DAVIE–The majority of the Dolphins‘ roster is healthy as the team heads toward a four-week stretch of OTA workouts and minicamp, but their being cautious with center Mike Pouncey.
Pouncey has undergone multiple hip operations over the past few years and made it through just five games last season before Miami shut him down. The organization’s uncertainty about his future was evident when it asked offensive line prospects whether they could play center, which would provide a contingency in case Pouncey is out. During the offseason program, the Dolphins are limiting his work.
“He’s going to be brought along slowly,” coach Adam Gase said today. “I know we kind of joked about this in the past about how I’m going to handle him this coming season, but our goal is to make sure that he plays every game–plus more. So if that means that he doesn’t practice as much, I have no issues with that.”
In the meantime, when the Dolphins work on their offense, they’ll be rotating four players who can play center: Ted Larsen, Anthony Steen, Kraig Urbik and fifth-round pick Isaac Asiata. Steen made seven starts at center last year before losing the job to Urbik, who handled it the final three regular-season games and the playoff appearance.
“I guess we’re kind of in the boat of, we did it so much last year that nobody’s really affected by it,” Gase said. “We just move around and whoever pops in there, the quarterback has been really comfortable. He’s done a good job. We’re able to kind of do a couple things where we work some–really everything’s on air, but just kind of the mechanics of running plays and protections and things like that. It has been a smooth transition.”
Pouncey, who turns 28 this summer, has fought through multiple hip issues but hasn’t missed much time. He played 72 of a possible 80 games in his first five seasons with Miami.
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