Dolphins fire OC Sherman; HC Philbin is 'definitely safe'

1/6/14 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

After spending out the wazoo in 2013 free agency, the Miami Dolphins finished the season with a record of 8-8, failing to make the playoffs despite some relatively high expectations. Their defense was solid, ranking eighth in scoring, but their 26th-ranked offense was a massive disappointment. With quarterback Ryan Tannehill entering his second year, a promising young running back in Lamar Miller, and two freshly signed receivers in Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, the offense was expected to be at least middle-of-the-pack, but as the ranking suggests, it was not.

The Dolphins' offense simply lacked creativity, as they failed to find ways to get the ball out of Tannehill's hands quickly, did not get the ball to Miller enough, and could not often enough find ways to get pricey free agent Wallace the ball in space. As a result, the team has fired offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.

Blog Photo - Dolphins fire OC Sherman; HC Philbin is 'definitely safe'Sherman was given a tough task when general manager Jeff Ireland decided to let left tackle Jake Long leave as a free agent, and then did not address the position. The Dolphins' offensive line was a mess (especially once they lost Richie Incognito), as Tannehill was sacked a league-high 58 times. However, a good offensive coordinator can find ways to mask poor pass blocking (look at what Bruce Arians did in Arizona this year), and Sherman failed to do that.

Head coach Joe Philbin, of course, also comes from an offensive background, so the Dolphins' struggles on that side of the ball had him on the hot seat, as well. Philbin, however, did not call the plays for the Dolphins - Sherman did - and that is part of why Philbin was asked to fire his offensive coordinator. As for Philbin's job security, the Miami Herald has reported that he is "definitely safe," and he will return for a third season after going 15-17 over his first two campaigns.

The Dolphins are already rumored to be interested in Ben McAdoo for their now-vacant offensive coordinator position. McAdoo is currently the quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers. Bringing in a creative offensive mind should be at the top of the Dolphins' priority list, and the team probably has enough talent to get the offense turned around in 2014 with improved game planning and play calling.

It is also worth noting that GM Ireland's job security "has yet to be cemented by the team." Ownership is likely upset with a 2013 shopping spree that did not result in a playoff berth.
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