Tony Sparano remains head coach of the Dolphins, but that hasn’t stopped widespread speculation about possible interim coaches should owner Stephen Ross make an in-season change.
The obvious name is defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who has several years of head coaching experience with the San Francisco 49ers. Two other current Dolphins coaches to consider, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk who got the names from Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, are quarterbacks coach Karl Dorell and assistant head coach/secondary coach Todd Bowles.
Dorell spent five years as head coach at UCLA, while Bowles is considered an up-and-coming head coaching candidate who has interviewed for NFL head coaching positions with the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Detroit Lions.
One negative against Nolan is the Dolphins’ fourth-quarter collapse in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos was largely due to the performance of his defense, including the team having the wrong personnel on the field for a two-point conversion attempt. Knowing that Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was going to run the ball, Nolan had the Dolphins in “nickel” defense, with five defensive backs on the field. For some reason, the Dolphins do not use franchised nose tackle Paul Soliai as part of that personnel grouping. His 344 pound presence in the middle may have given the Broncos pause about running right up the gut to tie the game and force overtime.