Coaching Search Offers Miami Dolphins Learning Experience

Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula

Exposure to Coaching Candidates Chance to Gain Perspective

As the Miami Dolphins continue “casting the net far and wide” in the search to fill their head coaching vacancy, they enjoy a unique opportunity to gain some perspective about themselves and the NFL overall.

From a corporate perspective, hauling in tons of candidates for job interviews can turn into a tedious, templated process. Most managers enter interviews with set questions for each candidate with a goal of trying to determine if the person seated in front of them is qualified or suited to join the organization.

What many folks fail to realize is that a massive interview process really offers an opportunity to learn a number of important things about your own organization.

From a football perspective:

What’s the best offensive system? How many opinions will the Dolphins receive when they ask “How do we get the most of quarterback Ryan Tannehill?” Themes and opinions may emerge about style and overall quality. Do the Dolphins think too much of their QB? With Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker among their receiving corps, are they better-suited for a gunslinger quarterback so they can create the next generation of Dan Marino and the Marks Brothers?

Asking candidates to provide an honest assessment can be sobering. Of course, most candidates will be cautious in criticism, but those who take a candid route just might do a service to the club and their employment prospects.

What’s the best defensive system? You have Ndamukong Suh, how do you get the most out of him? What types of bodies, attributes and mental makeup do you prefer at each position and how can the Dolphins get better linebacker and secondary play?

How are the Dolphins perceived externally? Does Stephen Ross’ hiring history and convoluted front office scare candidates? What’s the word on the street? Are good candidates loath to coach in Miami because of the team’s reputation for dysfunction?

Player Acquisition: Are there players on your current team or coming into the Draft who you think might be a good fit for the team going forward?

Overall, at least candidates are taking interviews with the Dolphins, unlike the last GM search where several said ‘no thank you’ to the invite overall.

Since everyone who’s not a New England Patriots fan will be rooting for them to exit the NFL playoffs early, we hope the Dolphins will apply some patience and also receive permission to interview defensive coordinate Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

At the end of the day, nailing the right coach serves as the No. 1 top priority on the list of any successful team.

However, No. 1a, involves player acquisition and overall organizational culture. Hiring a former Patriots coach might help establish some of that culture within the Dolphins organization, but they have to be willing to accept that strategy from Mike Tannenbaum on down through the organization.

The Dolphins need to learn a lot about themselves in this process. It’s an opportunity for an epiphany-type moment. Ross needs to understand business-as-usual has been nothing but a failure. He needs something totally new. Hopefully these candidates can enforce that idea.