Dolphins preparing for Fisher to take Rams job

With Jeff Fisher apparently on the verge of becoming the St. Louis Rams next head coach, the Miami Dolphins are busy formulating backup plans since it looks like they will become a bridesmaid in the Fisher Sweepstakes.

The Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins will interview Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, whose unit carried the Bengals to the playoffs, but did not play well in Saturday's 31-10 wild-card loss in Houston.

The Dolphins have already interviewed Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who was said to have made a good impression. Miami has also interviewed Chicago Bears special teams coach Dave Toub, interim coach Todd Bowles and may interview Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

With apologies to all those not named Fisher in the running, none of those other names will exactly overwhelm the Dolphins' seemingly shrinking fan base. That's not to say that any of them couldn't come in and turn the franchise back in the right direction.

But this hire is critical for the Dolphins, who were once one of the Rolls Royce franchises of the NFL in terms of success in the 1970s and glamor and appeal with Dan Marino in the 1980s and '90s.

Since then, the Dolphins have wondered in the wilderness and fallen far behind the Patriots and even the Jets in terms of success in the AFC East.

If the 'Phins are going to miss on Fisher (and it appears they will) and go with a coaching name that has far less sizzle, then they'd better hit a home run with the right hire. The last two times, they have swung and missed with high-profile Nick Saban and low-profile Tony Sparano.

In other words, they need to go out and find the next Mike McCarthy, Sean Peyton or Mike Tomlin from the assistant ranks to get the franchise back on track.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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