Miami Dolphins firing of Flaherty should be a message to the players

A sign at HRS says keep off the field as they prep for a game - it's a clear message - Image by Brian Miller
A sign at HRS says keep off the field as they prep for a game - it's a clear message - Image by Brian Miller /

The Miami Dolphins are no strangers to making coaching changes but firing a coach in training camp is surprising and should send a message.

When the Miami Dolphins announced the firing of offensive line coach Patrick Flaherty earlier today, they said it was a “football decision”. It was surprising because most of the time you don’t see coaches fired four days into camp. Naturally social media has been alive with the wonderment of why this happened.

While some fans are openly questioning or at the very least asking if Brian Flores’ coaching evaluation decisions should be called into, well, question, the real message here should be directed at the players. Not just the ones who play offensive line.

Dumping players is nothing new. Adam Gase dropped Billy Turner, Dallas Thomas, and Jamil Douglas a month into the 2016 season. He dumped Jay Ajayi to Philly a year later. Head coaches who are on the hot seat will dump coordinators in an effort to save their jobs. Brian Flores apparently isn’t going to wait for his job to be on the line.

The message being sent today is obviously Flores hasn’t been happy with the practice of his offensive line who did not look good over the course of those four days. The real message should be “if you don’t perform and do your job, you will be out of here”. Flores made it clear this off-season that no one was safe on the roster. Nothing was given until it was earned and thus far nothing has been earned. Not even a coaching job.

The players should take note of this. If a coach can be fired that quickly, Flores will not hesitate to cut a player for not doing the job, not buying into the program, or for any other reason that does not fit within the vision that Flores has.

Fringe players are usually the ones that take the rap when things don’t go well but Flaherty wasn’t a fringe player. This is also a message to the offensive line. If they don’t improve, it will be hard to imagine another coaching change in another four days but it will not come as a surprise if a player or even two are axed before pre-season starts.

Miami does not have a lot of depth or starting quality talent on their roster along the offensive line. Only Laremy Tunsil is proven to warrant a starting job. The rest need to step up and realize that Flores isn’t playing around and he is, unlike his predecessors, taking the offensive line to task.

Today’s message is clear but the players have to realize that it is not just a coaching change and it could eventually cost them their job.