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Daryn Colledge takes up fight against OL worries

The Dolphins offensive line has been the center of many worries during the offseason, training camp and preseason. And those worries are the logical result of a couple of basic issues.

Issue No. 1: The offensive line last year was terrible, yielding 58 sacks, and so those guys got blown out and new guys are now in. But in bringing in five new guys, the Dolphins, like it or not, made the offensive line a big story. It's on everyone's lips.

Colledge, something of an old school guy who is used to the offensive line being anonymous, wants this unit to play so well, you don't really hear from them again.

“Well, I think we’re just anxious to stop the criticism," Colledge said Thursday. "We obviously have a shadow over the top of us from what happened last year and we’ve got four new guys here, five for this game that weren’t a part of that offensive line. We know what happened and we know that the pressure is on us, but we hope to kind of quiet that criticism over the next three weeks and really take the attention on the guys who deserve it, guys like our wide outs or our running backs and (Ryan) Tannehill, the guys that are going to be special playmakers for us.”

Issue No. 2: The Dolphins offensive line is new from tackle to tackle. Have you heard that before? It is the first time in team history the Dolphins replace every single linemen from the season before. And that obviously is not a good thing.

But Colledge argues that is somewhat overblown because this new offensive line, he says, is not all that new.

"That’s the thing, a lot of people are talking about starting five new offensive linemen, we’re not trying to start five rookies," he said. "We’re trying to start five guys that played in the league. We’ve got one guy, Ja’Wuan (James) who’s coming out of college and he’s a first round draft pick and we expect him to do something really good for us.

"The rest of us, we’ve played games. We’ve been out there. We’ve played in the NFL. We know what it’s like to start. We know what to expect out of a team like the Patriots and we know what it’s going to take to win games on Sunday. So we’re going to go out there and play as a unit, and hopefully take a step forward from what we did against Dallas.”

This is uplifting stuff. Colledge is obviously pretty confident in what we're about to see.

And I agree with him, sort of.

I believe general manager Dennis Hickey has indeed remedied the tackle problem on the offensive line. Branden Albert at left tackle and Ja'Wuan James at right tackle have been everything the Dolphins expected so far. So I believe they are an upgrade over last year's guys.

But I have concerns about the interior guys.

I remind you Samson Satele was on the street as late as August 1. The Dolphins signed him because they couldn't find someone who could snap the football. And although Satele has resolved that issue and brought stability to the center job while Mike Pouncey gets healthy from his hip surgery, no one should confuse Satele for a Pro Bowl player.

He's a guy no other team had signed before August.

Colledge, 32, was signed June 30 after he was released by Arizona in March. And while Colledge has been steady (in his ability) and dependable (in his durability) throughout his career, he has never been confused for Larry Allen. He's solid.

My eye-opening moment on Colledge so far this preseason was when Joe Philbin said he had "no clarity" at who was going to start at left guard after Colledge had played the position with the starting unit every single practice since training camp had begun. Obviously Colledge won the job. But also, obviously, the coach wanted more from the position. We'll see.

Finally, the right guard spot is a question mark. Dallas Thomas was something of a flop and Shelley Smith, who started training camp at center then went into the left guard competition then moved to right guard, finally won the job.

Shelley Smith has come a good long way in the past month. But he's still a work in progress. We'll see.

Indeed, that's how I feel about this offensive line, particularly the interior three guys until Pouncey returns. We'll see.


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From Last Blog:

Shield should have a spear with it. Shield=defense, spear=offence.

Posted by: cocoajoe | September 04, 2014 at 04:40 PM

Interesting and very smart observation. A shield lasts only so long over a duration of beating. At some point, the ability to attack your opponent is imminent.

So, Armando, where the hell are our spears? :-)

The shield has TWO spears in it. Omar Kelly was nice enough to tweet a picture.

That's it Daryn!!! mess up the Pats this Sunday!!!

The O-line can't possibly worse than they were last year, right? ...and we almost made the playoffs with them. If this line is any kind of an upgraydd (Idiocracy reference), then the Phins should make the playoffs.

Funny, the OL is never a problem when Matt Moore is playing. Hmmmm.

Posted by: dbmfins | September 04, 2014 at 04:48 PM

That's the shirt. I was referring to the actual shield

Tannehill makes EVERYONE look worse. OL, RB's, WR's, even the coaches.

I still think the line is weak but not as weak as last year. Sunday will tell because watching preseason tells me nada. We beat the pats last year with a very weak line. It can be done again.
People will get open on blitzes and 8 men in the box will open up a lot of intermediate passing lanes. There will be seams for backs and tight ends. Revis is slower this year, watch for it.

And as for Philbin's comment about Colledge....this is coming from the same guy who thought Martin was a LT

The assertation that the oline was TERRIBLE last year is far overplayed. Pass Protection in general was terrible. The rb's ability to identify and get to holes was terrible. Rb's ran east and west far more than they ran north and south.

Ryan Tannehill many occassions held the ball too long. Tannehill on occasion had very poor pocket presence. It can not be SINGULARLY said that 2013's oline was terrible, though one olinemane in particular can be singled out as god awful, Tyson Clabo.

