DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins have fired offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and replaced him with Dave DeGuglielmo.
Flaherty was hired in February shortly after Brian Flores took over as head coach, but the Dolphins' offensive line has struggled throughout the spring and summer.
Flores made the decision on Monday. On Tuesday, he listed communication and fit, rather than one incident, as the biggest factors in his decision.
"It wasn't an easy decision. The easy thing to do would be to do nothing and hope it gets better," Flores said. "More times than not in my experience, it doesn't get better. And who loses out? Those guys on the field. It's my responsibility to put this team in the best situation they can be in. If I don't do that, I'm not doing my job, and I didn't come here to do that."
Flores refused to use his late hire in February -- which was because he was coaching the Patriots to a Super Bowl LIII victory -- and some assistant coaches' limited availability as an excuse for the Flaherty situation. But it is notable that Flores says DeGuglielmo was a target for him early in the process, yet he wasn't available at that time.
"I went with my gut on this one. I'm always going to do that," Flores said. "If I don't do that, I'm not being true to myself and being authentic about how I feel about this team."
One sticking point could have been the development of third-round pick Michael Deiter, who Flaherty said was a "long ways away" from where he needed to be after some ups-and-downs to start training camp. Veteran Chris Reed was starting over Deiter early in camp.
Flores has made it clear that there are no "sacred cows" in the organization and players are competing for their jobs every day. It's apparent that refers to coaches, too, after the move to let go of Flaherty.
The fact that the move happened even before the preseason shows that the issues with how Flaherty was guiding the offensive line were significant. The interior of the offensive line, in particular, has been dominated by the defensive line through four days of training camp.
DeGuglielmo, who spent 2018 as the Indianapolis Colts' offensive line coach, was hired as a Dolphins football analyst in May. He's very familiar with Miami. This is his third stint as an assistant coach here (2009-11; 2017 after Chris Foerster resigned).
The move also means another former Patriots assistant in DeGuglielmo (offensive line coach, 2014-15) has a significant role on the Dolphins' coaching staff.
DeGuglielmo, also known as Guge, is recognized for turning the Colts' offensive line into one of the NFL's best last season, most notably thanks to the performances of rookie starters Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith.