Dwight Stephenson, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and former center for the Miami Dolphins, was the anchor of many strong offensive lines in the organization’s history. On Thursday, Stephenson joined Hank Goldberg for an in-depth discussion about the Dolphins’ current woes up front.
“Offensive line-wise, there’s no question—having as many sacks, six sacks a game averaging I think it is, that has to be corrected,” Stephenson said. “The majority of it needs to be on the offensive line, but there’s other ways that can help that offensive line so that they can better protect the quarterback.”
Stephenson continued, explaining the importance of not getting beat right away, but also touching on the need for the quarterback to avoid holding onto the ball for too long.
“You just can’t get beat right [away],” he said. “And right now, some of that is happening where the guy gets beat really quick. At the snap of the ball, boom, he’s beat and that just can’t happen.
“You can’t hold onto it, but there’s going to be times where he needs to hold onto it. He still has the offensive line, we need to be able to protect him.”
However, though the unit is on pace to record record numbers for sacks in 2013, Stephenson doesn’t believe all hope is lost as far as a turnaround goes.
“I do think the guys have the physical ability to do what needs to be done out there on the offensive line,” he said. “24 sacks is absolutely too much, but I think everybody back there, they’re not blaming one another. They’re all huddled up, I’m sure and figuring out what they need to do in order to fix this and then they got to go out and work and make it happen.”
Also, much like the lines he was a member of years ago, Stephenson sees an elite center anchoring Miami’s current unit. So elite, in fact, that Stephenson sees Mike Pouncey as the best center in the entire NFL.
“I’ll tell you, that center position is in good hands with Pouncey,” Stephenson said. “He has all the physical tools, as well as the mental tools to get the job done. I can say that position is in good hands.
“Of the guys that are playing the position now, I don’t know if anyone out there is better than Pouncey right now. I really don’t.”
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