Coach Talk Week 10: Review of the Coordinators Press Conferences

Let’s review Wednesday’s press conference with the Miami Dolphin’s Offensive and Defensive Coordinators, and I’ll share my thoughts leading up to Week 10. Where the Miami Dolphins (5-3) faceoff against the LA Chargers (6-2).

Chan Gailey (Offensive Coordinator):

As expected, the media had a lot of questions about Tua Tagovailoa’s performance last week against the Cardinals. Chan Gailey was asked to describe Tua’s improvement from his 2nd start in the NFL.

Gailey’s response was that the speed of the game started to slow down for Tua and that the more games he plays, the more he will continue to improve as an NFL quarterback. Coach Gailey also shared that Tagovailoa has a unique skill set to “feel the game”. Which according to Gailey, allows Tua to see and do things that other players aren’t able to.

When asked how the rookie quarterback was able to persevere through last week’s obstacles? Where the Dolphins had both their starting running backs out with injuries. As well as having 5 assistant coaches, including Tua’s quarterback coach, out due to COVID-19 protocols.

Gailey’s response was that “(Tua) just went out and played the game. He didn’t care who was there and who wasn’t there… He doesn’t think about adversity. He thinks about “ok, how can we be successful?” Which is great to hear if you’re a Dolphins fan. This told me that our rookie quarterback has the right mentality and the ability to overcome issues that get in his way. Which is a really good trait for NFL quarterbacks to have.

The offense is going to have to prove that last week’s performance wasn’t a facade and they’ll need to continue to get better. Although the Chargers are 2-6, they have yet to lose a game by more than a touchdown. They will be desperate for a win, and after multiple heart-breaking, back-to-back losses, you can expect that they’ll be bringing their best efforts to Hard Rock Stadium this Sunday.

Josh Boyer (Defensive Coordinator)

After dominating performances in their previous three games, the Dolphin’s defense struggled last week by giving up 442 total yards and 31 points to the Cardinal’s offense. Coach Boyer was quick to take responsibility saying, “I need to do a better job at putting our players in better positions”. The coach also shared that the defense needs to be better at executing and that they’ll look to do that against the Chargers.

“We’re facing a very good offense this week. Take their record and throw it out the window… They’ve used numerous backs due to injury. All of them have been successful…” was Boyer’s response when asked about the Charger’s offense. He also mentioned how talented the Chargers skilled players are on offense, complementing their depth and talent at the wide receiver and tight end positions.

The Dolphins defense indeed will have to ignore the Chargers’ record and ensure that they’re prepared for a tough battle. Defending against the run has been an issue for them all season. Hopefully, they finally addressed it this week.

Miami will also have to be mindful of the Charger’s aerial attack that features 3-time Pro Bowler Keenan Allen. As well as, quarterback Justin Herbert, who has been performing like an Offense Rookie of the Year candidate. Throwing for 2,146 passing yards,17 touchdowns, and only 5 interceptions this season. The Dolphins secondary struggled uncharacteristically last game, causing numerous pass interference penalties and giving up multiple touchdown passes. They’ll need to find a way to fix those issues, and get back to playing good defense against the Chargers.

My Prediction:

Look for Miami to run a lot of their “zero blitz” packages against rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. The Dolphin’s defense has had success running this scheme against “non-mobile” quarterbacks like him. I predict the Chargers quarterback will be under constant duress the entire game, and with our secondary back to playing at a high level, they’ll force him into making mistakes. But first, we must be able to stop the run, or else blitzing won’t be as effective.

If the Miami Dolphins offense can continue their production from last week, then the road to victory should be a lot easier, but they’ll still need to go to work. The offense will have to take care of the Charger’s pass rushers, and 2x Pro Bowler Joey Bosa. Bosa was out last week with a concussion and is scheduled to return for the game in Miami.  Having both players back and out on the field together is going to elevate the Charger’s ability to rush the passer and get to the quarterback. Tua’s talent to “feel the game” and create big plays will have to show up again this week, and I believe it will. The Miami Dolphins will beat the LA Chargers 33-20.