Dolphins’ “shocked” offensive line adapts after Chris Foerster resigns

Mike Pouncey has helped keep the Dolphins’ o-line steady during a tough week. (Bill Ingram/The Post)

DAVIE—It’s been a hectic few days for the Dolphins’ offensive line. Coming off a rough performance against Tennessee on Sunday, players showed up Monday to learn that they’d be getting a new position coach because of Chris Foerster’s video scandal.

Many players were in disbelief when they saw the video, saying there was no sign anything was wrong with Foerster. Mike Pouncey, who was not available to the media until today, was deeply affected.

“I was shocked,” he said after practice. “Chris is a good friend of mine. I hope he gets the help that he needs because he’s a great coach. He was always great to me. He treated me really well. I learned a lot from him in the year and a half we worked together. I just hate to see that he’s going through this.”

Pouncey added that he had no clue Foerster had problems, saying, “If I would’ve, we would’ve done something.”

With Foerster out, the offensive line duties have been handed to a collective. Chris Kuper is the assistant offensive line coach, and Adam Gase has charged tight ends coach Shane Day with helping as well.

Miami also brought in line specialist Dave DeGulielmo as a senior offensive assistant. He took in his first practice Wednesday and spent most of it with the offensive linemen. He was with the Dolphins when Pouncey was a rookie in 2011.

“We feel real comfortable with him,” Pouncey said. “He’s a great coach. He brings a big personality to the offensive line room, something that we need. We’ll be good.”

For this week, Kuper is running the offensive line at practice, and Pouncey and Jermon Bushrod have been helping lead. Having those three in place has helped keep things running smoothly despite the upheaval.

“It’s just a regular work day for us,” Pouncey said. “Nothing has changed at all. Guys come in, the same meeting time. Nothing has changed.”

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Breaking: Dave DeGuglielmo rejoins Miami Dolphins’ coaching staff

Dave DeGuglielmo is rejoining the Dolphins’ coaching staff. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Dolphins confirm DeGuglielmo is senior offensive assistant.

DAVIE — Dave DeGuglielmo is returning to the Dolphins’ coaching staff to help fill a void left by offensive line coach Chris Foerster’s resignation, league sources told The Palm Beach Post on Tuesday.

Although DeGuglielmo will help coach the linemen, his title is not expected to be offensive line coach. Those duties could be assumed by Chris Kuper, who had been Foerster’s assistant, possibly offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen or a combination of them.

DeGuglielmo (pronounced “Day-Ghoul-Yell-Mo”) coached the Dolphins’ offensive line from 2009-11, primarily under Tony Sparano, before spending two seasons with the New England Patriots that ended abruptly. He coached on the Chargers’ staff last season.

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His NFL experience includes stops with the New York Giants (2004-08) and New York Jets (2012).

During DeGuglielmo’s previous stay in Miami, as offensive line coach, the Dolphins ranked 17th, 21st and 22nd in total offense. They allowed 44 sacks in 2009 (primarily with QBs Chad Henne and Chad Pennington), 39 sacks in 2010 (Henne) and 41 in 2011 (Henne and Matt Moore).

The Dolphins had two 1,000-yard rushers in that span. Ricky Williams ran for 1,121 yards in 2009 and Reggie Bush had 1,086 in 2011.

DeGuglielmo, 49, who attended Boston University, joined Bill Belichick’s staff in New England in 2014, replacing Dante Scarnecchia.

His first season in Patriots produced a 12-4 record and a Super Bowl victory over Seattle. Then, things took a turn amid a string of injuries to New England’s offensive line, most notably to a season-ending injury to left tackle Nate Solder.

The Patriots won the AFC East again the next season at 12-4 and “Guge,” as he was known, was credited with patching together a line.

But the Patriots lost the conference championship game to Denver 20-18 as Tom Brady was sacked four times amid a fierce rush by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. In addition, center Bryan Stork was called for head-butting defensive lineman Vance Walker and two linemen were called for false starts. NFL Research reported that Brady was hit 20 times in the game.

Belichick fired DeGuglielmo the next day.

Brady was sacked 38 times that season, which also led to DeGuglielmo’s firing. The next season, amid changes on the line, the Patriots brought back Scarnecchia and won the Super Bowl. Brady was sacked only 15 times.

The question remains how much blame DeGuglielmo deserved in 2015 and how much credit Scarnecchia deserved for turning it around.

In February, Ron Borges of The Boston Herald wrote, “No one cared that DeGuglielmo had been forced to use 13 different starting lineups, the most of any line since STATS, Inc., began keeping track 22 years ago. No one cared that he was forced to rotate linemen so often he used 39 different combinations. By comparison, this year Scarnecchia used only nine and had the same five guys starting the last 13 games.

“Perhaps that’s why he tempers the praise he’s receiving by saying, ‘Continuity and great health have been the two biggest things. That and (Marcus) Cannon losing 30 pounds and (Nate) Solder gaining some. They both knew it was time to fish or cut bait, and they’re fishing pretty good.’ ”

Borges also wrote, “The knock on DeGuglielmo inside the organization was not his coaching so much as his sometimes vocal discontent over the lack of talent he was given.”

Now, DeGuglielmo is joining a Dolphins team that has struggled offensively the past three weeks, including getting shut out by New Orleans. Coach Adam Gase has put much of the heat on the offensive line while defending Jay Cutler, saying there is little any quarterback could do given the pass rush he has faced.

DeGuglielo grew up in Lexington, Mass., and played guard and center at Boston University at 5-feet-8 and 270 pounds, where he was coached by Sparano. He began coaching as a graduate assistant at Boston College in 1991, then served as Boston University’s offensive line coach and assistant head coach. He began his NFL career with the Giants in 2004.

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