped bring the Raiders back to a respectable team again before the arrival of Jon Gruden deserves a look.
Alonzo Highsmith – Cleveland Browns VP of Player Personnel
Another name that has been linked to Miami in the past is Highsmith, formerly of the Packers and now with Brown. After a successful run with Green Bay and being part of the front office that has Cleveland pointed in the right direction, could warrant him consideration for the post.
Elliot Wolf – Cleveland Browns Assistant General Manager
Wolf like Highsmith comes from a Packers team that consistently competed (until recently) for a playoff spot or deep playoff run. As the assistant general manager of Cleveland has the team interesting again and competitive. He will get some calls from teams, Miami could be one of them.
Lincoln Riley – Oklahoma Sooners Head Coach
The hottest name around the NFL for possible coaching vacancies is Lincoln Riley. His experience developing and coaching number one overall pick, Heisman winner Baker Mayfield plus another Heisman winner and possible number one quarterback in this coming draft in Kyler Murray will have teams calling and has got fans dreaming.
Eric Bieniemy – Kansa City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator
Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson and Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy, both successful in their first years as head coaches and both former offensive coordinators for Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Another year and another OC may be on the way out, leaving to become a head coach. Bieniemy with Patrick Mahomes as his quarterback has one of the top and must exciting offenses in the league. What is most impressive about Bieniemy is not only his first year as OC for the Chiefs, it’s his work with his running backs over the years – Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware, and Kareem Hunt among others. One could imagine what he could do with Kenyan Drake, Frank Gore (If he returns), Brandon Bolden, and Kalen Ballage if hired to be the Dolphins head coach.
Vic Fangio – Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator
Miami Dolphins fans wished he was the defensive coordinator but instead he coaches in Chicago and brought the Bears defense back to prominence. His players love him and would hate to lose him but his name is gaining steam in NFL circles as a head coaching candidate. Maybe as Miami’s head coach he could get this defense where it should be and hire a legitimate offensive coordinator to lead the offense.
Dan Rizzi – Miami Dolphins Special Teams Coordinator
The Dolphins offense and defense are ranked near the bottom of the league, the same can’t be said of their special teams. Dan Rizzi has coached under Tony Sparano, Joe Philbin, and Adam Gase and has been the only mainstay of those regimes and consistently ran a top-ranked unit. Miami if they do decide to move on from Gase, they may not need to look far. His players love and respect him and his passion for the game is easily seen on the sidelines every Sunday. Question is would Ross seriously consider his special teams coach as a candidate.