Miami Dolphins Offensive Line Issues Amazing
By Brian Miller
Honestly, I can’t remember the last time the Miami Dolphins had a very good offensive line. It wasn’t during the one year Cam Cameron season and despite the fact that Bill Parcells drafted Jake Long number one overall the following season Miami hasn’t boasted a solid offensive unit.
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Suffering behind the Dolphins offensive line issues is a slew of quarterbacks that simply have counted the seconds until they get hit, sacked, or rushed out of the pocket. Frankly it’s amazing that they can’t get it right.
Last season it appeared that the offensive line troubles were fixed. Branden Albert was a major upgrade and he elevated the entire line but once he was removed the invisibility cloak that covered the lines fallacies wasn’t invisible anymore. Making matters worse is there is no easy answer or fix for the problems.
Last night on my radio show, On The FinSide, co-host Paul Pickens, Jr. talked about how great it would be for the Dolphins to select Miami Hurricane Ereck Flowers. The 6″6″ junior tackle is projected to go in round one of April’s draft. While Flowers, who would likely move to guard, would be a fantastic addition to the Dolphins offensive line, the Dolphins are passing on playmaking possibilities because they have not managed to fix the problems that have plagued them for years.
The fact that Miami hasn’t solved this issue becomes more amazing when you realize that the last two head coaches for the Dolphins were at one time highly respected offensive line coaches who were considered to be in the tops of their fields. Yet here we are.
Maybe there is a bit of ego involved. A belief that they could turn 3rd day draft picks into starters or perhaps they simply felt they could coach up what they had. Whatever the reason it hasn’t worked the way they have planned.
This years draft could see the Dolphins draft an offensive guard but in doing so they pass on a potential game changing linebacker, a ball hawking corner or safety, or a big body red-zone threat wide receiver. The Dolphins can’t fix their problems in free agency because they tend to nickel and dime their selections.
Last season the Dolphins signed Branden Albert to a long term contract but they opted to not offer long term deals to anyone else. Louis Delmas was on a one year deal as was a few others. It’s hard to build a team with one year deals while you await the maturation of your draft picks from a year or two years before.
Something has to give soon because the Dolphins coaches could be on and should be on the hot seat entering the 2015 season which makes this off-season so important. Can they fix the line, finally? Do they believe that players like Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner are the answers or will they look to the draft to find yet another lineman to fill a void they thought they had already filled?
Since 2008 the Dolphins have drafted Jake Long, Mike Pouncey, and Ja’wuan James in round one while drafting Jonathan Martin in early round two. They have also spent 3rd round selections on John Jerry, Dallas Thomas, and Billy Turner last year. In 2008 they spent a 4th on Shawn Murphy. Of those players four are no longer with the team and Murphy isn’t in the league. That’s eight lineman taken in the first four rounds in eight seasons. And still there are problems on the line…and we mentioned nothing of the turnstile with free agents.
What makes it worse is that the Dolphins really have little choice but to spend this off-season going in that same direction simply because they have no way to protect Ryan Tannehill. If they don’t and Albert’s injury concerns and rehabilitation doesn’t keep him on the field it could put the team in another hole if he isn’t recovered fully or get’s hurt again. It’s been poor planning and poor execution for far too long and something needs to change.