Miami Dolphins

Injury to Branden Albert helps turn O-line’s day sour

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill throws the ball as Jacksonville Jaguars Paul Posluszny in the fourth quarter at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, September 20, 2015.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill throws the ball as Jacksonville Jaguars Paul Posluszny in the fourth quarter at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, September 20, 2015. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Jason Fox and Ju’Wuan James want to watch the film before offering an assessment of the Dolphins’ offensive line play during Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But chances are they will want to forget the reviews from that session.

Yellow flags, a running game that never got going and yet another injury made for a shaky day along the line. The Dolphins didn’t have a rush longer than 9 yards, and the line was flagged four times for 35 yards — with all the penalties coming after left tackle Branden Albert left the game late in the second quarter during the 23-20 loss.

Albert declined to comment after hobbling out of the locker room at EverBank Field with a hamstring injury. But James, the right tackle, discussed the team’s issues, including the three times he was flagged for 25 yards combined.

“Holding, there’s no excuse for that. False starts,” James said. “Normally, we’re a pretty disciplined team. Careless, especially on myself.”

The line really stumbled after the loss of Albert, who gingerly limped to the locker room at the end of the first half. The team missed Albert last season when he was lost for the year during the ninth game with torn ligaments in his right knee. They missed him again Sunday, as both sacks of quarterback Ryan Tannehill came following Albert’s departure.

Fox, cleared to play Sunday after sustaining a concussion during the second preseason game, replaced Albert and held his own for a time.

But with a little more than three minutes remaining in a game tied at 20, former teammate Jared Odrick threw a changeup at Fox. The Dolphins had a first-and-10 at their own 8 when Odrick blew by Fox and sacked Tannehill, who fumbled into the end zone. Fox pushed the ball out of the end zone to recover it at the 1, preventing a safety.

“He bull-rushed me a couple of times in a row, and I thought he was going to do it to me again,” Fox said. “I decided to be a little more aggressive with him. It was just a bad decision on my part.”

Despite the second-half sacks, Tannehill said he had time for the most part. But, like James, he felt the line was out of synch at times.

“They’re a little beat up right now, but those guys are out there battling,” Tannehill said. “For the most part, I had time. It’s about consistency and bringing it every down.”

As bad as that was, the Dolphins’ running game was worse. The team rushed for 42 yards on 16 carries, managing just a 2.6-yard average. Subtract Tannehill’s three rushes for 17 yards and a 6-yard carry by receiver Jarvis Landry, and the Dolphins running backs totaled 12 carries for 19 yards.

Miami didn’t make a first down on the ground.

“When we get in the game, we’ve got to execute,” James said. “I haven’t seen the film, but it’s our job to keep the run game going.”

  Comments