When new Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase studied the Dolphins offensive line and how to get that embattled unit better, the answer he came up with was simply to strengthen the unit.
It wasn't about dumping right guard Billy Turner and left guard Dallas Thomas. That wasn't it. No, it didn't necessarily mean signing the highest rated or most expensive guard in free agency. That's not the approach to strengthening the unit Gase elected.
Gase literally wanted to get the players in the building stronger to strengthen the unit. So the manner in which those players train and come to training camp was studied. Gase looked at the time the team spent in the weight room last year and was not impressed. He saw that under former coach Joe Philbin, more time was spent in the classroom learning the playbook and game plans and such.
And less time was spent in the weight room getting strong, and fast and thick enough to, you know, actually execute on the field.
So last year, while it could be said the Dolphins were studious enough to win up front, they weren't strong enough to win up front. At least that's how Gase sees things.
So that changes this offseason. Dolphins offensive linemen have gotten the message through the grapevine that they better be working on becoming weight room beasts this offseason. And when the offseason strength and conditioning program begins next month, much of the time the team is allotted every day will be used to lifting weights and getting stronger.
“I feel like I keep going back to our strength and conditioning program," Gase said. "That’s one thing that when we came in, me and Mike (Tannenbaum) and Chris (Grier) had long conversations about this as far as how can we get better in that area. And we feel like the first step we made was by promoting (Head Strength and Conditioning) Dave (Puloka).
"(We) put him in charge and we talked about it. We said let’s get back to some good, old, ‘Let’s lift.’ Let’s spend our two hours in the weight room. Let’s get these guys bigger and stronger and faster. That’s been a big focus. I want to try to give him as much time allotted that he is allowed to get these guys in the position to when we do start, we can see a difference. We can see a difference physically in our guys as far as their strength and being able to come off the ball and move people."
That the Miami offensive line needs weight room work should come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog. Last November, after a victory over Philadelphia, I reported that players talked about the need to get stronger among themselves after a game. No less than Mike Pouncey acknowledged he needed weight room work.
The Dolphins believe both Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas need lower body work to improve their base so that, you know, they're not turnstiles to the QB and can move bodies off the ball.
Albert can probably use some building up of his legs. Ja'Wuan James, impressive as a rookie but not quite so last year due to a toe injury, needs to build change that body around.
There is much, much work to do with that offensive line.
Now, this is not saying that will cure the ills of the Miami Dolphins offensive line. Look, talent is important. Development is important. Technique is important. Luck in keeping healthy is important. The Miami offensive line has had a failure in one or more of these areas season after season.
This coming season, however, Gase is insisting that lack of bulk and strength will not be excuse for the unit.