A Brian Flores hire, Josh Boyer stayed on for Mike McDaniel‘s first Dolphins season. The team will not keep its defensive coordinator around for 2023.
The Dolphins have fired Boyer, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com report (on Twitter). The Dolphins have announced the move. The ex-Patriots assistant was in place for four seasons in Miami, the past three as the team’s DC.
The Dolphins have also fired outside linebackers coach Ty McKenzie, safeties coach Steve Gregory and assistant linebackers coach Steve Ferentz, per Pelissero and ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Gregory and Ferentz were holdovers from Flores’ staff, while McKenzie was a McDaniel hire from 2022.
Miami’s defense dropped from 16th to 24th in points allowed from 2021-22 and fell from 10th to 15th in DVOA. Boyer not being a McDaniel hire certainly made his seat warm coming into the season. Flores hired Boyer, a 13-year Patriots assistant, as his cornerbacks coach in 2019. After Patrick Graham left to become the Giants’ DC in 2020, Boyer stepped in. McDaniel, who did add his own OC last year, will now be responsible for the Fins’ other main coordinator hire.
Although the Dolphins ranked sixth in scoring defense during Boyer’s first DC season (2020), the team poured in major investments on the unit in the years since. The Dolphins drafted Jaelan Phillips in the 2021 first round and re-signed Emmanuel Ogbah in 2022. The team sent first- and fourth-round picks to the Broncos for Bradley Chubb at the deadline but lost Ogbah for the season soon after. Chubb recorded just 2.5 sacks in eight games as a Dolphin.
Boyer did not have the benefit of Ogbah for the season’s second half and was without Byron Jones for all of the 2022 season. The veteran cornerback underwent surgery in March 2022, and while that procedure was to have him back well before training camp, the injury lingered throughout the year. That said, NFL.com’s Cameron Wolfe tweets some Dolphins were not fans of Boyer’s scheme.
Injuries at quarterback also impacted Miami’s defense this season, but the team will sever much of its remaining Patriots ties. Gregory, an ex-Pats defensive back, has been with the team since 2021. Steve Ferentz, the son of ex-Bill Belichick coworker-turned-Iowa HC Kirk Ferentz, joined Miami’s staff in 2020.
Come 2023, the Dolphins will have employed eight combined OCs and DCs. Flores proved to be trigger-happy with his offensive play-calling post, and with McDaniel running the show on offense, the franchise will have a new play-caller on the other side soon.