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Joe Philbin plans to add athleticism to Dolphins' line

One of Joe Philbin's first projects as coach of the Miami Dolphins begins in the trenches.

In the Tony Sparano era, the Dolphins thought big on the offensive line, preferring size over speed.

Philbin is now tasked with transitioning the line to match what he wants to do with the ball. Athleticism is favored over brawn in the zone-blocking schemes of the West Coast offense.

“We need to get a handle on what these guys do well,” Philbin said of his current offensive line, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “What areas they need to improve upon and hopefully we can add to the mix a little bit, provide a little more competition and improve.”

A new philosophy meant saying goodbye to old faces. Marc Colombo and Vernon Carey weren't re-signed, and the team steered clear of bringing in veterans to fill their roles.

That could mean Miami will use the draft to get younger and more athletic along the line.

One inherited player who does fit Philbin's plan is center Mike Pouncey. Philbin praised the work Pouncey did as a rookie.

“Again, that’s a critical position in our offense so he’s going to have a lot of responsibility in terms of the blocking schemes,” Philbin said. “Richie Incognito is a guy that did some good things. (John) Jerry we’ve had. The rest of the interior isn’t quite as settled but Richie played well. The right guard position is kind of open at this point in time. We’ll see how it shakes out.”

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