Monday, January 23, 2012

Todd Bowles, Brian Daboll among those not returning to Dolphins' staff

The Miami Dolphins lost defensive coordinator Mike Nolan before their head-coaching search was even over, but now it seems the staff is preparing to undergo a radical transformation under new head coach Joe Philbin.

Reported on Monday indicated that numerous members of Tony Sparano's staff with the Dolphins will not be retained under Philbin, including offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and assistant head coach/secondary coach Todd Bowles, who went 2-1 serving as the team's interim head coach after Sparano was fired late during the 2011 season.

Bowles, who has drawn head-coaching consideration around the team for a few years now, was a finalist for the Dolphins' head position himself before losing out to Philbin. There was some talk he could return in a defensive coordinator role (one he's never held in the NFL), but that apparently is not the case.

Daboll spent just one season running the Dolphins' offense, replacing the retired Dan Henning, after coming over from the Cleveland Browns. The Dolphins ranked 23rd in total yards and 20th in points in 2011, although Daboll certainly didn't have all the tools he needed on offense and lost his starting quarterback three games into the season.

With an aggressive attack that saw the Dolphins rank 14th in completions over 20 yards, Daboll has to earn some credit for getting quality production out of backup quarterback Matt Moore down the stretch, generating the best rushing season of Reggie Bush's career, and putting Brandon Marshall back in the Pro Bowl with elite numbers that could have been much better if not for more than a dozen dropped passes.

Also known to be moving on from the Dolphins' staff are wide receivers coach Steve Bush, assistant receivers coach Ike Hilliard, offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, and linebackers coach Bill Sheridan. Hilliard has already taken a promotion as wide receivers coach of the Washington Redskins, while DeGuglielmo is reportedly close to re-joining Sparano with the New York Jets.

There are still a dozen of other assistants that are still unspoken for, including offensive quality control coach Tony Sparano, Jr., but it seems likely Philbin could be overhauling most or all of the coaching staff and we might not see any familiar faces return.

From a hiring standpoint, Jaguars' offensive line coach Andy Heck was a rumored candidate for the Dolphins' offensive coordinator job, but has since recommitted to Jacksonville. Former Texas A&M and Packers' head coach Mike Sherman, who may be the favorite for the Buccaneers' head-coaching job, is also a candidate for the offensive coordinator role in Miami and has an extensive history with Philbin.

On the defensive side of the ball, NFL Network suggested Bengals' assistant Kevin Coyle could be a candidate for a coordinator position under Philbin. Coyle has spent the past 11 years with the Bengals, including the last nine coaching the defensive backs.

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