Breaking Down the 2020 Roster: Coordinators

With the reconstruction of the famous South Beach brand now into year 2, it already looks unquestionably different to how it started from the players to the coaching staff. However, what could we expect Miami to be like in 2020 with the new coaching staff?

Chan Gailey – Offensive Coordinator

Sacked in 2019, former OC Chad O’Shea was let go from his post with multiple reports saying that his Patriots style offense was “took complex to learn”. If we look at the Dolphins rivals, it easy to see that those reports are more than likely right.

With multiple skill players, especially at wide-receiver like N’Keal Harry, Mohamed Sanu, and Phillip Dorsett just to name a few, just not taking to their offense.

So, it took a lot of people in the NFL world by surprise that Chan Gailey came out of coaching retirement to take on a big project like Miami with their offense ranking 27th out of 32 teams in total yards made per game in 2019.

The first thing Chan Gailey brings to the team would be familiarity. Familiarity with a certain Harvard QB who has played for him with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, who Fitzpatrick said that he “always wanted to prove him right” when playing for him at the Jets. Also his time from playing against HC Brian Flores who described him as one of the hardest men to plan against.

Combine that QB and offensive coordinator chemistry with both of their experience in the league, it makes the QB room one that will be full of teaching and learning, both of which Josh Rosen and Tua Tagovailoa will need to do to step up to a high NFL standard.

Finally, we can expect a “pass first” offense with lots of RPO (Run, Pass, Option), Spread offense, and other college schemes which he ran in the league years before they set alight and are so prolific within the NFL today and one which Tua Tagovailoa ran a lot at Alabama also.

Miami Dolphins hire Chan Gailey as offensive coordinator
OC Chan Gailey with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick are both very familiar with each other from their time with Buffalo and New York. Credit: usatoday.com

Josh Boyer – Defensive Coordinator

Promoted from cornerbacks/defensive pass game coordinator to defensive coordinator after the sacking of Patrick Graham, Josh Boyer and Brian Flores go way back. Almost 13 years of working together within the prolific dynasty of the New England Patriots.

Having coached 5 All-Pro DBs, Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty, and Aqib Talib all of which were renown for their elite man coverage ability.

When we combine the Dolphins’ main free-agent acquisition, Bryon Jones and his man coverage ability, Xavien Howard & 1st round pick Noah Igbinoghene, Miami, and the familiarity of other former Patriot players, Boyer will have a lot of talent and familiarity to implement his stamp on the Dolphins, and hopefully be the defensive co-ordinator Miami can hold on to for years to come.

Therefore, we should see at the very least a lot of man coverage defence, one which could run the league. With the plethora of familiar faces, one which could be learnt and implemented quickly and see Miami change their placing of last in total points allowed per game last season with 30.9.

Brian Flores doesn't shy away from bringing a Patriots flavor to ...
HC Brian Flores and New defensive coordinator Josh Boyer with Patriots HC Bill Belichick, a guy who both Miami coaches worked under for many years. Credit: bostonglobe.com

Danny Crossman – Special Teams Coordinator

The old saying of “Offence wins you games, Defence wins you championships” did not understand the value of the third section of the game, Special Teams. If you can’t execute a good punt or good kickoff, your set your team up for failure, because it’s hard to defend or attack if you’re starting on your own 10-yard line rather than their 10-yard line.

It may surprise you to hear that Miami was one of only seven teams to score a kickoff return last year. Not so surprising was that we were 6th highest in amount of kickoffs taken too, in turn, a slightly up and down performance.

Little do some know that Crossman and Coach Flores have both worked under Scott O’Brien giving some familiarity and understanding in his coaching staff back in 2019. Danny Crossman has been a survivor in the NFL and one with vast experience too.

With him also coming up the ranks at Carolina as an assistant 2003 to in 2007 to 2009, coordinator in Detroit from 2010 to 2012 and finally in Buffalo from 2013 to 2018 and our special teams’ coordinator from 2019.

If there is one thing that he is known for in his time in Miami, is THAT play, the NFL’s 2019 Play of the Year, the infamous “Mountaineer Shot”. It needs no explanation, but it is one thing that he is finally getting recognition for is to “work smarter not harder”.

After setting some good foundations from the 2019 season, it is to be expected that Miami should be able to build on it and with the influx of more talented players, one that could be an important stepping stone for Miami.

Bills fire special teams coordinator Danny Crossman – The Buffalo ...
Special Teams coordinator Danny Crossman (pictured with his time coaching at Buffalo) is the brains behind the NFL’s 2019 Play of the Year, but can he build on a solid foundation in 2019? Credit: buffalonews.com

What do all 3 have in common? They are all teachers of the game, they all have some level of familiarity with Coach Flores, they all are ingenu­itive and have all worked with elite level players.

All of which makes the set up of the Miami Dolphins one which ticks all the right boxes and ensures that the team will be playing on the same page come the start of training camp through to the end of the season, and hopefully many more to come.

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