Friday, January 12, 2007

Dark Horse: Mike Tomlin Emerges

The two monkeys and a yo-yo seem to have gotten something right finally. The other day I wrote that Minnesota Viking’s defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin could be a smart choice and a solid dark horse candidate to take over as head coach. Today the Sun-Sentinel is reporting that his interview went very well and that he is expected to have a second interview and be one of the five finalists for the job.

Okay, yes, he’s a defense guy. But everything I’ve heard or read about him says that NFL Insiders believe that the 34 year old Tomlin is a rising young star who will be a head coach someday very soon.

This year he made the Vikings the best run defense in the league. If you played fantasy football this year, you always avoided starting your running back against the Vikings -- well that’s because of Tomlin. How’s that for expert analysis? Fantasy football. Yea, I’m a genius with this stuff. It’s why the ladies love me. That and my spectacular pecs.

Tomlin has coached under Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden. As defensive backs coach in Tampa, his players had 5 interceptions in Super Bow XXXVII, shutting down the season’s MVP, quarterback Rich Gannon, and leading the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl title.

Tomlin is the first name to pop up as a positive sign that the Fins are narrowing down their search and that the wheels are in motion (I’m spinning my hands with my index fingers pointed out in a twirley motion to better accentuate my point that the wheels are in motion). And although I can’t figure out why they couldn’t just have one interview each and then hire their guy is really beyond me. This is not a managerial position at Kinkos. This is the head coaching position for the Miami Dolphins. Do all your reasearch before the interviews, ask both character questions and football related questions in the same interview, go with ... ah hell, why bother!!

Two monkeys and a fuckin yo-yo ...

Anyway, I do like Tomlin. He’s young, aggressive, impressive and he’s not Pete Carroll, Mike Martz or Dom Capers. I really, really want Squirrel Head to stay here but only as an assistant and defensive coordinator.

Your thoughts?

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Tomlin is a'ight... but didn't the Vikings secondary suck royally this year?
I'll take Tomlin over Martz for sure. I'm sure Cameron has to be one of those 5 finalists but because the Chargers are still alive, the Fins can't talk to him again. I'm curious as to who Tomlin would get to run the offense if he gets hired.
Minnesota had a bizarre year on defense. They were tied with the Bengals for the worst pass defense, but led the NFL in run defense, allowing a total of 985 yards ... they were eighth overall (Miami was fourth, BTW).

That said, the Vikings had eight more takeaways than Miami (34-26, including a 21-8 edge in INTs).

I'm all for hiring Tomlin ... mainly because it would annoy the hell out of all the Vikings fans up here! :)

Kidding aside, it would be a bold move, and a definite change of direction for a team that desperately needs one. Like Tony D said in Any Given Sunday: "If you make a mistake, make it big ... I'm not gonna eat your lunch for that."

Something that freaks me out about hiring a coach like Martz, Capers or Carroll ... even if any of them were absolutely flawless candidates, they're still all in their mid-50s. Who knows how long they'd be committed to this gig?

This is all a crapshoot anyway ... none of these guys is a mortal lock to win a Super Bowl, and nobody is guaranteed to have the same level of success that they had somewhere else. Jimmy Johnson sure proved that, didn't he?

I'd just really like to see the Dolphins hire someone who's driven. Right now, my first two choices would be Tomlin and Whisenhunt. But that's just me.
Don't know much about Tomlin. Except what I just read here. But if he's considered a rising star, I'm glad he's at least cracked the finalists. Any word on Whisenhunt? His team isn't in the playoffs so shouldn't he also be scheduled for a 2nd interview? ... unless he didn't impress.
I heard Whisenhunt is getting a 2nd interview with the Cardinals. I think he might take that job over this one just because the Cards have a better core of young players. If Tomlin comes out as the best candidate, then I'm for him. I'm def. up for an up and coming coach. Who knows he can be the next Mangini or Payton.
Dude, another dark horse candidate that could emerge is Schottenheimer from the Jets. His stock seems to be rising just as fast as Tomlin and he's an offense guy. He's 33 years old too if the youth thing is much of a factor. Plus the Jets are very wary of losing him which is a bit of a plus.
thanks FinGirl.

I know Whisenhunt is seeking a job that gives him full control of personnel. Are the Cardinals offering that? Phins sure are.
I also like Schottenheimer. He did a lot with very little in NY this year. I really think the Jets over-achieved this season and that is in part to sound coaching. Mangini and Schottenheimer did their part and helped the Jets get to the playoffs as well as give Pennington another breath of life; And all this with just one good WR and virtually no running game.

I can dig Tomlin but am a little skeptical about any defensive minded guy coming in. Like Fin Fan said: I too am curious about who would run the offense under Tomlin. But if he's as good as these insiders say he is, then bring him on down.

- Jay
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