Skip to main content

Encouraging Signs for Dolphins Offensive Line

The Miami Dolphins started two rookies in their opener for the first time since 2008, and the group as a whole turned in a solid performance in Week 1

Of everything that happened in their season opener, perhaps the most encouraging for the Miami Dolphins from a big-picture perspective was the performance of the offensive line.

For the first time since 2008, the Dolphins had two rookies starting on that unit for an opener and the group as a whole certainly held its own.

Sure, there were issues with run blocking out of the base package, which resulted in Jordan Howard ending up with only 7 rushing yards on eight carries, but both Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida were able to average 4.4 yards per rushing attempt, which is a figure any team would take.

In pass protection, the Dolphins gave up only one sack, and that came late in the game when they trailed 21-11 and they were in clear catch-up — and therefore passing — mode.

And in the penalty department, there was only one, a holding call on veteran guard Ereck Flowers.

“We did a good job, I thought, in pass pro for the first time out," offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. "We’ve got some communication things that we’ve got to take care of on the offensive line, but as you continue to develop the continuity there as well as the young players there, for the first time out they did a pretty good job. It’s going to keep — the tempo and the speed — getting bigger and faster every week just because we missed some stunts but we picked some up, so they’re going to keep trying that.

"In the run game, they moved some of their people than we had seen before. We didn’t handle movement very well and we’re going to get that too in the run game. We’ve got to improve that facet of what we’re trying to get done. We just didn’t get our base package run game running like I want to.”

Read More

The two rookies starting, of course, were left tackle Austin Jackson and right guard Solomon Kindley, who teamed for a Dolphins first since tackle Jake Long and guard Donald Thomas started the 2008 opener as rookies.

More than anything that happened Sunday, the game didn't appear too big for either one of those players.

"The thing that I was really impressed with Austin was his competitive spirit," offensive line coach Steve Marshall said. "The guy fought hard. He’s a tough guy and really did some good things. Obviously we went back yesterday and looked at the tape and talked about what needs to get done here moving forward. Actually it’s the same with Solomon. Solomon is a big, strong young man, as Austin is, and I really like where they are at this point. They know right now they have a lot of work in front of them and they’ve got a lot more challenges in front of them. We’re going to go back out on the practice field tomorrow and keep working on it.”

Before Long and Thomas, the previous pair of rookies to start a opener for the Dolphins were multiple Pro Bowl selections Richmond Webb and Keith Sims.

The Dolphins obviously would be thrilled if Jackson and Kindley came anywhere near the level of Webb and Sims, but there's clearly a long way to go before the comparison can be made.

But for a start, it most definitely was encouraging.