Tua Tagovailoa, after being drafted 5th overall in this year’s draft, is hopefully going to be the Dolphins quarterback of the future. Good thing for him is that the Dolphins brought in Chan Gailey as Miami’s new offensive coordinator, but why is Gailey a good fit?
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If you watched Tua at Alabama, you’ll know that a huge portion of Alabama’s offense was based off of RPOs (run pass options) and timing. Tua excelled at this style of football because of his high football IQ, his ability to analyze defenses, and his natural athleticism. The thing that makes Gailey an excellent fit for Tua, is that as far back as 1997 he was working on RPOs to incorporate into his offenses.
Gailey was well before his time in that regard, as the NFL has only recently seen an increase in RPO usage over the past few seasons. Therefore, the familiarity between Gailey and Tua through the RPO may become a focal point of Miami’s offense.
But Gailey helps out Miami’s offense much more than making Tua comfortable. In fact, Gailey coached Ryan Fitzpatrick during his time with the Bills and the Jets. Fitzpatrick’s familiarity with how Gailey likes to run an offense should cement him as the week one starter; that’s at least until Tua is ready for action. But what should we expect from a Chan Gailey offense?
By analyzing the past few offenses Gailey has coached in Buffalo and New York, you can see that Gailey likes to utilize a healthy amount of three receiver sets. Plus, you’ll see that Gailey's number one receivers are very productive. In Buffalo, Steve Johnson recorded three straight 1000 yard seasons under Gailey, and with the Jets, Brandon Marshall recorded his most ever touchdowns in his career with 14 touchdown catches.
All this bodes well for DeVante Parker, who broke out in 2019 with over 1200 receiving yards and 9 touchdown catches in 16 games. But it’s not just Parker who’ll benefit from Gailey’s system. Preston Williams and Jakeem Grant should see increased production too, with Gailey liking three receiver sets and having a much less complicated offense than Chad O’Shea had in 2019.
For the running game, expect Gailey to balance carries between Jordan Howard and Matt Breida. Not only do the two backs compliment each other, with Howard being a power back and Breida a change of pace guy, but throughout Gailey’s career he’s always split carries in his backfield.
The only player who may struggle with Gailey in Miami is Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki. Gailey has been known to avoid targeting the tight end position in his offenses, but with a guy like Gesicki that’s going to have to change. In 2019, Gesicki had 51 catches for 570 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns. Although Gailey may not love to utilize the tight end in the passing game, he is known for being able to incorporate the personnel he has at his disposal into his offense. With Gesicki, Gailey is going to have to find a way to add him to his offensive plans. Gesicki’s skill set in the passing game adds another big target that Gailey can certainly use.
Overall though, if Chan Gailey is able to work Gesicki into a contributor for this Dolphins offense, everything else should fall into place. He’s got over forty years of experience as a head coach and offensive coordinator in the NFL and college game, and he’s more than qualified for his new role. In fact, Gailey was previously Miami’s offensive coordinator from 2000-2001, so he’s no rookie to Florida weather. With Gailey back in Miami, expect for this offense to drastically improve in 2020. Although it may be a little aggressive to say that Miami will have a top fifteen or twenty offense next season, expect overall improvement and explosiveness from Miami’s offense moving forward.