« 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.

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

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

Watch the L.Miller 2012 Season On You Tube. All Those Runs were Zone Blocking.

Manning getting the best of Harbaugh.

Darryl,

I get your point as well and wasn't disputing your observation given I happen to agree just debating if the scheme best fits his skill set.

I can't seem to post?

Harbau8gh must feel as dumb as Dashwad and Maggot in Toronto for not throwing the challenge flag right now. LOL...

Like I said beforehis is what it looks like when men play QB.

Darryl,

I get your point as well and wasn't disputing your observation given I happen to agree just debating if the scheme best fits his skill set.


Nice pass by Manning!

Dashi out someone is playing games with the post.

Dashi out someone is playing games with the post.

Told you so.

Believe In Dashi.

The Broncos will win by at least 10.

I told you I got Peyton & Welker on one of my fantasy teams. I took Peyton in he 2nd rd and some idiot told me I drafted him too soon but you know what - he's on my team not that axsholes team.

Broncos pulling out all the stops now! Welker finally held on to something tonight!

so do you think special teams are important in the NFL?

btw...

chocolate and bourbon are great together!!!!

Guess this blog now posts when it feels like....

It looks like LV is going to be right, again.

Understand why INDY let Clark go...........

Can ya please throw the ball to Decker, Iam tired of Welker catching everything, I am if e with his fumble though

It was supposed to say. I am fine with his fumble though

The bloggers here show how pathetic the human race is. They make all kinds of predictions and any time one is right they have to come toot their horn.

I told ya blah blah blah.

Feeble creatures with an endless need to be right even though they rarely are.

17-0 HAS HIS HEAD UP HIS ASS!

The bloggers here show how pathetic the human race is. They make all kinds of predictions and any time one is right they have to come toot their horn.

I told ya blah blah blah.

Feeble creatures with an endless need to be right even though they rarely are.

Posted by: Ink | September 05, 2013 at 11:33 PM

Ha! I knew you were going to post that. I told evertbody about that. Beep beep!!

Killing them with the quick Game at that altitude.

The ST's play has swung this game back-n-forth, thr Welker muff looked huge early then the Broncos got it back with a punt block and Collinsworth is right the Ravens look dog tired.

I'm out this blog wont post!

Peyton Manning 22-5 315yds 5tds

That's more tds than Tannehill will throw in the 1st 3gms. Manning still has an entire 4th qtr left.

Is Flacco Overrated?

Again, 12 of the Regulars here think more than 20 QBs in The NFL are better than Joe Flacco. Dashi is with the Consensus.

So, I accept we are going to lose vs Cleveland. I cannot beat LV.

Manning has turn a TE no one's ever heard of(Julius Thomas) into a star tonight.

5 catches 11yds 2tds.

Bet none of you had him on your fantasy teams. LOL....

18pt lead, Manning still going for the ko punch. LOL...

Dashi,

Its a good thing you arent a betting man! LOL

What a QB!

Manning, 6tds, that's half a season's work for Tannehill. Manning shows how meaningless your Tannehill excuses are.

Manning shows tonight, the separation between Tannehill and nfl elite qb's. Keep your Tannehill excuses coming saps. LOL...

Just picked up Julius Thomas on my fantasy team. Dropped Jared Cook. We'll see how things shake out.

Brady will light the Bills up for 5-6 tds Sunday. Keeping the Tannehill excuses coming.

Manning will turn TE Julius Thomas into an nfl elite. LOL...

WHEN YOU PLAY QB IN A 'NIGHT' GAME OPENING WEEK OF THE SEASON AND EVERYONE IN THE WORLD IS WATCHING THE MOST MANLY THING HE CAN DO IS SET AN NFL PASSING RECORD OR THROW 6 TD PASSES.

What is hurting me is that Cuban Menance has Peyton. That is my opponent this week. Peyton by himself might outscore my whole team. Should've picked up J.Thomas.

