DAVIE, Fla. – Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, who just completed his first season, already has the first branch extended from his coaching tree.
The Denver Broncos hired Miami defensive coordinator Vance Joseph to be their next head coach Wednesday. Joseph spent the 2016 season running the Dolphins’ defense, which struggled at times but played hard and overcame injuries to win 10 games.
This leaves the Dolphins with a significant hole on its coaching staff. In fact, Miami will soon have its third defensive coordinator in three seasons. That is a major reason why continuity could play a huge factor in its next hire.
“I’m not really looking to put our players in a situation where every spring we’re looking to change a whole bunch of things,” Gase said during Wednesday’s season-ending news conference. “We’ll always look to improve as far as what we’re doing. We’ll always go back and evaluate and figure out what’s best for us for next season."
Enter Dolphins linebacker coach Matt Burke. He is the likely replacement for Joseph if the Dolphins decide to stay in-house. Similar to Joseph, Burke’s linebackers group also struggled overall. But injuries played a major factor.
The biggest reason for promoting Burke would be for Miami to keep the same defensive scheme and terminology. Burke spent time with Joseph in both Cincinnati and Miami. Learning a third defensive system in as many seasons could set back Miami’s defense. That’s the last thing the Dolphins need right now after finishing 29th in total defense.
Losing Joseph will be a hit for Miami. He was a good communicator, and players enjoyed playing for him.
But these things happen when a team is successful. The Dolphins, who made the playoffs for the first time since 2008, are finally on the other end of things and must adjust to other organizations coveting what they have.
“He’s done a great job with our players; I can speak for that first hand,” Gase said of Joseph. “He took so much off of my plate, where I never had to worry about anything with the defense. He really did a great job with all those guys in that room. He did a great job directing those guys, and he really made my life a lot easier than it would’ve, could’ve been.”