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Dolphins OC Mike Sherman fired

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MIAMI (AP) - Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was fired Monday, the first change by the team since missing the playoffs because of a late-season collapse.

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Coach Joe Philbin defended Sherman the day after the season, but owner Stephen Ross was expected to demand some sort of shakeup 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 Sherman's unit ranked 27th this season 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.

Sherman was Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill's coach at Texas A&M. Tannehill won the starting job in training camp as a rookie in 2012 and showed considerable progress this year until the final two games, when he played poorly.

Sherman's play-calling came into question because of the team's pass-run imbalance. Miami passed the ball 65 percent of the time, third-highest in the NFL, and had games where they rushed for 2, 14, 20 and 22 yards.

Philbin announced the firing in a brief statement and thanked Sherman for his contributions.

''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.''

The Dolphins have missed the playoffs five years in a row and haven't won a postseason game since 2000. Philbin is 15-17 in his first head-coaching job.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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