Looking for Linehan's successor

The Dolphins again are in the market for an offensive coordinator after Scott Linehan's successful, but too brief, stint. Linehan has left the Dolphins to become head coach of the St. Louis Rams, which means the Dolphins next season will have their eighth offensive coordinator since 1997.

It's too early to speculate on who that new offensive coordinator will be, but it's believed that former Bills head coach Mike Mularkey, a native of Fort Lauderdale, was to meet with Coach Nick Saban on Friday.

Other believed to be candidates include former Rams head coach Mike Martz (now that it doesn't appear he'll be getting another head-coaching job this year), former Green Bay head coach Mike Sherman, Dolphins wide receiver coach Charlie Baggett and Dolphins quarterbacks coach Jason Garrett.

Garrett, however, might not be a strong candidate because he only has one year of experience as an assistant coach.

Mularkey, who was offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers before taking over in Buffalo, certainly would be a solid choice.

Regardless of who gets the job done, the task of replacing Linehan won't be an easy one after the Dolphins offense made big strides in 2005, particularly during the season-ending six-game winning streak.

The Dolphins averaged 26 points a game during that stretch, and the concern over Linehan's departure, more than anything, is that the offense finally had developed a comfort level with his system late in the season and now will have to start all over again.

For Chris Chambers, for example, Linehan's successor will be his fifth offensive coordinator since he entered the league in 2001 -- not counting Joel Collier, who held the post for about three weeks in 2004 before returning to his post as running backs coach.

There is no timetable as to when Saban would like to have a new offensive coordinator in place, although we believe it will happen sooner rather than later.


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