Laremy Tunsil played well at guard in 2016 and now he is the Miami Dolphins present and future at left tackle.
The Miami Dolphins liked what they had seen in 2016 from Tunsil. So much so that they were confident that moving Branden Albert to Jacksonville was their best option. Miami was able to clear cap space and add a 2018 7th round draft pick.
With Albert gone the job falls on the shoulder of Tunsil to protect Ryan Tannehill’s blind side. If 2016 was any indication he should be fine. Tunsil filled in at left tackle when Branden Albert missed time. He only missed one game himself and that was due to a freak shower accident the day of the game.
The journey of Tunsil to the Miami Dolphins is well documents and his slide from the first overall pick to the Dolphins at 13 has thus far been a fortuitous event for the Dolphins. Miami fully expects Tunsil to hit the next level in 2017.
On Saturday the pads will be put on for the first time and Tunsil will go toe to toe with Andre Branch and William Hayes as they rotate the defensive ends but that’s not what Miami fans should be watching. Instead the focus should be on how well Tunsil and the left guard play in tandem.
Tunsil spoke with the media today after their practice and he gave some insight into how he is adjusting, the season ahead, and tomorrow’s practice. Here is the full transcript of the interview courtesy of MiamiDolphins.com.
Friday, July 28, 2017
T Laremy Tunsil
(Your thoughts on opening camp at your old college position?) – “It feels pretty good. OTAs, it was pretty good at left tackle. Training camp is going good at left tackle. We’re going to see tomorrow when we put on the pads. I really can’t say much because we haven’t done anything (yet).”
(Is the second year in the system, for all of you, just more reacting rather than thinking?) – “More reacting, used to the offense, better knowledge – different things.”
(What’s the next step for you personally?) – “I just want to make my team better. That’s my goal is to make my team better and get to the next level.”
(How much are you looking forward to going one-on-one with DE Charles Harris?) – “I’m looking to go one-on-one with everybody. That’s all it’s about – competition and just getting better.”
(Last year former T Branden Albert made a point of mentioning how, to him, left tackle is a badge of honor. What is it to you?) – “I could also say it’s a badge of honor. Branden Albert taught me a lot of things and how to play left tackle, how to play guard and just understanding the game of football. He taught me a lot of things.”
(How much more confident do you feel in your second training camp?) – “I feel a little bit better going in. It’s a new position but I’ll get used to it. I have more knowledge of the game now since I played guard and I moved out to tackle. So I understand the offensive line more and the offense.”
(On a unit where continuity is very important, how will C Mike Pouncey’s uncertainty – being out there and not out there – how will that affect you guys?) – “I’m positive that he’ll come back out here and be better than ever. It’s just patience. We were with him basically the whole season. We have his back, so that will be pretty good.”
(So you’re confident you guys can just pick up where you left off? C Mike Pouncey is in meetings and he’s communicating? Is that how it works?) – “Yes.”
(Is there anyone you study on tape – any NFL left tackles – that you’ve admired over the years, that you’ve looked at on tape this summer or spring?) – “(Dallas Cowboys tackle) Tyron Smith. That’s a monster.”
(Why Dallas Cowboys T Tyron Smith? Do you see similarities?) – “That’s a monster right there. You’ve got to look at the best. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to look at the best.”
(Do you know Dallas Cowboys T Tyron Smith? Have you ever talked to him?) – “Never talked to him. Just watched his film.”
(When you look at your game between pass protection and run blocking, where do you expect to make the greatest improvement this year?) – “I want to be improved on pass protection and run game. I want to be great at both, not just one. I don’t want to be one-dimensional and good at pass and horrible at run. I want to be good at both.”
(So if you spent more time on one or the other in the offseason, which one would it be?) – “Like I said, I want to spend the majority of my time on both of them.”
(How much did the year playing guard do you think helped you now and will help you this year?) – “I feel like it gave me more knowledge for the offensive line. Last year at left guard, it was a new position, so I had to get used to that. Understanding the offensive line was a breeze.”
(Talk about protecting QB Ryan Tannehill’s back side.) – “I’ve got to. That’s my guy. I want to protect Tannehill with all I have and put everything on the line every single game.”
(Is there a little extra pressure knowing that QB Ryan Tannehill is coming back from that knee injury? The offensive line is a big front for him.) – “There’s always pressure every game. I want to be the best.”