You Can’t Always Get What You Want is a famous hit song recorded by the Rolling Stones. It also is a phrase that I believe fits this Miami Dolphins head coaching search and one Dolphins fans should keep in mind as the organization has begun their interview process.
The list of names Miami is interviewing to be their next head coach is growing by the day. Thomas Brown, Dan Quinn, Leslie Frazier, Brian Daboll, Mike McDaniel, Vance Joseph, and Kellen Moore are the current names Miami has “requested” to speak to. The interviews for Daboll and Frazier were completed on Sunday, the day after the Bills’ big blowout win vs. the Patriots.
As the days go by, Dolphins’ fans are doing research and reading up on the various candidates and picking their favorites of who they “hope” Miami will hire.
Well, as the Rolling Stones said, You Can’t Always Get What you Want.
As I stated in an article over the weekend, the Miami Dolphins’ current head coaching opening isn’t an attractive position for any soon-to-be head coach who may have options. For various reasons I laid out, the Dolphins job has a lot of uncertainty, with no stability in the front office and huge question marks at quarterback. Openings in Denver, Minnesota, and soon-to-be Las Vegas look more attractive. Openings in Chicago and New York have more stability with the ownership groups and have a rich history, as well as they are openings in which whoever is walking in will have time to build what they want and mold the roster in their vision.
In Miami, that is not the case. The defense is “ready-made,” and the coach walking in has one job not to screw it up on that side of the ball. The offense is void of talent, and the quarterback is one of the most polarizing players the NFL has ever seen, and from reports will be forced on whoever the head coach is taking the job.
So, will those unattractive qualities work against Miami landing one of the big names in this coaching cycle? Are Dolphins fans going to be disappointed with who they hire? Will the IDC (Internet Dolphins Community) be up in arms when Miami does announce who their next head coach is?
If I had to guess, the answer would be YES!
Let’s break down some of the names in this coaching cycle and talk about their chances of coming to Miami.
GROUP A: BIG-NAME CANDIDATES
Jim Harbaugh, Doug Pederson, Brian Daboll, Dan Quinn
Jim Harbaugh is considering making a jump back to the NFL, but Miami Dolphins owner and Michigan Alumn Stephen Ross has said he will not be the person to take Jim Harbaugh away from Michigan. There have been numerous rumors that the Raiders and Giants might make a play for Harbaugh and that Harbaugh is interested in both opportunities. If Harbaugh announces he is leaving Michigan and wants back in the NFL, could then Stephen Ross jump in and land the coach he has always wanted? Possible, but I would say it’s unlikely at this point.
Doug Pederson is a former Miami Dolphins player, and he won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles. He has been offered interviews with almost every team with an opening…except the Miami Dolphins. Could that change? Of course, but right now, it appears the Dolphins are not interested and staying away from the Andy Reid coaching tree as they also haven’t asked permission to speak to Eric Bieniemy.
Brian Daboll is maybe the hottest of all of the names right now of all of the assistant coaches who are ready to make that leap to becoming a head coach. According to reports, he will surely get offers from multiple organizations to be their head coach with Chicago, NY Giants, and Miami, all very interested. Daboll was the offensive coordinator in Miami many years ago and has ties to Chris Grier. He also coached Tua for one year in Alabama. The issue with Daboll is it is a safe bet he will have multiple offers, and if so, how does the Miami job compare to the others? Remember that stability I spoke about. Remember that quarterback being forced on you I spoke about. Would Daboll view Justin Fields > Tua, and could that lean Daboll to go to Chicago? Could Daboll view Daniel Jones >Tua and lean Daboll to go to New York? Also, if Brian Daboll is offered the Miami job and says no, what does that say about Tua? One of his college coaches who may know him best doesn’t want to coach him in the NFL. Not good optics for Tua and the Dolphins.
Dan Quinn, like Daboll, coached in Miami many years ago and probably has some familiarity with Chris Grier. Although when Quinn was an assistant in Miami, Grier was not in a position of power in Miami. Quinn has previous head coaching experience, put together a star-studded staff in Atlanta, and was a couple of quarters away from winning the Super Bowl. Denver is very high on Quinn and ready to do whatever it takes to land him from all reports. Miami has requested to interview Quinn; no word yet if Quinn has accepted. Again, if Miami were to get face time with Quinn and an interview, would he view the Miami job as “better” than Denver? Unlikely. And if it’s not Denver, there are other openings (Minnesota) that have shown a lot of interest in Quinn, which he may view as “better” than the current Miami opening.
