The Miami Dolphins started the season with an outstanding run defense, which kept them in the top 5 for a while, but it didn’t carry throughout the season. The reason for the success were from two key players, Defensive Tackle Randy Starks, and Defensive Tackle Paul Soliai. It’s no doubt that Starks had a better season when you look at the stats, but we can’t forget about the success of Soliai either.
Paul Soliai just finished his sixth season after the Dolphins drafted him in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of the University of Utah. Arguably, this could have been his second best season since joining the Dolphins. He showed great ability to stop some of the top running backs in the NFL, such as Houston Texans star RB Arian Foster. Plus his stats were pretty sound as well.
Let’s look at Soliai’s stats on the season. He played in 16 games having 29 combined tackles(18 solo, 11 assists), 1.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 passes defended. The only other season he’s had stat wise that was better came in 2010 when he played in 16 games having 39 combined tackled(33 solo, 6 assists), 2.0 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 passes defended. So far he has had a pretty consistent career.
Even though he had a good season, there was still some concern. The more the season went on, the worse the Dolphins run defense seemed to get. They started off the season great, but it didn’t carry out the whole season. Soliai isn’t all to blame, but he’s not completely innocent either. Regardless of the struggles down the stretch, he had a very good season.
Next season I expect him to have roughly the same kind of year(hopefully better) in terms of his stats. I also expect him to make more of an impact on the defensive line after having another off season working in this defensive system. This season for Soliai should have fan’s excited for the future.
With all of that said, my final grade for Paul Soliai this season is: B+