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Miami Dolphins part ways with several coaches on Black Monday

The Miami Dolphins parted with several coaches on Monday.

In what is known as Black Monday in National Football League circles, the Miami Dolphins have parted ways with coaches of their own. According to multiple media reports, the team has parted ways with safeties coach Tony Oden, offensive line coach Dave Deguglielmo, and offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea.

Deguglielmo was promoted to offensive line coach during training camp. He served in the capacity of an analyst role prior to that, having been hired this spring. This was his third stint with the Miami Dolphins. He was the offensive line coach from 2009-2011 and was an offensive assistant in 2017.

The Dolphins offensive line gave up 58 sacks in  2019. That number was tied with the Carolina Panthers for the most in the National Football League. They also allowed 146 quarterback hits. That was the most in the league by far. The next closest team was the Atlanta Falcons with 135.

Oden was hired as the teams safeties coach on February 8, 2019. That was the same day head coach Brian Flores announced his entire coaching staff.

Although the Miami Dolphins were able to get production from the safety position, there was certainly room for improvement. Eric Rowe was by far the best for Miami. He had 54 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. Stephen Parker was the starting strong safety. The rookie from Oklahoma had a decent year, recording 15 tackles and two interceptions.

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O’Shea led offensive charge in first season with Miami Dolphins

This was O’Shea’s first season with the team. The Dolphins averaged 310 yards per game and recorded 34 total touchdowns on the year. They ranked 18th in the league with 19.7 first downs recorded per contest. Recording 94 offensive penalties, they ranked at the bottom of the league in that category.

It is certainly Black Monday for Miami Dolphins coaches. The organization obviously wants to go in a different direction, and it will be interesting to see who the replacements are. The foundation is there for the Miami Dolphins to succeed. Now, they want to take the next step.

Miami Dolphins give New England a taste of their own medicine

The Miami Dolphins came away with a huge win on Sunday.

Paths cross often in the National Football League. The Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots 27-24 on Sunday. A bunch of former Patriots coaches had their fingerprints all over the victory.

Let’s start with the head coach. Brian Flores began his career with the Patriots in 2004 as a scouting assistant. He then worked his way up the ranks over the course of the next decade. He was named the linebackers coach in 2016 and served that role until last year. Now, he gets to preside over an entire team.

On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins showed the type of toughness that has been a trademark of New England over the years. There is no doubt that Flores has put his stamp on this team, and it showed. Much like New England has done over the years, the Dolphins fought hard. They never gave up, and they played until the final whistle. You always hear about the New England Patriots mantra “Do your job.” The Dolphins did that on Sunday.

New England connections key in Miami Dolphins victory

Offensive coordinator Chad O’ Shea did a great job in terms of game planning He let Ryan Fitzpatrick do whatever he wanted while getting the receivers involved. Furthermore, he did a great job of keeping the New England corners on their toes.  Fitzpatrick passed for 320 yards and a touchdown. The leading receiver for Miami was Devante Parker. He had another tremendous day, catching eight passes for 137 yards. A 28-yard snag was his longest of the afternoon.

Dave DeGuglielmo was the other coach of note on Sunday. A Lexington, Massachusetts native,he was the Patriots offensive line coach from 2014-2015.  His offensive line did a great job of protecting Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Patriots often sent three pass-rushers towards Fitzpatrick. This was in an effort to get more cornerbacks on the field and prevent big plays in the passing game. The offensive line held up nicely for the Dolphins, shutting the three-man rush down. Fitzpatrick was only sacked twice for 13 yards.

Eric Rowe also managed to get the last laugh on New England. He recorded a pick-six that set the tone for the defense early. He is certainly making his three-year $18 million extension seem like the right move. Truthfully, it was the right move before this game. Sunday just proved that. He had a really great day for the secondary, and was a steadfast presence.

As the Miami Dolphins look to build their team, this was a signature win. It’s not easy to be New England in Foxboro. Florez and his staff did that emphatically. Good times may be ahead for the Miami Dolphins. Sunday certainly  proved that.

DeVante Parker was missed by the Dolphins against the Jets

Wide receiver DeVante Parker has reached another level in 2019. Miami’s offense felt the void left by the fifth-year receiver after he suffered a concussion early in Sunday’s 22-21 loss to the New York Jets.

The Dolphins lacked a clear target that could push the offense into the end zone. They had drives stall at the 21, 13, 16, and twice at the 19. While kicker Jason Sanders finished the day with seven made field goals on eight attempts, finding the end zone once could’ve been the difference for Miami.

The offense lost traction after losing both DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson to concussions. Parker had only two receptions for 28 yards before exiting the game.

