There can be no excuses for the Dolphins’ offensive line in 2016.
The fans won’t allow it. The media won’t allow it.
And it appears the players won’t allow it either.
When asked Friday if this will be the best Dolphins line since Ryan Tannehill entered the league in 2012, center Mike Pouncey responded bluntly:
“It better. We’ve spent a lot of money on this offensive line, so it better be.”
Money — and draft picks. When the Dolphins took Laremy Tunsil with the 13th pick last month, he became the fourth first-round pick on the Dolphins’ projected starting offensive line.
The others: Pouncey, Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James.
“I’d have never believed that,” Pouncey said. “I’m looking forward to it. There’s a lot of talent on that offensive line. I’m really excited about our new offensive line coach [Chris Foerster]. He’s been phenomenal so far. We’re excited to play for him.”
No one would be happier than Tannehill if the Dolphins’ pass protection drastically improves this year. He’s been sacked 184 times in his career — the most of any quarterback since 2012.
Pouncey was upbeat about the team’s roster during a conversation with reporters before the Fins Weekend golf tournament at Key Biscayne’s Crandon Golf. Funds raised this weekend will go to support City Year Miami, a non-profited dedicated to helping high school students.
Pouncey golfs once or twice a week -- although not as often as he would have liked this winter. He underwent hip surgery in January to fix an impingement.
“I feel great,” Pouncey said. “I’m 100 percent. I’m glad I got it when I did. It killed my offseason, but it was really worth it for the season.”
Now healthy and entering his sixth NFL season, Pouncey has become a true leader. He’s a mentor to Tunsil, who fell to the Dolphins after an old video of him smoking weed through a gas-mask bong surfaced on draft night.
“I think he’s handled it great,” Pouncey said. “He’s a very mature kid, just talking to him, he’s really smart. He handles pressure really well. That’s a lot of good characteristics to have coming into the NFL, being strong minded, because there’s a lot of pressure on Sundays.