Mularkey a good addition

We could understand a less-than-positive reaction to the additions of Mike Mularkey and Dom Capers after they combined to go 7-25 as head coaches last season. But it's as offensive coordinator that the Dolphins have added Mularkey and it's as defensive coordinator that they're expected to hire Capers, and in those roles both men have impressive credentials.

Remember that Mularkey was offensive coordinator with the Steelers for three seasons before he became head coach of the Buffalo Bills.

No, Mularkey didn't have a great record as a head coach, although he did go 9-7 in his first season and would have made the playoffs if not for a really bad start to the season.

But things went downhill in 2005 when the Bills overestimated their ability to win with first-year starter J.P. Losman at quarterback, in part because their once-stout defense sprung a lot of holes after the free agent departure of nose tackle Pat Williams and a season-ending injury to stud linebacker Takeo Spikes.

Not that Mularkey was blameless. You only have to think back to Buffalo's visit to Miami in early December when the Bills led 23-3 late in the third quarter and the Bills threw on first-and-goal from the 3.

You remember the rest. Sam Madison picked off Losman, and the Dolphins embarked on the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in franchise history.

But in Pittsburgh, Mularkey did a great job of maximizing the personnel he had, which meant not trying to make Kordell Stewart a pocket passer, which meant emphasizing the pass when Tommy Maddox was having a career year in 2002, which meant using a power running game when he had both Willis McGahee and Travis Henry in Buffalo.

What Mularkey's arrival means for the Dolphins is hard to tell, although one would think he would make full use of his two best weapons, which is at this point clearly are Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.

As for Capers, nothing is official as of Tuesday morning, but the expectation is that he will sign with the Dolphins in a day or two and take over a defense that showed promise in 2005.

Capers also experienced his best success as a coordinator with the Steelers, in his case from 1992-94. Capers also was the defensive coordinator in Jacksonville in 1999 when the Jaguars had a league-best 14-2 record and demolished the Dolphins in the playoffs.

In addition to being friends with Nick Saban, Capers also is a proponent of the 3-4 defense, which makes him a good fit for Miami.

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