Dolphins Switching to 4-3 Defense in 2012

Cameron Wake is a happy man!  According to the Palm Beach Post, the Miami Dolphins are going to make a switch from the 3-4 defense to the 4-3, for the 2012 season.  Ben Volin reports that Jeff Ireland told his scouts last month that the team will start evaluating players that fit the 4-3 scheme.  The Dolphins currently do not have a defensive coordinator after Mike Nolan left for the Falcons.  They interviewed Kevin Coyle yesterday for the position, but no decision has been made yet.  Finding players that fit the 4-3 is important, but so is finding the right defensive coordinator to mold the defense into a cohesive unit.  Coyle could be that guy and if he is, we’ll probably know by the weekend.

With 2 of their starters on the defensive line set to become free agents, this offseason might just be the right time to make such a switch.  Kendall Langford and Paul Soliai are set to become free agents in early March.  Langford’s rookie contract has expired and rumors have it that he might follow Mike Nolan to Atlanta.  Langford is a productive, if not flashy, player.  But he’s a 3-4 defense end.  In a 4-3, he would likely have to shift inside…and the Dolphins have Jared Odrick and presumably Randy Starks to fill those roles.

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Todd Bowles Will Not Return to Dolphins in 2012, Plus Coaching Staff Update

Last week at this time, Todd Bowles was a finalist for the Miami Dolphins head coaching job.  Since then, Bowles has learned that he will not be the Dolphins next head coach….and according to the Sun Sentinel, he won’t be back with the Dolphins in any capacity next season. According to Omar Kelly, Bowles will be released from his contract and is free to look for work with other teams.  As Kelly notes in his story, Bowles has now interviewed with 5 different teams for head coaching jobs, since 2009.  The Rooney Rule plays a role in that number, but people recognize that Bowles is a very good coach.  He will probably need to land a defensive coordinator job first, then take the next step to becoming a head coach.

Bowles has been with the Dolphins since 2005, first as the assistant head coach…then as the secondary coach….and most recently as the interim head coach, after Tony Sparano was fired.  Bowles led the Dolphins to a 2-1 record in his brief stint as head man, beating the Bills and Jets.  There was speculation that Bowles could stay on with the Dolphins as their defensive coordinator.  However, the Dolphins appear ready to move on.  Bowles is a good coach and the players like/respect him…..He probably won’t be out of work long and we certainly wish Todd the best of luck.

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Dolphins Paul Soliai Selected for Pro Bowl

Miami Dolphins behemoth Nose Tackle Paul Soliai will replace Haloti Ngata of the Ravens in this Sunday’s NFL Pro Bowl.  Soliai probably just earned a little bit more money in his pending free agency negotiations.  The Dolphins used the Franchise Tag on Soliai before the 2011 season and paid him over $12 mil.

If you want to know Soliai’s value, don’t look at his statistics, ask the Dolphins linebackers.  Soliai recorded 27 tackles and 2 passes defensed.  He did not have a sack or force a fumble.  So how did he make the Pro Bowl?  If you watched Dolphins games this season, you know that Soliai was regularly taking on 2 blockers (Center and Guard) of the opponent.  By occupying 2 blockers, Soliai freed up his Dolphins teammates to run around and make plays.

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Kevin Coyle to Interview for Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Job

The Miami Dolphins are in divide and conquer mode.  Jeff Ireland and numerous Dolphins scouts are in Mobile, Alabama watching Senior Bowl Practices.  Meanwhile, new Dolphins Coach, Joe Philbin, is in the process of moving his family to Miami and interviewing candidates for his coaching staff.  It seems as though almost all of Tony Sparano’s Dolphins staff will be looking for other places to work next season….and that includes Todd Bowles.  The lone exception might end up being Darren Rizzi, the Dolphins special teams coach.

As for Todd Bowles, sources within the Dolphins suggest that it is unlikely that he will return to the team in 2012.  Bowles was rumored to be the front runner for the Dolphins defensive coordinator position after missing out on the head coaching gig.  Well, it seems he’ll be coaching elsewhere next season, as the Dolphins are currently looking fill that same position.  According to NFL Network and FoxSports.com, the Dolphins have asked for, and received permission from the Cincinnati Bengals to interview their defensive backs coach, Kevin Coyle.  Coyle has been with the Bengals for 11 years and has over 35 years of coaching experience.  He is said to be a close friend of Joe Philbin’s and the two are both from Massachusetts.

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What Will the West Coast Offense Bring to the Dolphins?

When the Miami Dolphins selected Joe Philbin to be their next head coach, they brought him to Miami knowing what he could bring to them….an exciting offense.  Philbin and Mike McCarthy worked together in Green Bay and ran a version of the much talked about West Coast Offense.  Philbin said in his press conference that he wouldn’t simply bring his playbook from Green Bay and slap a Dolphins logo on it.  Philbin realizes that he must design an offensive system that fits the players on the Dolphins, in order to be successful.

To understand exactly what type of offense Philbin will bring to the Dolphins, it’s best to look at the origins of the ‘West Coast Offense”.  Do you know who coined the term West Coast Offense?  Ironically, it was none other than the mastermind himself, Bill Parcels.  After Parcells’ Giants beat the 49ers in 1985, he said “What do you think of that West Coast Offense now?”.  He was, of course, referring to Bill Walsh’s 49er offense.  The primary theory behind the West Coast Offense is that you spread out the defense and rely on short, horizontal passing routes to ‘open up’ the defense.  You essentially set up the run by passing the ball.  The Dolphins, in recent years, have done quite the opposite….running the ball to open up play action passes and luring safeties into the box.