Much of 2013's OFFENSIVE ISSUES have been ironed out.

1. Albert is superior to Martin.
2. Colledge at most is minimal drop off to Cogs
3. Pouncey will return
4. Shelly fits z-block scheme better than Jerry
5. James is superior to Clabo.

Doesn't stop here:

1. Tannehill should have an improved pocket presence.
2. Tannehill coached up to consistently get ball out quicker.
3. Moreno more skilled rb, superior blitz pick up skills.
4. Mike Sherman has been replaced. New offense new play caller.

These things all add to far less than 58 sacks and a more productive run game in 2014. Just how much more productive, we have to wait and see.

I like this fellow Colledge old school dude. Key is when THill drops back does he make a quick read and throws the ball or does he stamp his feet like last year. About a 3rd of the sacks last year was because THill held onto the ball to long. Key is gonna be the run game we run over 120 Dolphins win.

Martin was an ok LT but better at RT.

Whats funny is the only reason Moore signed was because no other team in the NFL would offer him a starting shot.

If Jim Harbaugh replaces Philbin next year he may bring J Martin with him.

Martin was better at RT? Mr. Dashi are you 4real? What films where you watching?<< Not drinking what Dashi drinks!!!

I'm not expecting miracles but I dont think there is any doubt this OL unit will be an upgrade over last year's, by default if nothing else--cant be any worse, and I'm hoping for average....if they can be an average/decent line, the offense will be fine

The oline was bad last year, but not as terrible as 58 sacks suggest. 8-10 sacks wee on Tannehill. 4 to 6 sacks on rb's and te's. As many as 16 sacks right there. Subtract that from 58.

= 42 to 46 sacks on oline alone. I think 10 of those are credited to Clabo alone. Clabo is no longer a Fin. Eliminating at least 5 sacks on this move alone.

I expect James will allow no more than 5 sacks as a rookie.

This line will be the strength of this team they are Spartans fight till death with honor the running game will excel

At most ten sacks were credited to Tannehill last eyar. Everyone has "coverage sacks" which means they held on to the ball that long. Don't know how ten out of 58 sacks = a third though.

Old school football baby

I expect the sack total to be in the mid to upper 30's. But in no way do I expect it will be more than 42 sacks max.

I project 38 sacks. That's an average of

Tannehill has got to grow up the time is up on him must happen now

A little over 2 sacks per game. (38 sacks)

Brb.......I looking for a brown bag about to vomit from reading about Martin was ok and he might be brought back! Found it buugasssssss boy o boy I feel better. All Martin dolphins football jersey should be burnt!

Ideally, I would like to see no more than 32 sacks or lower. It would rank us top 10 in qb protection.

Lazor will be a key to the season the duck offense will start on Sunday this is huge

A better QB wouldn't need a great OL. TannePuke needs the great wall of China and he still would stink.

This offense is a run based attack with lots of motion , formations and match ups I can't wait


Coverage sacks are something qb's need to hurridly identify and safely throw the ball away as not to take the yardage loss.

Martin was an ok LT but better at RT.
Posted by: Dashi boy of 1000 names | September 04, 2014 at 05:02 PM

Whaaaaat? Are we playing "Blind Man's Bluff?"

If nick folk can look superhuman so can tannehill

10 sacks on THill understated watch the top QBs how they released the ball.... much quicker than THill. But that was last year my hunch part of his problem with the new OC is his reads and slow release. MMoore is better at it.

SWC, of course but every qb has them ... some more than others. I don't think anyone took any more than Roethlisberger but he also made a lot of plays by waiting until the last second or more than other qb would make. All depends on the style of said player. For Ben the sacks meant diddly squat on the way to two rings.

At lt, Martin was tissue paper in the run game, and plain average in pass protect. He was far fom worst pass protect lt's in the league.

But he was amongst the bottom of the barrel I the run game. Far-far too soft.

Didn't Clabo pick this fight last year? Colledge reminds me a lot of Clabo, an aging veteran who can play the position, but how much is left in the tank?.....oh lord, I hope the connection between the two stops there.

dude, been analyzed to death the overwhelming majority of the sacks occurred when the guy got beat up front and was under three seconds from the snap. I watched every snap except for the Indy game last year (dam godchildren birthdays) and the vast majority were o line whiffs and the qb had no chance. Someone here posted a write up that someone at pff did on the Tannehill sacks and the same conclusion was met.

blaming Tannehill for a significant amount the sacks is beyond unreasonable.


Roesliberger's in an entire different category. He routinely hold onto the ball to extend plays He's the best in the league at this.

Ben gets away with it more often than not because he's so tough to bring down.

When Danny Boy was around he OL was not great they could not run the ball but boy o boy he had the fastest trigger I have ever seen. THill needs ball out of hand faster than fast.

yeah swc, said the same thing re Big Ben. BUt he isn't the only one who had coverage sacks ... even the almighty Brady had 41 sacks against last year with a superior line and an offense he's been in for 3 rings and 867 years in the league. I don't have official stats in front of me but I find it hard to believe at first blush a line that competent got beat that many times. Russel Wilson also was a league leader in coverage sacks while scrambling to make a play. It happens. I don't expect it to happen that often in this system just by it's nature.

