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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.  




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Given all the new pieces that were supposed to decimate the Ravens they look awfully good. Ozzie proving once again that he KNOWS what he's doing aside from John Harbaugh's staff having this group well Coached.

got to catch that shite

Throw the ball to d Thomas darn it!

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

Go wipe your azssz with your mouth now.

Posted by: Spade | September 05, 2013 at 09:44 PM

So YG, you still mad about being called out on your "SpOrano will be the most sought after Head Coach" comments(STILL-ROTFLMAO)or is it because Mando didn't show up and now you don't know WHO to try and impress-LOL?

Dude, you are SOOOOOOO played out here, you're the running joke of the Blog!

Cheers Tough Guy-LOL.

At least I come here to talk football.

And not because it's my life and I look at it like my Grand Stage-LOL!

Have a Good Night........LOSER!

nice hit, wrong team

Stephen Ross, save the Dolphins. SELL THE TEAM!!

rdubs, ur getting likked by the Buffet Pants!

YG, go fukkin kill urself already ... fukk man, ur the blogs version of herpes ...


Keep my head on a what........?

A swivel you asswipe!

Wow, nice hit, but I don't think you're supposed to hit your own players........?

Sorry for resorting to a profanity laced tantrum earlier.
That really makes me no better than what I was criticizing.
The insinuation that I was brainwashed by the media just really touched a nerve. In whatever I do, I really pride myself in being creative and independent thought...So like I said, it just touched a nerve.

It's tough to find a rooting interest in tonight's game...Granted I hate all teams that aren't Miami, but there's usually a team I hate more, an underdog, a division rival to root against, a player I admire....With Ray and Reed gone I have nothing to go off...
I guess I'll root for Flacco to throw like 8 TD's since Skip Bayless refers to him as Fluke-O or whatever, for what I'm sure is no actual reason....So I'll root for him to look stupid.

rdubs, pick off, got denver d!!!!

At least I come here to talk football.

Posted by: odinseye | September 05, 2013 at 09:55 PM

And create fantasy hottie stories. Let's face it, there isn't a woman under 65 that wouldn't puke at the sight of you.

Everybody here knows this. They pity you.

Manning looks dookieish, ohh Flacco threw an Int. Come on D.thomas and Decker(he's on my paid FF team)

I know, he thought Aemando was going to be here. He was ALL READY to be sucking up all night.

Now Poof!!!!

He showed up in force with a select group of aliases ready to go. Now hims all mad at the world-AGAIN-LOL!

He's a Glutton for Punishment!

That was a great INT.

I don't think that pass was worth 120 million.

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

Posted by: Ellis | September 05, 2013 at 09:35 PM

I'm not basing anything on what I read or heard but on what I've seen watching this game, period!

The "GODFATHER" of the scheme is Alex Gibbs who PERFECTED it in Denver under Mike Shanahan in the West Coast O. The reason the zone scheme is always so closely associated with that particular O.

Many teams in the NFL and NCAA use the scheme and Gibbs has Coached it on 5 teams I can recall. I suggest you google, wiki and the lot given you really don't know what your talking about! Sorry man, not looking to be an A S S but your posts are ignorant rants.

First TD AND First int of NFL season, I wonder how many others have done that, probably not many.

You can tell it is week 1. Both teams look sloppy.

peyton got likked like rdubs is tonight ...

Now Mannings pass looked like it was worth 120 million. Talk about a good throw. A good fake, a good fake pump and he hung in there until the last second.

Now that's some Big Time Quarterbacking.

Way to right after them, right after a killer turnover. It looks like we have a Ball Game Folks-LOL!

I was about to pick up J.Thomas instead of E.Dickson. Guess I made the Wrong decision.

Should've trusted Peyton more than Flacco.

Is there anyone from S Florida on this blog? NO

Go Julius Thomas! 80 is ok, 88 is not!

Just got to see what Tannehill will never be on that Peyton Manning td. But, tardos here will still be making excuses for him.

Lets Go Heat!

This line should be fine and i think Watkins game is more suited for the S. B. scheme tham the man on man blocking


No apology needed. Shyt happens.

I'm just happy that we have another knowledgeable poster here as opposed to another Retarded Troll!

Good call on not being able to get too interested. I love ONLY Miami Dolphins Football when it comes to the NFL!!!!


Why is it you think you know better than Philbin and Sherman? They have shown time and again they dump players that don't fit there scheme.

