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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.

Nope

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.

Nope.

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.  

 

 

Comments

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Neither Philbin or Ireland know squat about the OL.

What waiver spot u have Dashi?

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.

Posted by: Ellis | September 05, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Cogs was resigned to a 3 Yr. deal in Sparano's last Season, that deal expires after the 2013 Season yet you don't hear the slightest chatter coming out of Miami regarding his pending resign for duration of career. You did however see the team draft a Guard with more athletic potential and I suspect you'll see another one in the 1st three rounds of the 2014 draft, again your posts are the ignorant rantings of a person with little to no clue, arguing about people taking second hand accounts of things they can visibly see if fans of the game.

Dashi,

Put in a waiver claim for a brain tin man.........

Mark,

Depends on won or loss.

I don't know if I will get first shot.

But After trading J.Graham I'm Looking for a TE Sleeper.


Dashi,

Put in a waiver claim for a brain tin man.........

Posted by: LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS! | | September 05, 2013 at 10:26 PM

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

Lesbian,

What is it?

You scroll over my post, Yet you want to talk to me. STOP FLIP-FLOPPING U Lesbian.

Look at ur WR trying to cheat on the one hop pass.

BAKDOOR FOOTBALL!

Who is dumber? Mark in Toronto or Dashe?

YG the Lesbian.

Go fukk a goat, Lesbian

yet you don't hear the slightest chatter coming out of Miami regarding his pending resign for duration of career.

Posted by: fin4life | September 05, 2013 at 10:26 PM


Nor would you expect to. Guard contracts are not making ESPN highlights preseason. He is 30, they may want him for short term, but I doubt a long term deal at this point.

If they sign him short term, I'm sure you will still assume you know better than Philbin as to what he wants.

A pretty good sloppy Game. You can easily see how much faster Denver's D is than Ravens O.

Oh sh-t, my scroll button's working again. LOL....

Vontae Leach playing outstanding football so far tonight. We'll see if that comes back to bite Ireland's vast ego.

You guys are talking about the OL or QB and TE or whatever in this team, but the reality is that most teams cant afford to loose 2-3 but because of cap problems and lack of OTA this year. To me the most important man in this team is the head trainer and staying healthy. That is the number ONE factor nobody is talking about

Nice, YG picks a Hall of Famer in his 16th season and compares him to a QB in his 2nd year.

Then he acts like he accomplished something......LOL.

What an Idiot ;)

Clady gets beat for a sack.

Clady never gives up sacks ... yeah right

On Incognito and The Line.

I don't get you guys. The Same one who wants to keep Incognito are the First Ones to talk chit about the Line.

Philbin needs to have 5 linemen on the Field. Doesn't have to be guys that fit your scheme, since the Fins are still rebuilding. And The Fins had bigger needs to Address this Off season than OG.

Now just like With J.Martin and Clabo. Look at all the NEW LINEMEN PHILBIN AND IRELAND BRING IN. DO THEY LOOK LIKE INCOGNITO OR JERRY? NO!!

THEY FIT THE ZONE BLOCKING SCHEME BETTER. ALL OF THEM.

INCOGNITO AND JERRY WILL NOT BE COMING BACK. THEY WILL BE REPLACED AT THE END OF THIS SEASON.

correction 2-3 players

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?

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | September 05, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Darryl last Yr. you actually had Pouncey pulling out leading Off-Tackle runs left. In the last couple of Yrs. reading your posts I know your in the column of the more informed fan of the game and will give you 2 plays to go back and google from last Season.

1) Game 2 Vs. the Raiders were Pouncey gets around LT leading Bush with Cogs trailing the play badly.

2) The other and the play which left me wondering what Long had left was the TD run Vs. Seattle were Long's on his bum with Cogs again trailing and Pouncey (only truly athletic enough interior player on the OL) Leading the play off the left sideline 20 plus yds. downfield into the endzone.

I know the worth and leadership Cogs brings but he's still here because adequate replacements at LG worth there weight cost about 6 Mil. on the average these days and we were looking to upgrade the Offensive skill set 1st, JMO!

yet you don't hear the slightest chatter coming out of Miami regarding his pending resign for duration of career.

Posted by: fin4life | September 05, 2013 at 10:26 PM


Nor would you expect to. Guard contracts are not making ESPN highlights preseason. He is 30, they may want him for short term, but I doubt a long term deal at this point.

If they sign him short term, I'm sure you will still assume you know better than Philbin as to what he wants.

YG is the Toughest Lesbian I know.

YG reminds me of Chazz Bono.

Dam, neighbour's dog is squatting out front on the lawn. Taking a YG

Vontae Leach playing outstanding football so far tonight. We'll see if that comes back to bite Ireland's vast ego.

Posted by: Ectoplasm | September 05, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Does Ireland know anything about football? WTF

Who is dumber? Mark in Toronto or Dashe?

Posted by: J | September 05, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Tough call. But Kris and Phins78 are the absolute dumbest here without a doubt.

He's more like Bea Arthur

Gay boys calling lesbians, lesbian?

You probably right, now t explains why I love pussie so much.......

