Miami Dolphins

‘Heartbroken’ Dolphins players defend Foerster, call him ‘a great man’

Jermon Bushrod, right, gave full-throated support to his now former offensive line coach Wednesday.
Jermon Bushrod, right, gave full-throated support to his now former offensive line coach Wednesday. BCereijo@MiamiHerald.com

Chris Foerster is a pariah most everywhere outside team property (and in most parts of Dolphins HQ, too), thanks to the line-snorting video he sent to a California-based model.

But within the team’s locker room, Foerster is still viewed by some as “a great man.”

“I was heartbroken over it because you never want to see your guy going through something like this and that's why we all have his back in here,” said Dolphins guard Jermon Bushrod. “And we just want him to get better. That's the only thing that means something to us right now.”

Added right tackle Ja’Wuan James: “It was definitely shocking. ... All I know is as a football coach and as a man, he was a great guy and a great leader.”

Foerster resigned Monday morning, just hours after Kijuana Nige, a woman with whom he was involved romantically, posted a 56-second video that probably ended his career.

Foerster was seen snorting three lines of white powder in what most believe was his Dolphins office before heading to a meeting. (Nige said on the Dan Le Batard Show Wednesday that the video was from last week.)

Presumably, James and Bushrod were in that meeting, but both insisted they never suspected Foerster was under the influence of drugs.

“He was always on top of it, always shot you straight as a coach,” Bushrod said. “That's one thing I really appreciated about him. When he was in meetings, he went to bat for us and the thing is he worked with us and if you weren't getting the job, he would let you know. if you were getting the job done, he would let you know and figure out ways you can continue to be the best player you be. “

James said he hopes Foerster, a football lifer, will someday coach again. But Bushrod knew that was unlikely.

“Such a great coaching career but it's something that's in the past now,” Bushrod said. “The only thing he can do to get better from it and to get the help that he needs so he can get back on the right track. He's been coaching for a long time and this is something I know he wishes never got out there.”

With Foerster gone, assistant offensive line coach Chris Kuper was in charge of the unit at practice Wednesday. Dave DeGuglielmo, who coached the Dolphins’ line from 2009-11, will help too. He officially rejoined the team Wednesday as a senior offensive assistant.

Gase obviously was not here during DeGuglielmo’s first stint in Miami, and only got to know him in the last couple of months.

Along with hiring Foerster’s replacement on the coaching staff, Gase has spent the week putting out fires, including a new one Nige sparked Wednesday when she went on the radio.

Gase was asked later Wednesday if he believed Foerster’s apparent drug problem was limited to just him.

Gase’s response: “To me, it was an isolated incident. Really, that's the best answer I can give you. A lot of people are just a little surprised.”

When Gase met with reporters Monday, he had not yet spoken with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross about the organization’s latest embarrassing episode.

Ross and Gase have since met, discussing “a lot of different things that have happened over the last month and just kind of game-planning going forward, kind of how we want to handle things on the field, off the field.”

Was Ross angry or disappointed in the latest scandal?

“I think he was just making sure I was good and the staff was good and players, where they were at with a lot of things,” Gase responded. “The thing that’s kind of the steps that we’re taking is we win the game and the fact that guys are disappointed because they want to do better, they want to make sure that we’re making strides to where the deeper the season goes, we get better. I think he likes seeing the fact that guys aren’t satisfied with just winning a game. They want to make sure that we’re getting better each week.”

Gase declined to say if the NFL would have a disciplinary role in the Foerster situation.

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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