FINS LOOKING TO DOM-INATE ON "D"?
23 January 2006
Fresh on the heels of adding offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, who quit less than two weeks ago as coach of the Bills, the Miami Dolphins could be after another guy who was an NFL head coach elsewhere in the AFC in 2005.
Alex Marvez of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the Fins could be looking fro a guy to oversee the defense,
which was co-coordinated in 2005 by Richard Smith and Will Muschamp. A year ago, new head coach Nick Saban had difficulty landing a high-end defensive coordinator, possibly because of the perception that Saban would essentially run the defensive side of the ball, possibly because of the perception that Saban is tough and demanding (and, after his first year as a head coach in the NFL, very successful).
Marvez offers a list of candidates for the position other than Capers, but we're hearing that Capers is the target.
If it happens, it wouldn't be a surprise. Both the Redskins and the Dolphins have been spending big money to lure accomplished coordinators to town. In Washington, Joe Gibbs has assembled two big-name, big-money coordinators (Gregg Williams and Al Saunders), and the same dynamic apparently will be playing out in Miami, where owner Wayne Huizenga understands the connection between good coaching and good results
, especially in the salary-cap era.
The only potential glitch, as we see it, is that Giants head coach Tom Coughlin would love to lasso Capers as a replacement for defensive coordinator Tim Lewis. Lewis was expected to be a serious contender for a head coaching job this time around, but those 220-plus rushing yards allowed against Carolina and the decision to cover the most explosive receiver in the league (Steve Smith) with 43-year-old Terrell Buckley might have torpedoed Lewis's chances.
So now Coughlin has to decide whether to fire Lewis outright. In a year with no net gains in minority head coaches, such a move likely would not be well received.
If in the end the Saban can snatch Capers, we'll be ready to pencil in both the Fins and the 'Skins as the very early picks to meet in Super Bowl XLI, which coincidentally will be played in Miami. It could be the kiss of death, given our past prognostication skills.
Regardless, at a time when teams are hiring lightweights to run the show, teams with a trio of seasoned head coaches should be able to succeed.