The Dolphins have interviews lined up with several of the league’s top coordinators this week — and a former Super Bowl winner.
But they’re beginning on Monday by interviewing former Atlanta coach Mike Smith, according to the Miami Herald.
Smith went 66-46 in seven seasons with Atlanta. He was 1-4 in the playoffs.
Smith is just the beginning. According to league sources and various media reports from ESPN, NFL Network and Fox Sports:
– Miami will interview Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Tuesday and finish the week by meeting with interim coach Dan Campbell on Friday.
– Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase is expected to interview with the Dolphins on Thursday.
– The Dolphins have interest in Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley, but can’t interview him until at least next week because his team is currently in the playoffs.
– Dolphins head exec Mike Tannenbaum confirmed that former Denver and Washington coach Mike Shanahan will interview with the Dolphins on Tuesday.
ESPN reported that it’ll actually be Miami’s second interview with Shanahan — Tannenbaum reportedly had an under-the-radar meeting the Dolphins on Dec. 22.
Tannenbaum said they spoke but it didn’t take place in Davie and it wasn’t an official interview.
– The Dolphins have requested interviews with New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, as well as assistant head coach Anthony Lynn.
It’s unclear if McDaniels or Patricia would be willing to leave New England for a division rival.
Lynn was running backs coach for the Jets from 2009 to 2014 and reportedly will meet with the Dolphins on Wednesday. Tannenbaum was the Jets general manager from 2006 to 2012.
– Jacksonville assistant head coach Doug Marrone, who was previously head coach of the Bills, is also scheduled to interview with the Dolphins at some point this week.
New Dolphins GM Chris Grier will be part of the coaching search and Tannenbaum said the new coach will “100 percent” have input on the roster.
“I don’t know how else you can do it,” Tannenbaum said.
Shanahan, 63, hasn’t coached since leaving Washington in 2013. He won two Super Bowl titles with Denver.
He went just 24-40 in four season with the Redskins, winning the NFC East title at 10-6 in 2012.
There was also speculation that Shanahan wasn’t on board with the team’s decision to trade up for quarterback Robert Griffin III in 2012, instead preferring to stay put and draft Ryan Tannehill, who went to Miami with the No. 8 pick.
Owner Stephen Ross said Sunday that the Dolphins would love a coach with head coaching experience but that they’re hard to find.
Shanahan would give the Dolphins plenty of experience.
Marrone, 51, was head coach of the Bills in 2013 and 2014. He was 15-17 with Buffalo and surprisingly opted out of his deal when Terry Pegula took over as Bills owner.
Marrone spent four games as a quarterback for the Dolphins during the 1987 strike.
Gase, 37, was hired this season in Chicago. Before that he spent two seasons as Denver offensive coordinator under former coach John Fox.
He went with Fox to Chicago.
The Bears were only 22nd of 32 teams in scoring this year at 21 points per game.
But the Broncos were first in the NFL with a record 37.9 points per game in 2013, Gase’s first year as an offensive coordinator.
They were second in the league in scoring at 30.4 points per game in 2014.
Gase is interviewing with the Eagles on Tuesday and the Browns on Wednesday, so the Dolphins will hope he makes it to Miami before accepting another job.
NFL Network reported that Austin will interview this week with the Dolphins and Browns and likely the Eagles.
Austin, 50, has been defensive coordinator of the Lions for two seasons.
The Lions had the league’s third-best scoring defense in 2014 at 17.6 points per game and were led by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who just finished his first season in Miami.
The Lions scoring defense this season was 25th of 32 teams at 25.3 points per game.
Austin would also fulfill the Rooney Rule which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for a coaching vacancy.
Campbell seems like a long shot after he went 5-7 as interim coach. But owner Stephen Ross Sunday said he loves Campbell, who will be able to make his case on Friday.
“What Coach Campbell did will never be understood,” Tannenbaum said. “What he accomplished, changing coordinators where he did. Here’s a man that coached four players and the next day he’s the head coach of an NFL team. That’s really remarkable. We fell short. I was part of falling short.”
Tannenbaum said he’s spoken to a number of people about the coaching search, including his mentor Bill Parcells, who is not a candidate.
Tannenbaum said the Dolphins have done extensive research and are open to either a previous head coach or an up-and-coming coordinator.
“We’ve done a lot of research on what makes a successful NFL head coach and tried to reverse-engineer the last 20 years literally of every hire, from their degree to really almost sort of every valuable and I can tell you that there’s a lot of different permutations, a lot of different answers,” Tannenbaum said. “So we want to get the best coach and we’re not going to narrow it to any sort of background, being a first-time coach or not.
“I know there’s one theory out there, like some of the recent Super Bowl winners, Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, all did it on their second hire. But we just want to get the best head coach regardless of their background.”
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said Sunday that he hopes a hire is made “sooner than later” because of numerous other vacancies across the league.