Fins Pass Blocking Woes Continue
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In 2002, the Houston Texans made quarterback David Carr the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft. Carr came to Houston ready to start with the new franchise. Instead, he spent his first year running for his life.
Carr ended up getting sacked an NFL-record 76 times in 2002. Ever since then, Carr has been a shell of his former self and never achieved the success that was predicted before he spent a season on his back in Houston.
Fast-forward to 2013 and the Miami Dolphins are in danger of having history repeat itself with quarterback Ryan Tannehill. A former first-round pick with lots of talent, Tannehill is on pace to break Carr’s record for sacks.
On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens came after Tannehill throughout the game and found little-to-no resistance from Dolphins pass blockers. By the time the game ended, the Ravens had sacked Tannehill six times for -35 yards.
The six sacks added to an already staggering 18 sacks the Fins had allowed before the Ravens game. The Fins have now surrendered 24 sacks on the season and are on pace to see Tannehill get sacked 77 times this season.
Tannehill’s toughness has not been questioned, but even head coach Joe Philbin said it’s impossible to get into any type of offensive rhythm if your quarterback is constantly on his back.
The Dolphins gambled in the offseason that Jonathan Martin would be able to fill in at left tackle after letting Jake Long leave in free agency. The Fins passed on acquiring Branden Albert from the Kansas City Chiefs believing that paying him cost too much.
Plus, the Fins didn’t want to give up on of their second round draft picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Albert has gone on to anchor a Chiefs offensive line that has helped the team get off to an undefeated start in 2013. Martin, who was ranked as one of the worst offensive tackles in the NFL by profootballfocus.com, has struggled to stop any pass rusher.
In what may turn out to be Martin’s signature play, Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs bull-rushed the Fins left tackle, picked him up and threw him onto his backside.
The question the Dolphins face heading into the bye week is what to do about getting more protection for Tannehill. The problem is that teams, other than the Dolphins, put a premium on tackles and there just isn’t much out there available without paying a lot in return.
Dolphins left guard Richie Incognito said the entire offensive line should be fired if the team’s pass blocking doesn’t improve. The Fins have an off week to try to find help and refine the blocking, otherwise Incognito may just get his wish.