« The NFL's starting QBs ranked No. 1-32 | Main | Dion Jordan's debut vs. Cleveland »

Whole must be better than parts for Dolphins OL

I'm talking with a Dolphins person earlier this week and this person tells me there's only one area on the team to worry about because it can wreck the season.

Tight end, I guess because Dustin Keller's injury really, really hurt this team.


The secondary, I guess because I'm not sure about Dimitri Patterson, the rookies (Will Davis and Jamar Taylor are injured) and Nolan Carroll is, well, Nolan Carroll.


The running game, I guess because Lamar Miller is mostly an unknown, Daniel Thomas is average on good days, and the offensive line is still coming together.

You're close.

The offensive line.

And then I hear how the line is still an issue and if it remains an issue, there goes the running game, there goes the deep passes to Mike Wallace, and there goes Ryan Tannehill.

One unit affecting everything on offense.

And not in a positive manner.

So that got me thinking -- which is rare and never good. What is it about this offensive line? Is it truly an issue? Is it a team weakness? Is it bound to be the reason the Dolphins offense struggles?

There is evidence that suggests there's reason for concern.

First there's what offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said this week:

"I still think it is a work in progress," he said of the line. "John (Jerry) is coming off of an injury. Getting him back into the fold is going to be huge. He’s been out for a little bit, but I’m excited about having him back. We certainly needed him back. I’m anxious for him to get more comfortable in there with the other guys and get more used to what we are doing."

Think about this. We are three days from the regular-season opener and the offensive line is still a work in progress? Pardon me for being old school, but the preseason and training camp was the alloted time for doing the work and progressing.

The regular season is here. It's time to roll.

Also this: John Jerry is the saviour of this line?

John Jerry is an average NFL guard. He's not Larry Allen. The fact the Dolphins are seriously counting on him to be healthy, well-conditioned, and then play at a high level without many missed assignments tells me there's a lot of wishful thinking going on.

Jerry is not in great shape yet. Yes, Sherman said Jerry inexplicably lost weight during his five weeks of knee rehab, but I don't imagine him being slimmer is the reason coaches identified him as the only starter on the entire team that needed to play in the fifth and final preseason game.

So what is it about this offensive line that worries?

Well, it's simple. This line today seems to have solid parts (assuming Jerry gets up to speed). The individuals are good. But as a line has to play as a unit -- with one heartbeat and soul and purpose -- the Dolphins offensive line seems lacking because the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

And what you need is for the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Consider that, again, the parts range from excellent to solid.

At left tackle Jonathan Martin has come miles from the first eight days of training camp when he struggled as Miami's new fulltime left tackle. He was beaten like a drum by Olivier Vernon that first week. Since then, he's played very well in preseason and been a non-issue. He may not be the beast Jake Long was when healthy. But he's good. Solid.

At left guard, Richie Incognito is a snarling bulldog that can push bigger men backward with his initial punch. That is great. He's smart. He knows all the tricks. He moves better than he's given credit for. Not an issue.

At center, Mike Pouncey is not quite elite yet. But he's darn close. He's excellent. He's smart. He studies the opposition. He moves very well. He's cleaned up his shotgun snaps. I'd say 90 percent of NFL would take him as their starting center.

At right guard, John Jerry is the saviour. Having him is "huge," Sherman said. I kid, obviously. But the truth is last year was a good season for Jerry. He emerged. So he has the talent to be solid.

At right tackle, Tyson Clabo is a consummate professional. He typically knows his assignments. He knows his opponents. He uses good technique. And with his experience and all the other factors, he can usually overcome what physical deficiencies he might have. It can be argued the Dolphins upgraded at right tackle to start this season over last season when they had Martin starting as a rookie.

So that's the rundown of the individuals. All good.

Yet as a group, there's still something missing. Something is still not quite right. It's still "a work in progress."

Last season, the Dolphins had a new starting right tackle, a new starting right guard and Jake Long was working to get his knee 100 percent during the latter stages of training camp. And the group played very well early in the season, anyway. The Dolphins had the NFL's second-ranked running game after two weeks in the regular season.

But here's the bad news: They got worse as the season wore on.

The running game went to No. 4 in Week 3 ...

No. 5 in Week 4 ...

No. 8 in Week 5 ...

No. 11 by Week 8 ...

No. 13 one week later ...

Then it jumped around in the upper teens until finishing the season at No. 17.

The line was getting worse results even as Long was still in the lineup and Martin and Jerry on the right side worked together longer.

The worse results also affected the passing game because the protection for Tannehill got worse. The Dolphins gave up 16 sacks the first half of the season -- only three the first three games. And 21 sacks the second half of the season, including 10 in the final three games.

