It’s hard to put a finger on the thought process taking place behind the scenes in Davie at the Miami Dolphins practice facility. Just a few days ago, veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie was acquired by Miami in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens for a conditional draft pick. The offensive line has been the center of attention for much of the season, so I understand that part of it. However, what I don’t understand is why now?
Without question, the most glaring problem on the offensive line has been right tackle Tyson Clabo and the eight sacks that he has allowed. Clabo alone has accounted for nearly one-third of the sacks given up by the Dolphins this season and they had to do something. Head coach Joe Philbin found out with the rest of us just an hour or so after he addressed the media that GM Jeff Ireland had brought in the veteran tackle McKinnie from the Ravens.
I get it. They have a problem and they want to do something to fix it. Unfortunately, it’s Week 8 of the season and the Dolphins have now lost three straight games. The plan of not re-signing Jake Long and using the money to bring in Mike Wallace didn’t pay off because Ryan Tannehill has been sacked more than any other quarterback in the league.
It really is awful. The worst part is that even when you want to think you have someone evaluated thoroughly, there is always doubt. The offensive line problem has become so big that it has broken the Petri dish and knocked over the microscope. When the talk from the fans focuses on the offensive line and lost hope, the fans have found the correlation between the two.
A bad offensive line is a quarterback killer. Honestly, can anyone say with absolute certainty they know what kind of professional quarterback David Carr really was? Carr never had a chance to become a confident quarterback because the then-expansion Houston Texans couldn’t protect him. He never learned how to make reads and look through his progressions because he was never given the time.
His main concern at the line of scrimmage in his pre-snap reads was probably looking for the blitz so he could at least see the guy that was going to hit him. All of this seems alarmingly familiar.
This is the path the Dolphins are heading towards; quarterback destruction. I’ve gone on record about what I think Tannehill is, but that’s not to say his game can’t be elevated. Does he have Dan Marino’s quick release? Absolutely not. Did he break a single-game passing record that Marino owned? Yes, against the Arizona Cardinals. Take from that what you will; I understand both sides of the argument.
This season, the team shook it up and moved Jonathan Martin to the left side and slid Tyson Clabo in at right tackle. Now, almost halfway through the season, the team is inserting a new lineman. Whether he is a former Pro Bowler or not, not only has he not been getting a significant amount of time, but he also doesn’t exactly fit into the coach’s preferred method (a questionable one, but I digress) of character players on the roster.
The biggest sign that things are hopeless in Miami is the fact that the team has regressed and there really isn’t a whole lot of hope moving forward, especially given that Ireland was given an extension after the teams’ undefeated start to its first three games of the season. With each passing week, each sack given up, every turnover, bad pass, missed deep ball and absolute lack of offensive production, the hopelessness further solidifies itself in the minds of the fans.
This trade reeks of hopelessness.