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The perfect plan for the Dolphins offensive line

It'll be interesting tracking the progress of right tackle Ja'Wuan James and guard Billy Turner during training camp and throughout their entire rookie season.

Much is at stake for both men and the Dolphins have invested heavily and are depending on each to succeed relatively quickly.

No, the team hasn't voiced high expectations for either.

The Dolphins are actually being very, very careful not to put pressure on their rookie linemen even though everyone understands there is much expected of both men.

“They haven’t gave too many expectations as a set thing, but like I said before, I’m just coming in trying to compete," James said Friday. "I just want to contribute to the team the best way I can."

Well, let's be transparent ... The best way James, Miami's first-round pick, and Turner, Miami's third-round pick, can contribute is by being good enough to start and increase the level of play for an offensive line which was a disaster last season.

James is further along. He is more likely to get a call to the starting lineup right away.

But do not discount Turner, who I wrote my column about in Saturday's Miami Herald, and who is an impressive young man. You'll read in my column what approach Turner takes to playing and where that approach was born.

You'll see how that is quite different from the James approach.

There's nothing wrong with the James approach. But I prefer Turner's.

If everything, and I do mean everything, goes just as general manager Dennis Hickey hopes, the Dolphins' offensive line will look as follows in 2014:

LT: Branden Albert

LG: Billy Turner

C: Mike Pouncey

RG: Shelley Smith

RT: Ja'Wuan James

I like the idea of letting Turner and his attitude on the left side between two proven veterans. I like the idea of having James next to an experienced guard in Smith rather than another rookie.

After giving up an NFL leading and franchise record 58 sacks last season, after being the epicenter of a troubling harassment scandal, after being the target of so much bad publicity, it sure would be refreshing for the Miami line to work as anticipated, as planned.

Too much to ask?


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i think you plan is also the dolphins plan.

Not too much to ask. I wish Hickey the best of luck turning things around

The other possibility I that Dallas Thomas surpasses Shelley smith (unlikely but possible) on the depth chart. Then I think you play the former college teammates, Thomas and James on the right side and still stick Turner on the left. Fox was a good signing for depth at OT. Also, don't discount a June 1 veteran cast off from another team at the OG position for added depth/competition.

Silly to say, but philbin better realize that he can't sit and develop rookies if they are ready to start. His approach last year of basically not letting the rookies see the field might have been an F U at Ireland or maybe Ireland truly drafted more projects than plug and play guys.

Finally, Mando your starting OL lineup would be a dream for MIA. Two starters on the OL, (and possibly a third in Landry if he makes it to the number 3 WR position) would be a coup for the team and Hickey will have a better draft than Ireland ever had in 6 years.

Alot to ask, but I dont think too much…..its a competitive league and teams ask alot of players/coaches every day, especially those drafted high--expectations have to be kept in check when we're starting 2 rookies, and Smith has show he can play but is far from proven, a lock…..at worst, I'm hoping the rookies are serviceable and can hang early on, through the first 4-6 games……couldnt be much worse than what we had for most of last year.

At best, they're solid early on, prove they can play and belong, and improve from there.

and its not unreasonable to expect Dallas Thomas to contribute and push to start….

As a corollary to my last statement, Ireland's 2013 draft was also a bunch of guys over coming injuries. So even if they weren't projects, their learning curve was slowed by these injuries. The 8 players miami drafted, I believe, have all clean bills of health.

I would also like to call out SAM for a good observation on a previous blog post about these 2014 drafted players by Hickey sounding more intelligent than any of Ireland's draft picks. This is absolutely true! I don't care how gifted you are as an athlete, you have to have the mental acuity to succeed and grow in this game.

That said, I am a realist. A new OL may take time to gel and it may hurt the team in some games this year even though the team will be stronger in the future bc the foundation is now being set. I'm cautiously that the team will win 9 games this year. Worst case 7-9 based on the schedule. Best case 11-5.

One can dream big!

*cautiously optimistic

I do sincerely believe we are finally on our way…hoping I'm not getting too optimistic on buying in on all the hype, but seems Hickey not only filled big holes, but added some veteran presence (that was needed on and off the field), but also added toughness to the team with his draft and free agent pickups.

The jets and bills are also on the rise, and perhaps the pats are a bit on the decline…will make for a very competitive division.

Go phins!!

Wow 5 positive post in a row. Good job guys. And I hope Armando's plan is the Fin's plan like Scott said.

I've been saying all along get them in the line-up day 1 of training camp and get them as many snaps as possible.

They'll be ready to roll.

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all the regulars. Got two boston butts on the smoker, beer, friends...let the good times roll!
Anyway didn't know much about Turner but from what Mando sez, might be just what the O-line needs.

Any Oline has to be better than last season. They'll be more mobile and our new OC can put them in position to be successful.

