Former Denver Broncos Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan is reportedly on the verge of taking the same position for the Miami Dolphins, sources indicate. Nolan will take the reins of a defense that ranked tied for 25th in points allowed last season at 24.4 a game and 22nd in total yards given up per game at 349.3.
Nolan decided to part ways with Denver after a very promising 2009. It was a year that saw a Denver defense go from 29th in total yardage, all the way to 7th in just one season. Nolan most recently ran a 3-4 defense in Denver, but after just one season has decided to mutually part ways with the Broncos. Nolan follows in the footsteps of Rick Dennison who is currently the offensive cooridnator of the Houston Texans, and former Denver Running Backs Coach Bobby Turner who is now with Washington, as coaches who spent one year with Josh McDaniels and then parted ways.
Nolan's surprise departure from Denver instantly made him the Dolphins top candidate at the position. Nolan has served as a defensive cooridinator for the Ravens, Jets, Redskins and Giants before landing his first head coaching job with the 49ers. Nolan's record as a head coach was less than impressive as he finished with 18 wins and 37 losses in three-plus seasons.
Nolan represents a breath of fresh air for the Dolphins as they were recently turned down by their two top candidates. Al Groh decided to pass on the Miami job, and took the defensive cooridinator position at Georgia Tech. Keith Butler also said no to Miami and elected to stay put in Pittsburgh.
Nolan looks to be a good fit in Miami, and one team who can't be happy about that is the Chicago Bears. Nolan was also on the Bears radar, but it looks like Chicago is going to have a hard time giving the defensive coodinator position job away.
The Bears lost out on top candidate Perry Fewell, the former Buffalo Bills coach who took over as New York Giants Defensive Coordinator, and seem to be left scratching their collective heads. There is speculation that former Patriots Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees, whose contract wasn't renewed last week, Chiefs Linebacker Coach Gary Gibbs and Jets Senior Defensive Assistant and Linebackers Coach Coach Bob Sutton may be potential candidates for a defensive coordinator position. There are still names out there for Chicago, but it has become very slim pickings.