Many fans can’t understand why Dallas Thomas is still the starting right tackle on the offensive line. Against the Baltimore Ravens, he looked completely lost and was beaten four times for a sack by Elvis Dumervil. In addition to that, he was pushed back into the pocket numerous times, causing Ryan Tannehill to rush his throws, leading to confusion and broken plays.
Earlier this week, Tannehill talked about everything that is going through his mind when he feels the pocket collapsing.
“It depends on the situation. It depends on what routes you have. Who is eaten up in protection? Do you have a check down available, or is your check down eaten up in protection? It really depends by play,” he said. “It’s a quick decision, and it depends on the rush. There are a lot of factors that go into it. It depends play by play. It can limit the things you can do offensively just because you aren’t able to see the things downfield happen if they are getting to you quickly. Protection is a big part of what we do.”
Tannehill went on to say that he has confidence in the guys ahead of him and said it was tough day for the offense as a whole. He noted that they are out there every day with him fighting to get better and knows that they will never give up.
Joe Philbin, who many call stubborn, is still refusing to take Thomas out of the lineup and expressed more confidence in him when pressed with questions as to why he keeps putting him on the field.
“I think Dallas has done some good things. There are a couple of those plays the other day and, on the stat sheet, they are going to maybe get all assigned to him. I thought he did some good things in the game. Obviously, there are things that he needs to do better, but again every decision we make is what we feel like gives us the best chance. That’s how we felt like we were going to win the game on Sunday with him at tackle.”
Philbin said that after reviewing the film, it’s easy to see that there were a lot of good things that Thomas did throughout the game and the bad plays shouldn’t take the spotlight.
“There’s a lot of pictures in the game where he pass protected well to be honest with you. There are a lot of good pictures in the game. There are a few that aren’t very good. I think in the run game he’s been productive, but you have to remember there are 50 some odd plays in a game. We all sometimes get focused on the three or four bad ones, but there are a lot of good things.”
With the season on the line on Sunday, Philbin admitted that the line play has been up and down and it’s hard to function on offense when the line fails to block long enough for the quarterback to get the throw off. He said that they need to get better quickly for Sunday against the Patriots and he has confidence that his guys will step up and rise to the occasion.