Whats the problem with the Oline

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by finmann, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. finmann

    finmann Pro Bowler

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    I just can't put my finger on this. When we talk about other positions on the field, we can pretty much tell what the problem is, quarterback, receiver defensive back etc.. But when we talk about the oline as a UNIT, I just don get what the problem is an why it's so hard for us to play well with or without Pouncey. Is it a strength conditioning problem, lack of technique or guys just not understanding their assignments. I guess what I am asking is "what precisely is the problem with the Dolphins Oline"? Please don't tell me they just suck. I am sick of reading article after article bashing the Oline. Thoughts...
     
  2. gregorygrant83

    gregorygrant83 A True Fan

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    Didn't have depth to deal with injuries on the o-line last year. When eveyone was healthy they were fine. This year the line has a little more depth and could be better than last year. Larsen is top tier guard, but he's good enough.
     
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  3. Pandarilla

    Pandarilla Well-Known Member

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    I thought there was definite improvement. From what I've read, seems Tunsil is an effective communicator. Between James and Pouncey, I think they'll communicate well, also. We've got tons of okay options at guard and center.

    I don't think that we're worse off this year, but yeah, that line when Pouncey is healthy is like having the extra starship on Galaga. You know it might not last long, but it's a lot of fun when you have it.
     
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  4. Digital

    Digital Starter

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    Look, it's simple, we have 1 proven stud along the OL, it's Laremy Tunsil. Pouncey is injured more and more every season, and simply isn't reliable, despite his flashes of greatness and his huge salary. Ju'Wuan James has had his moments, but he's very inconsistent. Asiata is a 5th round draft pick, and although I like him and think we got a very good player, he's still a rookie 5th rounder, and we can't call that a good OL yet. Bushrod is a decent pass protector and a horrible run blocker. Larsen is a journeyman.

    I'll say it again, we have 1 proven top flight player on our OL, and it's Tunsil. What's wrong with the OL, is that it requires 5 solid players playing in unison, and we have only 1.
     
  5. Atila

    Atila Atila - the freshmaker. Finheaven VIP

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    Larsen will be a noticeable upgrade because more than anything he will bring consistency - which is actually the answer to your question about the issue with the OL. A lack of depth and perennially injured key parts (Albert and Pouncey).

    Consistency of line-up is more important on the OL than anywhere else on the field. Getting rid of Albert was a great move for us and after it's all said and done, I can almost guarantee our OL play from 2017 will be a noticeable improvement from '16. Once we get consistency from the center position too, we can then jump to being a top 10 unit.
     
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  6. uk_dolfan

    uk_dolfan Founder of the FH Adam Gase fan club Moderator Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Lack of talent at both guard slots. Lack of health at C and arguably lack of depth at OT
     
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  7. The Ghost

    The Ghost Stamos

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    Dude that is a priceless post. Galaga reference is top notch.
     
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  8. ChambersWI

    ChambersWI Owner of the Palace of Wisdom Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Depth and health. Not that Foerster did wonders as an OL coach (honestly, we could replace him tomorrow and nobody would bat an eye) but I think he did an admirable job getting the OL to play well with needing Anthony Steen, Sam Young, and Kraig Urbrick to play extended time at LT and C respectively. And of course Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas were huge disasters. Now depth is still an issue but I do know the team loves Asiatta (considered him a top 40 player), and scouts around the league think Avery Young and Eric Smith have potential.
     
  9. Eesti

    Eesti Rookie

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    LT: Declining player in Albert who got progressively worse as the season wore on.

    LG: Rookie learning and playing a brand new position. Has less space to work in than usually and much bigger guys in his face quicker.

    C: Leader and communicator of the line played 5 games. UDFA & inexperienced replacement with ZERO snaps played takes over game 1 and also takes on role of communicator, gets injured and then replaced. (3) centers in one season is never a good scenario.

    RG: career LT learning and moving to the opposite side and opposite technique and playing different position altogether. Imagine writing with your left hand as a right handed person.

    RT: above average player struggled for over half the season to learn and refine brand new techniques.
     
  10. Phinfan407

    Phinfan407 Well-Known Member

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    I think LACK OF CONSISTENCY is the biggest issue the offensive line is having.

