The offensive line for the Miami Dolphins was effectively a carousel of players in 2013. The Fins could never find the exact group of five starters to hold the line consistently and kept interchanging parts of the whole in order to succeed in the trenches.
One of those new parts brought in during the year was offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens on October 21 to help solidify the all important blind side left tackle position.
He was immediately able to come in and add stability to a line that desperately needed it. He played at a consistent level for the remainder of the 2013 season after coming to Miami.
In an interview with the Finsiders, McKinnie talked about the chaos that confronted the Dolphins ever changing offensive line, and his experience with the team in 2013.
“It was a good experience. It was something where I kind of wish I was there from the beginning so I wasn’t cramming for a test because I had to learn the terminology and everything,” said McKinnie.
“And at the beginning I felt real comfortable because I had Richie (Incognito) because he knew it because he’s been there and he was a veteran. When he left, I knew I had to depend on myself. There was a rotation, I played with five guards next to me, so that’s kind of hard for someone to come into, but I just had to make it happen.”
It was an unusual situation for McKinnie with the lack of consistency next to him, and his already short offseason schedule that he’d been running on since winning the Super Bowl XLVII with the Ravens. But he gutted it out, bringing stability to a position that was in flux for the Dolphins the entire season.
“If I had more time, I wouldn’t have had to worry about the person next to me, I could’ve focused more, and the communication would have been better,” said McKinnie. “Towards the end I got a little better, but I got drained too. I didn’t have a bye week, and I came off a short offseason and then went straight back in. I needed the time to hit the refresh button, but I thugged it out.”
Now with his steady level of production even at age 34, McKinnie could become a key part of the 2014 Miami Dolphins, and if the Dolphins want him back, he hopes to be back with the team next year. He says that he would love to finish his career in the place where he started in college as a graduate at the University of Miami.
“Hopefully I return back with the Dolphins. You know you have four out of the five(offensive lineman) who’s contracts are up. I’ve been in the healing process and everything and I’m feeling better, working out and stuff like that. We have a new general manager so that’s good, and we’ll just see how things go. I plan on playing for a couple more years and it would be great to just finish my career there where I already have a home.”
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