GROUP B: THE JURY IS STILL OUT ON CANDIDATES
Mike McDaniel, Leslie Frazier, Kellen Moore
Mike McDaniel is the most intriguing name in this coaching cycle as many view him as an offensive genius and someone who could re-shape the sport. Others look at him and his physical stature and say there is no way he can be a leader of men and run an NFL organization. To say he is polarizing is an understatement. Either you are all in on him and believe in what he says, or you don’t think it will work out with him as a head coach. The IDC has fallen in love with McDaniel and is praying the Dolphins to hire him as their next head coach. The Dolphins have requested to interview him, no word if he has accepted. With San Francisco beating Dallas on Sunday, it means another week in the playoffs for McDaniel, and any team interested in him may have to wait a bit longer to talk to him or for him to accept any offer if he can sneak in an interview during the week. McDaniel’s big question is whether he can assemble a coaching staff and who would run his defense. That, along with the fact he looks like someone who would fix your laptop and works for the Best Buy Geek Squad. In my opinion, I would be more than willing to roll the dice on McDaniel as I think the upside here is enormous. I mean Marv Levy also graduated from an Ivy League school and wasn’t an imposing man in size, and he led Buffalo to four super bowls and won more games than he lost. McDaniel may be cut from the same cloth as Levy.
Leslie Frazier is an intriguing name because he has something Miami reportedly is looking for, previous head coaching experience. Frazier was the head coach in Minnesota between 2011-2013. He is a defensive guru so coming to Miami; you would expect and hope what Brian Flores built on defense wouldn’t fall off or have a regression. The Dolphins interviewed Frazier on Sunday after the Bills win vs. New England the day prior, so we know they did get face time with the former Vikings coach. The question around Frazier is he was 21-32 in Minnesota, and what did he learn from that experience, and what is his plan to fix Tua and this Dolphins offense? It has been reported that the Bears are also very high on Frazier, and he may be near the top of their list.
Kellen Moore is only 33 years old, but he is considered one of the bright young minds in the NFL. I know the way the Dallas game ended, people will bad-mouth him, but you don’t judge a person by one play call. It’s a body of work that organizations are looking at here. He is a lefty quarterback, like Tua, so he may be able to relate to Miami’s quarterback. He was a current player, so being able to relate to the modern athlete is something he shouldn’t have a problem with. There are just many questions here about who he will bring in for his staff? Do you want to hand the reigns over to a 33-year-old?
GROUP C: CANDIDATES DOLPHINS FANS WON’T BE EXCITED ABOUT
Vance Joseph, Thomas Brown, Jim Caldwell
Vance Joseph was in Miami recently with Adam Gase for one season. The season in which Miami made the playoffs in 2016. He used that one season to get a head coaching position in Denver, in which he went 12-21 before being fired. Joseph is looking for his second chance to lead a team for an organization.
Thomas Brown is a person not many Dolphins fans will know much about. One report out last week said he is often compared to a young Mike Tomlin in his demeanor and how he carries himself. He is a position coach who has no coordinator experience but is a true leader of men who connects with his players. Any team that was to hire Brown would be taking a total flyer and putting a lot of faith in an assistant coach who has never been a coordinator to steer the ship.
Jim Caldwell is one of the most respected names in coaching, but he just turned 67 years old on Sunday and has been out of the NFL since 2017. He agreed on joining the Dolphins coaching staff under Flores in 2019 but had health issues, so he took some time away and never came back (which it was rumored he never returned because he couldn’t work with Brian Flores, but that is unknown). He has previous head coaching experience; he has won in this league as a head coach and as an assistant. On Saturday night, during a TWITTER LIVE session, Albert Breer said to keep an eye on Caldwell in Miami for their head coaching job. The Dolphins have not formally asked to meet with Caldwell, but that could change in the coming days and weeks.
So, where does that leave Dolphins fans? As I stated above, you don’t always get what you want. I think because of the current state of the Dolphins organization landing a Harbaugh, Daboll, or Quinn seems highly unlikely. As much as I and the rest of the IDC would like to see one of these men come to Miami to lead this team, it just seems like they will all have much better offers and will not want to put up with the uncertainty surrounding the Dolphins.
When it comes to McDaniel, Moore, and Thomas Brown, there are just so many question marks around their age, youth, and do they have enough experience to step into a team coming off a ten-win and nine-win season to have them take that next step and make the playoffs? I’m not sure that is what Grier and Ross are looking for right now.
This leaves us with the most likely candidates to get the Miami Dolphins head coaching job. Leslie Frazier, Vance Joseph, and Jim Caldwell. I know Dolphins fans will groan, complain, and not be happy if Miami hired any of those three, but remember YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT!
EDITOR’S NOTE: DOLPHINS TALK IS PARTNERING WITH OUR GOOD FRIENDS OVER AT PICKUP TO GIVE AWAY FANATICS GIFTCARD ($20 VALUE) TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS MAKE YOUR PICK ON THE PICKUP PROP IN THIS ARTICLE AND FOLLOW THE STEPS TO VERIFY YOUR PICK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN.