Just when the Offensive Line looked to be gelling(at least in pass protection), the Miami Dolphins received disappointing news about their 3x pro-bowl Center Mike Pouncey.
He will miss the remainder of preseason and possibly the season opener due to a left hip injury he suffered Friday night’s game against the Cowboys. .
Many fans held their breath when Pouncey stepped out in the 2nd Quarter with 13 minutes left to go in the half(unlucky number). But the center walked off on his own power, causing an initial sense of relief and belief that the injury might not be serious.
That secure feeling disappeared when news broke on Sunday.
Mike Pouncey has had hip issues for the past couple years now which has caused him to miss games as a result.
In 2014, he had left hip surgery which caused him to miss all of training camp and the first 4 games of the regular season. When he did come back, Samson Satele was playing so good at Center that the Dolphins had to place Pouncey at Right Guard (last pro-bowl RG the fins have had).
This past January, he had surgery to shave bone matter from his right hip which was causing him discomfort. However, this was seen as good news since he was ready for OTA’s, and the surgery was on the opposite side of his major surgery from 2014.
But now the left hip seems to be acting up again, and we all know football is about hips (the hips don’t lie). Hopefully, Mike can heal quickly and be back by the season opener against the Seahawks, but there are no guarantees.
Miami’s Offensive Line has been a work in progress for many years—dating back to the Tony Sporano years (the Offensive Line “Guru”). Maybe even before that. This was supposed to come to an end in 2014 when the Dolphins drafted RT Ja’Wuan James who was to become the 3rd key staple on the line with Pouncey and LT Branden Albert.
The problem is that for 2 years they have been on the same team, 2 years which consists of 32 regular-season games, and out of those 32 games they have only played 7 together (6-1 record when all 3 play).
Make no mistake, Dolphin Nation-- this is an injury riddled line.
Pouncey has his hips. (Missed 8 games since 2013)
Albert has his knees. (Missed 13 games since 2013)
James had his dislocated toe. (Missed 9 games in 2015)
Now, I understand injuries happen. This is football. This is a physical game-- especially when it comes to trench play. But it’s hard to rely on a line that cannot rely on each other.
So who will fill in until Pouncey’s return? O.o
Don’t you worry your tiny little heads about it, Dolphin Fans. It’s none other than Anthony Steen! The 2014 undrafted offensive guard from Alabama who was previously a practice squad player on the Arizona Cardinals. Ooh! Inspiring.
According to NFL.com’s 2014 Draft profile on Anthony Steen (analysis by Nolan Nawrocki)…
Reliable pass protector. A 500-pound bench-presser and it shows -- jars defenders with his punch. Efficient run blocker. Is quick to set and gain positioning. Works up to the second level quickly and is agile enough to wall off and seal linebackers and safeties. Dominated LSU's Anthony Johnson. Hardworking and coachable. Tough competitor. Very durable.
Does not look the part -- has a deceptive, dumpy-looking frame with a lot of weight concentrated in his trunk. Can do a better job sustaining at the second level. Not a consistent finisher. Catches a lot -- tends to let defenders into his body and could stand to improve extension. Had the smallest hands and shortest arms of any offensive lineman at the combine.
Scrappy, competitive, try-hard, tough guy who does not always look pretty, but consistently finds a way to get the job done. An efficient zone blocker, Steen understands angles and leverage. He could be ideally suited for a zone-based ground game such as the Eagles, Seahawks or Packers.
I’ll leave you to your thoughts.