Dolphins OL coach Matt Applebaum explains what it takes to be successful in their scheme
It’s not a hot take to say that the Miami Dolphins had one of the worst offensive line units in football in 2021.
The unit allowed the most quarterback pressures (235) and 11th-most sacks (40) of any in the league, while the running backs rushed for the second-fewest yards per carry behind them (3.5).
Their play impacted every part of the offense and was a big reason the Dolphins missed the postseason once again.
Now, with a new coaching staff, Miami is expected to implement a zone blocking scheme on the line that will be a substantial change from what they used in 2021. Offensive line coach Matt Applebaum has been brought in from Boston College to help teach that system to the big guys up front.
This week, Applebaum explained exactly what’s needed to have success in their new scheme.
“There’s a certain level of athleticism needed to play in the run scheme we’re talking about,” Applebaum said, via. Miami Herald. “Like a twitchiness, suddenness, ability to bend, change directions. You obviously need a certain level of size, too. There’s a premium on a certain level of athlete. There’s a mental processing that I think is important regardless of scheme. And a physical toughness.
“This is a scheme where you have to try to get after your opponent consistently throughout the play. It’s not the kind of thing where you can wall a guy off and the play is over for you. That ball can go a lot of places and it happens later on in the play so you’ve really got to strain.”
The scheme change will be good for the group, but they’ll also need fresh faces in there. Going into another season with the same starting five would be a mistake. They’ll need to add a player or two through free agency or the draft for fans to start feeling comfortable heading into the regular season.