The Miami Dolphins named Jim Turner as their offensive line coach, and announced that defensive quality control coach David Corrao, assistant special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, assistant strength coach Dave Puloka, and defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers will continue in their respective position under new head coach Joe Philbin’s staff for the 2012 campaign Thursday via press release.
The Dolphins look to improve as a competitive winning team, especially in the AFC East. With the right coaches on the Dolphins’ staff to support Philbin, as a first year head coach in the NFL, leaders like Turner will institute a foundation, which will be displayed on the field by the players sooner rather than later.
Turner joined the Dolphins staff after spending the previous four seasons, in the same position, at Texas A&M under Mike Sherman. While at Texas A&M, Turner molded one of the best offensive lines in college football. In 2011, his group led the nation in fewest sacks allowed as the Aggie line surrendered only eight over the course of a 12-game regular season. The offensive line also paved the way for the Aggies to boast the nation’s 21st-ranked rushing attack. Turner worked with the Boston College staff as offensive line coach in 2007.
Prior to his stop in Chestnut Hill, Turner served two years (2005-06) as the offensive line coach at the University of Delaware. In the 2006 season, Turner added the title of assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Fightin’ Blue Hens.
Turner’s background includes stops at Temple in 2003-04 as the offensive line coach as well as three years (2000-02) at Cambridge, Massachusetts, as the offensive line and run game coordinator for Harvard. In 2001, the Crimson posted an undefeated 9-0 record and won the Ivy League crown. The 2000 Crimson offense broke 17 school offensive records. Turner spent one season in Ruston, Louisiana, as the offensive line coach for Louisiana Tech in 1999.
From 1994 through 1998, Turner coached at Northeastern University in Boston working with the offensive line and tight ends in 1994-95, before switching to running backs and special teams in 1996, and ending his tenure there as the defensive line and special teams coach in 1997 and 1998.
Corrao is entering his fifth season as both an NFL assistant and a member of the Dolphins’ coaching staff in 2012. He currently assists the defensive staff in all facets of game preparation including breaking down opposing offenses, identifying specific formations and the use various personnel groupings by opponents. Corrao joined the Dolphins after coaching the linebackers at the University of Mississippi in 2007.
Corrao served as a defensive graduate assistant coach at Ole Miss the previous two years (2005-06), when he worked with San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis, who was named the 2007 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. Prior to joining the Ole Miss staff, Corrao tutored the tight ends at Northeastern University in 2004. After several years coaching in the high school ranks, he served as a graduate assistant at Syracuse University from 2000-03.
Fipp returns for his second season with the Dolphins after being named assistant special teams coach on Jan. 26, 2011. The special teams units, headed by kicker Dan Carpenter and punter Brandon Fields, showed the biggest improvement in the NFL from 2010 to 2011, according to the annual special teams report compiled by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News.
The improvement witness the Dolphins jumping from their 2010 ranking of 24th in the NFL to second in 2011, the 22 place advancement was aided by Carpenter’s 13 of 16 in field goals from 40 yards and beyond and Fields’ net punting average of 41.1 yards, finishing just behind the special teams units of the San Francisco 49ers. The annual analysis compiled by Gosselin is widely thought of as the most accurate assessment of the NFL’s special teams as it judges 22 elements of the kicking game and ranks them from 1 to 32, with the lowest scoring unit accounting for the best score. In 2011, the Dolphins ranked in the top 10 in 14 of those categories.
Fipp originally joined Miami after spending three seasons (2008-10) with the San Francisco 49ers as their assistant special teams coach. He played a substantial role in taking the 49ers special teams unit to new heights. In 2009, punter Andy Lee earned his second Pro Bowl selection after ranking second in the NFL in gross punting average (47.6) and net punting average (41.0). Known as a special team’s ace, running back Michael Robinson was named a Pro Bowl alternate as a specialist for his work in all phases of special teams, marking the second consecutive season he had earned the recognition.
Prior to joining the 49ers, Fipp worked with the San Jose State Spartans for three seasons. He served as defensive coordinator during his final year and previously held the title of co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach for the Spartans.
Similar to Corrao, Puloka will begin his fifth season as a member of the Dolphins’ coaching staff. He joined to the club after spending the 2007 season as the assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Atlanta Falcons, his first year in the NFL. Prior to embarking on his NFL stint, Puloka held the same post at the University of Virginia from 2005-06.
Puloka lettered in football and track at Holy Cross College (1997-2000), where he played defensive end and earned his degree in psychology. His career totals in football included 19 sacks. In football, he served as team captain each of his final two years when he was a first-team All-Patriot League and All- New England performer both times. Following his collegiate career, he went to training camp with Cincinnati as an undrafted college free agent in 2001.
Before joining the Dolphins five years ago, Rodgers was with the Dallas Cowboys, the final three of which he tutored that team’s defensive line. In 2011, the defensive line was the model of consistency as it anchored a defense that finished No. 3 in the NFL against the run. Due to the development of nose tackle Paul Soliai, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl, coupled with 2010 Pro Bowl selectees in Randy Starks, defensive ends Kendall Langford and Tony McDaniel and the second year defensive end Jared Odrick, the Dolphins defensive line has steadily improved. Quietly, the Dolphins have developed into one of the deepest and most talented defensive fronts in the NFL.
Rodgers spent his first two years with the Cowboys (2003-04) coaching the defensive tackles. Under Rodgers, defensive tackle La’Roi Glover was selected to the Pro Bowl each year from 2003-05. In four of Rodgers’ five seasons with Dallas, the team ranked in the top ten against the rush, including finishing sixth in 2007 when they allowed an average of just 94.6 yards rushing per game. Rodgers unit also finished No. 7 in rush defense in 2010 and third in rush per carry with 3.6 yard average.