I never thought I’d spend an entire offseason talking about who is the real offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, but here we are.
Miami currently has two co-offensive coordinators with George Godsey and Eric Studesville.
Well, that is what we were told, but the plot has thickened after the first preseason game.
It felt like after the first preseason game, we would have a little more clarity on which of the two, Godsey and Studesville, was the actual offensive coordinator, meaning the guy who is calling the plays.
They may both have the co-offensive coordinator title, but whoever calls the plays to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the actual “alpha” and the real offensive coordinator.
However, we found out after the game that neither Godsey nor Studesville was calling the plays to Tagovailoa.
So who is the real offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins?
Surprisingly, Tagovailoa had an answer no one expected. Tagovailoa said, “Really, Charlie was giving me the plays. I don’t really know how that kind of communication came in, whether it was from George or whether E said something to Charlie.”
There is a lot to unpack here, even with a quick and easy comment from Tagovailoa about quarterbacks coach Charlie Frye calling the plays. Let’s start by talking about the idea of an offensive coordinator.
While anyone can have any title, the actual offensive coordinator of a team is the one who actually calls the plays. Some teams are going with the run game coordinator and pass game coordinator like Miami, but those are just names.
If you do not call the plays, you are not the real offensive coordinator.
Let’s also talk about the dynamic of what is going on. Miami does an excellent job of keeping some important information secretive.
Head coach Brian Flores was asked about Tagovailoa’s answer about the dynamic of play-calling, and he said the following (via the Miami Dolphins released transcripts), “We’ve talked about this. We’ve got a system in place. We know how we’re handling that situation. I thought it went well yesterday. We’ll just continue to handle it the way we’ve talked about handling it internally. I thought it went well yesterday, and we’ll continue to go the way we’ve planned to do it really since George (Godsey) and Eric (Studesville) became the co-OCs.”
The reporter followed up with, “Just to be clear, you do not want to reveal if one, two, or three people are calling the plays on game day?” And Flores responded back with, “No, I don’t want to reveal. It could be six people. (laughter)”
It seems like this could be a tricky code to crack, but when you think about it logically, maybe we already know the answer…
The NFL play clock is set to 40 seconds right after a play ends. There are some scenarios where it is set to 25 seconds, but we will focus on the normal 40-second play clock.
Miami has 40 seconds to call a play to Tagovailoa, correct? Wrong.
The quarterback’s headset turns off with 15 seconds left on the play clock, giving the play-caller only 25 seconds to communicate the play call to the quarterback.
What that means is, it is almost impossible for the Dolphins to have an assembly line for calling plays. And, if they were having one of the “co-offensive coordinators” give Frye the play call, that would mean that would have to fit that in with 25 seconds and no room for error. If Miami is doing that, the offensive coordinator situation is even worse than I expected.
However, don’t worry, Miami fans, I think they are doing it right. I do not think Miami now has three offensive coordinators. Instead, here is what I think the dynamic is at offensive coordinator for Miami.
I believe that Studesville and Godsey are the main game planners during the week, meaning they sit down and chart the plays they like this week against their opponent. And then, I believe they all meet with Frye to develop the game plan and help Frye understand their feelings for the game this week. Ultimately, I think that Frye is the legit offensive coordinator because he has complete control of calling plays on game day.
Could I be wrong? Maybe.
If I am right, I think Dolphins fans should be really excited. I would love that dynamic and think it’s the perfect dynamic to get the most out of your coaches.
I also love the idea of Frye being the real offensive coordinator and the one calling plays. The fact that he is calling plays is a significant factor in Miami’s franchise moving forward.
Tagovailoa and the Dolphins need consistency at offensive coordinator, and Frye won’t be going anywhere any time soon.
Teams will not be able to hire Frye away from Miami unless they offer him the head coaching job. If Frye gets offered an “offensive coordinator” job, Miami will just change his title, and since he calls plays, it will not be seen as a promotion. This is a crucial dynamic if Frye is the legit play-caller.
Let’s also talk about Tagovailoa again in all of this. Giving him a coach he has a history with (Frye was his coach at the Elite 11 quarterback camp) is huge. Tagovailoa took his ability to the next level at Elite 11 with Frye as his coach, so fans should be excited about that.
Tagovailoa was asked about having Frye in his ear calling plays. Tagovailoa said (via the Miami Dolphins released transcripts), “Yeah, I think it’s working really good. I like who Charlie is. I’ve known him for quite some time. I think he’s a really good coach. He’s personable. A lot of the guys on the team like him. But, yeah, I think he’s a really good coach.”
Obviously, it was Week 1 of the preseason, so things can change, but fans should be excited about Frye potentially being Miami’s real offensive coordinator.