The Dolphins offensive line was a black mark for the team on and off the field last season, leading to a league-high 58 sacks allowed and an overhaul of the unit that included the departure of offensive line coach Jim Turner.
Miami hired John Benton to replace Turner and help fix the problems that plagued the unit last season. On the field, Benton says that he hasn’t looked back at the tape of last season because there are so many new faces on the roster and “our scheme’s different now.”
As for the issues in the locker room, three of the players featured most prominently in Ted Wells’ report on locker room harassment — Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito and John Jerry — are no longer on the team. For those players that remain, Benton says they’ve been informed in no uncertain terms that respect for each other is something that the organization is stressing.
“It’s been flat out said. Other than that, it’s just an attitude,” Benton said, via the Miami Herald. “Obviously, I wasn’t here before. I don’t know if it’s been any different or what it is from what it was before. But it’s stressed around here, consistently, in actions and in words.”
Given all of the attention that has been and will be paid to life in the locker room, Benton’s bigger issue may be getting an offensive line with four new starters, two of whom could be rookies, playing as a cohesive unit by the start of the season. Pulling that off would have great benefits for both the Dolphins offense and the team’s ability to put distance between themselves and 2013.