Early in training camp, reports from Miami stoked some fear about how well Jonathan Martin would do as the team’s starting left tackle.
He was getting beaten for sacks by Olivier Vernon and Dion Jordan at practice, raising concerns about how well he’d do when facing guys like Paul Kruger, Robert Mathis and Elvis Dumervil in the early weeks of the season. The Dolphins have played three preseason games since then, but the concern about Martin hasn’t grown based on his performance in those contests.
According to coach Joe Philbin, that’s because Martin has been “quietly improving” over the course of the summer.
“That’s probably a good thing for an offensive lineman. You don’t want to be noticed too much as an offensive lineman,” Philbin said, via Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post. “I think the timing on his punch is getting better, his footwork is getting better. Again his continual work, he’s working hard at it he’s very detailed with his preparation.”
The Dolphins explored other options at left tackle before ultimately deciding to go with Martin as the protector of Ryan Tannehill’s blindside. It’s a decision that will weigh heavily on Miami’s chances of offensive success, making it a clear positive that things have trended in the right direction over the course of the preseason.