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Philbin Could Bring More To The Dolphins Than You Think

Today, new Dolphins coach, Joe Philbin, will be introduced to South Florida and Dolphins fans everywhere.  Philbin comes to the Dolphins with an impressive offensive resume.  He might not be the flashiest coaching option, but he brings a track record of success.  While he might not be an exciting name, the possibilities of what/who he can bring to the Dolphins IS exciting.

One of the exciting things that Philbin will bring to the Dolphins is his West Coast Offense.  We’ll detail more of what that means next week.  BUT, the Dolphins implementation of the West Coast Offense means that Brian Daboll will likely be looking for a new place to work.  This leads to the obvious question: Who will be the Dolphins offensive coordinator?  Well, the most likely choice is Tom Clements, the QB coach of the Packers.  However, Clements interviewed (along with Philbin) for the Tampa Bay Bucs head coaching job.  If Clements doesn’t get that job, we’d expect Philbin to bring him to the Dolphins to be his OC.  Anyway you look at it though, an exciting, innovative offense could be returning to Miami (finally!).

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Meet Joe Philbin, Dolphins New Head Coach

After weeks of rumor and speculation, the Miami Dolphins got their man.  On Friday, the Dolphins confirmed that Joe Philbin will be the 10th head coach in Miami Dolphins history.  Out of the final 3 candidates (Mike McCoy, Todd Bowles, and Joe Philbin), we told you that we thought Philbin was the best choice….though until the announcement was made, we still held out some hope for a mystery candidate!

Well, now we know the Dolphins had no mystery candidate.  Joe Philbin will be the Dolphins coach for the foreseeable future….and we’re coming around to the idea.  After all, while Philbin was the Packers offensive coordinator (5 years), the Packers were never finished lower than 9th in the NFL in total offense.  Meanwhile, the Dolphins haven’t finished in the top 10 in offense in the last 16 years!

By now, we all know that Joe Philbin has faced a horrific tragedy in his personal life.  His 21 year old son died less than 2 weeks ago.  Philbin, while grieving the loss of his son, pushed forward and coached the Packers in the NFC playoffs last Sunday.  Then, he decided to take a 2nd interview with the Dolphins.  Hopefully now, he and his family can begin the healing process.

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Joe Philbin Will Be Dolphins Coach

Finally Dolphins fans! Finally, the Miami Dolphins coaching search is over. Moments ago Adam Schefter reported that the Miami Dolphins will name, now former Packers offensive coordinator, Joe Philbin their new head coach. Philbin met with Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross and General Manager Jeff Ireland on Wednesday for his second interview. Rumors suggested that Stephen Ross wanted Philbin, but Jeff Ireland wanted McCoy. However, those are just rumors…if true, Ross won.

The Dolphins are planning a press conference at some point and we will certainly keep you posted. However, rest assured that the search is now over, Joe Philbin will lead the Dolphins in 2012 and beyond.

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Rumors Swirl and Suggest Mike McCoy Will Be Next Dolphins Coach

The Miami Dolphins coaching search seems to be heading towards it’s conclusion today.  Stephen Ross is on his way from New York to South Florida…the BIG question, however, is which Dolphins coaching candidate will also be in South Florida soon.  According to Twitter, it’s all but certain that Mike McCoy will become the Dolphins next head coach.  From Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network, to Denver Beat Writers, McCoy seems to be the odds on favorite to become the 10th head coach in Dolphins history.

@JasonLaCanforaHear Mike McCoy had strong 8-hour interview with Miami’s Steve Ross, Carl Peterson and Jeff Ireland- 2nd meeting this week. McCoy could end up named Dolphins coach by the end of the day. Todd Bowles and Joe Philbin the other finalists #insideslant

Seriously, the speculation on Twitter all morning has been nuts.  People are tracking Ross’ plane…..tracking where Joe Philbin and Mike McCoy are at the moment.  For the record, Philbin was said to be interviewing for the Bucs head coaching position and McCoy is said to have traveled back to Denver.  There was also a report that Stephen Ross preferred Joe Philbin, while Jeff Ireland preferred McCoy.  The craziest thing I read was that if the two couldn’t decide on one of those candidates, the Dolphins would name Todd Bowles their new head coach.  WHAT THE HELL?!?!

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McCoy Turns Down Raiders Interview, Views Himself as Dolphins Front Runner

Today, the Miami Dolphins will conclude their second round of interviews to fill their head coaching vacancy.  Yesterday, the Dolphins conducted 2nd round interviews with Joe Philbin (Packers OC) and Todd Bowles (Dolphins DB Coach/Interim Coach).  Today, the Dolphins are expected to interview Mike McCoy (Broncos OC).  Perhaps the Dolphins, in their opinion, are saving the best for last.  That could also be Mike McCoy’s feeling as well.  McCoy was scheduled to interview for the Raiders head coaching position on Wednesday, but removed his name from consideration.  Apparently, McCoy believes that he is the front runner for the Dolphins job.

I honestly can’t tell you a lot about these candidates because 2 of them have never been a head coach, and the other has 3 games of head coaching experience.  However, McCoy scares me.  Yes, he’s 39 and could be the young Don Shula that Dolphins Owner, Stephen Ross, is looking for.  But, were his Denver offenses THAT impressive?  Yes, he helped redesign the Broncos offense to get the most out of Tim Tebow…BUT, the Denver offense ranked 23rd in the NFL in 2011, one spot lower than….the Miami Dolphins.  In McCoy’s 2 previous season’s as Broncos offensive coordinator,  the Broncos ranked 13th and 15th.  Does that make him the front runner?

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