Dolphins add former Chiefs OL coach Jack Bicknell Jr. to coaching staff as assistant
“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 coach Joe Philbin announced on Saturday. "They are both excellent teachers and are highly respected within the coaching community. Both coaches will be great assets to the Miami Dolphins organization."
Bicknell is coming off a rocky year in Pittsburgh, even though the team put up an 11-5 record last season. The Steelers offensive line dealt with problems early in the 2013 season (including the loss of center Mike Pouncey due knee issues) but they still finished strong. However, there were rumors circulating that Bicknell did not have complete supervision of the offensive unit on a day-to-day basis towards the end of the season, and Steelers assistant coach Sean Sarrett had taken over a number of those responsibilities.
After Bicknell was fired by the Steelers in early January, Sarrett was interviewed for the position. But the Steelers demanded more experience from the guy on their coaching staff who will be responsible for the offensive side of their game in 2014, and thus opted to hire Mike Munchak However, Sarrett was also retained by the Steelers.
Bicknell previously also served as an assistant offensive line coach for the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Giants.
Meanwhile, Benton’s climb up the ladder, since initially being hired by the Dolphins as an assistant coach on January 29, hasn’t been surprising. The Dolphins acted swiftly in naming their new offensive line coach after Jim Turner was fired as fallout of the Ted Wells report that investigated the bullying culture in Miami.
Benton had been the Houston Texans’ offensive line coach for the past eight seasons.
Bickenll and Bicknell have a challenging task ahead this offseason, having to build an offensive line nearly from scratch and Dolphins expected to feature five new starters along the line to open the season. Jonathan Martin seems to have no interest in returning to Miami, after claiming mistreatment and bullying at the hands of his teammates. Richie Incognito and John Jerry, were implicated to have big roles in the bullying scandal, are free agents and also not expected to return. Pouncey may be suspended for his role in the bullying of Martin. Offensive tackle Tyson Clabo, who started 15 games at the right side of the line in 2013, is also a free agent.
Even though creating a solid offensive line with a lot of new faces in 2014 will be a big challenge for the team, it’s one they will have to embrace. The Dolphins finished with the league most 58 sacks allowed last season.