Dol­phins

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - SPORTS - By Chris Perkins Staff writer ch­perkins@sun­sen­tinel.com; On Twit­ter @Chrisperk

Mike Pouncey and Jer­mon Bushrod are charged with get­ting the O-line go­ing.

DAVIE — Dol­phins of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Clyde Chris­tensen said it’s largely up to cen­ter Mike Pouncey and right guard Jer­mon Bushrod to help the of­fense re­cover from the sud­den res­ig­na­tion of of­fen­sive line coach Chris Fo­er­ster.

“It’s hard,” Chris­tensen said of Fo­er­ster’s res­ig­na­tion Mon­day amid a video scan­dal. “It is hard, but I would say this, that Bush and Pounce, [I] have to put the hat on them, they’ve got to take own­er­ship of the room and make it go.”

Chris­tensen said as­sis­tant of­fen­sive line coach Chris Ku­per and tight ends coach Shane Day have in­creased their du­ties in light of Fo­er­ster’s ab­sence.

“Ev­ery­one’s had to pitch in a lit­tle bit,” Chris­tensen said, “but Koup and Shane Day and Pounce and Bush, they’ll be the key we pull this thing off.

“That’s some re­spon­si­bil­ity maybe they weren’t count­ing on… [it’s a] lit­tle curve­ball and they’ve got to step up and go, and I be­lieve they will. That’s the deal.”

Pouncey said he’s sad for Fo­er­ster, who he called a “good friend,” but also said he’s glad se­nior of­fen­sive as­sis­tant Dave DeGuglielmo, who was the of­fen­sive line coach from 2009-11, has re­turned to work with the of­fen­sive line.

As for Chris­tensen say­ing Pouncey and Bushrod must lead, Pouncey said that’s noth­ing new.

“Hon­estly, I just come in and be my­self, do what I al­ways do,” he said. “I just mo­ti­vate guys that want to prac­tice harder, prac­tice bet­ter. Ob­vi­ously, we brought back in my of­fen­sive line coach that we had here my rookie year. We feel real com­fort­able with him. He’s a great coach. He brings a big per­son­al­ity to the of­fen­sive line room, some­thing that we need. We’ll be good.”

In­jury up­date

Wide re­ceiver DeVante Parker (an­kle) missed prac­tice for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day. Parker, who was in­jured in the first quar­ter of last week’s vic­tory over Ten­nessee, was re­placed largely by Ja­keem Grant, but Leonte Car­roo is also an op­tion.

“Look­ing back at it I wish I had used both of them a lit­tle bit more,” coach Adam Gase said.

Pouncey (hip) and run­ning back Jay Ajayi (knee) sat out Thurs­day’s prac­tice, as is their weekly cus­tom.

Cor­ner­back Byron Maxwell (an­kle), who was in­ac­tive last week, didn’t prac­tice.

More work, more vic­to­ries?

Since last sea­son, the Dol­phins are 10-0 when run­ning back Jay Ajayi has 18 or more car­ries. In those games he has 1,157 yards on 238 car­ries (4.9 yards per carry) and six touch­downs. But Gase said he’s not sure more car­ries for Ajayi nec­es­sar­ily equates to vic­to­ries.

“If we have a high amount of car­ries, there’s prob­a­bly good rea­son be­hind it. We’re ei­ther ahead and we’re try­ing to fin­ish the game out by run­ning the foot­ball, or things were go­ing re­ally well that day. I don’t know if that’s the only thing that cor­re­lates to win­ning and los­ing. If it was, it’d make it a lot eas­ier.”

The Dol­phins, by the way, are 11-1 since last sea­son when Ajayi has 16 or more car­ries.

Tun­sil do­ing OK

Chris­tensen said left tackle Laremy Tun­sil’s play has been so-so to this point.

“I think it’s been OK,” Chris­tensen said. “I think he would tell you just OK. I think he feels like he could play bet­ter and I think he will play bet­ter as it goes. I would eval­u­ate his play as prob­a­bly ex­pected. It’s [his] first time at a high-pro­file po­si­tion in this league, and again, there’s a ten­dency to think of him as a vet­eran guy and that’s re­ally not the case.

“He’s a sec­ond-year guy who’s re­ally play­ing — he’s got four games un­der his belt play­ing left tackle, which is a tough po­si­tion.”

JIM RASSOL/TNS

Cen­ter Mike Pouncey says it’s noth­ing new to be tagged re­spon­si­ble for get­ting the line go­ing. He says he leads by just be­ing him­self and work­ing hard.

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