Wanted to share CKParrothead's thoughts on the O-line (in particular Martin). He really hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned. This guy really does know how to break things down from all angles possible.
Jonathan Martin had a good showing against the Jaguars and Jason Babin, after a shaky showing against Kyle Wilber and the Cowboys.
You could tell the Dolphins expected Martin to struggle more than he did just by virtue of the play calling. There was a lot more max protect, which allows Richie Incognito to more aggressively protect Martin's inside shoulder, while compressing Martin's lateral area of responsibility. And specifically they sent chip blocks from backs and tight ends to Jonathan Martin's side on 3 out of 13 pass plays. They didn't send chip blocks toward Tyson Clabo's man a single time, as a comparison.
But there were several occasions where Jonathan Martin just had to match up one-on-one with the 33 year old Jason Babin in pass rush, and he really handled Babin. If I were the Jaguars I would be a little concerned that the Eagles knew what they were doing a year ago when they cut Babin. A year ago, Martin's only statistically good game at left tackle came against the Jaguars and Jason Babin.
The bad news is that with the extra help being run at Jonathan Martin's side there was less help for some of the guys that actually needed it in the game, namely Josh Samuda and Tyson Clabo. Samuda struggling a little doesn't bother me as you expect him to be the weak link. He's young and he's fighting for the job. Tyson Clabo is supposed to be a rock though, and his struggling does bother me because he's turning 32 years old this season and at any point you could start to see that drop off to where he's no longer viable. It could happen any year, and obviously that's what the Falcons feared when they let him go.
This Jonathan Martin stuff with some people on this board has become obsessive and just a chance for them to stake their vendettas against various other people, and take any opportunity to come off looking like the smartest guy in the room. It's become an emotional topic for so many people that they're resorting to all kinds of personal insults and going out of their way to say this or that. The intelligence level of discussion on this player is dropping very quickly.
Personally, I'm worried. There's no alternative to Jonathan Martin. Dallas Thomas does not look good in that role. Whatever Martin is, we're going to have to live with it. And last year, Martin was very, very bad. He wasn't just "sub par" or anything like that. We can't afford for him to be that way and I think this game actually showed us a great example of why that is. Even though it wasn't Martin that was struggling against the Jaguars, the offensive line DID struggle with the pass protection, and it essentially erased the new $60 million weapon that Miami bought in the off season. That's what is at stake. That's where the rubber meets the road.
And the road ahead is no cake walk. He will face Jabaal Sheard, Barkevious Mingo, Robert Mathis, Bjoern Werner, Osi Umenyiora, Will Smith, Terrell Suggs, Pernell McPhee, Mario Williams (x2), Manny Lawson (x2), Chandler Jones (x2), Michael Johnson, James Harrison, Da'Quan Bowers, Adrian Clayborn, Dwight Freeney, Greg Hardy, Antwan Barnes (x2), Quinton Coples (x2) and Jarvis Jones. That's not an easy road. It's not a road full of Kyle Wilbers and 33 year old Jason Babins.
The game the other night had sort of good and bad, for those who are interested in objective details in full accounting. But this is a subject that is quickly declining to where fewer and fewer people are interested in that. On the plus side, Martin really did play pretty well. On the minus side, the coaching staff showed in their play calling and game planning that they don't trust him. And also on the negative side, we got our first real data point on the flip side of the question that developed over the first two weeks of training camp about whether Olivier Vernon was that good or Jonathan Martin that bad. Eugene Monroe handled Olivier Vernon in pass rush like a kitten.
So we're just going to have to wait and find out.