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Breaking Down a Busy Day (Sorta) in the Dolphins Coaching Search

While two NFL teams settled on their new head coach Thursday, the Miami Dolphins continued their deliberate process for finding a successor to Brian Flores

There was some movement in the coaching carousel around the NFL on Thursday, but the Miami Dolphins apparently continued their slow trek toward finding a replacement for Brian Flores.

While the Denver Broncos reportedly hired Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach and the Chicago Bears decided to go with Matt Eberflus, and the New York Giants conducted an interview with the aforementioned Flores on this day, the Dolphins reportedly will wait until Monday to start conducting second interviews.

Those second interviews are expected to involve three offensive assistants from around the NFL: Brian Daboll, Mike McDaniel and Kellen Moore.

Those three were among the seven candidates identified as having interviewed with the Dolphins — unlike most teams, they have not publicly announced any interviews — last week.

The other four were defensive assistants Dan Quinn, Leslie Frazier and Vance Joseph, along with Rams assistant head coach Thomas Brown.

Multiple reports indicated that Quinn, who also interviewed for the head-coaching openings in Chicago and Denver, informed teams Thursday that he would remain as Cowboys offensive coordinator for the 2022 season.

Joseph not being mentioned among the Dolphins candidates getting a second interviewed certainly is interesting because he was mentioned this week as a strong possibility, particularly if Daboll ends up becoming head coach of the New York Giants.

Daboll had a second interview with New York this week before the Giants also interviewed defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and Flores.

Daboll is considered among the leading candidates for the Giants, so it's entirely possible the Dolphins could lose out on the possibility of giving him a second interview if New York hires him this weekend.

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DOLPHINS DEFENSIVE STAFF STAYING?

The other interesting development Thursday was a report from NFL Network's Cameron Wolfe suggesting the Dolphins would prefer keeping their defensive coaching staff intact.

 The logic certainly makes sense considering how well the defense playing in the second half of the season, though the question needs to be asked about how much of an impact Flores had on the scheme and weekly game plans.

Asking a head coach to keep certain assistants on board also sometimes can be a detriment to attracting candidates, though a first-time head coach might be less inclined to make an issue of it.

The Dolphins defensive coaching staff in 2021 consisted of coordinator Josh Boyer, D-line coach Austin Clark, linebackers coach Anthony Campanile, DB coach Gerald Alexander, CB Charles Burks, OLB coach Rob Leonard, assistant DB coach Curt Kuntz and assistant D-line coach Shawn Flaherty.

WILD CARDS?

Because of the way the Dolphins have conducted this search, we can't rule out the possibility of another candidate being in the running.

Three names that certainly would make sense on a certain level are Jim Caldwell, Doug Pederson and Jim Harbaugh, though there have been no reports of any of them having an interview with the Dolphins.

If the Dolphins indeed are looking for an offensive mind to work with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, all three of them would make sense, though one would wonder whether any of them would be comfortable with being told they'd have to retain the defensive coaches.

SENIOR BOWL STRAIGHT AHEAD

The 2022 Senior Bowl will take place next Saturday, Feb. 5 in Mobile, Alabama, but the week of practice is probably more important than the game itself and teams traditionally like to have their coaching staff in place before heading there.

The schedule made the report about the Dolphins conducting second interviews early next week even more eye-opening, and one would think things wouldn't drag on very much once those second interviews take place.

On the flip side, the Dolphins did not have their new coaching staff in place when they made their last coaching change because Flores wasn't hired until the day after Super Bowl LIII.