Tunsil’s growing pains could keep him out of a starting job

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Thrilled to have tackle Laremy Tunsil side to No. 13 in the draft but equipped with a pair of starting tackles in Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James, the Dolphins decided to slide Tunsil inside, where he’d easily win the starting job at left guard over subpar incumbent Dallas Thomas.

It may not be so easy.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald explains that Tunsil yielded the No. 1 spot to Thomas late in offseason workouts after Tunsil made enough physical and mental errors to be demoted. At one point, he whiffed on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who ended up with a clear shot at the quarterback.

Whether the demotion lasts after padded practices commence is a different question, but it’s not a surprise that Tunsil needs time to adjust both to a new level of football and a new position.

“We’re in the NFL now,” Tunsil said of his struggles, via Jackson. “The top level of football. Everybody is going to be good. You’ve got to go over that point where you’ve got to be better that everybody. You’ve got to outwork everybody.”

The work continues when the Dolphins open training camp. But here’s the thing Tunsil needs to remember: Thomas will be working hard, too. And Thomas possibly will be motivated to work even harder given that he sees an opportunity to keep the first-round pick on the bench.

28 responses to “Tunsil’s growing pains could keep him out of a starting job

  1. I said that I had heard this a few weeks ago that he was sucking in practice, and Dolphin fans predictably said I was crazy. If you can’t beat out Dallas Thomas, well, you know. Dolphin fans know how bad he is.

  2. You know we’re in the slowest part of the offseason when a rookie getting beat by one of the best DT’s in the league in a practice without pads and before his first training camp is considered news.

  3. In the big picture this really means nothing. What happens in OTAs and mini camp is useless. All being reported by a reporter who never played the game. You cannot make a LT out of a tackle in OTAs or mini camp. With the short time allowed they have to keep the flow going. Nothing against Tunsil because he does not know the system and Thomas does. That’s all that is going on.

  4. That’s what pot does to you. It lowers your IQ and makes you lazy. What a total shock that Tunsil is not as originally advertised. He’s the new poster boy for marijuana use. They can retire the Ricky Williams poster now. Williams got to the point where he didn’t want to play football. He just wanted to sit around and smoke marijuana. Tunsil set back NFL pot acceptance back 25 years where it belongs.

  5. Slide juwan james to guard and see hiw Tunsil does at RG which is a more natural position for him. I know alot if people hate Tannenbaum but to slide back 5 spots in the first rd and get 2 starters and arguably tge best lineman in the draft isvawsome. If either Maxwell ir Alonso pans out it will be one of the better deals in Dolphins history.

  6. Sheeesh. I cannot believe these remarks after a 4 day mini camp and weight lifting. Not saying the kid will make a good guard but I am saying nobody can make a tackle a left guard over night. Will know better by the end of the pre season. Even then, the kids going to make mistakes at LG or any guard spot in his first season.

  7. No idea why they’d try to move him inside. He’s a natural LT, coach him up at that position and to back up RT. One of those guys will likely miss some time this season and playing guard will not help him when it comes time to move back outside.

  8. Dr lingsun54, your wholly accurate and researched theories need to be published in medical journals the world over. Your well thought out conjectures and ideas undoubtedly prove that individual thought should never be championed over parroting drivel and following antiquated ideas.

  9. realfootballfan says:
    Jul 4, 2016 1:56 PM

    I said that I had heard this a few weeks ago that he was sucking in practice, and Dolphin fans predictably said I was crazy. If you can’t beat out Dallas Thomas, well, you know. Dolphin fans know how bad he is.
    No pads, new position, new level of competition. Gase also said no one would be handed a position. I wouldn’t say crazy, just making a mountain from a mole hill.

  10. What people on here don’t understand is that Dallas Thomas has actually improved – worked hard on the weights to get physically stronger (yes, he needed to). Tunsil will probably get the opportunity but the coaches want to make him earn it and Dallas will compete hard in Training Camp.

  11. No doubt this is just a brilliant smokescreen concocted by Gase. We have been endlessly assured by fish fans that Tunsil was the best player in the draft and Gase is going to reinvent the wheel. Fins fans all just know after spending the next 2 decades rewriting the NFL record book they will then move on to cure cancer and alleviate world hunger while simultaneously eliminating domestic violence. Just wait you’ll all see…

  12. mongo3401 ,
    I’m just telling you what I’ve heard people say they’ve been told about him. He’s not looking good. But hey, the Ram fans stayed in denial about Jason Smith for a bunch of years too. Raider fans with Robert Gallery too. Just saying, maybe you’ll realize that getting beat by Dallas Thomas at anything is not good.

  13. I wouldn’t worry too much about Tunsil. If he’s the Dolphins’ biggest concern, that’s a good thing.

  14. Being drafted at 13 he has a little more margin for error than if he had gone Top 5 as predicted. But not much.

  15. Dallas Thomas sucked last year. That was last year. This year he has looked much better. No pads no real hitting yet. We will know a lot more soon. Tunsil has work to do and @ #13 he is a great acquisition.

  16. On the comments above, just take them with a grain of salt, you know long weekend, a drink here and there and over there..Lol…

  17. Don’t any of you understand that looking bad initially coming into the NFL is a normal thing & that you can’t read anything into this so early ????? Right now they are only going thru the motions & installing the plays. Jobs won’t be won or lost until late August, NOT in early July.

  18. “No idea why they’d try to move him inside.”

    Are you even a dolphin fan?

  19. Those who think Dallas Thomas is a non-factor haven’t been watching closely. Dude’s not only versatile, but he’s gotten better every year. He’s not a pro-bowler, but I wouldn’t disregard what he brings to the table completely either. Tunsil is getting an education, but he’s going to be fine in the long run.

  20. In the 2013 draft Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel were picked 1 and 2 overall as OTs. Fischer may be an outright bust with a career negative grade from PFF. Joeckel got off to a very slow start. Highly graded OTs can bust or under perform like any other player/position. If Tunsil struggles I doubt if weed has anything to do with it.

    A lot of fans celebrated that we drafted this guy and could just move him to guard like that was some kind of a layup just because he has talent. Maybe it’s not so easy.

  21. Put the kid in rotation at LT where he’s been playing his whole life!!! Quit trying to change his position!!! Yall know that Albert will not finish the season so keep the kid where he plays & have him ready!!!

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