Dolphins: Pouncey’s tough transition

| 3 years ago

Dolphins: Pouncey’s tough transition

PFF-headlinesMike Pouncey was expected to come into this year as the only returning starter from the 2013 Dolphins offensive line, but when a hip injury struck during OTAs, the Dolphins had to begin without him.

Samson Satele was inserted as his replacement and performed well (+1.4 overall grade) through four weeks. At the same time, things weren’t going so well at right guard so when Pouncey returned in Week 6, the Dolphins decided to try him there.

While Pouncey’s 2013 season was not Pro Bowl-worthy by our standards, he was certainly an above-average starter – his +8.2 overall grade good for 14th among centers. The position’s top-ranked pass blocker, giving up a total of just 14 pressures, Pouncey was also consistent, just twice surrendering more than a single pressure in a game.

Fast forward to 2014, where Satele hasn’t maintained his early-season success and currently sits 30th among centers (-11.3 overall grade) and Pouncey hasn’t been much better at guard (-19.5 and ranked 72nd). Pass protection, a strength for Pouncey at center, has now become a liability with 30 total pressures allowed in only 11 games, and multiple pressures allowed in all but two of them.

There’s no guarantee that the team’s other options at guard would have fared any better, but with the Dolphins appearing destined for another offseason of change along the O-line, it seems likely that one of those changes will be a return for Pouncey to his natural position.

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