Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
When the Miami Dolphins signed Branden Albert from the Kansas City Chiefs minutes after free agency opened, many believed that the Dolphins were getting a solid left tackle that could hold down the spot for the next several years. However, in his short time in Miami, Albert has already exceeded the expectations of Joe Philbin and the coaching staff.
“I really like the way, number one, he’s fit into the chemistry of the football team. He’s a real high character individual, number one. Secondly, he’s never missed a day since the offseason program started and the OTAs and training camp and all of that. I think he’s really enjoyed being here and has meshed with the guys very well,” Philbin said. “Obviously, we were looking to improve our production at the left tackle position. He was a guy we studied for a while. We watched the film and we liked what we saw on the film, and everything we saw on the film came to fruition here so far. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but we like the way he’s playing.”
One of the primary reasons why Philbin and the team were aggressive with signing Albert was because they know that the left tackle is going to go up against some of the best pass rushers in the league on a weekly basis. Philbin didn’t want to have to worry about double-teaming outside rushers and game-planning against them.
“When you put together game plans, you know in the National Football League, almost every Sunday, you’re going to go against some real quality pass rushers, especially on the edge. That’s certainly the case this Sunday when Kansas City comes to town. You can spend all night chipping this guy and double teaming that guy, but, at the end of the day, defenses, I’ve always had this philosophy defensively you’re going to end up having to block that guy one-on-one and you need somebody that, when you draw that circle on the board, you draw the E opposite of that player, you feel relatively confident that this guy has a chance to do his job and do it one-on-one without a lot of help. So I think he’s helped us in that regard, that we have confidence in his ability to pass protect, especially the quarterback’s blindside.”
The Dolphins almost made the trade for Albert last year prior to the 2013 NFL Draft but never pulled the trigger on the deal. One of the hold ups was the fact that the Chiefs wouldn’t allow him to take a physical with the Miami doctors before the Dolphins signed off on the trade. How close were they though? Philbin declined to answer.
“That was last year. That’s really the personnel department, (they) get to know all of those negotiations. I’m really not involved in any of that stuff. We’re just happy to have him.”
Philbin is right when he says that Albert is here now and we are happy to have him. He’s graded out as one of the best tackles in the NFL in the first two weeks and will look to continue his dominance on Sunday against the Chiefs.