MIAMI — The Dolphins will retain defensive coordinator Josh Boyer for the 2022 season, head coach Mike McDaniel confirmed Friday, clearing the way for his third season with the team.
Boyer first came to Miami in 2019 under then-head coach Brian Flores. Prior to his arrival in south Florida, Boyer spent 12 years with the New England Patriots as a defensive assistant, defensive backs coach and cornerbacks coach.
The Dolphins ranked eighth in defensive expected points added in 2021 but led the NFL in the same category over the final nine weeks of the season. Boyer’s defenses have also forced the fourth-most turnovers in the league over the past two seasons.
McDaniel is in the process of putting together his defensive staff but said he decided to keep Boyer on staff after meeting with him this week.
“You learn that when something’s not broke [you don’t fix it],” McDaniel told ESPN. “There’s also relationships with players that come into it, there’s the scheme itself, and then there’s the human relationships. There’s a good amount of time that I spent with Josh before I made that decision. All of those things contribute and then relying on the people that hired me that were in the building with him. This is not something that you just all of a sudden say, ‘Just keep him, I don’t feel like looking into stuff.’ It’s a calculated decision that’s very informed — and I think the proof is in the pudding. That’s a top-10 defense last year that I wouldn’t want to play against.
“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
The offensive-minded McDaniel is also piecing together his offensive staff. The Dolphins have not named an offensive coordinator, but joining McDaniel in the trek from San Francisco to Miami are 49ers tight ends coach Jon Embree and wide receivers coach Wes Welker.
“It was the individuals that we brought that I thought really would help me on staff as a head coach and a play caller,” McDaniel said. “But also they’re two coaches who I know exactly what they’re going to get. For me, the most important thing that we could get is the development of players and accountability.”
McDaniel cited Embree’s history as a head coach at the University of Colorado, noting that “almost every player he’s ever had has their career year under him.” McDaniel said Embree’s ability to hold players accountable gives him one less thing to worry about as a head coach. Welker, who played for the Dolphins from 2004 to 2006, will take on the same role he held with the 49ers along with the additional responsibility of developing the Dolphins’ passing game plan.
“I’m really excited about where he is in his career. When he first came to San Francisco, it was his first position job,” McDaniel said. “There’s a huge part of your whole process when you’re developing as a coach, of going to a place as a first-time position coach, learning how to own that. I thought Wes was ready to take another step.”