AFC East: Chris Palmer

Report: Miami to interview Brad Childress

January, 13, 2011
The Miami Dolphins are casting a wide net in their search for an offensive coordinator, speaking to coaches from all corners.

Some are younger. Some are older. Some are assistants on the rise. And, in the case of the latest name, a fired head coach.

Brad Childress told Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman he would interview with the Dolphins on Saturday. The Dolphins have openings after offensive coordinator Dan Henning retired and quarterbacks coach David Lee left for Ole Miss.

The Dolphins already have spoken to San Diego Chargers tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski, Dallas Cowboys tight ends coach John Garrett, Hartford Colonials head coach Chris Palmer and former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

Childress is the biggest -- and most controversial -- name to surface so far.

He had a tumultuous turn as Minnesota Vikings head coach. His job there will forever be remembered for his handling of Brett Favre the past two seasons. Childress seemed to surrender power in his attempts to appease the legendary quarterback. A series of missteps made Childress look like a bumbler until he was fired during the season.

Childress as offensive coordinator is curious because he hasn't been a successful playcaller in the NFL. He initially became a commodity as the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterbacks coach, working with Donovan McNabb.

But when Childress was the Eagles' offensive coordinator, head coach Andy Reid called the plays. Shortly after Childress left for the Vikings, Reid gave the duties to Childress' successor, Marty Mornhinweg.

Childress, who favors a power-running version of the West Coast offense, was Minnesota's playcaller for one season before he had Darrell Bevell do it.

Perhaps the Dolphins will bring Childress aboard to mentor young, struggling quarterback Chad Henne and break up the offensive coordinator role. Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano is familiar with delegated play calling. Sparano served as the Cowboys' run-game coordinator (2005-06) and called plays (2006).

Chris Palmer a Dolphins name to consider

January, 11, 2011
For the second straight season, the Miami Dolphins have a coordinator opening.

Last year, the Dolphins fired defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni and seemed to already have his replacement in mind, hiring Mike Nolan a week later.

The process might not be so snappy in finding somebody to take offensive coordinator Dan Henning's vacated post.

Miami probably has known for a long time Henning wouldn't be back, thereby compiling a list of possibilities head coach Tony Sparano can spring on.

One name that stands out because of all his links to Sparano is Chris Palmer, the former Cleveland Browns head coach and New York Giants quarterbacks coach.

There are several dots to connect:
  • Palmer was University of New Haven head coach with Sparano on staff as his offensive coordinator in 1986 and '87.
  • Palmer went to Boston University as head coach in 1988 and took Sparano with him.
  • Palmer was Cleveland's head coach when he gave Sparano his NFL break, hiring him as an offensive quality control assistant in 1999 and promoting him to offensive line coach in 2000.
  • Palmer was Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach when Sparano was assistant head coach, O-line assistant and run game coordinator under Bill Parcells.
  • Palmer is head coach and general manager for the UFL's Hartford Colonials. His assistant defensive line coach is Tony Sparano Jr.

I'm not saying Palmer is the frontrunner, but that's a lot of linkage to ignore.

Palmer was Giants quarterbacks coach when they knocked off the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Palmer retired after last season, but was lured back to be a head coach and general manager in the short-season UFL. He is said to be willing to come back to the NFL as a coordinator.

Eli Manning's passer rating improved every season under Palmer. Without him this season, Manning threw 31 touchdowns, but also 25 interceptions. Both were career-highs.