The Miami Dolphins are reportedly looking to have Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daball become the team’s next head coach.
Daboll, who once worked as an assistant in Miami and spent another season with Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in college, will become the franchise’s 14th head coach – 11th not counting interim coaches. The New York Daily News reported that Daball is a leading Dolphin candidate on Wednesday night, tying the New York Giants and then Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, a former Atlanta Falcons head coach who also has interviewed “Dolphins”, and ex-dolphins. coach Brian Flores.
Daball, 46, is one of the hottest names in the off-season coaching cycle. He was the first candidate the Dolphins asked for an interview after splitting from Flores.
Daball, who will serve as a head coach for the first time, has built that reputation on the work he has done with the Bills offense and Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen as the team’s offensive coordinator since 2018.
Under DaBall, the Billies were ranked 3rd in offensive scoring, 5th in offensive scoring, 6th in rushing offense, and 9th in offensive scoring. Allen had consecutive seasons of at least 4,400 passing yards and 36 touchdowns and was also an effective running back, and Daball was the 2020 AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year when Allen took that next step.
The Giants were seen as one of the teams in contention for Daball after interviewing him twice and hiring Bills assistant general manager Joe Sean, a former Dolphins executive, for the general manager position. Daball, a Buffalo native, also has the Chicago Bears among the teams interested in him.
Other teams still open after Denver Broncos hired Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett Thursday morning: Giants, Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints.
Miami also interviewed Quinn, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Fraser, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, and Los Angeles Rams running coach Thomas Browne.
Daboll was Tagovailoa’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for his rookie Alabama in 2017. That year, Tagovailoa was the understudy for current Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, but throughout the season he was trusted to replace Hurts at halftime in the national championship game and eventually win back Georgia.
Daball also has an NFL championship pedigree. He was an assistant for the New England Patriots under coach Bill Belichick for five Super Bowl winning seasons. He was the Patriots’ tight end coach from 2013 to 2016, a receivers coach from 2002 to 2006, and a defensive assistant in 2000 and 2001.
Daball’s first stop in Miami came in 2011 as offensive coordinator in coach Tony Sparano’s final year in office. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 and the Cleveland Browns in 2009 and 2010. Between his first stint in New England and his first job as coordinator in Cleveland, he coached quarterbacks for the New York Jets in 2007 and 2008.
Hiring Dabolla would have meant a return to working with a coach with offensive experience after the Dolphins moved to Flores in 2019, who mostly had defensive experience from 15 seasons with the Patriots. Adam Geis (2016-18), Joe Philbin (2012–15), Tony Sparano (2008–11) and Cam Cameron (2007) became head coaches for the Dolphins, serving as offensive assistants. All of the above were also head coaches for the first time when they arrived in Miami, as was Daball.
Flores was fired after three seasons at the helm, in which he spent 24-25 years. His January 10 firing came as a surprise in NFL circles after the Dolphins ended consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 2003. lack of cooperation as a reason for the decision.
Flores was 0-6 against the Bills and Daball offenses in three seasons leading the Dolphins. He hasn’t found his next coach yet, but he’s been interviewed by the Giants, Bears and Texans.