The Miami Dolphins faced one of the best defensive units in the NFL last Friday and well, they didn't look very elite if we are being honest. They couldn't get by Liam Eichenberg.
Eichenberg has shown little in his NFL career but this year, something seems to have started to change. After a horrible game against the Bills in week 3, the Dolphins guard/tackle/center has been stepping up and playing, well, not horribly.
On Friday, PFF pointed out that in his 33 blocking snaps, Eichenberg gave up no sacks and no pressures.
Is the turning point for the former 2nd-round draft pick? It might be and if it is, it could mean big changes during the off-season approach.
Eichenberg had to play guard due to the injury to Robert Hunt who was inactive. He and Lester Cotton started on Friday. Eichenberg played very well but this isn't the first time that he has shown signs of turning the corner.
At center, Eichenberg has been up and down but for the most part, he has played pretty well. His consistency overall is improving and perhaps after all these years, we can finally say that coaching may have actually been the problem.
Eichenberg is playing better and Austin Jackson continues to impress at right tackle. Clearly, two things are helping, one, the quick passes from Tua Tagovailoa in this system and the coaching of Butch Barry. Barry has had a major impact on the offensive line. This is evidenced by the incredible job in the run game.
The Dolphins need Eichenberg to continue to grow. They will face a critical off-season with Terron Armstead who simply can't stay healthy enough to be remotely reliable. It's a contract the Dolphins may just have to eat or live with the reality that he will not be available for much of the season.
In 2024, the Dolphins will have to make a decision on Jackson who will be a free agent as well as Robert Hunt and Connor Williams. Miami may not be able to keep all of them and that is going to take away some of the continuity. If Eichenberg can continue to grow, he could solve one of those two interior positions.