NFL Rumors: Miami Dolphins Forced to Make Several Changes to Offensive Line

By Craig Ballard

The days of Jake Long protecting the blind side of the Miami Dolphins quarterback could be done. We know with certainty Long’s 2012 is done. For an article on impending Dolphins free-agents click here. With Long done the word is that Joe Philbin will go with an offensive line by committee. It looks like whoever has the hot hand from the previous game and from that week in practice will get the nod.

Long is a guy who graded extremely well for his first four seasons in the NFL. He graded as even in 2012 which is waaaay lower than he has ever been in his career. We can assume that rookie Jonathan Martin will slide over from right tackle to replace Long at left tackle. At Stanford J-Mart was the blindside protector for Andrew Luck. As a rookie he has struggled mightily. He grades extremely badly as a run blocker and also grades extremely badly as a pass protector. Ryan Tannehill should be very worried about having Martin play LT vs NFL competition.

On the season Martin has made Tannehill hurry a throw 34 times (yikes). The 2nd worst ‘Phin for that is John Jerry with 11. Jerry is surely going to remain on the right side of the line, but we will see if it is at tackle or guard (he is at guard currently).

Richie Incognito at left guard, and Mike Pouncey at center will remain unchanged. Incognito has been poor as a run blocker, but has had a decent season as a pass protector. Pouncey has been marvelous and is a rare bright spot on the 2012 Dolphins. Pouncey does not just grade as the best o-lineman, he also grades as the best Dolphin player on the entire offense (by far too). I love Pouncey.

Word is that the playing time for either Nate Garner or Josh Samuda is about to pick up. Way up. In 2012 Garner has been on the field for 71 snaps, while Samuda just 4. It does appear that Martin will move to the left side which means these two will get their chance on the right side.

Samuda is an undrafted rookie, and Garner has been around since 2008 (he has made 9 starts in his career). This is an offensive line that was decent-at-best and losing Long means potentially scary changes are coming. I am no fan of Tannehill, but he may deserve better than what this group can do protection-wise. The run game has infuriated me too, but the RBs likely deserve more than this group can do with run-blocking.

I am not optimistic about the o-line to close out this season.

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