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Film On Dolphins Tackles James And Tunsil Raises Questions

Film On Dolphins Tackles James And Tunsil Raises Questions

Tackles Tunsil and James didn't play like first round picks against the Eagles

Tackles Tunsil and James didn’t play like first round picks against the Eagles

Miami’s biggest surprise was the poor play of their Tackles

There’s no other way to say it: Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James played terribe against the Eagles.

And if you look over film of the game, you’d be surprised at how the performance is actually worse than you remember it.

Now, this isn’t a definitive statement on either players skills or how they will perform in the 2017 Season…

…but it’s a fact that both players laid a big, fat egg.

The mitigating factors for both players are legit. But even with the lack of practice time, game play, and injuries, this flop was bit of a shock, considering the Offensive Tackles were supposed to be the strength of the line.

And with less than 3 weeks till opening day, this does beg the question of, ‘what is going on’?

If you look over the first half, where both players played from beginning to end, there was only one play by them that you could definitively say, ‘Hey, that’s a nice play’.

Beyond that one play, there was a fair amount of snaps that was just the bare minimum expected at the NFL level… and sadly a lot, ‘WHAT THE HECK’!!!

Miami has invested too much in their Tackles to get poor play like this

Consider that Miami had over 30 offensive plays (my rough count) in the first half and in the film below there are 14 plays where either–or both–James and Tunsil were struggling or outright beat.

Somewhere around less 40% of their plays weren’t wins.

Ohhh, I added at the end of the second video the one play where a Dolphins Tackle exceeded expectations. I just wanted to end on a positive note. Keep it real, but keep it positive!

Anyway, in the video below, you see pass-blocking break down due to speed rush, bull rush, rips and swim moves, from the edge and inside… basically every aspect of a pass rush.


The run blocking didn’t fare much better, although James did edge Tunsil out in this department. Tunsil appeared uncommitted with little effort or technique.

James gets a kudo for a very nice seal block in the last play.


Again, this isn’t a death sentence or ‘the season is over moment’. But it forces the question, ‘why are the struggles so profound and can they be corrected by Week 1′. This was far more than a few gaffs. And if it takes a few weeks into the Regular Season for one or both to get up to speed, it could be very costly.

Remember James’ play last season?

Offensive Tackles play a critical role. And you don’t need pay per head sites to tell you the odds are very high that even one or two major mistakes from the bookends can cost a team the game… or worse their starting Quarterback.

Adam Gase must coach them up and quick and save me from another year of nervous Nelly ulcers. Go Fins!!!



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  • Lemmus

    …you can bet that TB will test the OTs after watching this film …Cutler can’t throw on his back …with his holding the ball so long, the pressure will get to him if the OL plays like it did this week …and that will mean we’ll see Fasano taking a lot of snaps instead of Thomas due to his much better blocking

    …beating a dead horse here but I’m truly sick of the OL problems …we could have fixed them and should have …but no, T-bum went for the flash and Gase apparently bought into it …you can hype Davis and Steen all day long but they are and will likely remain 3rd string camp bodies forced into starting slots …same deal with Pouncy, the least we should have done was find a quality bu who could be developed …now our entire season looks like it will go south if Pouncy gets injured again …and he will 🙁

    …I’m heartsick …for once we have great WRs, a pro-bowl RB, and a QB who can put a ball on the money anywhere on the field …but if the QB is constantly pressured and the RB has to open his own lanes, it will all go for naught …sick, sick, sick

    …unlike most here, I actually lived through the great years when Miami was feared more than the Pats are now …then all through the Marino years, they could never give him a run game …and now here we set year after year with an OL that never gets it done …I’m so friggin’ sick of what this franchise has become and I’m flat running out of time to see it fixed …aaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!!!!!

