After Smear Campaign, Miami Dolphins OL Coach Butch Barry Has Proven To Be Indispensable

Blind quotes and unfair innuendo worried some Miami Dolphins fans about the Butch Barry hire last year. Those concerns now seem silly.

Offensive line coach Butch Barry might be the most valuable Miami Dolphins assistant on Mike McDaniel’s staff, which — given how his short time with the Denver Broncos ended — is pretty remarkable.

Barry was the victim of a pretty brutal smear campaign after he was fired in Denver, and the vibes surrounding his arrival in Miami weren’t great.

Fifteen months later, those worries seem laughable in retrospect.

Miami Dolphins Lucky To Have Butch Barry

Barry got the most out of a flawed, banged-up group in his first season with the Dolphins.

Austin Jackson looked like a first-round bust 12 months ago. Thanks in part to Barry, he’s now the Dolphins’ right tackle of the present and future after signing a three-year extension.

Barry’s work was instrumental in getting the Dolphins to the playoffs (and, perhaps even more importantly, kept Tua Tagovailoa healthy) despite a rash of injuries to his position group.

The Dolphins used a staggering 12 different offensive line combinations last year and still ranked first in yards per carry (5.1), fifth in sack rate (5.5%), and fourth in pressure rate (15.8%).

Those numbers were, of course, helped by Tagovailoa’s quick release. The Dolphins’ pocket time (2.1 seconds) was the shortest in football.

But assuming the Dolphins have better health luck in Barry’s second year, Tagovailoa should have more time in the pocket — which, in turn, should mean more explosive plays.

Asked about specific ways in which Barry helped the Dolphins’ offensive line in 2023, Jackson told a story from the first preseason game.

“I didn’t have the performance I wanted to have or I forget — something happened in practice, something along those lines where I wasn’t getting the job done,” Jackson said.

“And yeah, Butch heard me out, and he helped me out with what I needed to do to get better, and he didn’t do it on his time, meaning I had to go to him outside of his meeting time, and it was a one-on-one deal. But he just put a lot of effort into me, I would say.

“There’s been times where you don’t have anyone who’s willing to meet you there with the extra effort. But he’s always been there and he’s serious about his job. Very serious, and that benefited me.”

That account of Barry’s personalized attention couldn’t be more different than his reputation with the Broncos.

After Barry’s termination, a radio personality in Denver reported that Barry would leave notes in lockers instead of simply talking to his players.

MORE: Miami Dolphins’ 53-Man Projection on Offense

Similar information got to a South Florida-based podcaster, who wrote the following on social media about Barry, citing a Broncos insider as his source:

“He’s an idiot. Got fired mid season 4 incompetence.

“Players hated him. Openly laughed @ him & called him a joke.

“After [Nathaniel] Hackett firing, interim HC Jerry Rosburg immediately fired him, players applauded when announced @ team meeting.”

Now, we can believe that Barry rubbed some Broncos players the wrong way. He’s an intense dude. But the idea that Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel would hire an incompetent “idiot” didn’t make sense then, and it’s downright absurd now.

What’s more, Barry made such an impression on rookie tackle Patrick Paul during a pre-draft visit that Paul basically begged the Dolphins to take him at 55 (they did).

“We’re going to hit the ground running and I can’t wait,” Paul said. “I can’t wait to learn from him and I can’t wait to be coached by him.”

KEEP READING: Patrick Paul Set Up to Succeed With Miami Dolphins

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