The Miami Dolphins surprised many observers on Monday when they fired offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea after just one season. The Dolphins were fresh off a season-ending upset road win over the New England Patriots and had increased their scoring after their Week 5 bye.
In his brief tenure as an NFL head coach, Brian Flores has made it clear he’s willing to make changes when he feels they’re necessary. But the man reportedly being hired to replace O’Shea is also a bit of a curious choice.
Chan Gailey coming out of retirement
Via multiple reports, the Dolphins are set to hire Chan Gailey, luring him out of retirement. Gailey, who will celebrate his 68th birthday on Sunday, hasn’t coached in the NFL since 2016 when he was with the New York Jets.
Gailey is certainly experienced: he had two stints as a head coach, in 1998-99 with the Dallas Cowboys, and 2010-12 with the Buffalo Bills. He led Dallas to the playoffs both years he was there, but won just 16 of 48 games with Buffalo.
Miami Herald writer Adam Beasley noted that one area where O’Shea struggled this season was with the run game. Miami was last in the NFL with only 1,156 team rushing yards in 2019, and incredibly quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was the team’s leading rusher, with 243 yards.
Fitzpatrick, who started 13 games for Miami this season and played under Gailey in Buffalo and with the Jets, said in 2015 that Gailey’s offense is an enjoyable one to play in.
“It’s a fun offense to be in,” Fitzpatrick said at the time. “He does a great job of highlighting his talent. He’s got some talented receivers here. He’s got some talented guys in the backfield. ... He does a great job of utilizing a team’s strengths and putting them in the best possible situation to win. That sounds funny because you’d think that everybody does that, but he’s got a knack for finding ways to get your players the ball.”
Gailey’s offenses have ranked in the top 10 in seven of the 14 seasons he’s been a coordinator or head coach, and in the top half of the league in 12 of 14 seasons.
While Miami did trade for Josh Rosen, they may still draft a quarterback in the spring (they pick fifth), and it will also be on Gailey to develop a rookie and/or Rosen.
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