After his Saints handed the Dolphins their first loss of the season, New Orleans linebacker Junior Galette added insult to injury when he called out the Miami offensive line.
Up front we just kept taking advantage of their weak tackles and their inside guys, Galette said after Monday nights game. I wish we could play them again so we could tee off on them again.
He continued: It was a nice win, but I dont think that team was as good as everybody was saying. We just abused their offensive line all game.
The Dolphins allowed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to get hit 10 times Monday, including four sacks. Miamis 18 sacks allowed are tied for most in the league.
Not surprisingly, Galettes comments were not well-received in the Dolphins locker room.
He didnt do much, center Mike Pouncey said Tuesday. Watch the film the film doesnt lie. He had two tackles. I guess hes the best defensive player in the NFL.
In addition to his two tackles, Galette had one sack and another quarterback hit in 47 plays.
You have to stay classy, guard Richie Incognito said. You have to be a professional, and I just dont think those comments were very professional.
Left tackle Jonathan Martin said he is ready to move past the insults and begin preparations for Sundays game against the Ravens.
I really have nothing to say back to him, Martin said. He can say what he wants to say. They did kick our butt pretty good on Monday Night Football. Im not going to think about him again unless we play them in the Super Bowl.
Galettes outburst can be attributed to at least in part a game that got chippy in the trenches, especially toward the end. Galette said after the game that the Dolphins were talking so much trash while we were up by 25.
That excuse didnt fly with Martin, however.
He started the trash talk, Martin said firmly. So thats on him.
Regardless of Galettes comments, pass protection remains a high-priority issue for the Dolphins. The team has given up a sack on 11.25 percent of Tannehills dropbacks. Only the woeful Jaguars have been worse this season at 11.31 percent.
That cant continue to happen if we want to keep Tannehill as our starting quarterback, Pouncey said. If he keeps getting hit like that he wont last too long. We have to protect him better so hes not in the pocket afraid of getting hit.
Coach Joe Philbin reiterated that the pass-protection problems arent entirely the offensive lines fault.
Incognito said it has been frustrating all season, because most of the offense does a good job protecting on any given play, but there always seems to be just one error that erodes the pocket, whether it be from a running back, tight end or the offensive line.
To protect the quarterback, you really need to have all guys in sync at all times, he said.
The silver lining, if any can be found in a 38-17 defeat, is that Tannehill was protected relatively well early in the game, when the Saints defense had to worry about the running game. As the margin widened, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was forced to call a one-dimensional game.
We were throwing the ball the entire second half and it was one-on-one pass [protection] the whole time, Martin said. We didnt do a good enough job. Weve got to get better 18 sacks in four games isnt good enough.
The Dolphins didnt give up their first sack until the third quarter, already down 28-10. The culprit? Galette.
Even though Tannehill stayed clean in the first half, the consensus is that the pass protection will need to improve before facing the defending Super Bowl champions Sunday.
Keeping our quarterback [upright] and not having him hit it certainly has to be at the top of the list, Sherman said.