My leaders in the clubhouse
They will then trim the list from 12 to whatever number of candidates actually excite them so that those guys can come back for some real football interviews with guys such as Don Shula and Dan Marino in the room.
I was not in on any of those interviews (Wayne didn't ask) but I'm going to give you my top four out of Miami's 12. We'll see how my top four compares to Miami's list, given that I had absolutely zero to do with the interviews.
1. Dom Capers. The devil you know is often the choice over the one you don't. Plus, Capers has been a coach and he's solid. He has the trust of his players. He knows how to coach defense, as proven by Miami's No. 4 overall ranking despite obvious limitations. And he offers some continuity and an ability to retain most of the current staff.
2. Mike Martz. The guy is bright ... sometimes too bright for his own good. I'm told his interview was unorthodox in that he pulled no punches, whereas other coaches might have been more diplomatic. I know the guy has issues running the ball and he isn't in love with Daunte Culpepper. But he knows offense and I think he might have learned from his failed experience in St. Louis.
3. Mike Tomlin. Surprise, right? Look, the guy seriously is a year or two away. But he is a star in the making. He took all the freaky personalities on the Minnesota defense and made them into one very competitive unit. He tells players what they have to do and WHY. That works in today's NFL. Plus he has great charisma. He's a long-shot right now, but I say the guy will be a head coach in a year or two if the Dolphins or Steelers don't snatch him this year.
4. Jim Mora Jr. Granted, the guy made a BIG mistake opening his mouth on that radio show and talking about bolting for Washington if the job opens up. That, more than anything, got him fired in Atlanta. In Miami, Wayne Huizenga would give him a hug and ask for suggestions on how to improve the team. The fact is Mora did a pretty fair job in getting the Falcons to the NFC title game three years ago. What? He forgot how to coach since then? As long as he doesn't bring the Atlanta offense with him, he deserves a second interview.
I left off Pete Carroll because he probably doesn't want to coach in the NFL -- not this year. Plus, you don't hire a guy who just said he is definitely staying at USC. Everyone here got peeved when Nick Saban said he wouldn't coach Alabama, then bolted. We shouldn't be hypocrites and take a guy who just said he's not leaving USC.
I also left off Cam Cameron, but that can change if the Chargers lose this weekend. The Dolphins are in a competitive situation here. They cannot wait until February to hire a coach. They would have to do exactly that if they want to hire guys like Ron Rivera and Ron Turner and Cameron. Sorry guys, but this is a case of success hurting you.
We'll see how I do. What do you think?