Just this morning, the Dolphins moved quickly and hired Mark Duffner formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Duffner arrives to fill the position vacated by George Edwards who left to pursue a defensive coordinator position with the Minnesota Vikings.
Coach Duffner has served as linebacker coach with the Jaguars with head coach Jack Del Rio, Mike Mularkey, and recently Gus Bradley. His early start came with the Packers defense where Duffner served as the linebacker's coach at the same time as Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.
Duffner has an interesting time line in his biography in that he got his start as a coach in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals for six seasons from 1997-2003. With the Bengals his 2001 unit set records allowing the fewest points and yards, breaking both records from 1989 and 1983 respectively.
Duffner had a hand in Green Bay in the development of linebacker Nick Barnett, who in 2005 recorded 194 tackles. The Packer defense in 2005 finished 7th overall and 1st versus the pass.
Besides his NFL experience, Duffner served as head coach of the Maryland Terapins from 1992-1996 and head coach of The Holy Cross from 1986-1991.
Interestingly enough Duffner served on Woody Hayes Ohio State staff (1975-1976) as a graduate assistant.
All in all, coach Duffner comes into a situation where the Dolphins lack of production at linebacker cost the team games in stopping the run. His familiarity with head coach Joe Philbin will help in terms of understanding what is expected, but more importantly, his ability to teach with enthusiasm and passion for the game will takeover a unit that has been much maligned and in need of proper direction and leadership.
As the Dolphins approaching the free agency and draft, look for Duffner to share in the process of developing the talent on the roster and give his input on the type of guys he believes will be good for his football team.
At this point, the Dolphins have no coaching vacancies, but that could change with the looming NFL report on locker room culture expected to be released by the NFL in the coming weeks.
Information from the Jacksonville Jaguars main site was used for this post.