The Miami Dolphin’s offensive line, which was improved from 2013, wasn’t perfect and had their share of troubles in 2014. While they started the season off on a promising note, injuries impacted them to the point where the coaching staff was mixing and matching and trying to make everything work. Ryan Tannehill said that despite that, the guys up front battled and always showed up ready to work.
“They went through a lot. They battled all year. Like you said, Lamar (Miller), 4,000 passing yards, any time quarterbacks have success it’s due to the guys around him, the offensive line and receivers. So, you have to give those guys a lot of credit for the things they went through. There were guys who were shuffled in and shuffled out, and that puts a lot of stress on those guys. Guys were put in positions where they hadn’t been a lot, and they found a way to battle and play for us, so I have a lot of respect for them.”
Mike Pouncey, who will likely move back to the center position next season after filling in at guard in 2014, said that the stats can be misleading, especially in situations where the Dolphins were down by a lot in the second half and were trying to catch up. In those situations, Pouncey said the defense knew they were throwing so they were able to pin their ears back and just blitz every down. Of course, that makes things difficult play after play and that’s exactly what the New York Jets did in their season finale.
“Once you get into those kind of games where you get put in passing situations, they dialed up a lot of blitzes against us in the game, but I felt like we did a really good job all game until the end of the game where they were just dialing up blitzes against us. We’ll look at the film, we’ll get better from it. We’ll go into this offseason with the right mindset, knowing what we have on our football team and we’re looking forward to it.”
We’ll see what happens in the offseason but the fact is that the Dolphins offensive line is in good position heading into the 2015 season. With Branden Albert expected to return, Pouncey set to go back to center, Ja’Wuan James set to go back to right tackle and Billy Turner likely slotted in at the guard position, they will only need to find one player to fill the other guard spot. It will be interesting to see how they attack it but the line should be one of the team’s strengths in the coming year.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs