Dolphins film review: G Josh Samuda

The Miami Dolphins completed their third preseason game Saturday with a 24-17 loss to the Houston Texans.

Houston’s defense was a strong test for Miami’s offensive line, which has received a lot of criticism in training camp. The right guard position, in particular, has been a focus following the knee injury to projected starter John Jerry.

With that in mind, I went back and studied the game tape of Josh Samuda. Here is how he graded:

First series

  • Miami starts the game with a stretch running play to the right, which is a staple in its offense. Samuda anchors the right side and does a terrific job getting to the second level to deliver a pancake block on linebacker Brian Cushing. (+1 point)

  • On the Dolphins’ first passing play, Houston defensive lineman Antonio Smith kept his footing and ran through Samuda for a sack on quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Samuda couldn’t hold his block or keep his footing. (-1 point)

  • Miami’s third-down call is a screen and Samuda gets beat inside by Texans Pro Bowler J.J. Watt. Samuda nearly holds Watt to prevent another hit on the quarterback, but the play goes nowhere. (-1 point)

Second series

  • Samuda holds ground on a run play that doesn’t go in his direction. Tight end Michael Egnew is called for holding and the play doesn’t count. (even)

  • After back-to-back penalties, the Dolphins dial up a shovel pass to Miller. Samuda’s responsibility is to get up field to block someone and he missed Cushing about 10 yards up the field. (-1 point)

  • Samuda does a good job of pass blocking and helps create a good pocket for Tannehill. Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller makes a reception for 14 yards. (+1 point)

  • On third and 2, Tannehill makes a snap throw to Miller out the backfield that was dropped. Samuda barely engaged on the quick play. (even)

Third series

  • Samuda holds his block well on Tannehill’s first connection to receiver Mike Wallace for 16 yards. (+1 point)

  • Samuda holds his ground on another running play, this time by Daniel Thomas. Samuda shows good effort and continues to plow through the whistle. (+1 point)

  • Miami goes max protection with eight blockers but no one is open. Tannehill is forced scramble but Samuda does his job. (+1 point)

  • Samuda and Dolphins offensive line provide good protection and blitz pickup for Tannehill, who completes a 33-yard reception to Wallace. (+1 point)

  • Thomas rushes to the right. Samuda gets a little push but the run is stuffed. (even)

  • Tannehill throws a quick slant to receiver Marvin McNutt. Samuda gets a pancake block as a Houston defender loses footing. (+1 point)

  • On third down, Miami schemes up Houston’s defense perfectly. Dolphins center Mike Pouncey and Samuda double Watt and provides enough time for Tannehill to throw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Wallace. (+1 point)

Fourth series

  • Samuda and Pouncey double-team Houston’s nose tackle and Miller gets a nice gain. But Dolphins tight end Dion Sims is called for holding and the play is called back. (even)

  • Samuda shows a mean streak by getting to the second level to block Houston linebacker Joe Mays. Samuda does a little extra after the whistle and Mays doesn’t like it. (+1 point)

  • Houston’s Smith continues to beat Samuda. Smith makes a quick step inside to dodge Samuda’s block and wraps up Miller in the backfield. (-1 point)

  • On third-and-long, Samuda helps create a good pocket for Tannehill. But the quarterback throws the ball high to receiver Brian Hartline. (+1 point)

Fifth series

  • Playing against Houston’s backups, Samadu holds his block and Tannehill scrambles for a short gain. (+1 point)

  • Samuda helps pick up a blitz on Tannehill’s incomplete pass to tight end Dustin Keller, who gets injured on the play. (+1 point)

  • Tannehill completes a pass to receiver Brandon Gibson, but Samuda struggles to hold his block and allows a quarterback pressure. (-1 point)

  • Samuda and Miami’s offensive line create a good pocket, but Tannehill rushes an incompletion. (+1 point)

  • Thomas runs to the right behind Samuda and Samuda pushes his guy out the play. (+1 point)

  • Samuda and Dolphins create another nice pocket for another Gibson reception. (+1 point)

  • Thomas plunges forward on a running play. Samuda tries to get to the second level but loses his footing. (-1 point)

  • Tannehill has time but no one is open. Tannehill takes a sack due to good coverage. (even)

  • Thomas gets a 28-yard shovel pass but Samuda fails to locate anyone to block on the play. Good play overall, but a missed assignment by Samuda. (-1 point)

  • Dolphins call a quick slant to Hartline, who drops the ball. Samuda barely engages. (even)

  • Miller runs a 4-yard touchdown to the right side. Samuda helps on a block and seal. On the next drive Samuda moves from guard to center with the second-team offense. (+1 point)

Final point total: +9 points

Conclusion: It’s easy to focus on the bad plays for Samuda. But after cutting up the tape of each individual play, he made many more good plays than bad. Samuda's toughness and versatility are valued commodities for the Dolphins. He certainly plays hard, and that’s half the battle. But Samuda’s made several mistakes this preseason that were drive killers, and he must avoid those if he wants to be a starter. Jerry appears to be recovering well. He dressed for practice last week and was limited. I expect Miami’s coaching staff to gradually work Jerry in with the starters, while Samuda can be the first backup off the bench at center and guard.