Right off the bat, let me state that I don’t know Matt Burke personally. I also don’t know much about his body of work and accomplishments, mostly because he’s never had a prominent role that can be assessed. But just because we know so little about the man and what he brings to the table, doesn’t mean we can’t question certain aspects of his hiring.
My first concern is the hiring process. I’m a huge believer in taking your time and hiring the very best person available. Not just the best person on your 30th-ranked defensive staff, but the best person in the world.
When Zac Taylor was named quarterbacks coach of the Dolphins a few years ago, for example, it was clear that he only got the job because he was Mike Sherman’s son-in-law. I often wondered, aloud in many forums, just who the other candidates were. How many people did Zac prove himself better than? Obviously there was no one else. They didn’t even try. Out of all the qualified offensive-minded, experienced coaches languishing on other NFL staffs and in D-1 schools, we selected Sherman’s son-in-law, who played some college ball for a community school in Kansas. With such an outstanding QB coach, no wonder Ryan Tannehill was so slow to develop.
This is what happens when you make a selection from a limited pool. When you just grab someone without interviewing anyone else. When you don’t even try.
It’s not a bad move to turn a linebackers coach into a Defensive Coordinator. It’s a natural progression and a promotion that many LB coaches deserve. But Matt Burke? The man who coached the Dolphins LBs into the laughing-stock of the NFL? The man who contributed to a defense ranked 31st? Why him?
Why not grab a LB coach from another team? Why not, Joey Porter, for example. If Joey can stop beating up policemen, then he’s the perfect tenacious candidate that we need. Or whoever the LB coach is for one of the league’s good defenses? I have no idea who the linebacker coach or Denver or Seattle or Baltimore or Arizona is, but would it hurt to at least give at least ONE of these guys an interview?
Hiring someone whose squad was outstanding makes far more sense than hiring an under-performer, doesn’t it? Or at least giving someone else an interview..how about that?
The argument can be made that Burke knows our defense better than an outsider. He knows our personnel better. True. But that same personnel was ranked next to last in so many categories. That personnel gave up more yards than any other Dolphin defense in history.
You don’t want some new sheriff coming to town to tamper with success. But tampering with failure? In that case a brand new sheriff is needed, and that should be welcomed.
And promoting a man who was a part of that failure? In some ways, that is worse than promoting the son-in-law of one of your coaches. At least Zac Taylor had no experience to put on his resume. Matt Burke’s experience and results are bad experience and results.
If Matt Burke goes on to be the best DC in history, then I will still stand by this article and still defend my views. Because just giving away a prestigious job to someone while ignoring so many, many other qualified candidates makes no sense. We’ve been down that road before, and the (lack of) results speak for themselves.
As usual, I hope I am wrong about Burke, but until I’m proven wrong, this seems like a hiring of convenience, rather than a comprehensive hiring process to obtain the very best of the best.
Your thoughts on this alleged interview/hiring process?