There was one position of need that was too big to ignore for the Miami Dolphins going into the 2014 free agency period. The blindside tackle spot, a quarterback’s best friend, was a position in flux for the entirety of the 2013 season. The inconsistencies at the position helped contribute to the Dolphins giving up the most sacks in football.
With the left tackle position being so important in the development of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Miami needed to make a major move, and they did just that by signing Branden Albert. One of the most reliable players at the position, Albert excels at both run and pass blocking, and will definitely be the anchor of this unit, especially with fellow Pro Bowl lineman Mike Pouncey reportedly missing time at the beginning of the year.
National media is beginning to take notice of Albert’s stellar play. In a recent piece written by ESPN The Magazine’s Nathan Jahnke, Albert was named as the free agency acquisition of the 2014 offseason that will most dramatically transform his new team. He labeled Albert as a transformative player who would dramatically improve Miami’s maligned offensive line from last year.
Between Jonathan Martin and Bryant McKinnie, Miami’s left tackles were a mess in 2013. Martin allowed, on average, one sack, one hit and two hurries per game. And McKinnie gave up four or more pressures in seven of his 10 starts for the Fins. Enter Albert, a 29-year-old former Chief who was the No. 15 pick in 2008. He’s been one of the best pass-blocking left tackles since 2011
Per ESPN, the Dolphins had four games last season where the left tackle position gave up 2 sacks, and five where they gave up one sack. Albert looks to be the perfect solution to fix that problem, as he’s allowed the third least amount of pressures (4.6) per 100 pass blocks. Miami will be hoping that the 2013 Pro Bowler will be the answer to the problem at left tackle, and help guide some of the younger offensive lineman on the team such as Ja’Wuan James and Dallas Thomas to form a strong and reliable unit for the upcoming season.
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