After the firing of offensive line coach Jim Turner as a result of the Dolphins’ bullying scandal, the team has promoted John Benton to offensive line coach, and Jack Bicknell Jr. has been named assistant offensive line coach.
“With the promotion of John Benton, along with the addition of Jack Bicknell Jr. we have two experienced football coaches who have an impressive history working with and developing quality offensive line units,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said in a statement. “They are both excellent teachers and are highly respected within the coaching community. Both coaches will be great assets to the Miami Dolphins organization.”
Benton was initially hired to work under Turner as assistant offensive line coach on January 29, but he will now be the primary offensive line coach as a result of Turner’s firing. Benton has been the Texans’ offensive line coach for the last eight years.
Bicknell spent the 2013 season as the offensive line coach for the Steelers but was fired at the end of the season. He was previously an assistant for the Chiefs and Giants.
Benton and Bicknell may have to build an offensive line virtually from scratch, as the Dolphins may open the season with five new starters. Jonathan Martin, who left the team last year after he was mistreated by teammates, does not want to return to Miami. Richie Incognito and John Jerry, two of the players implicated in the bullying of Martin, are free agents who are not expected to return. Center Mike Pouncey may be suspended for his own role in the bullying of Martin. And Tyson Clabo, who started 15 games at right tackle last season, is also a free agent.
Philbin had better be right that Benton and Bicknell are excellent teachers because the Dolphins will have to create a cohesive line with a lot of new players.
Photo via MiamiDolphins.com.