Enjoy it cocoajoe! Got the same thing planned. Already hot out though almost had a heat stroke battling spider webs on my pool screen this morning. Heat index 98 here today.

The left side with Turner as the Guard should open lots of holes for our running backs
Should see tremendous improvement in our running game

Hey you guuuuuuys!!!!!

It's the QB STUPID eH?

God bless America we will never forget !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wont win until we get a better QB.

Future HOF'ER Ryan Tannehill will lead the Dolphins to an 11-5 season. Can't wait.

Let's let the homers have their day, why not? They deserve it

Hickey should've been fired for passing up Johnny Football. It set the franchise back 6 years.

Besides I have no time for this, I got be over my boyfriends house shortly to service him.

Posted by: Dolfan Rick | May 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Thanks buddy and right back at 'ya. Yep, hot here too. Turned the AC on which makes it a pain going in and out. But it will be worth it.

gogo @ 11:36

You can just go service him in the locker room it is acceptable behavior now.

That was my thinking all along...and happens to make the most sense. That unit may end up playing very well this season. I like the make up of this OL.

I sincerely hope that Mr. James, while learning the many intracasies of the right side of the offensive line,will also take the opportunity to learn proper English tenses (I haven't gave)! After all, he is a college graduate, is he not?


1. In Mando's scenario all the new starters were brought in by Hickey, Garner and Dallas are not going to like that; to some extent it makes Philbin look bad which he will not like.
2. If Philbin starts some of last year's players over Hickey's players then that would mean that Hickey didn't improve anything except LT. That makes Hickey look bad.
3. None of these guys would start over Incogs or Jerry who helped give up 58 sacks, why would the sack number go down?
4. Rookie OL get tricked and abused by experienced defenders especially the 6th best and 12th best OL. Does anyone think that Rex and Belichick cannot come up with a scheme to overcome rookie OL?
5. Our first 3 games are against NE/Buf/KC. Taken one by one if we get blown out by NE the press is going to kill this whole organization then you have Mario Williams and Sammy Watkins the following week and they beat us twice last year. If Mario and/or Sammy have big games that brings Hickey's DB moves into question also. And then we got KC.


FckFace, your thoughts and ideas are stupid and Irrelevant. Dolphins will at least be 10-6.

NE added Darelle Revis and 7 draft picks from Div-1 schools and is now ranked 4th in the power rankings.
After all of our moves we are ranked 24th.

You know the press both local and national are waiting for us to stumble so they can pounce on us.

Game 1 will also be Tanne's first game in a new offense since he left high school.

How do we not get blown out? Is Tanne/Wallace connection going to light up Darrelle Revis?

The good news: there will be an abundance of alcohol.

I can't wait for this train wreck of a season to start. I will be here every day to tell you that the Offence,Coaches,FO , and especially the QB and owner SUCK !!!!!!!


With NE.

first off NE will not be able to game plan for Lazors new offense, plus this is still some WCO in Lazors new offense, so tannehill will recognize alot of the stuff. Second off, it will be 90 some degrees with humidity when NE comes here. Third off, We won't lose 3 straight to buffalo, just won't happen. 4th off, KC won't be as good they lost 3/4th of their line. And 5th off, Oakland playing in London not good. Jet lag. I see dolphins being 4-0 by the bye week.

NE,SB contenders every season,the barbies,not so much eH?

Bill Belli will get his 200th win on the opening day of the 2014 NFL season for the barbies and Pats eH?

Ape Timer,

There are three bowls in Maria's kitchen that are special to her.

" None of these guys would start over Incogs or Jerry who helped give up 58 sacks, why would the sack number go down?"

Incognito and Jerry only contributed to 11 sacks. Incognito graded positively with PFF but was the 6th highest gurd in sacks allowed. Jerry graded negatively and it is fair to expect an improvement from whoever replaces him.

It is also fair to point out that PFF ranked the Miami OL as about average (14 out of 32). On run blocking they ranked 28th.

The lack of a running game, predictable play calling and poor PB by running backs were major contributors to the 58 sacks. Hopefully everything will get fixed in 2014.

Ape, don't you need to go take your mom?



1. Henne was entering his 3rd year as starter, Tanne is entering his 3rd year as starter.
2. It was the first game running the Daboll offense for Henne, it will be the first game in the Lazor offense for Tanne. (That was the lockout so Henne had to teach the new new offense to himself).
3. Henne's game was on MNF; no one will be watching Tanne.
4. Henne set the record for most combined passing yards in an NFL game with Brady and the record still stands. You guys remember that game right? First drive Henne drive the field and throws the Td to Hartline. 2nd drive Marshall drops TD pass. 3rd drive Fasano laterals the ball to NE defender. 4th drive marshall drops his 2nd Td pass. Then the defenders started rolling around on the ground with menstral cramps while to plays were in progress.

gogo barbie. Inject some more CLOROX into your pathetic pea brain of yours. 4-0?

