PHOENIX—There’s a perception that Dolphins right guard Jermon Bushrod had a rough season in 2016. The o-line was inconsistent throughout the year, Bushrod said multiple times he wasn’t playing as well as he thought he should, he played hurt most of the year, he considered retirement and Pro Football Focus ranked him the No. 69 guard in the NFL.
Miami coach Adam Gase disputes that.
He bristled at a question that suggested Bushrod didn’t have a great season and defended him by saying he graded out as the team’s best lineman other than Mike Pouncey.
“For a guy that that’s the first time he’s ever played right guard after playing left tackle his whole career, I thought he did a pretty good job,” Gase said this morning. “We’re actually looking to get better from last year because he’s coming in knowing what to do. We can actually treat him like a veteran player.”
That last part means the Dolphins hope to cut back his reps in practice, which wasn’t an option last year. Because of the position change, Bushrod was taking almost as many reps as rookie Laremy Tunsil on a daily basis.
Even with Bushrod turning 33 in August, Gase thinks he’ll improve this season. He does not view bringing back Bushrod, who considered retiring before re-signing March 16, as a last resort.
“When you go into free agency, you kinda stack your free agents with everybody else’s and see where your guys stack up,” Gase said. “And he fit into what we wanted to do.”
As far as the retirement possibility, there wasn’t much persuading necessary. Bushrod and Gase met about a week after the season, and Bushrod told him he wanted to keep playing. Gase advised that he take a full month to be sure of his decision, and their follow-up was straightforward.
“You want to go another round, don’t you?” Gase said.
Bushrod replied, “Absolutely.”
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