Former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher appears to be the next coach of the St. Louis Rams, so the Miami Dolphins are expected to interview more candidates for their own head coaching job this week.
According to Fox Sports, Fisher could finalize a deal to coach the Rams early this week, leaving the Dolphins without a clear first choice in the ongoing coaching search. The team interviewed Chicago Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub and Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin last week.
Fox Sports also reported that the team will soon ask permission to interview Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. Like everyone else the Dolphins have hired in the past four years, Zimmer has a relationship with general manager Jeff Ireland. The two worked together in Dallas while Zimmer was the team's defensive coordinator and Ireland worked in the front office.
Zimmerman has been a defensive coordinator for the past 12 years, the past four with Cincinnati. The Bengals defense has been in the top half of the NFL in each season, finishing 7th in yardage allowed in 2011.
The Dolphins are also expected to interview Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey very soon. The Falcons were eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday, meaning teams are now free to speak with him regarding job openings.
Mularkey coached the Buffalo Bills in 2004 and 2005, amassing a 14-18 record. He spent the next two seasons with the Dolphins, first as offensive coordinator for Nick Saban, then as tight ends coach for Cam Cameron.
Mularkey has been with the Falcons ever since, guiding their Matt Ryan-led offense to top-ten rankings in two of his four seasons at the helm. Mularkey will also interview for the Jacksonville Jaguars job.
The Miami Herald reported Sunday that Philbin made a good impression during his interview last week, but the team will not be able to speak with Philbin until the Packers are eliminated from the playoffs (or win the Super Bowl).
Regardless, with Fisher seemingly out of the running, the Dolphins are left with few truly captivating options - either retreads like Mularkey or unproven coordinators like Philbin and Toub. None of these names will elicit much excitement from the fanbase if hired, meaning the team will have to make a splash in free agency or the draft in order to get fans excited for the 2012 season.