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Dolphins fire Josh Boyer, other defensive assistants

The Miami Dolphins are adjusting their defensive staff.

Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

When the Miami Dolphins hired Mike McDaniel last year to serve as their new head coach, many of the defensive assistants, including defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, were retained as a way to keep some stability in a defense that rounded into form during the 2021 season. After the 2022 season, the strengths that were expected from the defense did not materialize during the season, and now McDaniel is looking to make changes to the defensive side of the ball.

On Thursday, the Dolphins announced the team had relieved Boyer of his duties as the team’s defensive coordinator. They also fired safeties coach Steve Gregory, outside linebackers coach Ty McKenzie, and assistant linebackers coach Steve Frentz.

“I am grateful for Josh’s contributions this year and throughout his tenure with the Dolphins,” McDaniel said, according to the Dolphins. “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.”

Boyer joined the Dolphins in 2019 as the team’s defensive pass game coordinator and cornerbacks coach. He was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2020. He previously had served as a defensive assistant, defensive backs coach, and cornerbacks coach with the New England Patriots from 2006 through 2018, moving to Miami when the team hired Brian Flores from the Patriots to be the team’s head coach. Flores was fired after the 2021 season.

The Dolphins will now begin a search for their new defensive coordinator. Miami finished the 2022 season ranked 19th in overall defense, allowing 337.8 yards per game; fourth in rush defense, giving up 103.0 yards per game; 27th in pass defense, allowing 234.8 yards per game; and 24th in scoring defense, giving up 23.5 points per game. The Dolphins’ defense was designed to pressure opposing quarterbacks through confusing fronts, mismatches, and blitzes, but only recorded 40 sacks on the season, tied for 14th in the league.