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Dolphins Churn Out One of the Best Pass-Blocking Lines In League

In the past day, both ESPN and ProFootballFocus.com have done breakdowns of the offensive lines across the league in some respect, whether it be rankings of the left tackles, like ESPN did, or breakdowns of the best and worst lineman against the pass rush, such as PFF did.

In both articles, the Dolphins boasted at least one player at the top of each list. In ESPN’s, Jake Long ranked as the second best left tackle in the league, coming in as a close second to the Cleveland Browns’ Joe Thomas.

In PFF’s, Long ranked as the second best tackle in pass blocking efficiency, and Vernon Carey coming in 12th over the past 3 years. Also, Richie Incognito and Justin Smiley came in as the 11th and 12th respectively most efficient guards against the pass rush. We did not have a center crack the list.

While having four players who are either on our roster or were (Smiley), is something to be proud of, what is even more impressive is that the Fins did not feature a player on their line for more than one year, that was on that list. In fact, the only player ranked in the bottom fifteen of the league was Samson Satele at center, and the Dolphins made sure to rid themselves of him not long after they took the reigns of the franchise.

Mind you, neither Joe Berger, Jake Grove, or Donald Thomas are on that list. This shows that the coaching staff makes the most with what they have. While they may churn the roster more than the rest of the league combined it seems, the offensive line coaches seem to be getting the job done.

But while reading PFF’s article, I was somewhat surprised at how well the Dolphins stacked up against the rest of the league. This may be attributed to the performances of Berger, Grove, and Thomas against the pass over the years. This may have been because our offensive line did not feature as solid of stats as in the previous two years under this regime. But nevertheless, I was shocked when I saw so many (and in some cases none) of our players throughout the article.

I’m almost positive that the same results will not be showcased for the run blocking category, but the Dolphins seem to be on to something here.

They feature undoubtedly one of the best tackle tandems in the league, and have solid players littered throughout the rest of the starting lineup.

They feature one of the top two left tackles in the game. They grabbed the best young center in the draft this year. They get a solid vet in Nate Garner back after suffering a season ending injury last year. I think it’s needless to say the Dolphins o-line performance will be different than last year. It has to be. It was the poor run blocking that kept this team from succeeding at one of its strengths, and the inconsistent pass blocking that forced the team to keep in max protection.

The Dolphins hopes will lie with this offensive line that looks to stack up so well against the rest of the league. For a quarterback that panics in the face of pressure as much as Chad Henne seemed to do last year, there looks to be no reason for the max protection that he so often called for.

While Dol-Fans expectations may be too high for this offensive line, and every single player that rotates in and out of the lineup, the players look to be living up to the coaches expectations, to be one of the best lines in the league. While fans expectations sometimes cannot be tamed, after seeing these stats, it looks as if we jumped the gun a little bit in the worried section.

 Out of our whole roster, and all of the question marks that surround it, the offensive is looking like, and should be, the least of our worries.


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