MIAMI (AP) — A punchless offense in the final two games kept the Miami Dolphins out of the postseason, and they'll have a new play-caller in 2014.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was fired Monday, the first change by the team since the holiday collapse. Coach Joe Philbin defended Sherman the day after the season, but owner Stephen Ross was expected to demand some sort of shake-up following the dismal finish.
Sherman joined the Dolphins when Philbin was hired two years ago, and the two have been close for more than 30 years. But this season Sherman's unit ranked 27th in the NFL in yards, allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks and scored once in its final 24 possessions.
The Dolphins (8-8) would have made the playoffs if they had won one of their final two games against the Bills and Jets. Instead, they were beaten by a combined score of 39-7.
Other changes in Philbin's staff are possible, and offensive line coach Jim Turner's status remains in doubt. The line was the focus of a bullying scandal that mushroomed at midseason and left the Dolphins without two starters, and the NFL has yet to release a report on its investigation into the case.
Philbin thanked Sherman for his contributions in a brief statement announcing the firing.
"Mike has been a mentor to me throughout my coaching career, dating back to 1979," Philbin said. "He is a man of great integrity, dedicated to his family, his team, his players and his profession. On behalf of the entire Miami Dolphins organization I want to wish Mike and his family the very best in the future."