    I coach a high school offensive line in 8A football in the state of Florida and nothing hurts me more than guys being injured and having to plug and play guys. It's tough! Tackles have to be studs and have the ability to carry their weight on an island. I don't think your guards have to be studs because you can help those guys through double teams so I don't make a big deal out of our guard play. If Pouncey was healthy and stayed healthy for the duration of the season I think we would see it didn't matter who played guard. Your center and your tackles have to be dogs, you can get away with one guard who is solid and another who's not so great. Like I said, there are ways to hide those guys through scheming efficiently.
     
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  11. Eesti

    Eesti Rookie

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    If I had not seen Dallas Thomas "play", I may be slightly more inclined to agree with that assessment...but I agree that Pouncey is a huge part. The OP's questions about the o-line would have been more relevant a year or two ago. Everything considered from 2016, I thought they held up pretty well.

    We had Pouncey for 14 games in 2015 but it didn't help overcome Turner and Thomas.

    Take a look at some of the best lines in the NFL and they have DOGS at guard. Zach Martin/Lael Collins, Kelechi Osemele/Gabe Jackson, Ramon Foster/David DeCastro, etc. Especially if you want to run the ball.
     
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  12. NY8123

    NY8123 Sophisticated Redneck Administrator Finheaven VIP

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    We need a healthy Center.
     
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  13. JakeemThe Dream

    JakeemThe Dream A True Fan

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    Exactly!!

    Nice run down of each position and why..

    I would like to give Steen a real shot this year.

    If we could stay healthy, we could be a top tier offense with the abundance of talent at our skill positions.
    (Can't remember the last time I could say that with confidence lol)

    Laremy will be a stud..Can't wait to see him!!

    PHINS UP!! Season is almost here!!
     
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  14. foozool13

    foozool13 #12 #13 #23 #29 #54 #99 Donator

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    Consistency at the C position, upgrade at LG, Backup OT. (Top 3 for me)
     
  15. BenchFiedler

    BenchFiedler Undrafted Pro-Bowler

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    I also think RT James played like ISH for almost half of the season then started to improve and got better chemistry with Bushrod as well. But he struggled a lot at the beginning of the season. We can't have that this year with that brutal schedule
     
  16. Jssanto

    Jssanto Active Member

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    Tunsil is in his second year and back to his first position. Bushrod is now in his second year at R guard, big change from L tackle, so both of these positions should be better.
    James may be better via new (Gase primarily) coaches.
    Larsen seems ok even if not pro bowler.
    Pouncey a definite question.
    I think we have a chance to have a well above avg Oline.
     
  17. finmann

    finmann Pro Bowler

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    OK...I see what you and Eesti are saying, you actually put more emphasis on the center position than anywhere else. Lack of a decent center affects the entire line. The question then becomes why so much attention on guards(not that there aren't important) on this site and local media and not enough attention being paid to the center position.
     
  18. Stoobz

    Stoobz Scout Team Finheaven VIP

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    Lack of healthy quality starters and in the recent past, some really bad OL coaching.

    Perhaps both have resolved themselves.
     
  19. russianbear

    russianbear FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    guard play for one, injuries for two, and something that has been improved is tannehill wasn't as comfortable back there as he is now

    all of those factors have lead to a very bad o-line showing over the last 4 years or so
     
  20. DolfanDuBbZ~

    DolfanDuBbZ~ Avoid the 'Noid

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    Playing tackles at guard, causes problems. And the FO along with Gase, thought it was a good thing last year.

    Anyways, I've pounded the table for some legit guards....for years. Martin? If not for DAL actually being smart, I was a big proponent of drafting him. Whitehair? He showed in CHI he was not only a day 1 starter, but one who could kick into Center and play at a decent clip.

    Want more consistent play? Get some guards who actually, you know, play guard.
     
  21. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    I would say it's a couple of things. One is that the unit hasn't had continuity. That is huge for an offensive line. How many games over the last three years has Miami had all their starters play together? Not many.

    Secondly has been constant scheme changes. The team went from looking for power type players under Sparano to finesse under Philibin and now more athletic types with Gase.

