Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Miami Dolphins rookie Ja’Wuan James is rated by Pro Football Focus as one of the top tackles in the NFL and on Sunday, his job won’t get any easier going up against the likes of Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and others on the Green Bay Packers defense.
“I think I’ve said this before, probably when I got into the NFL in 2003 the pass rushers were usually over your left tackle,” Joe Philbin said. “Today, in the last few years, it seems like the defensive coordinators do a great job and move people all over the place. In his position, he’s going to be facing outstanding rushers almost every single week and this is certainly no different. I think Peppers obviously has a great track record. He’s an excellent football player. Clay Matthews had double-digit sacks for a bunch of years. I don’t know the exact number, but it’s a bunch of years. He’s got a great motor, but he’s going to have to line up. I’m sure they are probably going to take turns and get different guys over there. That’s just the nature. Dom (Capers) does a great job of moving guys around. (James) is going to have to be ready. He’s going to have to bump it up, but I don’t know if that’s all that different this week from any other week.”
Despite the tough match-up, Philbin has a lot of confidence in James not only due to his results on the field, but off the field as well.
“I think he has good poise for a young player, number one. I think he’s been good on the sideline when he comes off the field. I think he can communicate what’s happening. If he did make a mistake, he can fix it. He’s not afraid to communicate with John (Benton), Jack (Bicknell), myself and Bill (Lazor) with what’s going on out there. He’s a bright guy. I think he’s showing some technique development over the first four games. There’s still obviously a ton of room for improvement, but I like his maturity and his poise out there for a young guy.”
In his short time so far in the NFL, James has proven that the game is not too big for him and has done well against the teams the Dolphins have faced so far. He’ll look to continue his great play on Sunday when the Dolphins take on the Packers.