It is great they brought in a top receiver in Mike Wallace. I only wish they would have attached the same emphasis to the position most protecting Tannehill’s blind side and giving him that extra second or two to find Wallace deep.
Miami has three solid offensive linemen in left guard Richie Incognito, center Mike Pouncey and right tackle Tyson Clabo. But injuries have forced shuffling and dishevelment. Martin has been a constant on the critical far left — but still a question.
“Right now we’re experimenting a little bit just seeing what we have,” Incognito said Wednesday.
Coach Joe Philbin, asked Wednesday about Martin, mentioned “his technique is improving,” and that, “we like his development.”
Those are things you hear said about a project player more than about someone being counted on right now as your starting left tackle. Especially when that same player last season, as a rookie, was ranked 76th of 80 NFL tackles by Pro Football Focus.
Martin was drafted as a right tackle but was switched last year when Long was injured. Martin allowed the most quarterback hurries (47) in the NFL. He seemed outmanned at left tackle when facing the top teams, the 49ers and Patriots.
An uneven camp for Martin thus far has not chased away many of the doubts about him, and there is no Plan B. All Miami can do at this point is pray the player teammates call J-Mart is better than K-Mart quality at the line’s most important position.
The young player is aware of the responsibility thrust on him and plies it as motivation. Athletes tend to do that. What choice do they have?
“I like having the pressure on myself,” Martin said.
He has his wish.