    • admin

      I was going to say all this stuff in reply to your comment in the last article… then Urbik was cut. He was my special little player… and now he is gone–at least till Week 4. Honestly, I’m not hyping Davis. I don’t do hype. I just call it like I see. Steen I am down on. I even said he would be cut. But in Week 3 for those two drives, he wasn’t the problem. Now Urbik is gone and I’m a bit confused. I do think Davis will do well, not because I want him, but because of what I see. He isn’t Richie. Richie is a top 5 interior linemen, but from everything I have seen on film, he’s the best LG since Richie. Not in the same league. And a lot of it has to do with the sheer garbage that has been manning LG. But, as I recall I also said Urbik would rock… and he did in a steady sort of way :). And now he’s gone… I really think they will grab a Vet. I think…

    • admin

      Just re-watched 1st half of Week 3 in slow-mo… Lemmus, you are wrong on Davis. Davis is legit. Not saying he is All Pro, but he had THE best grade on the OL. I know you’ll love to eat your words on this one… so get the ketchup ready. Too bad he can only play one position. Bushrod is consistently avg. and Pouncey looked a little weak… and then there is the T’s. But Urbik was let go because they want to keep some extra youth… Smith and Avery, or want to see if a good vet shakes loose. But either way, Davis will start and they believe in him… things might change, but at this point, the tape say the kids can play.

      • Lemmus

        …certainly hope you are right …but I’ll pass on the ketchup, eh …hype or not-hype, you have a glass is half full outlook on this OL that I just don’t see …its less than two weeks before the games count and they started Steen …if Davis was the answer , why Steen? …because they’re not confident with Davis is why …and they watch the same tape you do plus see him live every day …I’m of the mind that whether he starts or not, he’s not the answer there …and neither is Bushrod at RG …and there are serious questions at C due to health and they have no bu …then we have “new” problems at OT with no legitimate bu …WTFO?

        …the answer on Urbik just doesn’t fly …we waived him with a settlement …even if we wanted to bring him back after 4 weeks, we have to contend with other teams who need OL at that point …why do that if he was actually viewed as a possible starter? …just to open a spot? …no, I think they had seen everything he had to offer and matched against his injuries, decided he wasn’t the future, period …I think he’s done here …imnsho

        …we went into January knowing we had major problems at LB and OL …they tried to fix the LB problem and may have actually made progress …but not the OL …a 5th for Asiata? …who is still lost playing 2nd/3rd string and would be cut material on half the NFL teams if the rest of our OL didn’t have major problems as well?

        …this is on the FO and Gase …your glass is half full, mine has a crack in the bottom …I think we’re going to see them picking up at least 2 OL off waivers …but because we’re so low on that waiver wire oder, we won’t get much …here’s hoping I’m wrong on every count in this but that’s the way I see it right now …we need a miracle, hell we need a slew of them or the OL is going to drag this season down with them …which is a damn shame because otherwise this offense has top five written all over it

        • admin

          I think you’ll like my new article… it along your line… I think Steen was played to see if he can handle first string in the back up role or a trade bait. They are juggling to try and get this right with so many issues that are really unprecedented. Injury to Larsen, Urbik, and James. Pouncey the ever question mark and Tunsil with some crazy personal issues going on. Remove half of these and it’s a different story… you have to admit this is Murphy’s Law in action.

        • Stuart

          Right on Lemmus. Why is it so impossible to fix that O Line????????

      • Stuart

        It’s all about Pouncey though. Man can we run that rock when he’s healthy. Jay Train all day!

        • admin

          Yeah, Pouncey is so key, no one else can get to the second level like he can and that’s an essential quality in the Zone Stretch… He survive Week 3, so there’s hope. But I’ll be holding my breathe every time he’s in.

    • Stuart

      So true man. So true

  • Phinfreak

    I disagree this had anything to do with “rust”. They get tons of reps starting mini camp. This is pure lack of focus and position coaching. Where were the fundamental techniques? I’d be looking hard at the OL coach.

    I’d also be looking at my DBs coach as well.

    One player turding on a play here and there is on that player.
    The entire group OTs and DBs – that’s a coaching problem.

    • Phinfreak

      BTW… entire starting D sucked.

      • admin

        I like the front. Godchaux did very well in my opinion… the secondary,as you said, sucked. Was it just communication or lack of talent or mismatched parts? We’ll find out very soon, Freak.

    • admin

      I agree it was one piece here and one piece there that was the issue… coaching, talent, or players not up to speed. Jones was out a long time and so was Allen. That has effect… how much though? James and Tunsil missed most of camp and only played in what one game a piece… maybe James played in the first… brain is slow today. you remember? But to your point, the type of play they showed was beyond rust… basic fundamental tech. were lost and in Tunsil’s case the effort seemed low. IDK freak… this Tackle play threw me and added one huge variable to what was expected to be a certainty. Miami has so many IF’s at this point this leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This might be my first moment of uncertainty so far this season. Tunsil must be a huge asset this season, even if it’s just in pas protect… he just must.

