The NFL head coaching carousel is in full swing right now. Eight teams are currently in the market for a new leader, but that number feels like it could still change. They include the Buccaneers, Packers, Browns, Jets, Broncos, Bengals, Cardinals and now the Miami Dolphins, after head coach Adam Gase was fired by owner Stephen Ross on Monday.
Gase’s firing wasn’t exactly a surprise to Dolphins fans who know all too well the feeling of false hope and barely missing out on the playoffs year after year. Miami has gone 7-9 or 8-8 in six of the last 10 seasons.
Gase, however, started off strong in the 305. He led the ‘Phins to a 10-6 mark his first year in 2016 before losing to Pittsburgh in the AFC Wild Card round. Things turned sour after that. Miami posted a 6-10 record in 2017 and a 7-9 mark this season, though some feel Gase has never had it easy given the amount of injuries starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill endured.
We know the Dolphins will be picking 13th in the 2019 NFL Draft. We also know whomever they hire next will now report to general manager Chris Grier, who was promoted to oversee football operations. But who might they make their 13th coach? Let’s take a look at a few options:
1. Brian Flores
Flores’ name is hot right now, and it seems every team is seeking an interview with him. There’s no reason to believe the Dolphins wouldn’t have interest. New England’s defensive coordinator has been with the Patriots all of his coaching career since 2004, assuming numerous positions, including linebackers coach, safeties coach, defensive assistant and special teams assistant. He became well known for subbing in Malcom Butler just before the defensive back intercepted Russell Wilson to seal the Patriots’ win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 49.
2. Rex Ryan
Sexy Rexy in Miami? Why not? He’s reportedly gathered a staff together if the Dolphins do have interest in him, suggesting his interest in the job. Ryan last coached the Buffalo Bills from 2015-16, where he was 15-16 and failed to make the playoffs. He did, however, find success with the New York Jets in 2009 and 2010 by taking them to the playoffs both years.
3. John Harbaugh
This one’s a little more complicated. Harbaugh has a good thing going in Baltimore. He already has a Super Bowl ring to his name. The Ravens just made the playoffs under promising rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and the league’s best defense. If the Ravens don’t extend him, would they trade him to a place like Miami? Should the Dolphins even consider trading draft picks for someone like Harbaugh?
4. Jim Harbaugh
You thought I wasn’t going to include the other Harbaugh as well? Even though Ross has already said he won’t go after Jim Harbaugh, I think his name should be on many head coaching candidate lists. He still hasn’t won a conference championship at Michigan and just finished the 2018 season on a poor note. Maybe he returns to the NFL, where he’s already done plenty of winning.