DAVIE, Fla. -- To booth or not to booth? That is the question facing the Miami Dolphins' two coordinators.
New Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and third-year defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle are undecided where they will coach on game days in the regular season. Both coordinators are experimenting during the preseason by coaching on the sidelines.
Lazor and Coyle spent Friday's preseason opener on the field with their offensive and defensive players, respectively. Each coordinator had their assistants upstairs in the booth communicating to them on the field. They have three more exhibitions to make up their minds.
"I have not made a final decision yet," Lazor said. "It will be decisions based on our staff and how I think the communication works between upstairs and downstairs. Based on our players, I felt like I needed to [spend] the first game on the field to see our players as they came off the field. The look in their eyes, to see what the leadership looked like on the sideline, to see what the poise was on the sideline. I got a lot of questions answered Friday night. I was happy with a lot of what I saw."
Coyle has been a “booth coach” most of his career. But Coyle said there have been communication issues in the past on defense that might be resolved this season by calling plays from the sidelines.
"There are plusses and minuses to both obviously, but the thing I’m experimenting with right now is defensively the ability to get the calls in as fast as possible makes a big difference for our players," Coyle said. "They want to get the call so they can get turned around see the offense coming out, get lined up and play."
Coyle said he will coach from the sideline for the second straight week in Miami’s second preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to feel things out.
Both Coyle and Lazor will consult with Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin before making their final decisions. Philbin was once in their shoes -- he was an offensive coordinator for five seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
Philbin said he preferred the booth as a coordinator, but he’s leaving that choice up to Coyle and Lazor.
"Ultimately, they are the ones calling the plays. They have to be comfortable," Philbin explained. "So I don’t have a strong preference. I want them to feel confident and comfortable wherever they may be."