Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins set to hire Patriots assistant to run their offense, reports say

Grier: The ultimate goal is to win Super Bowls and championships and be a consistent winner,

Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins GM discusses his goals during a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie, FL
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Chris Grier, the Miami Dolphins GM discusses his goals during a press conference at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie, FL

The Dolphins, by all accounts, have zeroed in on their next offensive coordinator:

Patriots receivers coach Chad O’Shea, who like head-coach-in-waiting Brian Flores, cannot be hired until after the Super Bowl.

Multiple reports have now linked O’Shea to Miami, but the Dolphins will not comment on any potential hires until their head coach is formally in place.

But the sense is O’Shea, 46, is the guy, which would make Flores’ top two lieutenants branches off the Bill Belichick coaching tree. The Dolphins’ next defensive coordinator is expected to be Packers linebackers coach Patrick Graham, who spent seven seasons as an assistant in New England.

So who is Chad O’Shea?

He’s a coaching lifer, beginning his career as a grad assistant at the University of Houston, his alma mater. After working for nearly a decade on the collegiate level, he gambled on himself, taking a volunteer job as a low-level assistant with the Chiefs. That turned into a full-time job, first in Kansas City and then Minnesota, before joining the Patriots’ staff in 2009.

Belichick hired O’Shea as New England’s wide receivers coach. Ten seasons later, he has the same job, which is both a sign of remarkable consistency, but also a bit perplexing. Why has it taken O’Shea this long to get his shot?

There was buzz that he was supposed to have gotten a promotion in 2018, as Belichick was reportedly going to bump O’Shea up to offensive coordinator once Josh McDaniels took the Colts job.

But McDaniels famously backed out, leaving O’Shea stuck in a holding pattern.

Now, assuming the Patriots grant him his release, O’Shea finally will get the chance to run his own offense.

Will he bring the Patriots’ modified version of the Erhardt-Perkins system to Miami?

That concept-based scheme, named for former Pats assistants Ron Erhardt and Ray Perkins, is multiple in both its formations and personnel groupings, and makes extensive use of play-action.

The Patriots have since tweaked the system to maximize Tom Brady’s uncanny accuracy on short and intermediate routes, particularly to running backs out of the backfield.

O’Shea will presumably want Chris Grier to draft a quarterback who can master that system. Grier and his staff spent the first few days of the week closely evaluating quarterbacks at this week’s Senior Bowl, making a sit-down with Missouri’s Drew Lock one of their first priorities.

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Adam Beasley has covered the Dolphins for the Miami Herald since 2012, and has worked for the newspaper since 2006. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications and has written about sports professionally since 1996.
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