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In 3rd stint with Dolphins, OL coach deals with another mess

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

By STEVEN WINE

AP Sports Writer

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) As part of rookie coach Brian Flores' staff, offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo is trying to clean up a mess for the Miami Dolphins, which is nothing new.

DeGuglielmo also was a Dolphins assistant in 2009-11, and for the last part of 2017.

"I really like it here," he said Tuesday. "I'm like a stray dog - they keep feeding me, I keep coming back."

The previous Dolphins teams DeGuglielmo worked for all finished below .500, and that's where Miami is likely headed in 2019, largely because perennial issues persist in the offensive line.

Doubts about the Dolphins' ability to block were compounded when they traded their best lineman, Laremy Tunsil, to the Houston Texans on Saturday in a deal that netted rebuilding Miami mostly draft picks.

"He's a tremendous athlete and a special player," DeGuglielmo said. "But if he had sprained an ankle, it would be the same situation. We'll just keep working. We have a lot of good guys who are working hard right now to fit in to wherever they need to fit in."

With the season opener against Baltimore five days away, DeGuglielmo acknowledged he doesn't know who will play where.

But he has been in emergency mode before with Miami. He joined coach Adam Gase's staff in October 2017 after offensive line coach Chris Foerster resigned when a video surfaced that appeared to show Foerster snorting a white powder while sweet-talking a Las Vegas model.

In 2018, DeGuglielmo was offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Then Flores hired him as an analyst.

"Brian called me and asked me if I'd come down and help him out, since I was sitting at home in Carmel, Indiana, watching `Big Valley' every day at 2 o'clock," DeGuglielmo said.

The job involved video research for the defense. But four days into training camp, Flores fired offensive line coach Pat Flaherty and replaced him with DeGuglielmo, who says the change wasn't a big deal for him.

"This is what my field is - blocking people," DeGuglielmo said.

New offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea worked with DeGuglielmo when both were assistants for the New England Patriots in 2014-15.

"Guge works extremely hard and brings out the best in his players," O'Shea said.

This year, the Dolphins' best still might not be very good. They started two rookie guards, including undrafted Shaq Calhoun, during the exhibition season. Three linemen acquired last weekend could enter the mix, among them Julien Davenport, who was obtained in the Tunsil trade and could be the new starter at left tackle. The right tackle job is up for grabs too.

"We're playing around with different combinations," DeGuglielmo said. "It's a work in progress. We have some interesting parts that have come into the building, and that's part of the process. It takes time to find the right combination."

The season begins Sunday.

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Updated September 3, 2019

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