The Miami Dolphins coaxed offensive coordinator Chan Gailey out of retirement in January 2020. He spent the whole season with a noncommittal posture toward returning, and maintained that same posture for his job of developing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. On Wednesday, we finally learned that Gailey will leave the Fins of his own volition. Although this saga has a clear ending, it took quite a while to get there.
Days before the Bills ended Miami’s season with a 56-26 stomping, Gailey played it close to the vest, only saying he wasn’t sure whether he’d return for 2021. But on Monday after that beatdown, which in combination with the Colts’ win eliminated them from the playoffs, a report surfaced that Gailey had been fired. The verb “surfaced” is intentionally passive here, since the author of said report was Twitter user @TuaNeedsHelp, masquerading as Adam Schefter.
This sort of tomfoolery happens every day, but what doesn’t is the ESPN.com news desk running with an obviously fake tweet and hanging an entire article on it. ESPN left the story up for less than an hour, though that was long enough for SportsCenter to do a segment on Gailey’s alleged firing. The network retracted the story and apologized for getting duped.
Meanwhile, Gailey’s actual job security seemed solid. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores spoke with the media Tuesday and said he expected his full staff to return for the 2021 season. That presumably included his offensive coordinator, meaning Gailey appeared to have survived the salvo from @TuaNeedsHelp.
Alas, the next day, Gailey announced his resignation. At the end of this rigmarole, the false report at the heart of this story turned out to be correct on outcome, though not on process. A nation keeping an eye on every twist and turn in the employment of Chan Gailey can finally exhale.