Alex Marvez of FOX Sports notes in his latest column that as of a few weeks ago, Dolphins owners Stephen Ross “wasn’t itching to make a coaching change,” and had spoken highly of Joe Philbin. However, since then, the Dolphins barely squeaked out a win against the Jets and then lost two key games against AFC contenders, all but eliminating their playoff chances. If Miami wins its final two games, Philbin could survive to coach the club in 2015, but if the team loses one or both, “all bets are off,” writes Marvez.
Although Marvez suggests there’s still some hope for Philbin in Miami, beat writer Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald paints a much bleaker picture, writing that the head coach’s “days are numbered,” and adding that it’s hard to imagine Philbin getting a pat on the back for winning two meaningless games to finish the season. For his part, Philbin says he’s focused on those two games, rather than his future, though he acknowledged that both he and Ross were disappointed after the team’s showing in New England yesterday (Twitter links via James Walker of ESPN.com).
As Philbin’s future in Miami hangs in the balance, it’s also worth keeping an eye on which members of the organization will have a say in the head coach’s fate, writes Salguero. According to the Miami Herald scribe, Dan Marino – a special advisor to Ross – and Mike Tannenbaum – a front office consultant – were both seen talking to the team’s owner after this weekend’s loss to the Patriots.
Pointing out that Tannenbaum still acts as an agent and has several potential head coaching candidates on his roster of clients, including Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, Salguero writes that Tannenbaum and Marino will “obviously have say” in what happens with the head coaching situation. As such, general manager Dennis Hickey finds himself in an interesting situation — Hickey was hired in January of this year, meaning he inherited Philbin, and it’s not clear how much input he’d have in the hiring of a new head coach. Typically, a team’s GM plays a significant role in that process, but with so many voices seemingly involved in the Dolphins’ decision-making, there’s no guarantee of that for Hickey.