Under Kevin Coyle, the Dolphins ranked last in the league against the run (160.5-yard average) and in sacks with just one through four games.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The coaching changes continue for the Miami Dolphins.
Kevin Coyle was fired Thursday as Miami’s defensive coordinator, a source confirmed to FOX Sports. The decision was made by Dan Campbell, who was named interim head coach Monday after the firing of Joe Philbin following Miami’s 1-3 start.
The Dolphins announced defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo will serve as defensive coordinator.
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"I found out about an hour ago that I got this job," Anarumo said. "It’s a little bit early to say" how to fix things.
Coyle joined the Dolphins as defensive coordinator in 2012 when Philbin was hired as head coach. Miami’s defensive performance gradually slid under his watch to the point the Dolphins currently rank last in the league against the run (160.5-yard average) and in sacks with just one through four games. They gave up 317 points that season, followed by 335 and 373, and after four games they’re on pace to allow 404 this season.
Coyle’s scheme also had drawn internal criticism from Dolphins players, most notably new $114 million defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
Campbell shuffled his offensive staff earlier in the week.
Anarumo’s only experience as a defensive coordinator came with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy from 1992-94. Anarumo spent eight seasons as Purdue’s defensive backs coach until being hired by Philbin for the same position in 2012.
Miami’s next game is October 18 at Tennessee (1-2).
News of Coyle’s firing was first reported by NFL Network. ProFootballTalk.com first reported Anarumo’s promotion.
Campbell has said the defense needed to become more aggressive and physical. He described Anarumo as the right man for the coordinator’s job.
"Lou and I see eye to eye about what we need to do defensively moving forward," Campbell said. "It’s a move that is going to help us win games."
Anarumo said he was surprised to be promoted to defensive coordinator, but added such a job has been his ambition.
"I’ve been working toward this," Anarumo said. "As an assistant coach, you’re always looking to advance. You set goals for yourself, and this is certainly one of them."
Anarumo acknowledged he needs more impact from an underachieving front four that includes Suh, tackle Earl Mitchell and ends Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon.
"Every one of those guys up front has demonstrated in their career that they can be productive players," Anarumo said. "That’s going to be our charge as coaches: to get that out of them going forward."
Jeff Burris, a defensive assistant since 2013, was promoted to assistant defensive backs coach. The latest moves complete this week’s shake-up of the coaching staff, Campbell said.