Previous coaching failures should give Dolphins an idea of type of coach they need to hire – Boston Herald
The Miami Dolphins have had six different head coaches since 2005, and that doesn’t even count the two interim coaches they’ve had.
Before Nick Saban left the Dolphins after two seasons to become a college legend at the University of Alabama, he didn’t know how to talk to grown men in the NFL who earned more than him.
But Saban, who delivered a 15-17 record with the Dolphins, knew how to put together an excellent staff, one that has produced five head coaches on the college and NFL level since.
Say whether you want about Saban, but his coaching tree is worth admiration.
Cam Cameron’s a great example of why teams shouldn’t be quick to hire an offensive coordinator who coached a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback.
The Dolphins were so unimpressed with Cameron’s first interview they gave the then San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator a second opportunity to impress them days later.
That lackluster first impression should have convinced the team’s decisions-makers, which at that time was former owner Wayne Huizenga and his minions, that Cameron wasn’t suited for the task.
It explained why Miami went 1-15 in 2007, and quickly fired him.
There wasn’t a single impressive aspect about Cameron or his coaching worth mentioning. And the fact Miami picked him over the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin — a likely future Hall of Fame coach — because Tomlin came off “too hip-hop,” which was the sentiment privately held within the organization in 2007, will go down in history as one of the biggest mistakes this franchise has ever made.
Pick the guy who owns the room because that charisma is important.
Tony Sparano usually owned the room, and his teams personified who he was.
They were in-your face and tough, just like Sparano, who died in 2018. But without Bill Parcells’ influence Sparano’s staff got watered down after a few seasons.
The Dolphins played hard for Sparano, who went 29-32 in Miami, right to the end.
His replacement, Joe Philbin, was meticulous. Annoyingly detailed, and details matter in this sport. But Philbin, who went 24-28 in his three-plus seasons, lacked the leadership needed to command a team’s respect and attention.
Philbin couldn’t lead a dog trained to win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show competition. That’s why his team quit on him before the 2015 season even started. Players need a leader they can believe in.
Miami repeated the Cameron mistake when they hired Gase, anointing a former offensive coordinator who rode the coattails of a Hall of Fame quarterback (Peyton Manning), under the assumption he could turn Ryan Tannehill into an upper-echelon QB.
In Gase’s defense, Tannehill missed 25 of the 48 games Gase served as the Dolphins’ coach because of injuries.
Gase, who delivered a 23-25 record in Miami, was a schmoozer who could work a room, no matter who was in it.
His gift of gab, and networking skills were unmatched, and that helped him build a respectable staff, and got him a second job weeks after Miami fired him when the New York Jets hired him. But Gase never put enough of an emphasis on the full team, didn’t make wise personnel decisions, and his massive ego eventually rubbed people in the organization the wrong way.
When Gase’s team quit on him at the end of the 2018 season, after he threw the defense under the bus one too many times following a 41-17 loss to Minnesota the week before Christmas, there was no way he could return.
He got whacked after three seasons, just like his replacement, Brian Flores, a former defensive play-caller whose gruff personality and rigid NFL upbringing made him hard to work with.
Flores’ camp is selling his split with Miami as a divorce that was inevitable because the Dolphins don’t have the culture to win, or the quarterback he needs to contend in the AFC.
But the truth is that Flores, who produced a 24-25 record with no playoff berths in three seasons, didn’t know how to treat people properly, was passive aggressive, and lacked the coaching network needed to repair his broken offense.
That’s why the Dolphins are attempting to renovate this faulty rebuild by embarking on this super-secret search for his replacement, competing in a field of coach-less teams that has grown to nine because of Sean Payton’s retirement Tuesday.
No matter who is hired — the experienced coach coming from the college ranks, the offensive guru who promises to develop a top-10 unit, the defensive wizard — the one thing that they need to be is a of leader of men.
The Dolphins need a head coach who knows how to treat people properly, like Sparano. Someone who is capable of building and coaching up a quality staff, like Saban. A coach who knows how to work the room like Gase, is detail-oriented like Philbin, and can build a young, interchangeable defense like Flores.
The Dolphins have been lost in the wilderness for two decades because the players didn’t respect their head coach, or that coach couldn’t put together a quality staff.
The people in charge should have a clear understanding of what’s been missing. Let’s cross our fingers that they can find a replacement who allows the franchise to stop playing musical chairs at that important leadership position.
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