Odin,

Remember the night you said your Hottie just arrived but you stayed on the blog posting until 3am?

I thought it explained your love of flannel shirts and KD Lang more ...

The dolphins are not signing Cogs next year, they have the replacement already for him. Miami by not signing Richie would have close to 40 mil in cap space or more

If they sign him short term, I'm sure you will still assume you know better than Philbin as to what he wants.

Posted by: Ellis | September 05, 2013 at 10:34 PM

If he took a 3 Mil on the Yr. average I suspect he does stick around but that wasn't the original point, your changing the subject. You said how could anybody know if he was a very good fit in the scheme and you've had multiple people posting you the response that you seem to ignore! I'm done with it!

philbin INVITED incognito to his player leadership counsel...that would indicate he values him....right? Until you look at last year's counsel.....they aren't part of the team any more

Torrey Smith!!

dallas clark looks horrible...never should have been considered by the fins????

YG even when you say you like Pussie, WE ALL KNOW YOU ARE LYING.

YOU HAVE PROVEN MULTIPLE TIMES YOU LIKE TO STRAP ONE ON WITH YOUR PARTNER AND TAKE IT IN-YUR-ASS. ALL 17.

He is not a perfect LG for the S.B.

...fin4life.I agree with your post @ 10:37..And Dashi yours as well. I just think Incognito gets a bit of a raw deal here, and IMO is better then most give him credit for. I can give examples of Incognito saving Martins hide in the later part of the year. I can also give examples of (See Texans game 1) were he was getting out into space to the second level just fine. Same for half one of the Indy game. Incognito dominating(run blocking)...I'm not the Incognito fan club Pres by any means. And as you guys both said he will probably be gone next year..(He will be about year 10)..My point and I think it is true.

Incognito is not the perfect fit, but he is far from the weak link on the line and by no means a guy that is a total liability in the run game.


The dolphins are not signing Cogs next year, they have the replacement already for him. Miami by not signing Richie would have close to 40 mil in cap space or more

Posted by: tony | September 05, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Yeah, Ross can sign all homeless guys and he'll have 100 mill in cap space!

Odin,

Remember the night you said your Hottie just arrived but you stayed on the blog posting until 4am?

jpao, saying about Clark?

Oh lord, now all of a sudden Haden's going to lock down Wallace.

HADEN COULDN'T COVER WALLACE HIS ENTIRE CAREER. NOT NOW, NOT NEVER.

Ball placement... thats funny, I wonder why the coaches arent overly concerned?
You really meant pick 6 for Grimes


DOLPHINS 37
Doo doo Browns 10
Trolls eat crow...

YG, remember when u had a woman?

Me neither

ROTFLMAO.........................................

Fly larvae in Toronto drafted Bronco D for his fantasy team.........

Given up 17 1st half points. Ca-ching ca-ching............... LOL...

You said how could anybody know if he was a very good fit in the scheme and you've had multiple people posting you the response that you seem to ignore! I'm done with it!

Posted by: fin4life | September 05, 2013 at 10:44 PM


You've confirmed what I suspected. Just because multpile people post something doesn't mean they have a freakin clue.

Multiple people listen to shtt rap and eat crap food and learned nothing beyond 5th grade. Yet you admire their opinions.

Not me.

Nice play by the rookie slot CB for the Broncos!

YG sells KY on E bay

fin4,

Who are these multiple people? Drug addicts, ex drug addicts, burn outs, and people with no education.

Woweee.

Fins 41 Browns 0

The bright Bulbs here, Harbaugh, Manning.

Wallace had 1 catch for 9yds vs Joe Haden last season. Wallace didn't play the 2nd game vs Cleveland.

Look it up dipsh-t...................

What about the year before?

Odin,

Remember the night you said your Hottie just arrived but you stayed on the blog posting until 5am?

DD,

I get your point. And I also agree that Incognito doesn't get the credit he deserves.

To me Incognito is slow. If it wasn't for that he would be the perfect LG for this team.

My Main point for these guys saying that Philbin isn't running or trying to run a Zone block scheme is Asinine.

The Problem is you have to have your 5 Best on the Field, regardless of personal preference. Philbin knows that Incognito is 1 of his 5 Best. So why try and make a change until you have to. We needed a RT more than anything this Off season. We have 4 Quality Linemen.

D.Thomas needs a Season to develop. Next season, the Fins don't have a real big need at any position going into the Draft. Expect a OG to get picked early.

Making Incognito and Jerry Expendable.

Funny side notes in this game watching Dallas Clark and Brandon Stokely in Baltimore playing Manning in Denver.

And when Haden is covering Wallace who's covering Gibson?

YG, remember when u had a woman?

Me neither

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | September 05, 2013 at 10:50 PM

----------------------------------------------------------------

Classic!!

That Lesbian is probably Furious right about now.

Julius Thomad making a case for Dion Sims to be the starting TE for the Phins. Clay will never be anything more than a backup. Ireland not signing Leach was a monumental mistake!

Dashi show film. Whst game was a this zone blocking?
Or tell Android 17 to look it up, lol

Odin,

Remember the night you said your Hottie just arrived but you stayed on the blog posting until 5am?

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