Miami Dolphins, 2012-2015 – Tannehill Era
We’ve omitted 2015 from this list due to Philbin being fired mid-season. We also added the Packers for comparison to show how their line played without Philbin’s influence.
- 2012 – 21st in run blocking, 18th in pass protection
- Colts – 26th in run blocking, 27th in pass protection
- Packers – 25th in run blocking, 31st in pass protection
- 2013 – 28th in run blocking, 30th in pass protection
- Colts – 15th in run blocking, 6th in pass protection
- Packers – 5th in run blocking, 26th in pass protection
- 2014 – 9th in run blocking, 19th in pass protection
- Colts – 16th in run blocking, 7th in pass protection
- Packers – 8th in run blocking, 13th in pass protection
This is a good comparison with the Colts, since both Indianapolis and Miami feature a QB in their first three years in the NFL. Tannehill has a career sack rate of 7.6 percent while Luck is at 5.2 percent. Philbin wasn’t directly in charge of the offense, or the line, in this position as those roles were delegated to coordinators and assistant coaches. That means Philbin can’t take all the blame for any failings while in Miami (the Dolphins front office shares plenty of that blame).
What this really boils down to is: can Philbin make a big enough difference in the run blocking scheme that this facet of the game actually becomes a viable weapon? As we’ve said so many times, Luck has to get rid of the ball quicker to protect himself from taking more hits.
If Philbin can improve the run blocking, it will have a compound effect. One, it will make opponents respect the run game and not just send pass rusher after Luck with abandon. Two, it will cut down on the number of passing attempts Luck as to take and therefore limit his chances of being hit.
There are plenty of encouraging signs that Philbin will be able to solve the offensive line problems, at least in part. The Colts need an upgrade at a position or two along the line, but with a new scheme and some experience for the younger players there is a lot to like about where this unit is headed.