Miami Dolphins: Why They Need An Offensive Lineman
That number was the number of losses that we expected for the Miami Dolphins in the 2015 season. However, that number got switched around and became the amount of wins that this team produced leaving us all in utter disappointment from the wasted season.
Even though the roster only managed to win six games, there’s still a lot of optimism around this franchise. The good news is the Dolphins had enough talent to compete with anyone in the league and the proof was in the pudding. Out of their six wins, half of them came against playoff teams. The New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, and Houston Texans all were victimized by a team that finally played to their potential.
Thankfully because the season is finally over and all of the hope that filled last year’s roster only becomes this season’s pressure, the Dolphins are going to have to find a new gameplan in order to win. With the Dolphins having such a bad in 2015, it sets them up for a great season in 2016. A true blessing is that they’ll be in a position to finally have a good draft pick. Sitting at No. 8 in the 2016 NFL Draft there are a number of different options that Miami could take to help make their team better. It might not be a skill position or the household name that everyone wants but the Miami Dolphins have to come away from the draft with an offensive lineman.
It Starts With the NFL Draft
Go back to the 2010 NFL Draft.
The San Francisco 49ers did something that was unheard of and drafted Anthony Davis (tackle), and Mike Iupati (guard). The next season the 49ers, with their new coach at the time, Jim Harbaugh, went on to win 13 games and finished their season in the NFC Championship game. Harbaugh understood the importance of having a great offensive line because they’re the pillars of the team. For the Miami Dolphins, they need to follow some of his wisdom and follow in their footsteps.
The offensive line is a five man chain. If you have some of the pieces that are strong and some that are weak, it will only break the chain. However, if you can find five players that are serviceable or above average it could make or break a season.
“I really think the Dolphins need to rebuild that offensive line, to be honest…. “I thought he was going to turn the corner after the 2014 season but this past season he regressed.”
– Mike Mayock
The person that Mayock was speaking about when he was talking about regression is none other than the Dolphins starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins were in a world of trouble of trouble when they decided to make Tannehill the focal point of the offense. It’s not because Tannehill is a bad player because has been productive as the signal caller for the team for the last four years. Nevertheless, to place that type of responsibility on his shoulders with one of the worst offensive lines in the league is insane.
It’s Miller Time
Working with the offensive line not only will help Tannehill, but it puts the football in the hands of one of the Dolphins best offensive weapons.
The Dolphins next season need to find a way to get their running back, Lamar Miller, more carries.
In 2015, Miller ran the ball 194 times for almost 1,000 yards finishing with 872 yards, and a 4.5 yards per attempt average. The eight rushing touchdowns he scored also tied his career high. It’s surprising that the team doesn’t realize that they need to get him more carries. In 2014, Miller had a Pro Bowl year as he amazed 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career. This year the Dolphins didn’t get him involved enough to have a repeat season.
According to Pro Football Focus the Dolphins were dead last in rushing attempts with 290 and they were 28th in the league in adjusted line yards. People look at Todd Gurley, Marshawn Lynch, Le’Veon Bell, and Adrian Peterson but they don’t realize that Miller has all of the ability to become a star running back in the league.
Last season he was limited by bad play calling throughout most of the season. When the Joe Philbin and the Dolphins installed the pass-first offense to cater to Tannehill, it stopped the development of Miller, made his offense line worse and stopped the offense from being efficient.
This season the Dolphins have a chance to finally fix their wrongs and to get a solid offensive line. It’ll take some work but they are being evaluated as well.
“The offensive line certainly is the beginning of the evaluation process and we have to find some way to find some consistency and some continuity. I think that is a position that the more they play together and the more games together, the better they are going to be. … We do have some good players up there. It’s not an empty cupboard. And then we’ll just kind of look and see how it fits into what we’re trying to do and with what Coach Gase wants to do with this offense. That will be an ongoing evaluation, but we’ve got the process started and again, there are a couple of good young guys.”
– Clyde Christensen
Getting an offensive lineman is only the first part to changing this franchise around.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.