Miami Dolphins

Why a third go-round with this respected assistant makes too much sense for Dolphins

As Brian Flores quietly assembles a coaching staff for a job he still cannot take, here’s a surprisingly available name that surely got his attention:

Veteran offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who spent two seasons with Flores in New England and had two different stints with the Dolphins.

DeGuglielmo is without a job because Colts coach Frank Reich decided to fire him, NFL Network reported Tuesday. The move, on the surface, was a surprise, considering the huge leap forward the Colts’ offensive line took in 2018.

Indianapolis rushed for 1,718 yards (on 4.2 yards per carry) and allowed just 18 sacks. That was good enough for Football Outsiders to rank the Colts’ line second in pass blocking and fourth in run blocking.

Usually, that kind of work gets a coach promoted, not fired, but there is important context here. DeGuglielmo was actually hired by Josh McDaniels, not Reich, in the short time McDaniels was the Colts’ coach-in-waiting last offseason.

McDaniels ended up backing out of the job, and so DeGuglielmo and Reich had a shotgun wedding. The two coexisted for one season, but Reich apparently wants his own guy in the building.

But DeGuglielmo should not stay unemployed long. In fact, he seems like a perfect fit in Miami, where he was the offensive line coach from 2009 to 2011 and served in the same role in 2017 after Chris Foerster was fired for doing drugs in his office midway through the season.

And Flores should know DeGuglielmo well. They served together on Bill Belichick’s coaching staff from 2014 to 2015, helping the Patriots win Super Bowl 49.

The Dolphins technically still have an offensive line coach in Jeremiah Washburn, whom Gase hired over DeGuglielmo after the 2017 season, but he’s part of a lame duck staff that will almost certainly be disbanded once Flores officially takes over.

The Dolphins need to rebuild their offensive line, with left tackle Laremy Tunsil the only starter (and perhaps player) guaranteed back next season.

Right tackle Ja’Wuan James is a free agent and is looking for a multiyear contract that could pay him in excess of $8 million a year. And the interior line was a total mess, falling apart after Josh Sitton and Daniel Kilgore got hurt early in the season. The Dolphins are expected to go young in the trenches, and can save $7.4 million against the cap by cutting Sitton and Kilgore, who are both over 30.

The Dolphins allowed 52 sacks in 2018, tied for fifth most in football.

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Adam Beasley has covered the Dolphins for the Miami Herald since 2012, and has worked for the newspaper since 2006. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications and has written about sports professionally since 1996.
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