Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey resigns after Year 1

Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey won't be back for 2021, officially resigning on Wednesday following only one season at the helm.

By Matt Fitzgerald
Sep 20, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey walks on the field during warmups before the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are officially in the market for an offensive coordinator after the team announced the resignation of 2020 play-caller Chan Gailey.

After three full seasons away from coaching, Gailey returned this season to help Miami to a 10-6 record and develop rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Chan Gailey out as Miami Dolphins OC

An official release through the Dolphins’ website confirmed Gailey resigned his post as play-caller, which means head coach Brian Flores will be in the market for a third different OC since taking his post in Miami in 2019.

“I want to thank Chan for all of his hard work and dedication in what was a unique year,” Flores said. “He played an important role on the staff and in the development of our young roster. I wish him all the best.”

Despite the lengthy coaching hiatus, the 69-year-old Gailey proved he could still get it done in the modern NFL during the 2020 campaign. His ability to juggle the quarterback controversy with Tagovailoa and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick was impressive, as the Dolphins ranked 15th with an average of 25.3 points per game and finished with a 10-6 record, barely missing the playoffs.

Now, attention will shift to who will want to join Flores’ prestigious staff and get the chance to presumably work with Tagovailoa. Flores is best known for transforming Miami into a defensive juggernaut, and could use a fresh set of eyes to take the Dolphins’ offense to the next level.

Top Miami Dolphins OC candidates to replace Chan Gailey

Top Miami Dolphins OC candidates to replace Chan Gailey
Nov 1, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) fist bumps offensive coordinator Chan Gailey (L) prior to the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Totally speculative, but if Steve Sarkisian hadn’t taken the head job at Texas recently, perhaps the Alabama play-caller could’ve reunited with Tagovailoa. With Sark out of the picture, it’s worth briefly diving into who else could be in the running as Miami’s new offensive coordinator.

A couple obvious names to consider out of the gate are Mike LaFleur and Mike Kafka.

Yes, LaFleur’s older brother is the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, yet he’s carved out a strong role as passing game coordinator on the San Francisco 49ers staff under Kyle Shanahan. LaFleur has gotten OC buzz before, and could take some of the best elements from Shanahan’s system to help Tagovailoa progress in Year 2.

As for Kafka, he’s the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. Who better among young NFL assistants to help unlock Tagovailoa than someone who’s seen Patrick Mahomes become the league’s biggest superstar?

One more off-the-wall candidate to consider: Josh McCown. He doesn’t have coaching experience, yet has plenty of experience as an NFL quarterback who knows how to prepare and has mentored several young signal-callers.

McCown would be ideal to help Tagovailoa along, and could use this gig in Miami as a stepping-stone to an eventual head coaching job.