None of this means the Miami line will get worse this year. I believe these individuals should be good enough to provide the offense with a good running game. I believe these individuals should be good enough to protect Ryan Tannehill and give the passing game a chance to succeed.

But these individuals must come together quickly. They must play better as a group.

The whole must be better than the sum of the parts.  




Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


If you are here,your username on Nfl is Truth86. Maybe this helps

Ellis. I agree about the OL. My questions for you is since when did a 3.6 ypc make a guy a stud RB? Last year L. Miller had 4.9 ypc avg. And if their Dline is great what does that make ours Elite?

Why does everyone think Incognito is a goner next year? It seems like I am the only one who would like him resigned
Posted by: Rdubs | September 05, 2013 at 08:22 PM

Do you imagine it may have a little something to do with Cogs entering 10th season 2014?

This is Starks 10th season. Rather than signing him to an extension, Ireland used the franchise tag on him. May do the same with Cogs if he becomes a pro bowler again. Same as with Starks becoming a pro bowler 2012.

If Cogs doesn't become a pro bower 2014, Ireland most likely lets him walk, unless he resigns on the very cheap. OG could be our 2014 1st rd pick.

Ellis....can't come up with a good argument against what your saying. Yes the Browns are improved but I think they are 6-8 games away from their best. Not that it will take their best to beat us if we turn the ball over. The only way we lose is if we can't run the ball. Which we may not be able to do. But that is the only reason. (Can't handicap turnovers!)

Dear Ryan Seacrest,
The next super bowl will be in New Jersey not new York

If one our og's go down, we'll quickly see if Danny Watkins is truly bust or just needed a change of scenery and better oline coach.

Fraud, Dashi is here, go find his ears and get lost, slimebag.


I think Incognito can play at a high level for 4 or 5 more years. He hasn't broken down yet and doesn't have a history of injuries and he is looking leaner than ever. I also like his instigator attitude. Now if he sucks this year, this all goes out the window. He just seems to be getting better every year

Incognito is more of a mauler and doesn't necessarily fit the zone-blocking scheme they are trying to implement.

That's the reason why I can see them going in another direction. If that winds up being the case, I would understand, but I just hope they have a better option/plan in place before just letting him go, since he is a quality starter.


I think we have the edge. But for perspective, tryi putting yourself in the Cleveland fans perspective. They see us as a sure win too. They are optimistic just like we are.

The question is how optimistic we are mid-season, for them and us.

Once more: go phuc yourself hard

Will be interesting to see if Watkins gets a chance. If any of our OLmen goes down we will have a bunch more problems then we currently have. That's putting it mildly.

This whole pregame/rain delay is kind of hotel-motel.

Incognito is more of a mauler and doesn't necessarily fit the zone-blocking scheme they are trying to implement.

Posted by: TheRyanFlaherty | September 05, 2013 at 08:37 PM

This is nothing but you succumbing to the media bs wagon. The regime has let go many players, they haven't let go Cogs or Jerry. Just because some website know nothing writer says these guys don't fit the scheme, doesn't mean they have A FREAKING CLUE. They are both here, that says everthing. Nobody outside the organization knows any better.

Actions speak louder than words.

You have to really be a sucker to support Ross and Ireland anymore. They're both just horrible football people.

When was the last time Ireland gave a player in his 30s a Multi-Year deal?

If Ireland learned something from his first 2 Seasons with the Fins is DON'T GIVE OLD PLAYERS LONG TERM DEALS. It Kills your salary cap.

Are the players afraid to get struck by lightning? That's unmanly.

Will be interesting to see if Watkins gets a chance. If any of our OLmen goes down we will have a bunch more problems then we currently have. That's putting it mildly.
Posted by: Progolf667

I've already seen the worst patchwork OL performance ever...It was Nov, 18 2010 vs. the Chicago Bears.
After witnessing that anything will seem better in comparison....For the rest of time.


OG's and DT's in particular are usually in decline after the 10th season. These 2 positions are the real trenches where the real collisions happen, play after play, after play.

Extremely rarely do you see these to positions play at very high levels past their 10th season. When you do, thy are special, special players that come along once in a decade.


I ain't goin away pal. I will haunt you until you disappear. I'm waiting for just the right moment to post your highlights...and I will post them 100 times.

You haven't got a chance. Even the low class and 3rd world bloggers will be embarassed to talk to you.

