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Miami Dolphins fire defensive coordinator Josh Boyer: A look at potential replacements

Josh Boyer, Miami Dolphins
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel made the surprising decision to retain defensive coordinator Josh Boyer after taking the job around this time last year.

Most of the time, new head coaches bring in their own guys and assistants. McDaniel liked what he saw from Boyer in South Beach the previous season under Brian Flores and made the decision to retain him.

That lasted one season. The Dolphins announced on Thursday that they have parted ways with Boyer after a disappointing 2022 season for his defense.

“I am grateful for Josh’s contributions this year and throughout his tenure with 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.”

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel on the firing of Josh Boyer

Boyer, 45, has served as Miami’s defensive coordinator since 2019. But regression has been the name of he game under his watch. Back in 2019, the Fins’ defense finished sixth in points allowed. This past season saw the unit rank 24th. That’s just not going to cut it.

Related: How Mike McDaniel’s clock management may have cost Miami Dolphins a big upset win

Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator options to replace Josh Boyer

miami dolphins fire josh boyer
ANDRES LEIVA/PALM BEACH POST / USA TODAY NETWORK

Any search would likely begin with experienced defensive minds given McDaniel’s prowess on the other side of the ball. Former Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio stands out as a real possibility.

The veteran assistant sat out last season after being fired by the Broncos. He’s served as the defensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears throughout a brilliant career. In his 19 years in that role, Fangio has led eight top-10 scoring defenses.

There’s also a chance that McDaniel’s goes back to his San Francisco 49ers roots. Current 49ers defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks and defensive line coach Kris Kocurek could make sense.