The Miami Dolphins have filled out its coaching staff by hiring John Benton to serve as the team's assistant offensive line coach.
Benton spent the previous eight seasons coaching the Houston Texans, which arguably featured one of the best offensive lines in the NFL the past couple of seasons. His hiring was first reported by Fox Sports, but has been confirmed by the Sun-Sentinel.
Benton was seeking work because Gary Kubiak's staff wasn't retained in Houston by Bill O'Brien.
He replaces Chris Mosley, who decided to leave the team at midseason in what was described by sources as a mutual agreement. However, the team claims Mosley's resignation had nothing to do with the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito bullying saga, which led to an independent investigation the NFL will produce a report on in the coming weeks.
Benton will work alongside Jim Turner, who is entering his third season as the Dolphins' offensive line coach. They will be responsible for improving a unit that allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks in 2013, and only features one returning starter (Mike Pouncey) presently under contract.
During his tenure in Houston Benton's offensive lines set franchise records for total offense each year from 2008-10 and has registered the top three rushing seasons in franchise history from 2010-12, including franchise rushing records in 2010 and 2011.
Last season the Texans (2-14) drastically dropped off in all statistical categories, including rushing. Houston gained 1,743 rushing yards, averaged 4.2 yards per carry, and scored just seven rushing touchdowns with Ben Tate and Arian Foster as the team's leading rushers.
The Texans offensive line, which featured a zone blocking scheme the Dolphins have failed to utilize effectively the past two seasons, allowed 42 sacks in 2013. That's a significant increase in sacks considering Benton's units allowed 28 in 2012, 33 in 2011, 32 in 2010, 25 in 2009 and 32 in 2008 with Matt Schaub as Houston's primary quarterback.
Before joining the Texans staff Benton spent two seasons as the St. Louis Rams offensive line coach. This will be his first season working with head coach Joe Philbin.
Benton becomes Miami's third new coach. So far this offseason Philbin have replaced Mike Sherman, his former mentor, with Bill Lazor as the team's offensive coordinator. And Mark Duffner has become the team's new linebacker coach, replacing George Edwards, who was named the Minnesota Vikings' defensive coordinator last week.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun