Here are some quick thoughts on the departure:
I think this is a big loss for the Dolphins. Nolan may have been the best coach on Miami's staff this past season. Miami's defense was very tough against the run and came on strong late in the year. Nolan's success was one of the biggest reasons the Dolphins were competitive in the second half of the season.
Nolan's replacement is hard to predict, mostly because the Dolphins haven't found their head coach. If the next Dolphins coach retains people on staff, Todd Bowles would be a great candidate. Bowles did a solid job with Miami by going 2-1 on an interim basis. But the new coach could gut the entire staff and start from scratch.
Overall, the Dolphins are definitely losing in their once-promising coaching search. Not only did they lose out on the best possible candidate -- Jeff Fisher -- but now the Dolphins loss arguably the best coach on their old staff. It also doesn’t help that the Indianapolis Colts, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, just joined the competition. Miami's goal was the hit a home run in this search. It appears that won't be the case.