As the season officially ended for the Miami Dolphins, we can confidently say the Chan Gailey experiment did not work whatsoever. He was signed for his aggressive short game, quick RPO offense which did work with backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but not with the team’s future at QB, Tua Tagovailoa. It was apparent that Chan had no confidence in the young signal-caller and seemingly didn’t even give him a chance unless he was forced to do so, limiting the offense to nothing but screens and dump offs, with the receivers having the shortest YPR in the NFL. Luckily, he’s gone, and similar to Adam Gase being fired a few years ago, Miami fans are celebrating. Let’s dive into the top FIVE offensive coordinator options for the Dolphins.
#1 BILL O’BRIEN
Yes, believe it or not, O’Brien is actually a very interesting OC candidate. He’s basically a meme around the league for his laughable GM skills, but one thing he has always been pretty good at is orchestrating an offense. During his last two full seasons at HC (2018 & 2019), the Texans offense ranked 11th and 14th in the NFL for scoring, and 15th and 13th in total yards so it’s safe to say he would be an instant improvement over Chan. Bill’s system, the Erhardt-Perkins system, would actually fit Tua really well. It’s a highly efficient method for communicating passing concepts out of various formations. It gives the offense the ability to call the same passing concept from any formation. This has worked beautifully for Deshaun Watson throughout his career. O’Brien was very balanced with his play-calling but let’s highlight some of his most used concepts. Houston liked to use play-action as well as RPOs and Read-option concepts, something Miami fans were asking for all season. With O’Brien at OC, we would see a lot of Tagovailoa rolled out on a bootleg, hitting the X receiver (Devante Parker) deep, or a check down to the RB/TE. I also noticed that on 3rd and long situations Houston would send two receivers deep to soften up the middle of the field, where Watson would hit a check down in space, oftentimes getting the yards needed for a 1st down. Just talking about an offense like this gets me excited. But with the good comes the bad. O’Brien was cited as having a toxic culture and frequently bashed heads with players. That simply can’t occur if Miami were to hire him, and I doubt Flores would allow it to happen regardless.
#2 GEORGE GODSEY
This one seems likely to me. Godsey is currently Miami’s TE coach, and was more of a mentor to Tua than Chan ever was, constantly in his ear with the good and bad. Godsey actually called the plays earlier this year (VS Arizona) and let’s just say the offense was on fire. Tua was throwing the ball with confidence and moving around the pocket like a vet. He even made some highlight plays with his feet and arm. The offense was at its peak during this game in both creativity and aggressiveness. We saw rollouts, RPOs, read options, RUNS TO THE OUTSIDE! Yes, we did more than HB dive! And most importantly, consistent deep routes, something we didn’t do with Gailey as stated previously. If I had to bet on who’d be the next OC, George Godsey would have my vote.
#3 ANTHONY LYNN
Another former HC makes the list here with former Chargers HC Anthony Lynn. Say what you want about his time management when it matters (not something he’ll have to worry about at OC) but this man is an offensive mastermind. During his time in LA/SD the Chargers offenses had been consistently good, and as seen this season, his scheme can work with a young QB. Lynn’s offense was very aggressive to say the least, with many slow-developing deep routes and dump-offs out of the backfield with over the middle routes as safety precautions. As a former RB, I was surprised to see the lack of creativity LAC showed in that department at times. For example, against the Saints, they ran the ball a total of 8 times on first down in the 1st half for a whopping 9 yards, and the setup on all of these plays was lackluster. But hey, if he can get more consistent with the running game creativity, he could be an excellent option for the Dolphins offense dying for some aggressiveness. There was mutual interest in making Lynn the next Head coach in 2015, when the team ultimately hired Adam Gase
#4 JON EMBREE
Embree is the 49ers TE coach. I’ve been talking about this guy as a possible candidate all year, and I’m not too sure why I haven’t seen any real buzz around his name as a potential OC or even head coach. In my opinion, he is the best position coach in the league. Wherever he goes, the passing game benefits greatly, as do the tight ends, as seen during his time with the Chiefs (Tony Gonzalez), Football Team (Chris Cooley), Browns (Jordan Cameron), Buccaneers (Cameron Brate), and the 49ers with George Kittle. This guy knows how to call plays and get the Tight ends involved. The only possible reasoning I can see people being scared to give him an elevated role would be his disastrous stint at Colorado awhile back. But his history with Tight Ends and the effect that he has on those teams passing games is undoubtedly impressive, and I really hope Embree gets a chance somewhere, whether that be with Miami or another team.
#5 KEN DORSEY
Yes that’s right, the former Hurricanes star makes his return to Miami to lead this young Dolphins offense. Dorsey has been with Buffalo and was a huge reason for the breakout of division rival Josh Allen. I would not be surprised if Buffalo ends up naming Dorsey their next OC if Dabboll leaves to take a head coaching role this offseason, but if that were not to happen the Dolphins would be a great fit. Purely based on his time in Carolina and Buffalo, Dorsey would bring a very modern approach to an offense that desperately needs it after 4 years of failed offensive coordinators. This one is probably the least likely of all 5 listed candidates so I’ll keep it short and sweet.
These guys missed the cut, but they are all possible options as well.
1. Eric Studesville
2. Doug Marrone
3. Pep Hamilton
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick lol
5. F2C NFL Groupchat