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.”
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.”
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.