Dolphins OL coach Lemuel Jeanpierre sees needed drive from his group
What do you get when you mix three rookie starters into an offensive line group that was one of the worst in football in 2019? You get plenty of upside, plenty of youth and plenty of growing pains. The Dolphins saw all of those things materialize throughout the course of the 2020 NFL season — and now hope to use the foundation laid last year as their springboard into a more consistent and dynamic offensive front.
The man at the forefront of that effort is offensive line coach Lemuel Jeanpierre, who received a promotion this offseason to take over the position within Miami’s coaching staff — and Jeanpierre is liking what he’s seen from his line early on in the buildup to training camp.
“I’ve got a good group. They were good last year as well. I think one thing that’s high with me is character. We’ve got a high character group. They work hard, (ask) a lot of questions and all of that stuff. Even now, they contact me on the weekends, asking more questions trying to learn,” Jeanpierre told the South Florida media during Monday’s press availability.
“That goes kind of to your second question where I’m trying to give them more information to understand football as a whole. It helped me out a lot when you understand more than just blocking the end and things like that. So I help them there and techniques and the reason of why and things like that.”
The education process is a big part of the Dolphins’ mantra to team building. Drafting and developing talents is going to be the strategy that defines this Dolphins rebuild — but the early returns should have Dolphins fans feeling optimistic about their chances of continuing to progress despite not adding new talent in such an aggressive fashion. Because for the Dolphins, the entire focus is keeping everyone focuses on the same messaging, the same areas of focus and the same goals. To have a group of young linemen this plugged into the process already this summer is a testament, according to Jeanpierre, of the Dolphins’ locker room culture and the synergy around the team.
“You see how important communication and just the connectiveness of the group is not only off the field but on the field. They will push each other in terms of quizzing each other and asking those questions and understanding – the terms of the o-line room in general,” said Jeanpierre.
“I think in any actual business, where you can develop a culture to where it’s not just, ‘hey, I’m at work and I’m leaving.’ But who are personally in your life and your family? How are those things going? It’s going to pay off way more in the end, in terms of situations where you guys are going. There is more of that care. That’s why it’s really cool being here and part of the culture because I felt that when I got here with ‘Coach Flo’ (Head Coach Brian Flores) and the whole organization. That needs to go through my room for sure, and that will go through the team.”
Jeanpierre credits his mentor from his playing days, long-time NFL assistant Tom Cable, for helping instill a sense of drive in him and his own former teammates — and passing that mentality on to Miami’s young line will have the opportunity to develop the Dolphins’ line into a game-changing unit in 2021.