Who should be the next coaches for the Chiefs and Dolphins?
The Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins are in the market for new head coaches after the Monday firings of Todd Haley and Tony Sparano. Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss who might be a good candidate for each opening. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving a comment of your own.
Omar Kelly, South Florida Sun Sentinel
Coaching searches in the NFL usually come down to who you know.
Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland knows former Titans coach Jeff Fisher from his time as a ball boy with the Chicago Bears.
Chiefs GM Scott Pioli knows former Denver coach Josh McDaniels from their time together with the Patriots.
Ireland's working hard to maintain personnel power, and presently has owner Steve Ross' trust. Fisher's presence wouldn't threaten that, and his coaching skills could help Miami's underachieving team blossom.
Pioli needs a coach who can maximize quarterback Matt Cassel's skills, and who better than the person who helped Cassel blossom as New England's offensive coordinator.
The NFL is truly a who-you-know type of business, and this round of hirings will prove it.
If the Dolphins are smart, they'll consider hiring Brian Billick as their next head coach. Billick wasn't perfect in Baltimore, but he was also the victim of some bad luck. If Jamal Lewis hadn't blown out his knee and Kyle Boller hadn't spent several years tripping over his shoelaces, Billick would still be coaching in Charm City. Look at the coaching staff he put together. The man understands organization and he knows how to motivate.
Kansas City clearly wants to hire Josh McDaniels, but is probably hesitant because McDaniels was such a disaster in Denver. Scott Pioli would be wiser if he went after Jeff Fisher. Pioli clearly isn't going to hire someone who wants to make personnel decisions, and Fisher has never shown interest in anything other than coaching. He'd provide stability and credibility to that franchise.
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
The best available coach for any opening is Jeff Fisher. You could throw Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden into the discussion, but it’s doubtful that either would leave his comfortable broadcasting existence at this point.
Fisher, on the other hand, is very interested in coaching again. He has a 140-126 record as a head coach, and he has been to a Super Bowl. His teams in Houston and Tennessee were consistently competitive, despite not always being as talented as their opponents. He is widely respected and connected throughout the NFL, and was a longstanding member of the competition committee.
Fisher has the kind of leadership qualities that make him a CEO-style coach. He has the credibility to sell his program to his team and to his fan base. His experience makes him stand out above almost all other available and interested candidates.
Photo: Jeff Fisher. Credit: Elaine Thompson / Associated Press