As owner Stephen Ross and company embark on a general manager and offensive coordinator search, let’s continue our look back on the season that was by ranking the top 20 Miami Dolphins of the 2013 campaign. The newest addition to the list can be seen below.
No. 20: Rishard Matthews, wide receiver
No. 19: Brandon Gibson, wide receiver
No. 18: Dimitri Patterson, cornerback
No. 17: Tyson Clabo, right tackle
Games started: 15
Pro Football Focus breakdown
Position rank: 45 of 76
Pass block rank: 46 of 76
Run block rank: 62 of 76
Snaps played: 962
Sacks allowed: 11
QB hits allowed: 10
Pressures allowed: 31
Why he’s No. 17
Any endorsing of Tyson Clabo’s 2013 season with the Dolphins must begin in Week 9. After being abused during the first six games of the year, Clabo was benched when Miami traded for left tackle Bryant McKinnie and moved Jonathan Martin to right tackle. Martin left the team amid claims he was bullied by teammates, though, Clabo retrieved his starting role and never looked back. According to Pro Football Focus, Clabo graded positively in eight of his final nine games, giving up only three sacks during that span. By season’s end, Clabo was arguably the Dolphins’ second most reliable offensive lineman, second only to Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey. His turnaround was one feel good story in an otherwise disappointing year for Miami.
Why he’s not higher
As good as Clabo was during the second half of the season, No. 17 is about as high as he could possibly be slotted on this list considering he gave up eight sacks, six quarterback hits and 18 pressures in the first six games alone. Clabo’s porous play early on was a big reason why quarterback Ryan Tannehill was once on pace to be sacked more than any other passer in the history of the league. His worst game of the season came in Week 7 vs. the Buffalo Bills, when defensive end Mario Williams abused him for two sacks late in the game — the second of which forced Tannehill to fumble and gave the Bills excellent field position for the winning field goal. Clabo’s turnaround was a great story, but the Dolphins might have been a playoff team if not for his early-season struggles.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.