Miami Dolphins: Can the Offensive Line Lead a Dominant Running Game?

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IAugust 22, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 12:  The Miami Dolphins offensive line against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

While the Miami Dolphins have been desperately attempting to improve every aspect of their squad through draft picks and free-agent signings, a lot of attention has been directed toward their offensive line.

The line’s appearance in the media has ranged from accepting Segways as a grateful gift from Reggie Bush after his 1,000-yard season last year to Jake Long’s attractive wife in Hard Knocks.

But in reality, the line has drastically improved over the last three seasons. The Dolphins have invested early draft picks and hefty contracts in a line that they hope can protect rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill and pave the way for their talented running backs.

Led by Pro Bowler and former No. 1 pick out of Michigan, Jake Long, the offensive line looks to be one of the strong points of the Miami squad.

Center Mike Pouncey, last year’s first-round pick, hopes to improve on a successful rookie season and intends to elevate his play as an elite center in the NFL.

The two veterans on the line are currently set at guard. On the left side, Richie Incognito, who has garnered a particular reputation for his dirty play, has looked pretty solid in preseason workouts.

In the offseason, the Dolphins signed long-time Philadelphia Eagle Artis Hicks to start at right guard. As Hicks reaches the end of his career, Miami hopes to get at least one more solid season out of him and to have him serve as a mentor for the young members of the line.

Right beside Hicks stands Jonathan Martin, Miami’s recent second-round pick out of Stanford. Martin was recently headlined in the media for asserting that he can play a lot better than his current average preseason performance. While it was a surprise to see the Stanford product who protected Andrew Luck in college fall to the second round, the Dolphins hope Martin can live up to his hype and become a reliable offensive tackle.

The weapons are there on the offensive line. We will just have to wait and see how they perform come September.