Enjoy the season :)

The first 5 games have the potential to either make or break the season. At 2-3 it will still be up in the air. At 3-2 we have solid hope. Anything less then 2-3 and we're toast! Of the first five this is the most logical win. But it isn't the end. We could still get to 2-3. Less likely but possible.

I think some of you guys are nervous and a bit scared of the Brownies and it's really not called for at all. I don't see any overwhelming evidence or comparisons in their favor. Does their coach have any solid experience being a HC? Not sure where all the praise is coming from for him.

The Dolphin season was over BEFORE Keller got injured. Now its just going thru the motions.

YG/Buzz and his lesbian friends,

Maybe you wouldn't be so obsessed with someone else's load, If you had your own to Shoot.

I know it drives you crazy when you Suck and don't know when to Swallow. To us Load shooters not so much. We just have to worry about Grabbing your Ears and hope you don't spill it everywhere.

P.S.- Don't forget to sit on the Unicorns Back, Not His Face You FF.


The vegas line has us a 1 pt favorite, basically pickem. That is the objective view, not the finfan view.

This is nothing but you succumbing to the media bs wagon.

Yup, because I love to parrot others, and it would have no bearing on my own intellect and lifetime spent around the game.

If there is a more jaded, degenerate group of fucktards on the internet I'd love to see it, because it must be glorious in it's douchebaggery.

Reasonable discourse would be wonderful, But you know, you can continue to cast aspersions....Stay Class Dolphins Blog.

Probably that's the only thing JI knows not paying veterans. To long term deals. Plus it's not JI that controls salary cap is that woman don't know her name but she is consider in the future to become a GM. That's crazy. I think she right now is better than JI.
S h I t. I believe you Dashi are better than JI!!

Gee, can't say it is a suprise that daShe bonds with FraudPhucYuSMFPriceMaster the ear puller.

Rym....we've been talking about Ireland for a couple of years. It's not up to us to project his status. He's already done everything in his power to make a determination. Now we sit back and see if he's crowned or shown the door. I've never been an Ireland fan but I do hope he proves me wrong! Can't take many more years of this mediocrity. Who knows I once again may become a Lions fan. They lost me initially for the same reasons the 'Phins have shown.


Don't understand why so many say 1st 5 gms. With the tough schedule we need to sweep the Bills/Jets, beat Panthers, Colts, Bucs, and Browns just to finish 8-8.

Then we must beat 2 of the 8 teams on our schedule that are definitely better than us, just to go 10-6 with a wildcard berth. A loss to any of these teams:

Bills/Jets, Panthers, Colts, Bucs, and Browns.

And we can kiss playoffs bye-bye. We're not going to sweep the Pats and I don't believe we go 3-3 with the proven good teams on our schedule.


Your assessment that Cogs doesn't fit Philbins scheme is based on what?

1. Your extensive NFL coaching resume
2. Your expert knowledge based on website writers paid to come up with a story of the day.
3. Your gassy butthole


No need to respond, the answer is obvious


Dawn is supposedly in the running for the Mike Dee Job.

Ireland learned that when Parcells went FA Bust Crazy back in 08. Smiley, Wilford, a couple junk LBs, more Old Garbage Linemen.

Heck, Ireland just got out of Cap Hell from all that overspending.

And Dawn was here also when the Fins went FA Crazy.

So to think she is solely responsible for our cap situation is wrong. Ireland also had to do with the Fins budgeting the Roster. Adjusting where the Big Money goes on the Roster.


The scroll buttons works great for Dashi's. Why haven't I thought of that before............... LOL

daShe dreams of daHe

Ellis you sound stupid.
NFL NETWORK is telling everyone to bench Josh Gordon on fantasy.
I wonder why? lol


Fraud and daShe sitting in a tree...

Ah you know the rest....

Man this delay sucks!

Cleveland wins 9-6.

Only a naive, foolish idiot would assume the NFL NETWORK knows jack.

Phins 3-13 , then we clean house again holy moly

Can it really happen ,,,,,,,,,,,,yes

Ok I see your point but still that's probably the only good thing he has done here he just in the wrong position just like a player on the OL... Like Martin played RT when he should of played LT all along I love my PHINS Dashi but offensively they don't convince me to much yet anyways! But I wish them well.
GO PHINS BEAT ON THOSE DOGS. AT THE DOG POUND... Man I hope we win I really do or the talk shows news papers media apps espn etc. the sky is falling if the PHINS lose Sunday!!!

Vegas betting lines are meant to attract an amount of betting. I hardly see that as an argument to not believe in the Phins. Example...Last year the Ravens odds to win the superbowl were what? 18-1 or 20-1 depending on where you go.

