Yes, the title is for dramatic effect, you should get that by now. Tua Tagovailoa is turning heads at every corner and silencing even his worst critics but MVP talk is premature after only 3 weeks. Sure, he has the best stats and is the leading QB in the NFL but again, it's week 3!
By now you should know where I am going with this. We don't crown MVPs after three weeks anymore than we crown champions but in the first three weeks, the MVP of the Miami Dolphins is not Tua. The MVP, so far after three weeks? That's offensive line coach Butch Barry.
The Miami Dolphins' offensive line is playing the best football they have played in probably a decade. That isn't an understatement. For years we have criticized, myself very much included, Chris Grier for his failure to fully address the Dolphins' offensive line problems.
Miami simply changed coaches year after year after year after year after year, yes, that many times. They maintained the players were not the problem but instead the coaching was.
This isn't about the 300 plus yards the Dolphins ran against the Broncos on Sunday. Miami dominated a Patriots team in week two and has one of the best upfront defensive lines in the NFL. Miami ran the ball all over them.
In week one, the Dolphins didn't just stop the Chargers' defense they stopped two of the premier defensive ends in the NFL, Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. They did that with Austin Jackson starting at right tackle and Kendall Lamm starting at left tackle.
On Sunday, the Dolphins got Terron Armstead back and he looked like the all-pro he has been in the past. Miami's offensive line was incredibly good once again. Tua has had time to move around, allow plays to develop, and even with his fast release and uptempo passing, the line is keeping him clean.
The Dolphins trench is being dominated not by opposing defenses but by an offensive line that fans have been screaming for to be replaced. Instead, Miami hired Barry to coach the team and it has made all the difference in the world.
Pre-snap penalties have rarely been a problem this year and Miami's line is rarely being called for holds and other penalties though they had a few on Sunday. This is about quality coaching which has the players playing at a level no one expected.
Tua may very well be the talk of the NFL right now but he isn't without the line doing their jobs at this level. The players get the credit but it's the same players that have been coached by Matt Applebaum, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Steve Marshall, Dave DeGuglielmo, and Pat Flaherty. Barry is the 6th Oline coach since 2019.