George Godsey and Eric Studesville conducted their first media session Monday as Miami Dolphins co-offensive coordinators, sharing their thoughts on their new challenge, their vision and what their offense might look like.
Godsey and Studesville both were promoted this offseason to replace Chan Gailey after the longtime NFL coach abruptly resigned a few days after the 2020 regular season finale.
Studesville will remain as running backs coach along with his co-offensive coordinator title, while Godsey will continue as tight ends coach.
Here were their thoughts on various topics, followed by our take when warranted:
On collaborating on the playbook:
Godsey: “We’ve both been here for the past two years going into now our third year together. We’ve had constant communication. I think that’s part of the role. Both of us are good communicators and both of our positions in the past have had to touch each other’s position, as far as communication with the line or communication with the quarterback. Obviously in the pass, tight ends play a little bit of a receiver role too at times. We do a good job of communicating. That’s the main requirement of the roles. That’s our job is to put the message together and then distribute it to the staff and then to the unit.”
Studesville: “As far as the playbook and how it’s taken – it’s been a long process. I don’t think the playbook is done. I don’t think it’s ever done. We’re always looking and studying and if we can get something from somewhere else that we think is good for us, then we’re going to continue to add and evolve. Now maybe some things aren’t as highly repped in practice or don’t have as great a frequency, but I don’t ever see a playbook as a done – to me a playbook is a living document. It continues to grow and evolve based on the players you get and what they can do because in there, we want to find out what our players do best and then those are the plays that we want to use.”
On their new role:
Godsey: “Well, that’s what it is – it’s an opportunity. We know that we’re fortunate to have these opportunities. It’s about winning here. It’s about putting our team in the best position – our athletes in the best position to perform. We take it one day at a time and kind of go from there.”
Studesville: “Individually I feel gratified that Coach (Flores) has put trust in me to take on a little bit more, that hopefully what I do day in and day out has been respected and seen as an addition to the staff and the organization and what we’re doing. And really that’s why you get into coaching, to do things like that.”
Our take: This truly is a great opportunity for both of them, and certainly represents a vote of confidence from Head Coach Brian Flores.
On what they want the offense to be known for:
Godsey: “I think our job as an offense is to move the ball and score points. That’s our main goal and there are a lot of other factors that go into that. We have to be physical when we decide to run the ball, when we block and protection. We’ve got to protect the quarterback, we’ve got to protect the ball and then when the ball is thrown to us, we have to catch it and make plays. There are a lot of little factors – we call them little but there are a lot of factors that go into an offense being successful and moving the ball and scoring points.”
Studesville: “I think we want this offense to be known as one that is successful and wins. At the end of the day, that’s what the outcome has to be, so we want to do whatever we can to put our players in position to be successful and score. That’s the general philosophy overview of it, but that’s what it is. Then there’s a lot of other subtopics in there certainly; but as an overview, we want our guys to be in position where we’re a complementary group to the defense, to special teams and we’re giving ourselves a chance to win.”
Our take: This was a question that I asked, hoping to get a more specific answer than Godsey and Studesville delivered. From this vantage point, something like “being precise” or “execution” or “a fast offense” would have been more interesting.
On what the added speed could do for the offense:
Godsey: “I think any time you can stretch the field vertically, it puts the defense in a bind. I have some experience with Will and we’re catching Jaylen up to the speed of NFL football, so that’s been the fun part of this, especially with Jaylen from a rookie standpoint. They have a little bit of a different skill set, although they both have very good speed. That’ll help us pushing the ball downfield but they are also good route-runners underneath. Being able to add all of those elements are important to both of those players.”
Studesville: “We’ve got playmakers in that room. I think we’ve got playmakers in a bunch of different rooms. I think we’ve got playmakers in the tight end room. I’m working to make sure we have playmakers in the running back room, but I think as equally as strong, we’ve got playmakers in the quarterback position and we’ve got them on the offensive line. We’re going to have to create our own destiny and create what we want this to look like and the better athletes, the better football players you have – which we have increased that. I think (General Manager) Chris (Grier) and ‘Flo’ (Head Coach Brian Flores) have done a great job bringing guys in here that they give us a chance every week and that’s what you want.”
Our take: There’s absolutely no question that the additions of Fuller and Waddle will help the offense, but it’s not just because of the issue of stretching the field but also producing long gains out of seemingly routine plays. That aspect cannot be downplayed.
On the play-calling duties on game days:
Godsey: “There are certain times in the game where adjustments are needed and it’s good that we have two voices that are looking for that and not just glued into the specifics of your individual position. We’ve had some talks on that obviously but we’re going to keep it at that right now.”
Studesville: “I think as far as game week and things like that, we haven’t gotten there. Where we are right now, and I think it’s going to be the same collaborative process, is we’re all involved in this. It’s not exclusive – ‘Lem’ (Offensive Line Coach Lemuel Jeanpierre) just does the run game or ‘Grizz’ (Wide Receivers Coach Josh Grizzard) just does the – we all have input in this. All of our players are involved in it. The backs for instance are involved in the run game, protections and the pass game. The receivers are involved in the run game. So we all have input as far as what’s going on and the entire offense is built to be a collaborative effort because all of us have to be able to speak the same language, to have the same desire and the same goal for that outcome, which is a high, effective performance on each individual play. And the only way that happens is if we’re all on the same page and we’re all having the same conversation. So right now, it’s building that way. That’s how we’ve done the playbook. That’s how we started with the players right now. That’s how we’re doing things in the walkthroughs and I don’t see that changing in any way going forward. It’s all collaborative. We’re all going to have input on it and that’s why I think you get a good staff and good football coaches together. That’s the advantage of it.”
Our take: It should have come as no surprise that neither Studesville nor Godsey wanted to divulge that information, if indeed the Dolphins already have settled on who will be calling plays on game day. Because Godsey worked more closely with Tua Tagovailoa last year and because he’s the one with previous offensive coordinator experience (with Houston in 2015-16) it’s logical to think he figures to get the nod. Again, who knows when we’ll get an official answer to that question.