Dolphins deal with fallout from Foerster's abrupt departure
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By STEVEN WINE
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) The Miami Dolphins' offensive line situation deteriorated this week from inconsistent to intolerable, and now coach Adam Gase is dealing with the fallout.
Gase hit the reset button Wednesday by hiring Dave DeGuglielmo as senior offensive assistant. He'll help fill the void created by the departure of offensive line coach Chris Foerster, who resigned Monday when a video surfaced that appeared to show him snorting a white powder while sweet-talking a Las Vegas model.
There's no evidence any issues involving Foerster involved others in the organization, Gase said.
"To me it was an isolated incident," Gase said. "There were a lot of people who were just a little surprised."
Gase declined to say how offensive line coaching duties will be divided following Foerster's departure. But DeGuglielmo will be heavily involved to provide a fresh perspective regarding the most troublesome unit for the Dolphins (2-2).
"That's a positive that has come out of this," Gase said. "Somebody who hasn't been here can take a look and see if he can see something and maybe make some adjustments."
Miami's offensive linemen say they had no clue Foerster had personal problems.
"I hope coach Foerster gets the help he needs and is back doing what he loves to do," right tackle Ja'Wuan James said. "He was a great coach to us, a great man, and we appreciate everything he has done for us."
Foerster's wife, Michelle, released a statement saying the family's foremost concern was that he receive help.
"We ask that family members be afforded privacy as we work to support each other during this difficult period," she said.
The Dolphins play at Atlanta on Sunday, and blocking is considered the biggest culprit for their last-place NFL ranking in yards per play and per game, first downs and points. Gase says quarterback Jay Cutler has struggled because he hasn't had enough time to throw, and Jay Ajayi is averaging 3.4 yards per carry, down from 4.9 in his breakout 2016 season.
"We've got 10 guys doing the right thing and one guy off, and it just messes everything up," Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey said. "And it's not the same guys, it's all over the field. We'll get it figured out. It's early in the season, but it's what we didn't expect."
Enter DeGuglielmo, who coached the Dolphins' offensive line in 2009-11, during Tony Sparano's final three seasons as head coach. DeGuglielmo then spent one year with the New York Jets, and two seasons with the New England Patriots. He was an assistant offensive line coach for the San Diego Chargers last year.
"We've kind of been around the same circle of people," Gase said.
DeGuglielmo will try to help fix a unit with three former first-round draft picks and plenty of collective experience.
While Pouncey has won good reviews as usual, left tackle Laremy Tunsil has yet to dominate the way coaches anticipated, and on the other side James remains inconsistent in his fourth year as a starter. Like many teams, Miami went with cheap options at guard this year, and the play of Jermon Bushrod and Anthony Steen has been spotty.
The Dolphins are at .500 only because they've allowed the fewest points in the league. They beat Tennessee 16-10 Sunday with a touchdown drive in the final period.
"The fourth quarter was really our best quarter that we've had probably since the first game," Gase said. "There was a lot of grit, there was a lot of toughness shown, there was great finish. That's what we need to be consistent with."
NOTES: WR DeVante Parker (sprained ankle) did not practice, and his availability Sunday is in doubt.
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Updated October 11, 2017