After Firing Defensive Coordinator Josh Boyer, Miami Dolphins Should Swing for Fences

The Dolphins should get the best, most accomplished replacement for fired defensive coordinator Josh Boyer. One name looms above all others.

Josh Boyer is out as Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator, fired by Mike McDaniel after the team went one-and-done in the NFL playoffs.

But Boyer wasn’t fired simply because Miami allowed 34 points to Buffalo on Wild Card Weekend. This has been in the works for some time.

And Miami needed it. McDaniel inherited Boyer and a bunch of other defensive assistants from Brian Flores’ staff. It didn’t work. Now they’re gone, and McDaniel can fill his staff with his guys — which should be the right of all head coaches.

Miami Dolphins Fire Defensive Coordinator Josh Boyer

Along with Boyer, McDaniel on Thursday fired safeties coach Steve Gregory, outside linebackers coach Ty McKenzie, and assistant linebackers coach Steve Ferentz.

Boyer, Gregory, and Ferentz were holdovers from the previous staff. McKenzie was new to the team in 2022.

Boyer spent four years in Miami, the last three as defensive coordinator. When McDaniel replaced Flores last winter, he was strongly advised to keep Boyer aboard.

McDaniel explained his thinking at the time on Dolphins flagship radio WQAM thusly:

“Here’s another simple formula. I feel like if you’ve coached offense your whole career, one litmus test is if you are deciding what defense you play, how awesome would it be if you didn’t want to play that defense? For it to be the defense you have? And the defense was miserable. They crushed us in 2020.”

That might have been true. But the Dolphins’ defense didn’t crush much of anyone in 2022.

Miami allowed the ninth-most points (23.5) and forced the second-fewest turnovers (14). Boyer also angered fans (not to mention a few players) with his overuse of blitzes, leaving a depleted secondary exposed.

Expect the next defensive coordinator to be more judicious. But who will that coordinator be?

Miami Dolphins Should Hire Vic Fangio

The name atop most lists among people in Dolphins orbit is Vic Fangio, the 64-year-old former Broncos head coach who spent the last year as a defensive consultant for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Fangio is one of the most respected defensive minds in football.

And it’s our understanding that he’ll be one of the most coveted assistants this cycle.

McDaniel needs to go to owner Stephen Ross and ask for a blank check. And make Fangio an assistant head coach for good measure, if that’s what it takes.

MORE: Miami Dolphins Offseason Preview 2023

This year’s coaching staff could have used an elder statesman. Fangio — with more than three dozen years of coaching experience — checks all the boxes.

McDaniel has never coached with Fangio. It shouldn’t matter. They must have dozens of common acquaintances.

And once he does his due diligence, McDaniel will likely determine that there’s no one better to maximize a talented but underachieving defense than a former NFL assistant of the year.

“I am grateful for Josh’s contributions this year and throughout his tenure with the Dolphins,” McDaniel said in the news release announcing the firings. “The defense made strides through the season, so coming to this decision was not easy, but ultimately I feel it is in the best long-term interests of the Miami Dolphins and the continued growth of our players and team.”

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