So here’s how the Dolphins envision their third-down pass rush in 2016:
Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Ndamukong Suh and Andre Branch.
It’s not clear who will play where -- that remains to be determined -- but the sub-package defensive line will be some variation of that foursome.
That’s according to Branch, who signed a one-year, $3 million contact with the Dolphins earlier this week.
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“I had about seven other offers,” Branch said. “I think the Dolphins were the right place fo rme. The coaching staff is full of energy. I can learn from Mario Williams, Cam Wake and Suh. I'm just ready for a new start and get this thing rolling.”
Branch is particularly solid against the run, but took issue with those who think he can’t rush the passer at a high level. The 6-5, 265-pounder has 14 career sacks, including four a year ago.
“That's what someone said?” Branch said incredulously. “That's not what the coaching staff told me. I think pass rush is a strength of mine.”
Jim Washburn will be among the Dolphins coaches hoping to maximize that strength. The Dolphins on Friday announced that Washburn will be their new senior defensive assistant/pass rush specialist under coordinator Vance Joseph.
Washburn joins his son, Jeremiah, on the Dolphins’ coaching staff. The Dolphins named Jeremiah Washburn as their assistant offensive line back weeks back.
Jim Washburn has 17 years of coaching experience, including two with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in Detroit before Suh signed with the Dolphins in 2015.
The senior Washburn has coached five other defensive linemen to Pro Bowl seasons: Jason Babin, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Kevin Carter, Albert Haynesworth and Jevon Kearse.