Miami Dolphins fans know all too well the sting of watching one of its former players leave the organization after doing little to nothing while wearing teal and orange, only to take their talents to Foxborough and become an NFL Hall of Famer.
Okay, perhaps that is a heavy-handed use of hyperbole.
Although, Wes Welker did put up some pretty impressive numbers…
But I digress.
It is easy to remember the Welker’s, the Larry Izzo’s and the Chris Hogan’s – more on that later – but there’s also a coach that has blossomed since joining the dark side.
Enter Brian Daboll.
Daboll is currently in his third season – 11th year with the organization overall – as New England’s tight ends coach, but die-hard Dolphins will recall that he served as Miami’s offensive coordinator in 2011.
Tony Sparano tabbed Daboll the team’s offensive coordinator before the start of the 2011 season after the Fins averaged just 17 points per game in 2010 under Dan Henning.
At the time, Daboll was coming off two seasons as the Cleveland Browns’ OC and was supposed to represent a “more aggressive, creative and exciting” offense as said by owner Stephen Ross.
Miami’s offensive output did increase and improve in 2011 under Daboll. Points per game increased from 17 to 20 and the Dolphins’ offense had both a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver for the first time in franchise history.
Reggie Bush rushed for 1,086 yards on 216 carries and had five 100-yard rushing performances, while Brandon Marshall caught a team-high 81 passes for 1,214 yards.
Daboll’s tenure in Miami was short-lived – one season – as he moved on to Kansas City the following year to become the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator under Romeo Crennel – another Patriots crony.
After a one-year stint with the Chiefs, Daboll made his way back to Death Star headquarters…err, I mean Foxborough and rejoined Darth Vader’s…I mean Bill Belichick’s coaching staff – initially as an offensive assistant (2013) before being promoted to tight end’s coach in 2014.
To his credit, Daboll has shown himself to be a valuable piece to the Patriots’ puzzle.
Under Daboll’s guidance, Rob Gronkowski was a unanimous Associated Press First Team All-Pro selection in 2015 after leading all NFL tight ends with 1,176 receiving yards and tied for second among tight ends with 11 touchdowns.
Granted, a just about anyone could look good when all they have to do is tell Gronk to, well, go Gronk.
Nonetheless, Daboll will be doing his part to help lead the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl championship in the past 15 seasons.