Monday, January 2, 2012

Dolphins to interview Jeff Fisher, Dave Toub for head-coaching job

The Miami Dolphins will indeed interview long-time Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher for their vacant head-coaching position, according ESPN's Adam Schefter. Per Schefter, the interview will take place "within the next 24-48 hours" after which time he is slated to interview for the same position with the Rams.

Joining Fisher in the list of candidates for the Dolphins' gig is Dave Toub, who has served as the Bears' special teams coordinator since 2004 and reportedly has aspirations of moving up in the NFL ranks, according to head coach Lovie Smith. That story comes from Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

This news comes on the same day the team reportedly expressed interest in Jets' defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, and conducted an interview with Dolphins interim head coach and secondary coach Todd Bowles.

Despite his 2-1 record to close out the season, Bowles is not considered a serious candidate for the job and will probably be moving on entirely in 2012. The interview is likely serving as both a professional courtesy and as a means of satisfying the league's "Rooney Rule" which requires at least one interview with a minority candidate.

Fisher is certainly the most high-profile candidate revealed thus far. A season removed from concluding his 17-year tenure as head coach of the Oilers/Titans, Fisher has compiled a 262-142 (.542) career record with three division titles, six playoff appearances and one Super Bowl berth.

A former cornerback for the Chicago Bears in the 1980s, Fisher has an extensive history on the defensive side of the ball and in the secondary as a defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator. Primarily, his defenses have run 4-3 schemes with smaller, speedy linebackers. (His Titans always had a penchant for ex-Colts players from their Cover 2 scheme.)

Toub was an offensive lineman at UTEP and was drafted in the ninth round of the 1985 NFL Draft, although he never made a regular season appearance. He later worked as a strength & conditioning coach and later a defensive line coach the college level before getting into special teams with the Eagles in 2001. He has been the Bears' special teams coordinator since 2004.

It'd be difficult to not like a Fisher hiring, as he has a ton of experience and fared extremely well with the Titans considering he had deal with Peyton Manning in his division for much of the time. My one concern is that he'd want to change the 3-4 scheme given his personal history, and I like the Dolphins' current scheme and the way their personnel fits it.

As for Toub, it's hard to get excited about a special teams coach, plain and simple. Some may point out John Harbaugh's success in Baltimore, although it's hard to know just how much of that is Harbaugh considering the talent he inherited and how good of a GM Ozzie Newsome is.

Toub may have the ability to be a good coach, but with the Dolphins' holes it's hard to feel good about a coach that has most of experience as a strength coach in college and a guy that has relatively no experience on either offense or defense.

What we can see here is that the Dolphins' head-coaching search is extending far and wide. We have up-and-comers like Pettine, special-teams guys with relatively little experience otherwise like Toub, and seasoned veterans with extensive resumes like Fisher.

It's hard to get a feel of which way the Dolphins might head with this hiring, and that may be because they themselves haven't yet ruled anything out.

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