Our New (Old) Offensive Coordinator: Thomas Chandler Gailey Jr

The Dolphins hired Chan Gailey today as our new offensive coordinator.  I’m not opposed to this hiring, but I wish it had come a year sooner.

A year ago, I was harping on the fact that Ross should have ordered inexperienced Brian Flores to hire a veteran OC.   He sorta kinda did that in Jim Caldwell, who couldn’t make it through the season due to health concerns.  So now we have Chan Gailey, who definitely brings the experience.

I don’t question Gailey’s credentials, but I’m still at a loss for why Chad O’Shea was just dismissed.  We just won two games in a row and enter the off-season on high note.  O’Shea’s offense put up 62 points in the last two games.   Throw in another 37 points vs. the Eagles…and I call that a very successful December.  I think the play calls were great for the most part, and the plays utilized Fitzpatrick’s skill set.

For example, I cannot think of one single play–not one all year–where Fitz stood in the pocket too long or failed to sense a rush.  Sure, he got creamed a million times, but those were on plays when he had no chance.  As good as Tannehill is doing this year, as a Dolphin he lacked the ability to sense the rush and scramble away.   Fitz has that ability, and O’Shea called plays that suited him.  I think Fitz is a good match for the stuff O’Shea wanted to do.  His offense bailed out the shoddy Dolphin defense for all 5 of our wins.   Not the other way around.

So I’m not sure why Flores would give up on him.

Looking forward, as I said, I’m okay with Gailey.  I like the notion, in theory, of giving coordinator jobs to former head coaches.

The part I hate about this is that our team has to learn YET ANOTHER new offense.   That is a killer.

Yesterday, I was all set to write that the best part of the off-season is that our players know the system.   As bad as our O-line was, they know the plan.  They know the calls.  They know where to be.   Now, that is all shot.   They become students all over again, instead of football players.  Yet another year of our guys making mistakes all through September and October until they start to get it down.   Don’t be naive and think that Gailey will simply come in and use O’Shea’s offense.  It never works that way.

So while I’m generally pleased with this hire, I think the timing of it is a drawback.   But we have a long time to figure that out.


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  1. Yes a little confusing I’m sure we’ll know more shortly. Bailey does run a spread offense and knows Fitz so maybe they are planning on going back to him for another year. Tua may be on the radar to sit a year so that makes sense. Rosen is cheap so he could compete next year as well and see how it shakes out. What about the QB coach who they were trying to keep?

    1. Author

      I saw that too. Unfortunately, our best success this year was from avoiding the spread formations. We had a shitty running game, but most of our formations had a RB in the backfield nevertheless. It worked far better than Gase’s 5-wide spreads.

  2. Yes, this might be related to drafting Tua. Is it also possible that O’Shea was a place-holder all along, and that Flores did not make this call to release him? Maybe this explains why Flores was compelled to compete & win games, for O’Shea’s sake, to get O’Shea has some positive record on his resume before he was released….just guessing

    1. Author

      Yeah, I was thinking….In the past few years, how often would Flores and Gailey get to know each other? Flores was an assistant administrator in the scouting department in Foxboro for many years, and then a sideline defensive assistant the last 4 years. Chan Gailey has been retried for several years, and was in the college ranks before then.
      I am speculating here, but I don’t think Flores and Gailey would likely know each other, let alone be friends.
      When would Flores have the time (and why the hell would he) to study Gailey’s offenses?
      Flores would study current coaches and current opponents, not retired guys.
      So my guess is that this hire came from Grier and company with some input perhaps from Fitz?

      1. I heard that Gailey actually hired Flores to his first football job can’t remember where I saw this. Add in Fitz and it makes sense. I don’t believe that the offense will be much different but perhaps more balanced once they get the oline straight. The big Q is will they go QB with 5 or wait until later or even next year. This will set the whole draft up.

        1. Author

          Thank you for that. I was blissfully unaware and I stand corrected about them knowing each other.

          1. No worries. Happy New Year everyone!!!!!! Go Fins!

  3. At this point and from what I saw this year with a basically second rated team, talent wise, improve to a competitive team that prevent that Patriots from a first round bye, I will trust Flores.

  4. I have no idea but maybe it’s the other way around? Maybe O’Shea left us? I do know that I actually liked how competitive his offense was most of the year and that we could also execute a screen the last four weeks. How long has it been since the dolphins could consistently run a simple screen play for positive yards. I thought there was a lot to like about O’Shea by the end of the year. One other thought was that maybe it wasn’t ALL O’Shea! Maybe he was weak and other coaches gave considerable assistance but Flo didn’t want to make that public knowledge. We just don’t know but I too think Flo did an awesome job this year with crap for talent and the wind we got were on the back of huge coaching efforts which we haven’t seen in decades. Parker is an amazing coaching effort, Fitzpatrick playing as well as he did without the usual meltdown another huge coaching effort…. I could go on but I think we have the makings of a good coaching staff in the building. If Geir can land the right pieces in the off-season and the draft we may be on to something here.

    1. Author

      Yes, great point. There are certainly behind-the-scene events that we don’t know about. The emergence of Parker was a great surprise, and someone –other than Parker–is partly responsible. One of those coaches got in his head and trained him to leap, to fight for a ball, to simply want that reception more than the opponent wants the interception. Nobody on the staff taught Parker how to catch…that was always there. But his new attitude and precision? That came from practice and attitude adjustment, and some of those coaches deserves a lot of credit!

