Miami Dolphins

Why Laremy Tunsil was ‘sad’ after yet another solid night by Dolphins’ offensive line

Dolphins offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil talks after facing the Baltimore Ravens

"I just want to improve from last year." Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil talks inside the lockerroom after facing the Baltimore Ravens in the preseason on Aug. 25, 2018.
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"I just want to improve from last year." Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil talks inside the lockerroom after facing the Baltimore Ravens in the preseason on Aug. 25, 2018.

Laremy Tunsil spent at least part the past week getting mentally ready for Terrell Suggs.

Turns out, it was wasted effort.

Suggs, Baltimore’s ageless pass rusher, was one of more than a dozen Ravens starters who didn’t play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Dolphins.

“Was I disappointed? You know, it’s always good to go against someone who’s a high caliber player like Suggs,” said Tunsil, the Dolphins’ left tackle. “I was kind of sad I didn’t go against him but I’m sure there will be plenty of times.”

Instead, Tunsil went against Ravens backups, and for the third time this preseason, was solid.

"I just want to improve from last year." Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil talks inside the lockerroom after facing the Baltimore Ravens in the preseason on Aug. 25, 2018.

In fact, the Dolphins’ entire line was, notwithstanding the final box score. Officially, Ryan Tannehill was sacked twice, but the first of those two was because the ball slipped out of his hand while he tried to throw, resulting in a fumble.

So, the offensive line has given up just one real sack in Tannehill’s 41 drop-backs this preseason.

Impressive, right?

Not to Tunsil, who has been noticeably better than he was a year ago.

“It’s just preseason, right? It really doesn’t count.”

For the Dolphins to have any chance of success this fall, that proficiency must translate to the regular season. If this preseason has taught us anything, it’s that the backups behind Tannehill are not ready for prime time.

So he must stay healthy. And the best way to keep him healthy is to keep him upright.

When asked about the significance of taking that first sack in 20 months, Tannehill responded:

“It means I didn’t get a ball out. I didn’t get a first down. That’s purely what I was focused on was just getting that first down and I did a good job taking away one and two, tried to get the three (read) and just couldn’t get the ball off. We have to find a way to make those conversions.”

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