    Injuries to players like Pouncey have really hurt. It would be one thing if he was an average player, but he's someone who makes an impact when he is able to play. That's problematic and I think the team needs to find a starting caliber guard/center in the draft because of the number of games Pouncey has missed.

    Lack of talent at guard has to be listed. Miami has a potential elite left tackle in Tunsil, a pro-bowl type center when Pouncey is healthy and a decent right tackle in James. Asiata may be the answer at one guard spot, but that is yet to be determined. Bushrod is a stopgap and the depth is questionable.
     
  22. maralieus

    maralieus Lets get those balls deep!!

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    The problem is philbin created a finesse offense with soft lineman and its been tough to get that out. It takes multiple years to rebuild an entire offensive line rotation. Pouncey was the only one that fits a good to great o-line group when Gase came. The only other so-called "consistent starter" was James and that is still debatable. They were marshmallow soft. Their technique was all for naught because they couldnt handle getting punched in the mouth.

    Tunsil is tough and skilled. Pouncey is tough enough. James is average on both. Those guards though. Once again we're looking at them as the make it or break it group. I'm hopeful for asiata though. Possibly Steen as well.
     
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  23. Pandarilla

    Pandarilla Well-Known Member

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    We stemmed the sack parade by throwing tackles at the guard position.

    This year, we really need them to control the tempo and protect our defense. I'm looking at Larsen and Bushrod at left and right guard. Asiata and Steen will back them up.

    Steen is said to have looked stronger this year. If he starts, it will be a godsend.

    Asiata looks to be a mauler, but I think he's struggling now with pad level and leverage.

    Steen and Asiata emerging as our starting guards seems like best case scenario so far (not to slight Larsen, as I don't know how good of a push he can get).
     
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  24. Fin Thirteen

    Fin Thirteen FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Our past FOs (and this one in the case of Bushrod) have fallen into the trap of drafting tackles to play guard. They did it because the tackles have the footwork and mobility to play zone and the flexibility to move around the line on gameday (because you dress so few linemen that's a big plus). We built lines ostensibly to move the pocket, to pull and then get to the second level and to handle the smaller shifter explosive D linemen.

    We ignored drafting college guards under the misapprehension that they wouldn't fit a zone scheme, that they would lack flexibility and that showing aggression and a nasty streak was surely a mask for athletic limitations.

    So we went through a farce of constantly shifting personnel, almost all of them tackles by trade (many if them not very good to start with) who were asked to move from tackle to guard and back, left to right and back - why? Because they didn't fit well anywhere. None had the necessary anchor, quick hands and aggressive mentality for the interior.

    The farce hasn't quite ended yet, in the sense that we still played a LT at LG last year, a LT at RG. Plus, with all the converted tackle converts on the roster, we had no proper center cover until recently (and you could easily argue we still dont).

    To improve, first we need players who can play on the interior in the club and clear out the swing tackle and failure players. That's partially complete. Then we need a run of TC and games with a consistent line. We need guards (probably at least on more unless Asiata can step up) who can move the pile when needed - zone is fine but on 4th and inches or goalline it's about power and desire more often than not. And we need a competent center backup who can ID the offence, snap the ball and anchor the middle.

    I'd say we're 75% there on all of those, barring the run of consistency. But 75% has as much chance of becoming 50% as 100%., because we lack a culture of dominance and success in the line.
     
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  25. finmann

    finmann Pro Bowler

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    excellent read brother.......definitely answers the question
     
  26. Dsteve

    Dsteve Well-Known Member

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    The problem in the first half of the year was basically Juwan James getting smoked on every third and medium plus senario. Instant, barely slowing the guy down pressure. It was ridiculous. Years past it's been the same thing but from every position. Literally in every passing down our line would never win.

    In the run game it hinges on the health of the center who's always hurt. I'm really disappointed we didn't fix at least one guard position but the players we have now are at least NFL standard, low end starters. Before we basically had dudes off the street like Dallas Thomas and the other turn style twin cut mid season.
     
  27. Sons Of Shula

    Sons Of Shula not a dull boy Hammered Super Donator Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Just in case anyone needs a reminder of what real guard play looks like. I'd take on that contract in a moments notice as well.

     

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