One Thorough Search

There is still a lot left to be determined when it comes to a new Dolphins head coach, the coaching staff and the operational structure, but one thing is for sure: The Dolphins certainly seem to be exploring all avenues.

Just when it seemed early in the week that it was down to one of those candidates, Chan Gailey and Brian Schottenheimer, we now know that more names have come into play, such as Jim Mora, Mike Shula and Cam Cameron.

In fact, as of early Thursday afternoon it's looking like Cameron just might be the leading candidate to replace Nick Saban as head coach.

It's also looking like the new head coach will not have all personnel authority, as has been the case in Miami since anyone can remember.

Rather, it looks as though Randy Mueller, who pretty was just a GM in name under Saban, will be the man in charge of making the Dolphins' personnel decisions.

There also is a lot to be determined when it comes to the coaching staff.

First, what happens with Dom Capers, who the Dolphins say still is a candidate for the head-coaching job. Despite earlier reports that Capers had agreed to a new three-year contract to remain with the Dolphins, the fact is he hasn't signed anything, so there's no guarantee he will remain with the team.

Then there's the Mike Shula situation. He interviewed with the Dolphins last weekend, and there's a feeling he might be offered a job on the staff even if he's not the choice to replace Saban.

As for offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, his position on the team appears tenuous if Shula is hired as an assistant or if the new head coach is an offensive-minded coach.

That would be the case with Cameron, who last season oversaw the highest-scoring offense in the league in San Diego.

At last count, the Dolphins had interviewed 13 candidates for the head-coaching job, and a handful of them were brought back for second interviews.

By that indication, we probably are close to a final decision.

Then again, appearances have been deceiving in this process from the start, so who really knows outside of Dolphins headquarters?

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