It was also the first time since Oct. 13 that Parker was held beneath 50 yards. 

“It definitely made it a little bit difficult,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said postgame about losing both Parker and Wilson. “We had guys out there hobbled and giving everything they had. I was proud to be in the huddle with those guys. I know there’s a lot of stuff people won’t see or don’t really care to write about, but there were some guys that really gutted it out today. It was tough sledding in the second half from communications and lining up for us just because of some of the injuries we had.”

The Dolphins entered action on Sunday as one of the league’s strongest teams inside the red zone. Parker helped Miami score with touchdown grabs of 17 and 43 against the Eagles in week 13.

Keep in mind, DeVante Parker has spent most of the season playing at an elite level. 

Mike Gesicki then caught a touchdown from 14 yards out after the defense turned its attention to Parker. The Dolphins tried to go back to Gesicki after Parker left the game on Sunday, but the second-year tight end finished with just one reception on six targets for just six yards.

Isaiah Ford stepped in and had career highs in both receptions (6) and yards (92). With that in mind, the Dolphins lacked a player with a nose for the end zone.

“He’s a guy that has done a great job of despite not being on the active roster,” offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea said of Ford. “He’s a conceptual learner, so he can line up anywhere and that happened in the game. He basically lined up at several different spots in the game. He did a good job of getting some other guys lined up, helping ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) in the huddle.”

The Dolphins are excited to see Ford finding himself a role on the team. However, they’re hoping to get both Parker and Wilson back sooner rather than later. Both were still in concussion protocol as of Wednesday morning.

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Dolphins coaches reevaluating their methods

The Miami Dolphins are 0-4 heading into the bye week. They have been outscored 81-0 in the second half through all four games. Players are growing frustrated with the team’s inability to execute. Now, the entire coaching staff finds themselves questioning how they’re handling things.

“We’re going to go and closely evaluate what we do in all areas of the second half – the approach, the scheme we use, defensively study what they’ve done (against) us in the second half.” Offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea said on Tuesday. “I think it’s a combination of factors that we’re really going to look closely at and determine what’s best for us moving forward.”

In all fairness, there are many rookies on this Dolphins coaching staff. Both O’Shea and head coach Brian Flores are first-timers at their respective roles. If Patriots head coach Bill Belichick were in the business of passing on his skills to his subordinates, more of his coaching tree would find success upon leaving New England. Additionally, the talent level on the roster is severely lacking in several areas. The offensive line in particular. When coaches have to add new players through the regular season, success is hard to come by.

“I would say we made a lot of changes to the roster,” Brian Flores said on Monday. “(We were) kind of building the team on the fly in a lot of ways. But we’re not going to make excuses about that. We try to put the guys in the best positions to play well, but at the same time trying to build a team and build some camaraderie and build some communication and build some rapport. I think that’s been a big part of these first four weeks.”

With this in mind, it’s not surprising to see the coaching staff looking to make some changes. Considering their desire to emphasize basics and fundamentals, the lack of execution is troublesome. The number of wide receiver drops is especially alarming. Miami ranks second in the league with eight drops. Only the Philadelphia Eagles have suffered from more with ten. So even how the coaches teach players how to catch is not immune to scrutiny.

“I think that one of the things on catching the football is it’s something that we have as part of our everyday drills.” O’Shea said. “We think that throwing, catching, blocking, tackling are things that we try to work every day, and we’re going to continue to do those, but we’re going to – as a coaching staff – again, we’re evaluating all aspects of our program right now. One of the things we’re evaluating is the teaching progression and what we do on the field and the drills that we have and those things.”

It’s not ideal to hear that the Dolphins coaching staff already feels the need to change how they do things. However, the previous regime displayed the other side of the spectrum. Adam Gase – now with the New York Jets – refuses to change. As a result, his team has also failed to win a game so far.

It’s been said numerous times that 2019 is all about evaluation for the future. Perhaps, it bodes well that the coaches are willing to take an honest look at themselves in the mirror. If they can find a method that works by 2020, then perhaps the rebuild won’t take nearly as long as projected.

“You’re always in the process of self-evaluating and trying to improve.” Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said. “I ask the players to get better every day. I make it a point on myself to get better every day. If I’m never thinking about how I can improve for the next week or the next day, then I think you get complacent, and then when complacency sets in, in this league, you’re not going to be here very long. That’s how I approach it. There’s a bunch of stuff – I don’t feel the need to get into exactly all of the stuff that I know that I need to improve upon, but I’m constantly evaluating myself and trying to figure out how I can become a better coach, a better husband, a better brother, a better son. That’s just how I’m built.”

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung