On the surface firing an offensive line coach a week into camp is a bad look, but Dolphins Brian Flores has channeled the head coach he worked under for many years.
The Miami Dolphins may make a legit run at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean new head coach Brian Flores will have low standards. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, offensive line coach Pat Flaherty was fired on Monday and analyst Dave DeGuglielmo will take over.
Rapoport further cited issues implementing a new system, dating back to the spring. DeGuglielmo was Miami’s offensive line coach in 2017, and spent last year with the Indianapolis Colts (where the line went from a weakness to a strength) before being fired and coming back to the Dolphins as an analyst this offseason.
The offensive line stands to be an issue for the Dolphins this season. Left tackle Laremy Tunsil is keeper, but after that the other four projected starters (Chris Reed, Daniel Kilgore, Jesse Davis and Jordan Mills) are question marks and the depth across the board looks dismal.
At first glance, firing an assistant coach he hired in January not even a week into training camp is a bad look on Flores early in his first year as a head coach. But he knows DeGuglielmo from two seasons they were together on the New England Patriots coaching staff (2014-15), and the opportunity to make a quick change was there if things were not going well.
Flores worked his way from scout to defensive play caller with the Patriots from 2004-18, learning at the feet of Bill Belichick along the way. It’s too early to say Flores is doing so, but trying to fully replicate “The Patriot Way” elsewhere has not gone well for members of the Belichick coaching tree.
But Flores saw someone make tough decisions and pivot quickly if something wasn’t working out. So firing an offensive line coach only a few meaningful practices into his first training camp as a head coach is a downright “Belichickian” move.