Friday, January 6, 2012

Dolphins to interview Packers' OC Joe Philbin

The Miami Dolphins' search for a head coach continues, and the newest candidate comes certainly comes with a recent history of winning and impressive hardware.

The Dolphins will reportedly interview Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator Joe Philbin at some point in the next few days. Philbin, who recently interviewed for the Chiefs' head-coaching job, can only conduct interviews during the Packers' bye week, after which time he will be unavailable until the end of their season.

While former Titans' head coach Jeff Fisher appears to be the Dolphins' top choice and is widely regarded as the most high-profile candidate on the coaching market, Philbin fits in with the rest of the Jeff Ireland's candidates as NFL coordinators and assistants with little or no head-coaching experience.

The Dolphins first interviewed their own assistant head coach/secondary coach Todd Bowles, who went 2-1 as the interim head coach to close out the 2011 season, as well as Bears' special teams coordinator Dave Toub. Reports from earlier in the week also relayed potential interest n Jets' defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

The 50-year-old Philbin has extensive coaching experience at both the college and pro levels. He has held numerous positions as an offensive line coach and offensive coordinator, with his most recent college stint coming as the Iowa Hawkeyes' offensive line coach under Kirk Ferentz from 1999 to 2002.

Philbin joined Mike Sherman's staff with the Packers in 2003 as assistant offensive line coach, and also took on tight end coaching duties during the following two seasons. He was promoted to offensive line coach under Mike McCarthy in 2006 and then to offensive coordinator a year later.

Despite holding the title of offensive coordinator for the past four seasons, Philbin does not have play-calling responsibilities, which are held by McCarthy. Still, Philbin receives a lot of credit league-wide for the success of Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the team's entire offense.

The 15-1 Packers have easily been the NFL's most dominant team over the past two seasons and are coming off a Super Bowl victory last February. Meanwhile, the offense has ranked among the top 10 in both scoring and yardage every season Philbin has held the title of offensive coordinator.

Philbin seems like a quality candidate and also one that would not have any issue reporting to Ireland when it comes to personnel decisions as a rookie head coach. However, it's fair to question just how good of a candidate he really is, considering he hasn't been calling the plays in Green Bay and could be riding the wave of McCarthy and Rodgers to an extent.

One would assume Philbin, and any of the other candidates, are viewed a "backup options" if the team cannot land Fisher. Since Philbin cannot even commit to the Dolphins' job until the Packers' season ends (which could take a while), he will have to really impress in his interview to get the Dolphins to hold off on filling the position in the coming weeks.

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