Dallas Thomas or Nate Garner?

IMO, 1 0f these 2 players could be on the outs when the regular season begins. If Dallas Thomas is the same Dallas Thomas of 2013, he's out. If not, say goodbye to Garner.

Garner has been around too long to only be good for 1 or 2 good backup appearances, and then his backup play collapses from there.

Dallas Thomas needs to prove he can make it ok to send Garner packing. That means being able to backup at least 2 positions, og and Rt. Brenner can backup c and og. Brenner is safe.


The NYG, winner of 2 super bowls in the past 6 years needed an OG in free agency.
They had Fox/Smith/Jerry to choose from.
They chose Jerry who started 46 games the past 3 years.
Hickey chose Smith and Fox 2 career backups. Our OG position got worse not better.

Ape Tamer is one of the leading ignorant and tedious jackasses of this blog.

Please respect his opinions.

Like I said tannehill will recognize alot of the since lazor still has alot of WCO stuff. Wasn't our defense dehydrated that MNF game? Oh yea cause dumb vontae Davis took the d to a strip joint the night before.


With NE.

Posted by: FckFace | May 24, 2014 at 12:33 PM

It is and isn't about closing the gap with the Pats alone. First order of business is to close he gap between last year's disaster and t 2014 team we will field.

Hickey has done a marvelous job of this over the offseason, both draft and fa.

Now, if proven successful on field of play, only "ONE THING" and one thing alone will determine how much "gap closing" we can gain on the Pats. That's at the "QB Position". That position which is manned by one:


Unless this occurs, we close the gap with no one, not even ourselves.

SAM @ 12:42

Dallas is part of Hickey/Philbin problem. If Dallas is the starter then how good were Hickey's offseason moves?

Remember Hickey/Philbin are not buddy-buddy. Philbin voted against him as GM.

Posted by: SAM I AM | May 24, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Nearly forgot Dallas Thomas still has "practice squad" eligibility. Seeing he yet to start or contribute in a regular season game.

However, as a former 3rd rd pick, he could be poached and become a developmental project by another team. But, they would have to add him to their 53 man roster if they poached him.



Posted by: FckFace | May 24, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Dallas Thomas is an Ireland draftee. It has already surfaced Philbin was not "onboard" with many of Ireland's draft picks.

So, how is Thomas a Hickey/Ireland problem? both can completely wash their hands of anything Ireland did concerning this present day roster.

Jeff Ireland works for the Super Bowl champions while you guys just sit in your undies typing on a blog day after day.

I hope Turner turns out to be a good player but why did Hickey bypass Marcus Martin from USC when he was seating there in the third round?

I will prove to all you idiots that I am The Sho'Gun. That the Sho'Gun is back

Probably because he liked Turner better.

First of all you really Miami's 'PR'? I though only Cubans and Dominicans lived in Miami.

Secondly there are 64 starting OG in the NFL, please look up the year end rankings for Incogs/Jerry/Smith/Fox and tell us where they rank. Then tell us how lower ranked OGs are an upgrade over higher ranked ones.

I love blogging in my undies

Ryan Tannehill is going to be a top 5 qb


McCoy. They finished 10-6. They didn't go undefeated and that was with a QB that could hit the long ball and a superstar WR and a superstar RB.

And Philly wasn't running the 'Lazor' offense they running Chip Kelly's offense.

This draft class drafted by Dennis Hickey has a chance to be the best draft class ever in Miami Dolphins history. Every single draft pick has question marks (mostly because most are small school prospects). But on the other hand every single draft pick has very promising NFL traits. Out of the 8 draft picks, 2 to 5 of them have a chance to become quality immediate impact starters (James, Landry, Turner, Aikens, Tripp). The other 3 picks Arthur Lynch, Matt Hazel, Terrence Fede all have some good NFL traits in their own right, accept they may have too many obstacles in their way to make the 53 man roster. Especially Hazel & Fede, because Miami is already REAL DEEP at WR & DE.

We will be the sleeper team this year. NE will stumble. I can see a first round bye in the playoffs for us.

I don't agree with the daily bashers. I don't even believe they are serious. Tannehill is already a top 10 QB. This talk of him being a question mark is nonsense

Stats don't tell the story. Bloggers don't tell the truth.

Ryan Tannehill is going to be a top 5 qb

Posted by: Denzil Washington | May 24, 2014 at 01:15 PM

I agree Tanne will be a top 5 QB just as soon as he gets to his next team.

fck, your logic about the players and what it means if who starts over who is of course nothing but nonsense. Last years rookies may develop, may not, time will tell. Same for all teams. There is none of your phony hogwash drama about who starts over who. Means nothing

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