  • Fritz

    The tackles are rusty probably from lack of practice and injury. I hope it gets corrected very soon. The Offensive Line will be better than last years but we will still see some poor play. If it were not for injuries we would have seen the improvement by now.

    A few comments about the third preseason game:

    1. Cutler will be okay but we will have to live with some nail biting moments. He will be slinging the ball around and fortunately he has the arm and the receivers to do it. He knows the offensive system and with the best talent he’s had in a long time hopefully he won’t feel too much pressure and just have fun out there.
    2. I believe Ajayi is the real deal and should pick up where he left off last season. However, his job will be made so much easier if Pouncey can stay healthy.
    3. We got issues on defense. I don’t think it as much as lack of talent as it is lack of communication, poor execution, poor play calling and you can name it. Fortunately we still have time to fix some of the problems. I was worried about the run defense but now it looks like there needs to be concern about the pass defense.
    4. Jordan Phillips has the talent to be dominant. If he would just stop flashing and start doing things more consistently. I do like the kid and want to see him do well. William Hayes and Lawrence Timmons were nice additions.

    Whereas I’ve been busy with a bunch of stuff (took a trip to Amsterdam) I’ve tried to keep up with my reading but was not able to post much. I’m really excited about the upcoming season and look forward to being at a few home games. At this point in time I do not think the sky is falling. This team is much better than the one last year, however, a few games will be won or lost by 1 to 4 points in shootouts. After saying all the above, I think the Dolphins will go 9-7.

    • admin

      Nice, Amsterdam! I’m old and married with kids, my big trips these days are to the mall for a good burger and coffee… I’ll live vicariously through you Fritz!

      1) I agree, but I think he will do better at not screwing up than we expect.

      2) Damn straight! Line though will be key, obviously.

      3) The front looks good to me, but the secondary needs all the things you mentioned. Still want to actually see some press from this zone press we run. Thought that’s why we loved big CB’s?

      4) I just think Phillips is a guy who will only thrive part time. I don’t think it’s fixable, but given we have a great find in Godchaux, we will get two years of production from him… and this DT unit will be a strength. Godchaux was able to take advantage of Suh’s doubles and even draw doubles himself… he had a darn good game… minus the facemask.

      Glad your back Fritz… now we need to get Steve back on board and this will be a very lively Fins conversation… Also, I think the loss of Lippett hurts… although, Verner seems to be decent and growing.

  • Yo Sarian

    Too early to panic but Miami will be looking to draft an OL forever. Also, fat and slow Julius Thomas did not look very energetic in his blocking assignments.

    Here’s to hoping Jesse Davis and Eric Smith can win the day down the road.

    • admin

      I agree on patience. Tunsil missed most of camp with personal issues and James with a bum shoulder. Whatever the rationale, whether rust , incompetence, or whatever… this must end and end fast. Miami can’t get off to it’s usual slow start and expect to turn it around like last year. Smith needs marination in my opinion–how much I don’t know. But, I like his kick to handle edge rusher better than James at this point. He might need to get more man strength and refine his tech. Davis I like alot. He does need more growth, but he is near; a good as Urbik at this point and both will be assets at LG… in my opinion.

    • admin

      And yeah, Thomas looks like a big waste of 6 mill… this one is on Gase as he pulled the lever on this decision. He looked slow, unalert, and terrible in blocking… other than that he was awesome.

  • Samson

    Tunsil and James will be our starting tackles barring injuries. So if they don’t step up our season could be lost. Between them and Pouncey we were hoping they could mask the guard play. If that doesn’t happen it will be a long season

    • admin

      i agree that T and C is critical… but I’m less and less inclined to believe that the G play will be a hindrance needing cover. Not to say they are stellar, but so far they have acquitted themselves fairly well… they being Davis, Urbik, Bushrod, and Brendal at C, and to a lesser degree, Steen at C. BUT it ll hinges on Pouncey and James and Tunsil… fingers crossed.