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Much Maligned Miami Line Now Looking Mighty Fine

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In One Offseason, What Had Been A Weakness Is Now A Team Strength

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

So, if you're the Miami Dolphins' front office, and your quarterback has been sacked more times than any other QB in football over the past four seasons, what do you do ?   For starters, you bring in some guys who weren't here before, since obviously, many of the guys who were here just weren't good enough.  While each of the five players who started for the Dolphins a year ago are still here, two of them, guards Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner, while still on the roster, are no longer starting, while a third, G/C Jamil Douglas, is now on the team's practice squad.

In their places are number one draft pick and prize rookie Laremy Tunsil at left guard, and former New Orleans and Chicago journeyman Jermon Bushrod, manning the right side.  Although Bushrod is playing the right guard position for the first time in his ten plus year career,  he played left tackle for the Saints during their Super Bowl era.

In addition to the very apparent upgrades, in terms of personnel - Miami's line was better, in terms of keeping the quarterback's uniform clean, this preseason - new Dolphins head coach Adam Gase has made it clear that the team will also be calling for more quick hitting pass plays this season than in years past, saying that the league, in general, is trending toward quicker throws, in the interest of protecting its QB's, and that, "If you want to let your quarterback stand back there and get killed . . .", longer developing plays have a tendency to do just that.

While Miami still has a myriad of problems on defense,  this year's starting offensive line, from left to right, of Albert, Tunsil, Pouncey, Bushrod and James, four of whom are former number one draft picks, should perform substantially better this season than in quarterback Ryan Tannehill's first four NFL campaigns.  That's good news for Dolphin fans.