Rumors linking Mike Zimmer to the Miami Dolphins' head coaching job are heating up, but two more candidates will immediately jump into the fray following the Green Bay Packers' upset loss to the New York Giants on Sunday.
Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin and assistant head coach/linebackers coach Winston Moss should both garner serious consideration from Miami's brass.
Philbin has been on Green Bay's staff since 2004, and his familiarity with the Packers' aerial assault and quarterback development makes him a very appealing candidate.
If Stephen Ross still desires a pass-happy offense, then we can assume he would prefer an offensive-minded head coach. This would give Philbin a distinct advantage over Mike Zimmer, who is a defensive specialist.
Meanwhile, Winston Moss is an intriguing candidate who has been oddly secluded from Miami's coaching search.
Moss is a former University of Miami standout who has been on Green Bay's staff since 2006. He has served as their linebackers coach since that time and was promoted to assistant head coach in 2007.
Even though Moss is a defensive-minded coach, he is only 43 years old and fits the "next Don Shula" criteria that Ross desires.
Despite all of this, the Dolphins haven't expressed any public interest in Moss. While Miami was tied up in the Jeff Fisher fiasco, Moss was wooed by the Oakland Raiders, who might offer him their head coaching job in the next few days.
Regardless, Green Bay's loss frees up Philbin and Moss for interviews much sooner than anticipated. The Packers figured to remain alive in the playoffs for at least a week or two, but their elimination should help catalyze the Dolphins' head coaching search.
Also, don't forget that if Miami were to hire one of these two coaches, their chances of landing Packers quarterback Matt Flynn will skyrocket. Their odds would increase even further if the 'Fins hire Philbin, who has been Flynn's offensive coordinator since the Packers drafted him in 2007.
Although Moss seems like a long shot to get interviewed—let alone hired—Philbin should be headed down to Miami for a second interview in the next few days.