DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The final open coaching position on the Miami Dolphins’ coaching staff has finally been filled by head coach Joe Philbin.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel the Dolphins have hired former Houston Texans coach John Benton to be the team’s new assistant offensive line coach. The Texans didn’t retain Benton after hiring new head coach Bill O’Brien.
Benton has quite a job in front of him based on last year’s Dolphins offensive line. The Dolphins gave up 58 sacks of quarterback Ryan Tannehill last season, a franchise record. The Dolphins’ running game also struggled throughout the year, managing just 3.1 yards per attempt and just 8 rushing touchdowns.
What could help Benton is that outside of center Mike Pouncey, each player along the offensive line may be new next season. The team has lost left guard Richie Incognito, will likely cut ties with right tackle Jonathan Martin, and right guard John Jerry has not improved as expected.
The Dolphins made it through the season with Bryant McKinnie at left tackle, but he’s in the twilight of his career and the team will likely invest at least one early draft pick on a top offensive tackle. The Fins are also expected to hit free agency hard looking for free agent help.
Miami should have around $30 million in cap space to deal with its own free agents and sign more players. The cap space could be higher depending on whether the team reworks a few contracts, like Mike Wallace’s, or gets rid of overpaid players like both linebackers from last season.