Dol­phins

The Palm Beach Post - - SCORE­BOARD -

tions and a re­tooled power struc­ture.

Sev­eral un­der­per­form­ing po­si­tion groups will have new su­per­vi­sors when they hit the field for or­ga­nized team ac­tiv­i­ties this spring: of­fen­sive line, run­ning backs, wide re­ceivers, de­fen­sive line and de­fen­sive backs.

“Some­times change is good,” safety T.J. McDon­ald said. “We def­i­nitely needed a lit­tle change, whether it was through the coaches or what­ever it might have been, so if this is the first step they felt like we needed, then we’re all in.”

The big­gest shift comes at the top of the Dol­phins’ of­fense, where Gase re­placed co­or­di­na­tor Clyde Chris- tensen with Dow­ell Log­gains.

Chris­tensen has al­most 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in coach­ing and agreed to be Gase’s of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor know­ing that ti­tle wouldn’t come with much author­ity since the head coach would still call plays. He was a vi­tal ad­vi­sor, but as he put it, “It’s (Gase’s) show, and I’m just danc­ing in it.”

It won’t be that way with Log­gains. Gase won’t let go of play-call­ing, but he brought in a 37-year-old peer and is will­ing to del­e­gate some as­pects of the of­fense.

The of­fen­sive line has been a ma­jor con­cern dur­ing Gase’s two-year run, and it was a mess last sea­son with the forced res­igna- tion of Chris Fo­er­ster. The Dol­phins brought in Dave DeGuglielmo as an emer- gency op­tion mid-sea­son, and Gase set­tled on Jere- miah Wash­burn last month as a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion.

Wash­burn was the as­sis­tant o-line coach in 2016 and left to take the same job in Chicago last sea­son. Mi­ami is keep­ing Chris Ku­per as his as­sis­tant.

It’s likely no new coach faces more crit­i­cal de­ci­sions than Wash­burn, who comes in with­out a start­ing five in place. With right tackle Ja’Wuan James pos- sibly on his way out, Wash- burn has to fig­ure out where to play guard/tackle Jesse Davis, whether guard Ted Larsen works bet­ter on the left or right side, and how to get more out of left tackle Laremy Tun­sil af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son.

Gase fired run­ning backs coach Danny Bar­rett and re p laced him with Eric Studesville, who he worked with in Den­ver. Studesville also holds the ti­tle of run game co­or­di­na­tor. At re­ceivers coach, Gase pro­moted long­time Dol­phins staffer Ben John­son from as­sis­tant po­si­tion coach to the head job, and for­mer re­ceivers coach Shawn Jef­fer­son is now the as­sis­tant head coach.

Gase re­tained tight ends coach Shane Day de­spite that po­si­tion be­ing a de­ba­cle each of the last two sea­sons and kept quar­ter­backs coach Bo Harde­gree, who was re­spon­si­ble for most of Mi­ami’s red zone schem­ing last sea­son.

De­fen­sively, the Dol­phins shelled out the fourth-high­est amount of money for a de­fen­sive line in the league and fin­ished 26th in sacks. Kris Ko­curek, Ndamukong Suh’s first NFL po­si­tion coach, came in from the Lions to see if he can do what Ter­rell Williams couldn’t. Ko­curek also coached in Detroit with Matt Burke, who is stay­ing as de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

Burke and Gase also made a change in the sec­ondary af­ter the team fin­ished in the mid­dle of the pack in pass­ing yards al­lowed and in the bot­tom third of the NFL in op­po­nent com­ple­tion per­cent­age and passer rat­ing. The Dol­phins in­ter­cepted nine passes out of 528 at­tempts against them last year.

There’s a sense that tal­ent isn’t the is­sue, and that must’ve been Gase’s think­ing when he fired de­fen­sive backs coach Lou Anarumo. Tony Oden, who was freed up by the head-coach­ing change in Detroit, has made a strong im­pres­sion on play­ers.

“Coach Oden’s a re­ally good coach, great guy,” cor­ner­back Bobby McCain said. “He knows what he’s do­ing. We’re happy to have him.”

Mi­ami is also giv­ing for­mer safety Re­naldo Hill his first NFL coach­ing job. He jumped from the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh to be­come Oden’s as­sis­tant.

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