Love.....and if we, for any reason, can't beat the Browns? Not only do you have to rearrange your predictions but it may say a great deal as to what kind of a team we truly have. Thus making those potential wins a h**l of a lot harder. Now that might put us back to 9-7 or worse. Which means we spent a lot of money to be perpetually average!

I have hope now but with a defeat in Cleveland it's at least time to put a down payment on Ireland's ticket out of town. Not that would be of any help for this year.

This game is more important then anything that faces us in the weeks to come. No win, no playoffs!

3 more days till ETF and 2 watt are exposed.

We all know ETF is really Chad Henne.

ETF, are you watching Dolphins beat down Cleveland or are you going out with Fabio?

The whole Aaron Hernandez saga showed how dumb ETF really is.

On one of my fantasy teams I have Peyton and welker

What if they dont play tonight?
Game tomorrow or tie? Tie means loss.

Nevermind,, lol


Your assessment that Cogs doesn't fit Philbins scheme is based on what?

1. Your extensive NFL coaching resume
2. Your expert knowledge based on website writers paid to come up with a story of the day.
3. Your gassy butthole


No need to respond, the answer is obvious

Posted by: Emile | September 05, 2013 at 08:57 PM

The blogger in question is correct, the zone blocking scheme the Dolphins are attempting to run now requires very athletic/fast Guard play. Cogs is CRAZY TOUGH but is without question one of the slowest (if not the slowest starting LG) in the NFL, PERIOD! Gone are the days of "bigger and stronger" (SLOWER!) which was the pathetically ANCIENT motto of the Dolphins power running game under Sparano, Henning and Bill Parcells.

That running game, which Parcells rode to a few Titles with the New York Giants in the 80's used a man-to-man blocking scheme that required a lineman to identify his man before the snap, then use his power to push the defender downfield to create running space.

In the Sparano (OL GURU) ERA the Dolphins criteria for offensive linemen was size and strength Jake Long (6"7'/320) Richie Incognito (6'3"/330) John Jerry (6'5"/340-plus) & lone holdover Vernon Carey(6'5"/340) later re-treading Columbo who was about the size of Carey along with Grove ect....

The zone blocking scheme which Philbin coached in Green Bay instead places greater emphasis on speed and athleticism on the offensive line. The concept is fairly simple, in a zone blocking scheme an offensive lineman is responsible for an area of the field instead of a specific man. The offensive line usually flows in the same direction, all five players moving left or right and relies heavily on double-teams and cut-back blocks on defenders meaning athletic players especially in the interior.

Offensive linemen have more horizontal movements than just straight downfield. The running back must be more patient to let the holes develop. The zone blocking scheme generally results in a "one-cut" run for a running back.

Hope that explains your childishly worded question!

LV is FOS.

You see how easy it is for Bal to drive the field on Den; Flacco is going to put 35 points on us so Tanne better be ready for a shootout.

Philbin is not in GB. He has a different set of players.

He let go of Marshall.
He let go of Bush.
He let go of Davis and Smith.

He kept Cogs.
He kept Jerry.

Some of you are so stuck on what the ignorant media force fed down your throat.

Pull this pull that, there are times you don't pull as well. There are times you need a mauler and not some ballerina lineman.

Don't take my word for it.

Take Phiblins, and Shermans.

They know better than all of us.

Yeah, Leach would have looked horrible in a Fins' uniform.....glad we didn't sign him this offseason??????

Sure glad we didn't aggressively pursue McKinney....he would have been horrible with the Fins?????

Definitely happy Welker is no longer a Patriot!!!!

Where's rdubs? I'm up 8-0!!!

Reasonable discourse would be wonderful, But you know, you can continue to cast aspersions....Stay Class Dolphins Blog.

Posted by: TheRyanFlaherty | September 05, 2013 at 08:51 PM

Just don't go anywhere. Once you spend a little time here, you'll see all the douchebaggery is from Two FukTards! Once you figure them out you'll be fine.

PS: Nice TD catch by Vonta Leach. That's pretty rare for him. I sure wish he was wearing Aqua and Orange!

Tanne is going to have to be better than Peyton when we play Bal in week 5.

Also it looks like Bal got over the loss of Ellerbee pretty easily.

Some kind of mocho Flacco has.

Just don't go anywhere. Once you spend a little time here, you'll see all the douchebaggery is from Two FukTards! Once you figure them out you'll be fine.

Posted by: odinseye | September 05, 2013 at 09:39 PM

You are the biggest FkTard GayTard MethTard loser fantasy sewage idiot here.

Go wipe your azssz with your mouth now.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »

The comments to this entry are closed.