Ken O'Keefe

Dolphins Notes: Tannehill, Coyle, Saunders

It’s been a busy week in Miami, where the Dolphins fired head coach Joe Philbin upon returning home from London, replacing him with former tight ends coach Dan Campbell. Campbell has already made some changes on the offensive side of the coaching staff, bringing in ex-Raiders assistant Al Saunders and altering the roles of some of the team’s assistants. Here’s the latest out of Miami:

  • Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill publicly addressed reports about last Saturday’s practice for the first time today, admitting to reporters that he got upset and made some negative comments toward some players during the session. Acknowledging that he made remarks about a “scout team trophy case,” the veteran signal-caller said he has since cleared the air with those players (Twitter links via James Walker of ESPN.com).
  • One key detail of the initial report on Saturday’s practice that Tannehill disputed, however, was the idea that he told any player to “enjoy [his] practice squad pay check.” Tannehill adamantly denied saying anything to that effect, calling the report “slanderous” (Twitter link via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald).
  • Campbell said today that he still doesn’t know whether or not Kevin Coyle will stay on as Miami’s defensive coordinator (Twitter link via Beasley). The longer the Dolphins go without announcing a decision or identifying a replacement, the more likely it is that Coyle sticks around, but the fact that Campbell didn’t confirm the DC’s job is safe suggests that it’s still very much in jeopardy.
  • Campbell also provided some details on the hiring of Saunders, suggesting that he’ll work primarily with the Dolphins’ wide receivers (Twitter link via Alex Marvez of FOX Sports). Former wide receivers coach Ken O’Keefe, who was named a senior offensive assistant today, will work with the quarterbacks going forward.

Dolphins Make Changes To Offensive Staff

Like defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor still has a job with the team after the firing of head coach Joe Philbin. However, Miami is making changes to its coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball, as Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports (Twitter links).

According to Breer, longtime coach Al Saunders is coming aboard as an offensive consultant, assistant quarterbacks coach Ben Johnson is taking Dan Campbell‘s old tight ends coach role, and the team is also re-assigning wide receivers coach Ken O’Keefe.

Saunders, who has held various coaching positions around the NFL for more than 30 years, has a history with Lazor — both men were on Washington’s coaching staff in 2006-2007, with Saunders acting as the team’s assistant head coach, while Lazor was the quarterbacks coach.

Breer acknowledges (via Twitter) that there could be more changes coming to the Dolphins’ staff, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, but for now the club is tweaking its offensive coaching roles. Coyle remains in charge of the defense for now, but his job doesn’t appear entirely safe. Breer tweets that the Dolphins have discussed three former head coaches – Mike Smith, Jim Schwartz, and Greg Schiano – as candidates to come in and help on defense, adding that the situation remains “fluid.”

The Dolphins are entering their bye week, so the team will have a few extra days to get its staff in order before it returns to action in Week 6.