As we approach mid-season for the 2012 Miami Dolphins we see a team than is seemingly on the rise, and a head coach that is getting more and more praise as the season develops
Joe Philbin was already getting kudos for the innovative way he ran training camp and practices, but he also has his teams on-field product winning games lately, and people are seemingly taking notice.
The Dolphins closed out the century with back-to-back legends Don Shula and Jimmy Johnson. In the 2000′s they have had Dave Wannstedt, Jim Bates, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron, Tony Sparano, Todd Bowles, and now it is Philbin’s regime.
This article is a look at how these coaches did in their first season with the Dolphins.
Wannstedt joined the team as the defensive coordinator under longtime friend Johnson. When Johnson retired in 2000 it was Wannstedt who took over. The 2000 Dolphins won the AFC East with an 11-5 record.
In 2004 the ‘Phins were 1-8 when Wannstedt stepped down. Bates took over (he went from defensive coordinator to interim head coach) and Miami went 3-4 under him to end the season.
2005 brought Nick Saban who came from coaching at LSU. The Dolphins did not make the playoffs in either of Saban’s two seasons, but they were pretty good in year one at 9-7.
Saban would leave for the University of Alabama in 2007. In came Cameron who had been the San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator. Cameron lasted only one season as the ‘Phins went 1-15 (the resulting #1 overall pick for Miami was Jake Long).
In 2008 Sparano came over from the Dallas Cowboys as his friend Bill Parcels brought him in to run the on-field show. Miami had a historic turnaround that season and went 11-5. They won the AFC East (that is the last time this team was in the playoffs).
Sparano was fired in 2011 with the Dolphins at 4-9. Todd Bowles was the assistant head coach and the secondary coach and he became the interim head coach. Miami was 2-1 under Bowles.
That brings us to the current Philbin regime. GM Jeff Ireland and owner Stephen Ross courted Jeff Fisher, but he opted for the St. Louis Rams. Miami then had Bowles, Philbin, and Denver Broncos offensive-coordinator Mike McCoy as their 3 finalists and we know Philbin got the nod.
Click HERE for all of my daily/free Miami Dolphins articles
follow me on twitter @craigballard77