For the love of God Armando what is with you every freaking year at this time and your negative bs? Every blog is freaking depressing as s#@t. You're like Eeor from Whinnie the Pooh. Ohhhhhhhh Pooh nothing is ever good and nothing will ever get better.

I mean the one article where Tannehill comes out and takes responsibility for the entire season and puts all of the pressure on him? You were SLIGHTLY less negative when in reality you should have been applauding the young man for stepping up and acting like a true leader.

I just don't get it. How about pepper in some good with the bad once and a while. Like maybe 12 horribly negative second guessing type blogs and then one nice blog that congratulates McCain and the Dolphins for finding him? Anything about Lazor and the new attitude he has brought to the offense? His fiery demeanor? The fact that he will stand on the sideline? ANYTHING?

You chastised Sherman for sitting in the booth and leaving his young qb alone on the sideline. I agreed. But now no love for Lazors approach?

It just looks like you're negative on purpose. There are certainly positives you could talk about. But I guess that wouldn't bring in the whiney little bi#@!es that spend their entire lives in your blog. Seriously, do real fans even come in here anymore or is it al Jets fans/Dolphins haters?

holy 72, man times have moved on. You are the king of 30+ year old references. Not everyone has Dan's release and side step. It's ok, you can still win without it ... heck we didn't even win with it...

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | September 04, 2014 at 05:24 PM

8 to 10 sacks are easily on Tannehill. I've watched him hold the ball too long. Watched shotty pocket presence where he "walked right into sacks".

At times protection as beginning to fall apart, but it was like he was totally unaware of it. Ive seen opportunities that if he were more aware he could have bought at least enough time to safely throw the football away.

If you deny this, then lets just agree to disagree right away. There s no argument to this. Exactly where the hold the ball to long and pocket presence issue of Tannehill comes from.

P78 I went buck wild on him for this last summer. he won't change... maybe he's upset he doesn't do a redskins blog. Who knows?

SWC, I had no problem with the 8-10 sack figure, I was challenging 72 who said it was easily a third which equates to almost 20. That's absurd. The line really was bad...

Look John Jerry and Jonathan Martin were absolutely horrible. Clabo had his days but they were long gone prior to his Miami arrival. 3 of the 5 starters were piss poor....plain and simple.

Albert is a lock down top 10 elite LT. He will let up some sacks here and there but this guy is granite.

James has shown he is better than both Clabo and Martin. He is going to make his share of rookie mistakes but he will continue to get better and better.

Cogs was decent but he was an idiot...proven over and over again. I'll take a road veteran who can string together sentences over Cogs any day of the week. Smith and College over Cogs and Jerry all day long.

Pouncey's injury hurts the team for sure. But Satele is better than any other option they had at the start of camp. He will struggle against the big DT's (like the big man this week) but I'm sure the OLINE coaches will bring help with the Guards. This is a short term issue but one we can survive.

I said it earlier this week. I'll say it again...the OLINE will be fine and if this team succeeds Sunday it will be because of Moreno and Lazor. Moreno will be a three dimensional back and Lazor will scheme to take advantage of THILL's mobility/agility.

Can't wait to see it.

The Dolphins line has been doing a good job but Mando found reasons to hate on them anyway. What a big surprise.

J Martin was a starter from day 1. Not too shabby.

jpao, my favourite play from week 17 last year was a Dolphins 4th and 1, Jerry gets out of his stance, blocks nobody and does a face plant. Haha, man this guy had a promising long solid career as a RT in this league but decided to eat himself out of it... hope those lunches at the Golden Corral were worth it.

starter AND Aldon Smith's lawn dart!

THill could of and should of done more. I do not care what stats you read... I saw times where he should of thrown ball away or roll out and buy some time. We must run the ball if not Pats win.

... even the almighty Brady had 41 sacks against last year with a superior line

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | September 04, 2014 at 05:29 PM

Hmm...... You conveniently fail to mention the Mighty AND WELL EXPERIENCE Brady has ZERO pocket presence and ball holing issues. Plus Brady had better blitz pickup rb's.

If Tanne plays with the Pats 2013, there are still at least 46 sacks. Said Brady had 42, right.

Just changing the oline you put Tannehill behind last years doesn't eliminate the sacks he himself caused. This doesn't fix ball holding and pocket presence issues. The qb himself has to fix this.

Doesn't everyone hate the hapless Dullfins?

Actually Brady has a very nice side step. he just has no answer for up the gut pressure. man I love watching Brady get smoked...

Zach whats his face was Tannehill's qb coach last season. I believe this offseason Lasor has taken A PERSONAL vested interest into trying to correct Tannehill's flaws.

I just pray that it works!

Did someone call 7 consecutive losing seasons a good job? LMAO!!

Smith not better than Jerry




There isn't a qb in this league who has an answer to up the gut pressure. He moves to either side and he's making easer for the rush ends to sack him.

That's why with up the gut pressure, most qb's just assume the fetal position. :-)

Juwan James is not better than anyone.

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