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AFC East Report: Ex-Patriots assistant Chad O’Shea fired after just one season as Dolphins offensive coordinator

Related: Three teams request interviews with Josh McDaniels for head coaching vacancies

NFL: DEC 15 Dolphins at Giants Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just one day ago, the Miami Dolphins’ offense put up 20 of the team’s 27 points against the top-ranked defense in the NFL while gaining 389 yards and scoring a game-winning touchdown with only 24 seconds left in their season finale against the playoff-bound New England Patriots. But while the performance was certainly an impressive one, it did not save offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea from getting the axe on so-called “Black Monday.”

As first reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and since confirmed by the team, the Dolphins have decided to relieve O’Shea from his duties today after he coordinated a unit that averaged just 18.1 points per game this year — ranking just 25th in the NFL. While the statistics justify the move, it certainly does come as a surprise considering that the 47-year-old was hand-picked by new head coach Brian Flores to coordinate his team’s offense.

O’Shea, like Flores, moved to Miami last offseason after previously serving as an assistant coach in New England: between 2009 and 2018, he was responsible for coaching the Patriots’ wide receivers while also playing an integral role in the red area game-planning process. Furthermore, he was seen as the offensive coordinator in the waiting behind Josh McDaniels — a role that never opened up, leading to O’Shea’s departure.

The times they are a-changin’ in the NFL, however, and O’Shea could again become a popular name in New England — not just because McDaniels projects to be a popular head coaching candidate in 2020. After all, his firing today also frees him up to potentially join a playoff team in a lower-level role. Enter the Patriots, who essentially did the same thing with McDaniels following the 2011 season when he was fired by the St. Louis Rams.

Back then, New England re-hired McDaniels as an offensive assistant before promoting him to coordinator the following year. Given their current struggles on offense especially in the areas previously coached by O’Shea, the Patriots could opt to go a similar route this year and bring O’Shea back on board with the postseason opener against the Tennessee Titans just a few days away.