Here’s the latest installment of our Miami Dolphins Q&A, where South Florida Sun Sentinel writers David Furones and Chris Perkins answer questions from readers.
Q: Could we potentially lose Frank Smith & Darrell Bevell this offseason? Have seen their names mentioned as potential HC candidates. – Cameron Sparks on Twitter
A: Both are interesting names that have been brought up as potential head coaching candidates this upcoming cycle, and it’s realistic that the Dolphins may have to replace one of them.
Offensive coordinator Frank Smith was named by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero among 10 young coaches to watch in a recent article.
Although he technically has a lesser title with the Dolphins than Smith, it wouldn’t surprise me either if quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Darrell Bevell becomes a name that gains steam as teams move on from their current head coaches, especially after CBS Sports HQ’s Josina Anderson mentioned him in a Monday tweet.
The two have had an immense impact on Miami’s offensive success as the Dolphins are in the top 10 in both yards (third) and points (sixth) for the first time since 1995.
Smith is only in his first year as a coordinator and doesn’t call plays. But, does that remind you of anyone?
How about Miami head coach Mike McDaniel last year in San Francisco? McDaniel, coordinating the 49ers’ offense in 2021 for the first time with head coach Kyle Shanahan calling plays, rose through the ranks quickly, now using a similar system where he calls plays while Smith holds an intricate role in devising the game plan.
Smith turns 42 in February and has double-digit years experience as an NFL offensive assistant specializing in coaching offensive lines, tight ends and the run game, plus college coaching experience before that. He deserves credit for the overall effectiveness of the Dolphins offense and the improvement of the offensive line, despite a number of moving parts.
Bevell turns 53 in January and can be largely credited for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s development in his third NFL season. While not the coordinator of the Dolphins offense, Bevell has an eye-opening 16 seasons of NFL offensive coordinating experience between the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars.
He has been an NFL assistant since 2000 and has worked with the likes of Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford and Trevor Lawrence before Tagovailoa. A team looking to develop a young quarterback should surely give him a look.
Q: Can someone just tell me if Byron Jones is coming back? Cause if he’s not coming back I’d rather not hear about it anymore. – Luke Yanka on Twitter
A: You and everyone else. Nothing against Jones, but it would just be nice to get some definitive clarity toward his availability for this season.
McDaniel said he’s “hopeful and optimistic” in recent comments, despite the team coming back from its late bye week without any update on the cornerback’s status. But it just feels like it has been the same since the preseason.
As I wrote in Monday’s update, if he’s not coming back to even begin practicing this week and you start counting backward from the end of the regular season after that, that’s six weeks left. He’s going to need at least a couple, maybe more considering time away, to get back into game shape once he commences a practice routine. Then, he probably won’t immediately be his normal self anyway and would need weeks to regain that feel on the field.
It’s not looking promising to see him contribute by season’s end.
Another reader asked if this whole lengthy recovery is actually contract-related, and while I do not have enough concrete information to confirm nor deny that, I will say I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some additional layer to it all.
Q: Any more defensive signings incoming? DT and CB stand out as areas needing reinforcements. – @stoic5132 on Twitter
A: The defensive line additions appear to be the ones we saw recently added to the practice squad. Veteran Brennan Scarlett is technically an outside linebacker, but the Dolphins have experimented with him putting his hand in the ground, so he could possibly play some defensive end snaps after the season-ending loss of Emmanuel Ogbah.
It hurt having undrafted rookie Ben Stille taken by the Browns, but former University of Miami standout R.J. McIntosh has NFL experience at defensive tackle with the New York Giants. Either he, Scarlett or rookie seventh-round pick Cameron Goode are candidates to be elevated for Sunday’s game against the Texans.
Aside from that, I don’t see any other imminent free-agent acquisitions. We’ve gone down this road with the cornerbacks for much of the season, and the Dolphins are content with what they have on the roster.
Q: Does Miami have the largest set of OLBs in the history of NFL? – Gary Huang on Twitter
A: Largest as in size? Largest as in quality depth? It’s an impressive group that continues to add with Bradley Chubb at the trade deadline, which followed Melvin Ingram in the offseason. There was Trey Flowers right before the season, although now he’s injured. This after already returning Jaelan Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel. It shows that, as McDaniel has said, this is his favorite position, and it helps that there is versatility with how defensive coordinator Josh Boyer can line up the players in this unit.
Have a question?
How will defense fare on West Coast trip?
Can struggling defense be fixed? Plus, Emmanuel Ogbah, Jason Sanders questions
Should Mike Gesicki have been shopped in trade talks? Why so many penalties?
Is 8-3 with a 5-game win streak in Miami’s future? Does Brandon Shell hold on to RT job?
Why not use Mike Gesicki as WR?
Why has defense taken a step back? Liam Eichenberg concerns? Talk trades with Panthers?
Should we be sold on this O-line; what’s up with Mike Gesicki?
Is Mike McDaniel ready for the moment?
Which rookie could make biggest impact?
What should be expected of DC Josh Boyer?
Is Christian Wilkins next for multi-year extension?