NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 20: Head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins celebrates with Jason Taylor #99 after the game tying touchdown against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 20, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Dolphins 27-24 in overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tony Sparano;Jason Taylor
By now, you know that the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs fired their respective coaches. Grantland's Bill Barnwell did a nice job of explaining why both of these firings were essentially CYA jobs by each team's respective GM. The Dolphins are a particularly baffling case because they are remaining loyal to GM Jeff Ireland, despite Ireland's lousy track record when it comes to both winning and keeping his foot out of his mouth. Chiefs GM Scott Pioli at least has a Super Bowl pedigree to bolster his argument that he deserves to hire a second head coach. Ireland has no similar accomplishments to his resume.
Regardless, both men have retained power over their respective organizations, and so both will be allowed to hire a new coach. In both cases, that means no big-name ex-coaches like Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden, the kind of coaches who would demand say over personnel matters. In KC, interim coach Romeo Crennel is already lobbying for the job full-time, and Josh McDaniels' name has also been mentioned, just in case Chiefs fans didn't already feel like committing mass hanging suicide. And the Jeff Fisher Super PAC has already made inroads in Miami.
Every one of these rumored candidates is a crummy idea. Crennel and McDaniels are both established head coaching failures. And if Pioli again goes with an ex-Belichick assistant, he's basically conceding that he isn't willing to work with new people who might challenge him. And Fisher is a bad choice for a Miami team that should never again let a big-name coach use their job as a semi-retirement gift, as Jimmy Johnson did.
Both teams require the same kind of coach: experienced, levelheaded, and unfailingly intelligent. I have that coach, and his name is Mike Zimmer.
Look at that man. So handsome! Such strong hair! So football coachy looking! This is a man who lost Jonathan Joseph in the offseason AND Leon Hall in November and has still been able to make the Bengals defense look competent. That's not easy to do when Marvin Lewis is your boss.
Plus, Zimmer is a perfect fit for both Pioli and Ireland because he's a former assistant to Bill Parcells, who both men know and revere, but he was an INHERITED assistant of Parcells, which means he wasn't just some lackey following Parcells around all over the place. Zimmer is also widely admired in coaching circles for the graceful and dignified way he handled coaching in the face of his wife's sudden death two years ago. Zimmer is 55 years old, experienced enough to know what he's doing, but with the hunger of a newly minted head coach. He's the perfect candidate for both teams, and he'll likely end up coaching one of them.
The only question is, will Pioli and Ireland have the stones to bring him in? Or will they demand their own personal Norv?