I am enjoying the game though. What is interesting to me is that the Ravens already look like they Quit. This team never quit under Ray Lewis. Flacco better start practicing his Corny Speeches. Or his Pre game Dance. Cause I see the Ravens Quitting in a lot of Second Half's this Season. With Flacco motivating the Troops.

The Ravens Lack a Leader.

17

Fllacco is a 100 million dollar QB playing worse than Tannehill.

What you say to that?

Dallas whatever his name, has done diddly-squat without Manning. LOL...

Gimme Flacco, and I'll cut Tannehill on the spot.

Flacco won't win a playoff game without Ray.

daShe don't you have another cocko to sucko?

Flacco is Awesome!!

Yeah right FF!!

What a boneheaded lb. ROTFLMAO.................

TOUCHBACK.................................... LOL

17

Flacco just threw a pick six far worse than Tannehill ever did.

Sure you don't want to flop flip? Or do you need a few days?

Should be cut.

Yeah, and I remember some idiot here saying we should have picked up Dallas Clark. What a bum..................

17

I've been taking notes.

So far you say Wallace is the key, he will open up our offense and create so many problems for opposing defenses.

Also you say Wallace sucks.

Oooookkkkkkkkkk

Flacco didntthrow a pic 6, he threw a:

TOUCHBACK........................ LOL

Now a TD off of throwing a TOUCHBACK......

Tannehill will never match that. ROTFLMAO............

17

Do you know your azszsz from a hole in the ground?

FLACCO THOW TD AFTR THROWING A TOUCHBACK. HAS TO BE AN NFL FIRST.

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

GOT ANYTHING ELSE SUCKERS................... LOL

Mark is PO' d at that pre touchdown celebration fumble Lmao He has the DEnver D and it will cost him 6 points. Too funny

PAZO,

THE MORE I COME HERE AND SPEAK TO IDIOTS LIKE YOU. THE LESS I CARE IF THE DOLPHINS EVER WIN ANOTHER SB.

I STILL LOVE THEM, JUST DCKWEETS LIKE YOU DONT DESERVE TO CELEBRATE HAVING A SB WINNER. THE 2 SB WIN IN THE 70'S ARE STILL SWEET ENOUGH FOR ME........

Blog idiot 17 does it again.
Yeah let's compare a sophmore to a QB that been in the league for over a decade.
Peyton Manning arguably greatest all time.

Mark is PO' d at that pre touchdown celebration fumble Lmao He has the DEnver D and it will cost him 6 points. Too funny
Posted by: Rdubs | September 06, 2013 at 12:22 AM

ROTFLAMO HYSTERICALLY..........................

Posted by: 17 wears a jerry curl | September 06, 2013 at 12:26 AM

ACTUALLY I WORE A CURLY PERM BACK THEN. HAD TO HAVE AN AFRO LIKE THE BROTHERS..... LOL...

flip
flip flop
flipflopapotamus?

Blog idiot 17 does it again.
Yeah let's compare a sophmore to a QB that been in the league for over a decade.
Peyton Manning arguably greatest all time.
Posted by: 17 wears a jerry curl | September 06, 2013 at 12:26 AM


Hey idiot,

Peyton Manning threw 26TDS his ROOKIE YEAR.

Any more Tanne-cuses dkweed? ROTFLMAO.........

Fins will finish 9-7 this year, and fall just short of wildcard berth. Just wait for it. They love to get our hopes up every year, only to disappoint. Ireland should be fired if this team misses the playoffs again. They've made some nice additions like Gibson, Keller, Wallace, Grimes, Ellerbe, and some by subtraction- Burnett, Long, Bush, Dansby, Smith. However, the O-line looked sub-par in preseason; the running game looks suspect as a result. Miller has big play written all over him, but not without solid line play. Thomas is awful. And why Leach wasn't signed is a mystery, because Clay suuuukkks. Egnew? Not at TE. Split him out wide in the redzone? Sims should clearly start at TE; let's see what he can do.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »

The comments to this entry are closed.