Cogs is still here.

Actions speak louder than words. You have no freakin clue what Philbin wants. I'll bet you believe all the commericials too.

Wow, Flacco that was awful. Odin, not a $120M pass

Here in the first half I've seen 2 men throwing the ball downfield. Like men.
Both take calculated risks frequently.

Thousands of excuses for TanneBust and Irescum. LMAO!!!!!!!!

Fools here would throw a parade to see Tannehill become a top 15 qb......................


Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda, But ya didn't, so you fade away - Passafire

ETF, no backdoor football?

Another area where lineman-type comes into play is the screen-game.
I don't think it's a coincidence Miami has been awful in this area the past few years. And they were awful regardless of coordinator.
I also believe (And remember when I say I actually mean the entirety of the media) this was to blame for Bush not being used as much in the passing game. They simply didn't have the lineman to utilize Bush as much as I'm sure they would have liked too.
Watching Incognito and Jerry try to get out ahead of Bush could be a painful sight.

Where are the fools who say Flacco is overrated? That was a perfect throw in the face of an all out blitz.

By the way when discussing the zone blocking scheme and reading Mando's post it seems to escape him that before going to Seattle, Alex Gibbs Coached it in Atlanta making Tyson Clabo maybe (just maybe) the most important Off-Season addition given he maybe the lynch pin that helps glue the OL.

Flacco is a top 3 QB. And a HOFer already.

Thanks Welker u dikk, have Denver D ...

Ha Ha!

I hate Welker!!!!

Baltimore Loves him though......at least for the moment!

Watching Incognito and Jerry try to get out ahead of Bush could be a painful sight.

Posted by: TheRyanFlaherty | September 05, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Down right NAUSEATING!!!!!!!!!!

Mark In Toronto,

Denver D will give up points just because you have them maggot. Squirm you useless piece of fly larvae.



If Flacco was so Good why didn't you draft him?

Dolphins in Depth is a 12 Team League and Most Teams carry 2 QBs, some even 3. NOT 1 TEAM PICKED UP JOE FLACCO, NOT EVEN YOU.

Maybe if Kris was in the League he would carry Flacco, But Nobody on this Blog thinks enough of Flacco to put him on their team. WHY IS THAT?

WOW! Welker has some of the worst moment drops in resent memory!

Vonte Leach MVP?? Ross was too cheap to sign him.

I hope the Denver D gives up 40pts tonight. So that useless maggot fly larvae Mark In Toronto squirms like he deserves to. ROTFLMAO........................

Go Welker!

cuz YG sucks dikk, everyone knows

I like Leach the way he is blowing people off but i seeing Clutts play with Bears and he is good but a bigger version of Leach

Seems someone here tried to speak to me and all that I could see was my scroll wheel........... LOL

WOW! Welker has some of the worst moment drops in resent memory!

Posted by: fin4life | September 05, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Just like dashe dropping at the bus stop! Gross!

Mark in Toronto = MORON

WOW! Welker has some of the worst moment drops in resent memory!

Posted by: fin4life | September 05, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Recent. Spelling 101. Freakin latinos dumber than nigwads trying to learn the language.

Is Julius Thomas on the waiver wire?

...I don't know. I think Incognito was pretty decent last year. You need nasty on the offensive line. Incognito gives you this. Now I agree that he isn't the prototype guard for a zone scheme. He is a straight ahead mauler. I get that. But I think it is a bit unfair to say he can't be affective in this scheme. I think it is a generalized statement, even a lazy explination of Incognitos skill set.

Let me explain..It is easy to look at him and say he is big, and lumbering. He can't "pull" which BTW is total B.S. It is easy to go look at his history and say..Look at the teams he played for..What did they do? And if you do your homework you would learn that he played for teams that match the straight ahead man to man sort of schemes. So the evidence all backs the idea he isn't a zone blocking guard. Everything except the fact he is still here. I think a lot of people just assume he is a poor fit for this offense..When in fact. He is just fine.

Julius Thomas making plays tonight.

F U Julius Thomas. F U!!


Every time I see Peyton Manning throw the football I see everything Ryan Tannehill will never be. LOL.....

Looks like YG brought 52 of his best friends tonight. What a jabroni


Already put my Waiver Claim In. Won't go thru til next week. For J.Thomas.

You'll never see Tannehill throw a td with such touch and accuracy as Manning's last td.

Just keep making excuses for Tannhill you fools. LOL....

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