The Dolphins have once again shaken up the offensive line coaching staff.
The Miami Dolphins had the worst offensive line in the NFL in 2020, no question about it. Since the off-season began, Miami has added five new players to the unit. They were active all off-season long with hopes to be better in all categories. The trenches were the focus of the off-season for general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores. However, while the “Jimmys and Joes” are different, what about the “X’s and O’s”? What does another year of a revamped coaching staff mean for the offensive line?
Offensive coordinator: Chan Gailey
Coaching does a lot for offensive line play. However, so does the scheme. Chan Gailey needs to understand something: The offensive line does not have enough time to work together. Robert Hunt and Jesse Davis will be competing for the right tackle spot. How many of the eight padded practices will pass before the Dolphins have established who will start where? The first nine games Miami plays are against teams with pass rushes ranging from good to the best in the NFL. Gailey needs to prioritize a quick passing game and utilize play-action early in the season. If he starts to get greedy and is asking these quarterbacks for five and seven-step drops, this offensive line will be asked to do a lot more than they are ready to do.
Offensive line coach: Steve Marshall
Steve Marshall has 39 years of experience coaching offensive linemen at all levels, including 10 seasons in the NFL. Marshall worked with the New York Jets while Chan Gailey was the offensive coordinator and Ryan Fitzpatrick was the quarterback. They had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, anchored by Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold. Interestingly enough, he also coached the offensive line for the expansion Houston Texans as an assistant and as the offensive line coach in 2004. That experience makes him a great fit for the Miami job, as he won’t have the luxury of coaching players like Joe Thomas, who he coached in Cleveland.
Even with almost four decades of experience coaching the “big uglies”, the best thing he will bring to the Dolphins is familiarity with the Chan Gailey offense. With such little time to prepare for the upcoming season, having all three of the most important offensive coaches (quarterbacks coach Robby Brown also worked with Chan Gailey during his tenure in New York), as well as Ryan Fitzpatrick, being familiar with the system will be huge for this team. The more people with a familiarity of the scheme, the better.
Assistant offensive line coach: Lemuel Jeanpierre
Lemuel Jeanpierre is another coach entering his first with the Dolphins. For the last two seasons, he was working as an assistant offensive line coach for the Raiders, who were among the best in the league. Interestingly enough, Oakland started two rookie tackles in 2018, just like Miami will in 2020. Jeanpierre played seven seasons in the NFL and won a Super Bowl in Seattle. His familiarity as a player, as well as his experience with young linemen, should prove valuable for a team that drafted three offensive linemen and signed an undrafted free agent center that the team is very excited about.