New GM’s Top Priority Must Be Fixing Miami Dolphins’ Offensive Line
The Miami Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross have been on a wide search for the replacement of recently departed GM Jeff Ireland. Ireland had been let go after his Dolphins failed to produce a winning record for five straight seasons. The Dolphins have brought in and talked to several, most recently being the Detroit Lions’ Senior Personnel Director Brian Xanders.
No matter who the Dolphins decide to hire, his focus must immediately be on retooling an offensive line that now only has one starter from the 2013 season signed for next season. This may not be a bad thing, though. Miami’s 2013 offensive line was the worst in team history, setting a new record for sacks allowed in a season and breaking the record for least amount of rushing yards gained in a game more than once last season.
The Dolphins may want to re-sign the LT they traded for in the middle of last season, Bryan McKinnie. He helped solidify an o-line that was rocked by the infamous “bullying” scandal last season, and decent left tackles are hard to come by.
The Dolphins may want to also look into signing potential free agent Branden Albert from the Kansas City Chiefs because, depending on what happens with McKinnie, Albert could play either LT or LG.
The Dolphins and their new GM must use whatever means necessary to give Ryan Tannehill a line to throw behind and a provide head coach Joe Philbin with an offensive line that can execute his zone-blocking scheme, meaning athletic o-linemen.
The Dolphins’ running game could get a huge boost if the team lands Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator. Kubiak orchestrated a genius zone-blocking scheme when he was head coach of the Houston Texans that was consistently the tops in the league in rushing and turned Arian Foster into a star.
No matter who the Dolphins hire as their GM, they can’t lose focus on their top priority of the 2014 offseason which is rebuilding the offensive line by any means necessary.