The Miami Dolphins continue to make changes to the their coaching staff, particularly on offense, as running back coach Danny Barrett has been fired, a league source told The Miami Herald Thursday night.
In a move that is quite likely related, the team expects to soon interview former Denver Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville, The Herald has confirmed. The Sporting News first reported Miami’s interest in Studesville.
Studesville’s availability is what moved Dolphins coach Adam Gase to consider releasing Barrett because he wants a coach that could upgrade the staff. The Dolphins finished 28th in points per game in 2016.
Gase tried to hire Studesville when he was forming his first staff in 2016 but was blocked from doing so by the Broncos. In that regard, Studesville was Gase’s first choice to be his running backs coach.
Studesville, however, became available last week when was fired in Denver by head coach Vance Joseph.
Studesville has already interviewed with the New York Giants this week for their head coaching job so it’s not certain the Dolphins will get him. But if the Giants don’t hire Studesville, who is admittedly a longshot candidate, the progression of this suggests Studesville lands with the Dolphins.
The Dolphins have been successful this offseason in swaying coaches who had options of going elsewhere to come to Miami. Offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn and and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains had other offers but instead opted to join Gase.
If Studesville also joins Gase it will be a reunion. The two started working together in Denver years ago under then head coach Josh McDaniels. Indeed, Studesville was the Broncos’ interim head coach when McDaniels was fired.
Studesville, 50, has worked in the NFL since 1997. He worked for the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, and Denver Broncos. He has been a running backs coach throughout his NFL tenure and also served as Denver’s run-game coordinator.
Barrett learned of his fate last week. He oversaw a running back corps the past two years that sent Jay Ajayi to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and raised the play of Kenyan Drake from backup to viable playmaker when Ajayi was traded in 2017.
Obviously, however, his two years NFL experience pales compared to Studesville’s 20 years.
The Dolphins this offseason expect to add another running back, either through the draft or in free agency, to get significant playing time as a complement Drake.
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero