Over the last two season no team in the NFL has seen as many changes as the Miami Dolphins. Last year began with a new head coach when Miami hired former New England Patriots defensive assistant/linebackers coach, Brian Flores to lead the team into the future. Then Miami went on a spree but not a shopping or spending spree but more of a trade away everyone worth a dime for a draft pick kinda spree. Many Dolphins fans were far less than happy to see what appeared to be nearly every piece of quality talent we had left on the team sent packing for draft picks or sometimes just flat out cut for nothing.
So with new players and a new head coach comes a whole slew of new assitant coaches. Unfortunately for offensive coordinator Chad O’ Shea, who had formally been the New England Patriots wide receivers coach for the previous decade before being hired by Flores, had his stay in South Florida cut short when he was fired by Flores at the end of last December. O’Shea for his part moved onto the Cleveland Browns to act as their wide receivers/passing game coordinator.
With O’Shea’s departure the rumor mill began to spin but no one that I can recall predicted that the next offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins would be a familiar name, Chan Gailey. To begin with it always seems odd to me for a coach to return to a team that he once upon a time worked for but was either fired from or left for a different job. Beyond that no one would expect to hire an ex coach who had slid nicely into retirement back in his home state of Georgia where he spent his days relaxing with his grand-kids and playing golf. Gailey is now 68 and given his many high profile gigs in the NFL he no doubt retired the first time with a fairly decent nest egg to carry him through his later years. Seems to me a hard thing to walk away from and I am almost two decades his junior.
Since many of us here are so young that they do not even remember Gailey’s stint with the Dolphins here is a quick rundown of his coaching career.
- Florida (1974–1975) Graduate assistant
- Troy State (1976–1978) Defensive backs coach
- Air Force (1979–1980) Defensive backs coach
- Air Force (1981–1982) Defensive coordinator
- Troy State (1983–1984) Head coach
- Denver Broncos (1985–1986) Tight ends coach and special teams coach
- Denver Broncos (1987) Wide receivers and tight ends coach
- Denver Broncos (1988) Quarterbacks coach
- Denver Broncos (1989–1990) Offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach
- Birmingham Fire (1991–1992) Head coach
- Samford (1993) Head coach
- Pittsburgh Steelers (1994–1995) Wide receivers coach
- Steelers (1996–1997) Offensive coordinator
- Dallas Cowboys (1998–1999) Head coach
- Miami Dolphins (2000–2001) Offensive coordinator
- Georgia Tech (2002–2007) Head coach
- Kansas City Chiefs (2008) Offensive coordinator
- Buffalo Bills (2010–2012) Head coach
- New York Jets (2015–2016) Offensive coordinator
- Miami Dolphins (2020–present) Offensive coordinator
As you can see his resume is all over the place. He started out coaching defenses before garnering his first head coach gig and everything following that was either some offensive coach position or head coach position. There was some grumbling around these parts when he was hired as it was a long time ago that he worked for the Dolphins but in his defense the Dolphins made the playoffs five years straight from 1997 to 2001. Gailey was the coordinator for the last two seasons that the Dolphins have made the playoffs in consecutive years. Also those last two season, of the five were the best records of the five seasons going 11 and 5 back to back. While that is not stellar by any means its a hell of a lot better than anything seen in Miami in quite a while. In addition he is the only head coach of the Dallas Cowboys to never miss the playoffs as their head coach.
In the years since Gailey has left the Dolphins made the playoffs exactly twice in that 18 year span. Once in 2008, the Wildcat season and once in 2016 (somehow that doesn’t seem right as it seems as if its been much longer than that). Gailey had a reputation for developing and teaching players which is most likely what Flores saw in him. On Gailey’s part he said that he was willing to come out of retirement to take another shot at the NFL due to the fact that we had Ryan Fitzpatrick as our stater last season and him and Gailey had worked together with two previous organization. I for one am a bit skeptical of the hire and I don’t know why. I guess I am suspicious after seeing every journeyman coach in the world seemingly work for this franchise in the last two decades with little to no success but for now all we can do is trust Flores and trust the process.
So tonight’s Phinsider Question Of The Day is do you think that Miami made a sound choice by coaxing Chan Gailey out of retirement or should they have stood pat with what we had last season or do you think that we should have gone in another direction and if so who would you have targeted?