  5. I agree with what most everyone else was saying on here. I wanted the bum fired ASAP after about week 3 but he really got better as the season went on and for the most part was a bigger reason for finishing 5-4 than our defense. With that year under his belt (and hopefully a good RB via the draft or FA) I would have thought he would have been primed for a big step forward. But, we could probably do a lot worse than Chan Gailey. It’s a bit perplexing but I’m not going to lose sleep over it either.

    I also think it does setup the Tua scenario nicely but we’ll have to see how it all plays out.

    1. Author

      True, and it all depends on what Grier and Flores have in mind. What if they studied Burrow extensively, and every single Dolphin scout and executive and doctor says he is 100% certain that Burrow is THE man? Would Cincy accept our THREE number one picks for their first overall?
      If Cincy loves Burrow, then they say no. They may say “No period” or they may say “No that’s not enough.”
      But what if Cincy scouts are only 50-50 on Burrow and really they crave Chase Young? They can’t deal with us because the Skins will take Young at #2 and the Bengals would be stuck at 5.
      Very complex, and it’s fascinating how this will play out.

      1. Unfortunately with Cincy obviously needing a QB too they would be fools to trade out of the position but anything can happen come draft day so who knows… lol

        1. Author

          Agreed. BUT… they must also know that they are several years away from contending. Grab Chase Young now, take a few extra 2020 first rounders, and then wait 12 more months to get Trevor Lawrence? They could be golden in 2021 if they want to look at it that way

          1. With the progression seen in this team this year and with all three WR returning healthy, all you need is 2 O-Linemen and a good RB and this team is a potential 20-30 pts/game team.

            1. I can see that but also add a C then I’d feel more comfortable. Another reserve if opportunity arises as I’m sick of a crap oline.

              I understand that a QB is important but I don’t feel comfortable giving up everything for Burrow how do we even know if he’ll be great? Herbert or Tua may fall to them and could be just as productive. They still have Fitz and Rosen what if Rosen turns into Rogers after sitting? I’d still like to hedge my bets and draft a QB but not suffer by missing out on fixing other weak areas like oline.

          2. The problem with holding out for Lawrence… I believe me that’s a tempting way to proceed is that Miami may not be “contenders” next year but they should be better. With an infusion of talent that buys into Flores’s way of doing things they really should be much better. Barring something unforeseen, Lawrence should be a top 3 pick… I don’t see us having a shot at it. I think we gotta at least try and nab our QB of the future in this draft whether it’s Tua or Herbert or whomever.

  6. Since O’Shea and Flores are working buddies from a previous team, I speculate his – they had a big disagreement at some point in season, perhaps who to play at QB, or maybe something else, and they came up with a gentlemen’s agreement to play out the season in a mutually beneficial way. Since both are rookie coaches, it would have looked bad (on Flores and O’Shea) if O’shea parted ways mid-season. Now, O’shea can point to 5 wins and improved offense and Flores can point to team cohesion, heart, and his leadership

    1. I can see something like that things don’t always go rosey. Maybe the fact that Gailey was available was enticing to them so see you later O’Shea. Hopefully it’s an upgrade…

  7. Zack Thomas is a finalist for the HOF! He deserves Hall status.

    1. Hey definitely does… he may not have been as flashy but his numbers compare favorably with Urlacher over the years he was active.

    2. Author

      I don’t vote with the heart in these matters. I wait and study the stats and all that and compare him to others already in the HOF. And Zach belongs!

      I didn’t realize he was a Pro Bowler so often. So many tackles. Great numbers.

      The one thing you won’t find in the stats is his hustle. Always around the ball, like always!

      He gets my vote for sure. I’m still not giving up on Bob Keuchenberg posthumously. Long overdue for the anchor of those unstoppable 1970s running games.

  8. Author

    By the way, Tua’s announcing his big decision Monday.
    He must have a Hollywood agent behind him already, because biting your tongue until Monday to build up the anticipation…that’s a LeBron move all the way!

    1. He announced he is going to enter the draft…. don’t like all the hoopla about it but it makes him a viable option if the doctors feel like that injury won’t have any lasting effects once it is healed…. that’s a somewhat big if though…..

      1. Author

        Thanks, Mike. I thought the announcement was later, but he decided already.

        I don’t think he will last until the 5th spot. Let’s assume the Bengals take Burrow #1. That leaves the Skins, Lions, and Giants.

        The consensus is that none of those three trams need a QB, let alone Tua.

        I DISAGREE.

        The Cardinals last year proved that you can have a new QB with some upside (Josh Rosen) and simply give up on him if you feel a newcomer is better.

        I guarantee you that Tua is better than Daniel Jones (Giants), Dwayne Haskins (Skins), or an oft-injured and older Matt Stafford. (He has the tools, but how long does Detroit stick with this guy?)

        Giants could trade Jones and select Tua, coaxing Eli to stick around as Tua’s backup/trainer/mentor for a few seasons. Same for the Lions and Stafford. The Skins have no one in the Eli/Stafford role.

        Also, don’t underestimate a wounded Bill Belichick. He could trade into a Top 5 spot and get ahead of us.

        1. Bill needs Jeudy. He has proven to make OK QBs into viable ones.

  9. Just one more comment about Zach # 54
    When HOF’er Kevin Muawe (OT-NYJ) was recently inducted, he said if he only had 1 vote to nominate someone, without hesitation it would be Zach, and that his (then) coach Parcells told the entire team – if we don’t block # 54, then we won’t win the game, period.

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