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Bushrod And Gase Are Reunited Again

Posted Apr 5, 2017

Bushrod started all 16 games at right guard for the Dolphins in 2016, plus the playoff game at Pittsburgh, and Gase sees no reason the longtime left tackle can’t build off that season with a full year of experience at right guard.

Adam Gase and Jermon Bushrod will be together for a third consecutive season in 2017 after the veteran offensive lineman re-signed with the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent.

Bushrod scored big points with his head coach last season when he switched to a new position and responded to the move with a solid performance, one that Gase indicated was not properly appreciated from the outside.

Gase sees no reason the longtime left tackle can’t build off that season with a full year of experience at right guard.

“He rated out second-highest on our offensive line,” Gase pointed out. “He played pretty good for us. For a guy that it’s first time he ever played right guard — he played left tackle his whole career — I thought he did a pretty good job. We’re looking to get better from last year because he’s coming in knowing what to do. We can actually treat him like a veteran player. He had to take a lot of reps last year. For a guy that was 32 years old, he was averaging about three or four less reps a day than (Laremy) Tunsil, who is 10 years younger. He was taking a lot of reps.

“This year, hopefully the fact that he’s played that position is going to help us because now we’ll be able to get him into the game to where he’ll be able to take less reps during the week and know what to do mentally. That’s the hardest thing. When you move from the left side to the right side, it really does mess with your head a little bit because it’s a completely different vantage point. I think this is going to be a chance for us to get better at that position.”

Bushrod started all 16 games at right guard for the Dolphins in 2016, plus the playoff game at Pittsburgh.

With Tunsil moving from left guard to left tackle in 2017, the Dolphins have an opening at that spot, but Gase indicated a preference to keep Bushrod on the right side.

The bottom line is Gase is happy to again have Bushrod, who first played for him in Chicago in 2015.

Because he’s been in the league for 10 seasons and because he considered retirement before signing with the Dolphins last offseason, there obviously was some thought that perhaps this would be it for Bushrod, but Gase said he had a pretty good feeling in January that Bushrod wanted to keep playing.

“He waited about a week after the season to come talk to me and I could tell that he wasn’t going to retire,” Gase said. “I told him I would like him to think about it for a month before he made a decision because I knew he had just watched … he was talking about the Pittsburgh-Kansas City playoff game. And I (thought), ‘He still wants to do it. I can tell.’ Just the way he was talking about everything.

“So he waited and then I saw him and I said, ‘You want to go another round, don’t you?’ He goes, ‘Absolutely.’ So after that, it was just kind of seeing where everything fell into place. What you do is, when you go into free agency, you kind of stack your free agents with everybody else and see where your guys stack up. He fit into what we wanted to do.”

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