The Miami Dolphins met with Patriots defensive play-caller Brian Flores somewhere in New England on Thursday evening, had dinner, then got into an in-depth interview Friday morning. That session complete, the team is scheduled to meet with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy on Friday afternoon and evening somewhere in Kansas City.
The Bieniemy interview could leak into Saturday morning depending on several factors.
All this according to a club source familiar with the team’s plans.
[Update: The Dolphins have confirmed that the Flores interview happened and has concluded.]
So we’re off.
The Dolphins’ search for their 13th head coach — sixth under owner Stephen Ross the past decade — has begun in earnest.
And I have no clue who the favorite is. I certainly have no idea who the best candidate is because the Dolphins have once again failed to include me in the process to draw from my gifts of perception, wisdom and forethought.
(Ross read that last sentence and thought, “Yeah, right.” Except I’ve seen what the Dolphins have done with their football side searches the past decade and there’s no room to mock. You could use the help, sir.)
Seriously, the timing of the Flores interview followed by the Bieniemy interview begs a comparison. No, not of the two men necessarily.
But of their background and training.
And if their coaching background from which they come is any measure based on history, it suggests Bieniemy is the better candidate.
Well, Flores is a product of the Bill Belichick coaching tree.
And Bieniemy is a product of the Andy Reid coaching tree.
And while Belichick has been the much more successful coach and won five Super Bowls, his coaching tree is not too impressive when one considers footnote things like results.
Reid has been a very good coach through the years and has the No. 1 seed in the AFC this season. But he has not won a Super Bowl as a head coach, much less five.
Still, the Reid coaching tree is a staggering, impressive Redwood if one measures success.
And Belichick’s tree is a Dwarf Willow (I looked it up, it’s tiny).
The Reid tree includes Doug Pederson, Ron Rivera, Todd Bowles, Sean McDermott, Matt Nagy, and John Harbaugh.
Pederson has won a Super Bowl.
Harbaugh has won a Super Bowl.
Rivera took his team to a Super Bowl.
Nagy is in his first season as the Chicago Bears coach and they are in the playoffs.
According to the Kansas City Star, a Miami Herald sister newspaper, 67 percent of Reid assistants hired as head coaches took their teams to the playoffs by January 2018. Nagy has obviously increased that percentage.
And then there’s Belichick’s coaching sprout.
Nine of his former assistant went on to become NFL head coaches. That’s excellent. They are:
Nick Saban with the Dolphins.
Josh McDaniels with the Broncos.
Al Groh with the Jets.
Eric Mangini with the Jets and the Browns.
Matt Patricia with the Lions.
Mike Vrabel with the Titans.
Romeo Crennel with the Browns and Chiefs.
Jim Schwartz with the Lions.
Bill O’Brien with the Texans.
And none of these has won a Super Bowl.
Obviously, Saban is the most successful college coach of this generation. O’Brien is good, and Vrabel and Patricia just completed their first seasons so it’s unfair to judge them one way or the other.
Belichick has done amazing work sending coaches into the college ranks and his personnel department guys have become stars, including Ozzie Newsome, who worked under Belichick in Cleveland.
But I do believe the Dolphins are interviewing head coaches and not personnel department applicants. And winning Super Bowls is supposed to be the new goal for the Dolphins, right?
Based on history alone and the results that are obvious to anyone, hiring from the Andy Reid tree has been more productive.