Miami Dolphins: Departed offensive line coach means even more distractions

By The Sports Xchange
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase on the sideline during a timeout late in the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-12 win at the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on January 8, 2017. File photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase on the sideline during a timeout late in the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-12 win at the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on January 8, 2017. File photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins offensive line coach Chris Foerster resigned Monday morning amid a scandal involving a video in which he's apparently filming himself snorting a white substance and addressing a woman.

That video has become the story of the franchise, surpassing a 16-10 home-opening victory over Tennessee, during which a small segment of fans chanted for backup quarterback Matt Moore, and owner Steve Ross said he wants players to stand for the national anthem.


Head coach Adam Gase was asked Monday morning how he keeps this from being even more of a distraction.

"That's the NFL, man," he said. "It's a league of distractions. Move on."

The Dolphins (2-2) have become a magnet for stories big and small over the last few years, ranging from Bullygate to offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil's draft night video of him smoking from a bong to Foerster's video.


In between there have been localized issues such as Miko Grimes, the wife of former cornerback Brent Grimes taking shots at quarterback Ryan Tannehill's skills via social media, little-known defensive lineman Leon Orr getting cut during a practice and escorted off the field by team personnel last year after he failed to inform the team of an arrest, and center Mike Pouncey wearing a "Free Hernandez" shirt in reference to friend and ex-college roommate Aaron Hernandez during Pouncey's birthday celebration a few years ago.

Gase said he was informed of the situation Sunday night when general manager Chris Grier called. Gase said he spoke with Foerster on Sunday night and accepted his resignation Monday morning.

Gase said he's unsure when the video was shot or whether Foerster was at the team facility.

Gase said Foerster is "disappointed, he's upset, he's mad at himself. But it's just, it's unfortunate."

Gase was brief and philosophical when asked about a season that's already included a season-ending injury to Tannehill, a game postponed because of Hurricane Irma and linebacker Lawrence Timmons going AWOL the night before the Los Angeles Chargers game.


"It is what it is," he said. "Just keep dealing with situations that come up, move on."

As for Foerster, Gase said the team will announce its decision "in the next few days" on the new offensive line coach. It seems likely Chris Kuper, the assistant offensive line coach, would be promoted.

Gase said he isn't exactly sure how the video of Foerster, who was hired by the Dolphins in 2016, surfaced but he said he was "aware enough" and said he's not sure if Foerster was being blackmailed. Gase said he's known Foerster since 2008 and they last worked together in San Francisco in 2008.

"Any time you lose a really good coach it's not ideal," Gase said. "But we'll figure out a way, we'll show up next week, we'll do our thing."


Dolphins owner Steve Ross said he wants his players to stand for the national anthem and head coach Adam Gase has made it a rule that players must stand.

Three players -- wide receiver Kenny Stills, safety Michael Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas -- stayed in the locker room, or more likely the tunnel, and jogged onto the sideline after the national anthem before Sunday's home opener against Tennessee.


Regarding standing for the anthem, Gase said after the game: "It was a decision made that we were going to stand and guys who didn't want to stand, stayed back in the locker room."

When asked who made the decision, Gase replied, "I did."

Ross said President Trump has made kneeling during the national about patriotism instead of social injustice.

"He's changed that whole paradigm of what protest is," Ross said, "and I think it's incumbent upon the players today, because of how the public is looking at it, to really stand and really salute the flag."


Miami's offense remains a bit of a challenge. The Dolphins average about 10 points per game and head coach Adam Gase is still blaming most of the problems on the offensive line for both running and passing problems. But in the past week or so he's also blamed the running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.

Gase refuses to blame quarterback Jay Cutler, who has three touchdowns, three interceptions and a 74.8 passer rating that ranks 30th in the NFL. Gase said others are more blame for the offensive woes than Cutler.


"If guys would do their jobs, catch the ball, block the right guys, give the quarterback a chance to do something ... ," he said. "Jay's way down on the list of things going wrong."

NOTES: WR DeVante Parker has an ankle injury and his status for Sunday's game at Atlanta is questionable. Parker has 19 receptions for 236 yards (12.4 yards per reception) and one touchdown. ... RB Jay Ajayi is off to a slow start with 76 carries for 261 yards, 3.4 yards per carry. Ajayi, a Pro-Bowl selection last season after rushing for 1,272 yards, hasn't had many holes to run through so far this season. ... DE Andre Branch, who had 5.5 sacks last season, had 2.0 sacks against Tennessee while working against Pro-Bowl LT Taylor Lewan. Branch was good against both the run and pass. ... TE Anthony Fasano started against Tennessee, possibly replacing Julius Thomas, a favorite of head coach Adam Gase. Fasano, known mostly for his blocking skills, had one reception for no yards against the Titans. ... LB Rey Maualuga made his debut against Tennessee and ended with five tackles in a good performance. Maualuga, who played 31 snaps after being sidelined for three weeks by a hamstring injury, seemed to emerge from the game in good shape physically. ... DT Jordan Phillips (ankle) missed his third consecutive game due to injury. Rookie Davon Godchaux has started in his absence. ... CB Byron Maxwell was inactive for the second consecutive week. It's unclear whether Maxwell, who had been battling a hamstring injury last week, was inactive for performance or health reasons. Maxwell lost his starting job to rookie Cordrea Tankersley last week. ... K Cody Parkey missed his second extra point of the season against Tennessee. Parkey is 1 of 3 on extra points this season.



--PASSING OFFENSE: D - QB Jay Cutler (12-26, 92 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 52.1 passer rating) was bad. Again. The line wasn't great although they only allowed one sack. Cutler was often on the run. The wide receivers and tight ends weren't good either. Head coach Adam Gase said they had five dropped passes. Miami had a passing TD - Cutler to Jarvis Landry - but the passing game overall is a huge challenge.

--RUSHING OFFENSE: D - RB Jay Ajayi (25 carries, 77 yards, 3.1 yards per carry) didn't really mount a threat. And it's tough to blame him because he didn't have many holes. The line continues to be a work in progress in run blocking, robbing the Dolphins of perhaps their best offensive asset, which is a hard-charging Ajayi.

--PASS DEFENSE: A - Miami had six sacks, led by DE Andre Branch (2.0 sacks). The pass rush was relentless, and the pass coverage was decent. Rookie CB Cordrea Tankersley did OK in his second start, and SLB Lawrence Timmons, playing his second game, again helped in the nickel package. Titans QB Matt Cassel ended 21 of 32 for 141 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and an 85.5 passer rating.


--RUSH DEFENSE: A - Miami only allowed 69 yards rushing, led by DeMarco Murray's 58 yards on 14 carries (4.1 yards per carry). The Dolphins choked off running as a viable option for the Titans and then teed off on Cassel in passing situations. But it all stemmed from the ability to stop the run, which Miami has been doing very well this season.

--SPECIAL TEAMS: C - K Cody Parkey missed his second extra point of the season. That's not good. Punt-return duties were shared between WRs Jarvis Landry and Jakeem Grant. P Matt Haack was a star, averaging 49.4 yards per punt on nine punts.

--COACHING: C - Head coach Adam Gase still hasn't found a way to get his offense going. Defensive coordinator Matt Burke has done a nice job with the defense, but special teams coach Darren Rizzi is facing a challenge with K Cody Parkey and Gase is facing a challenge by getting his team to average more than 10 points per game.

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