The Miami Dolphins have long promoted their collaborative efforts in most everything they do, and they'll literally be applying that idea when it comes to the offensive coordinator position.
More than three weeks after the resignation of Chan Gailey, the Dolphins have decided to promote running backs coach Eric Studesville and tight ends coach George Godsey to co-offensive coordinators, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.
Studesville and Godsey were among the six candidates who were publicly identified early in the search, along with Mike McDaniel, Matt Canada, Pep Hamilton and Tony Elliott.
In retrospect, maybe the fact that Studesville and Godsey each called plays for a half in the Senior Bowl on Saturday should have been a clue this was the direction that head coach Brian Flores had chosen.
Of course, having two offensive coordinators raises the question of who will be the one calling plays during the regular season because it's difficult to envision a scenario where they would split those duties during a game.
Our research indicates this will be the first time the Dolphins will have co-offensive coordinators, though there were instances where the head coach was the one calling plays, most recently with Adam Gase.
This might be just a matter of semantics, though, because from 1989-91 the Dolphins did not have an offensive coordinator but did have a run offense (John Sandusky) and a pass offense (Gary Stevens) coach.
Then in 2005 and 2006, Charlie Baggett was listed as assistant head coach/offense/wide receivers when Scott Linehan and Mike Mularkey served as offensive coordinators, respectively.
The promotions of Studesville and Godsey mean that the only significant addition to the offensive coaching staff will be new quarterbacks coach Charlie Frye, who worked with Tua Tagovailoa during the Elite11 tournament after Tua's final high school season.
With the in-house promotions, one shouldn't expect a drastic change in the Dolphins offense, though the addition of Frye would suggest perhaps more college-style principles.
Godsey was more than tight ends coach in 2020 because he did a lot of work, including on game days, with Tagovailoa after quarterbacks coach Robby Brown missed some time because of COVID-19 issues.
Head coach Brian Flores downplayed that aspect late in the season, but Godsey also offers previous offensive coordinator experience after handling that role for the Houston Texans in 2015-16.
Godsey's offenses ranked 19th and 29th in total yards and 21st and 28th in scoring, but it should be pointed out his starting quarterbacks for those two seasons were Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, T.J. Yates, Ryan Mallett, Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage — none of them with a career passer rating higher than 82.1.
One of the rare assistants that Flores retained when he took over as head coach, Studesville does not have coordinator experience, but he did serve as interim head coach for the Denver Broncos for the final four games of the 2010 season after Josh McDaniels had been fired.
Studesville served as run game coordinator in 2018 in Adam Gase's final year as Dolphins head coach when Dowell Loggains was offensive coordinator but Gase was the play-caller.
Flores spoke highly of Studesville during a conference call with Denver media prior to the Dolphins game at Empower Field at Mile High in November.
“Yeah, Eric’s phenomenal," Flores said. "I think he’s a phenomenal coach. He’s a phenomenal teacher, communicator. He’s someone I’ve leaned on in different situations over the last 18 months since I’ve been here. Obviously he was here before I was here and we kept him on the staff. Just as far as the lay of the land here in Miami, he’s been someone that I’ve been able to lean on. I think he’s a great coach. I think he’s got a coordinator and head-coaching future. I think the players gravitate to him. They listen. He’s a very, very good coach.”
The 2021 season will mark the fifth consecutive year the Dolphins will have a new offensive coordinator after Clyde Christensen in 2017, Dowell Loggains in 2018, Chad O'Shea in 2019 and Gailey in 2020.