Dolphins Notebook

Miami Dolphins offensive line remains intact, focuses on improving

WEB VOTE Which NFL team are you most surprised to see struggling this season?

Joe Philbin wasn’t kidding when last week he said that he believes in the guys the Dolphins have on the offensive line.

As the team returned from its five-day bye-week vacation, it did so with no changes to its offensive front.

During team drills open to the media, Jonathan Martin was still the left tackle, Richie Incognito the left guard, Mike Pouncey the center, John Jerry the right guard and Tyson Clabo the right tackle.

That was the exact group that allowed 24 sacks through five games, putting the Dolphins on pace to break some infamous team and league records.

In the time since their Week 5 loss to Baltimore, Dolphins coaches have stressed blocking fundamentals more than anything else. They have apparently decided that instead of making a lineup change, the Dolphins simply need to have the five guys up front play better.

“We have been in a situation where we’ve gone against some pretty dang good rushers and we have to keep our quarterback erect and we didn’t do that,” offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said. “And that lies on me as much as anybody else.”

More than once, Dolphins linemen have said the key to cutting down on sacks is by running the football better. The team ranks in the bottom seven of the league in rushing yards per game (69.6) and average yards per carry (3.7).

“I think we’ve got to wholeheartedly commit to it,” Incognito said. “Coaches and players, we have to commit to running the football.

“I think we are at our best when we’re running the football and really giving the defense a lot to think about,” he added. “Any time you’re one dimensional, you’re not going to have success in this league."

This and that

• Along with Paul Soliai, tight end Michael Egnew also missed Monday’s practice due to illness. Safety Chris Clemons was limited during team drills.

• Dolphins coaches levy fines for most every conceivable misdeed, but few as hefty as losing a team-issued iPad, which includes the playbook: $9,000.

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