Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When the Miami Dolphins chose rookie offensive left tackle Jonathan Martin out of Stanford, they knew he would be on a learning curve switching to right tackle. But with the release of the first depth chart, Martin seems to have won the Fins coaching staff over.
“I like the way the kid practices,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. “I think that he is a quick study’ I think that he is serious about his profession.”
The hope for the Dolphins is that Martin will provide the long-term bookend for All-Pro left tackle Jake Long to help anchor the offensive line for years to come. The Fins invested first-round picks at left tackle and center and now have a second-round pick in Martin on the right side.
That’s a major investment by the Fins on the offensive line that both coaches and fans hope will finally pay off with a more dynamic offense.
“He’s (Martin) a guy who, when you watch the film as a staff, his name doesn’t come up a lot, and for an offensive lineman that is good,” Philbin said. “You kind of want to remain anonymous when you are an offensive lineman. The way he conducts his business at the stage he is in his career is very impressive.”
Martin, along with the rest of the offensive line, is learning a completely new blocking scheme this year. Zone blocking will be used for the first time in several years for the Dolphins and Martin’s athleticism and skill is expected to translate well to that scheme.
“I don’t want to sound like a smart aleck, but offensively the zone blocking rules are if you can count to three, you can zone block and he’s a Stanford guy,” Philbin said. “Seriously’ it’s not that much more complicated.”
Martin spent the last few seasons protecting the back of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck when the duo was at Stanford. For his switch to right tackle, it’s been baptism by fire for Martin who has been lining up against Cameron Wake in practices.
It’s great experience for Martin facing one of the top edge rushers in the league. But Friday when the Dolphins finally take the wrapping off the new offense and take the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, fans will know a lot more about how Martin and the entire offensive line responds.