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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Does Colts' opening impact Dolphins?

By James Walker

The Indianapolis Colts were the latest team to enter the NFL coaching search in 2012. Indianapolis fired head coach Jim Caldwell after a 2-14 season that included the injury to quarterback Peyton Manning.

Does another opening in Indianapolis further impact the Miami Dolphins?

Miami already ran into trouble trying to compete with the St. Louis Rams for veteran head coach Jeff Fisher. The Dolphins lost that battle, as Fisher wanted control over personnel in addition to a potential franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford.

Now, Indianapolis hits the coaching market with Manning currently on the roster and, most importantly, the No. 1 overall pick. That selection will likely be used on Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who many feel is the best quarterback prospect to come out of college since Manning. Luck has so much potential that there's been speculation the Colts might trade or release Manning in the offseason. That remains to be seen.

But Indianapolis' next coach will have one or two franchise quarterbacks on the roster. That is something Miami cannot compete with. Matt Moore is a great backup and solid short-term starter. But he is not the Dolphins' long-term solution.

If Miami ends up competing with Indianapolis for the same top candidate, there is a good chance that coach would choose the Colts and Luck over the Dolphins and the No. 8 or No. 9 pick. Miami may want to speed up its search.