Miami Dolphins 5 offensive line positives


The Miami Dolphins offensive line has been a lightning rod for negativity and it’s been hard not to be a little (or a lot) glum about how the depth and injuries have stolen the headlines.

However, there is a lot to be positive about concerning this offensive line unit. So let’s take a look at five reasons why the front five will be fine this season.

1. Branden Albert is getting better (i.e. no setbacks as of yet)

How crucial is this? Branden Albert is a big man who suffered a potentially career ending injury. At 29, Albert’s time in the NFL could have ended not only because of his injury but also because not many players in their late twenties and thirties last these days in the NFL, especially at offensive line.

Albert may not be ready for the season opener, but the notion that he could be ready for the home opener is great news. He’ll be very much needed against the defensive lines of the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

But the fact Albert is up and walking, let alone almost ready to start blocking defensive ends, is a one exceptional reason to be positive about this line.

2. Dallas Thomas is proving himself

Guard was the position Dolphins fans and experts alike were freaking out about. However, Dallas Thomas has proven himself capable of playing left guard during this preseason.

I’ve been following this offensive line all training camp and preseason. I don’t think I’ve had anything negative to say about Dallas Thomas since the preseason began. Why? Because he has done his job to the point where he is off the radar.

Going back and studying the offensive line in the past few games, especially the Carolina game, Thomas was strong on his blocks and didn’t allow much pressure on the quarterback.

Moving to the Atlanta game, Thomas played well (not great, but was all right) at left tackle.

That’s another great sign for this offensive line, one area of concern is addressed. Dallas Thomas is ready to be a capable, if not more than capable, left guard for this team.

3. Mike Pouncey’s knee is fine

Losing Mike Pouncey to an injury in the third preseason game would have been disastrous. Losing him to a knee injury may have ruined the entire season.

But fret not, his MRI revealed that his knee is fine. Pouncey will not play in the last preseason game against the Buccanneers, and he’ll get some rest.

The importance of having Pouncey healthy works twofold. One, he’s a Pro Bowl center. You want him in the game. Two, there’s no tempting the coaching staff to use Sam Brenner or Jacques McClendon at center while Pouncey misses time then moving Pouncey to right guard when he returns. The Dolphins did that with Samson Satele and Pouncey last season.

Like I said before, Pouncey is Pro Bowl center. Keeping him at center will make him and the Dolphins happy. And Pouncey remaining healthy keeps the status quo.

4. The best four offensive linemen are “healthy”

Maybe “healthy” is a bit of a misnomer because Thomas and Pouncey are banged up and Albert is still recovering. But Thomas and Pouncey won’t miss any time, while Albert is well on his way to returning.

Ja’Wuan James hasn’t gotten nicked up at all, as far as we know. This means that we could see the best four linemen for the Dolphins for their season opener. If not, three out of four isn’t bad. Jason Fox should be fine for the Sept. 13 meeting at Washington.

This should indicate that the Dolphins offensive line will be good to go from day one of the season, and if not day one than the home opener.

No major injuries for the unit in the preseason while getting Albert back from his career threatening injury from the previous campaign is a big victory for this line.

5. It appears Jamil Douglas has overtaken Billy Turner

Jamil Douglas was pretty good the last few preseason games. Meanwhile, Billy Turner has not been up to snuff since the first preseason contest.

That’s been noticed by the coaching staff so now it appears Douglas will take over the right guard position.

This means the offensive line could look like this against Washington.

After watching this offensive line all training camp and preseason, this is how the line needs to be. These are the five best offensive linemen on the team, they’ve all proven as such through their practices and performances in-game.

They just need to go out and prove that these positives will turn a frequent area of concern for this franchise into a strength so Ryan Tannehill and the offense can shine this year.