DAVIE, Fla. -- Approximately one month ago, the Miami Dolphins' offensive line was torn apart by the news that Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey needed hip surgery. The injury is expected to keep Pouncey -- the Dolphins' leader on the offensive line -- out for at least the first month of the season. Pouncey could be out longer depending on the progress of his rehab.
Miami's front office moved quickly to try to fix one of team's biggest weaknesses. The Dolphins signed nine-year veteran guard Daryn Colledge last month to a one-year contract. The move is paying early dividends.
Colledge, 32, is proving to be a quick study for the Dolphins. He's picked up new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's offense and has been a steady player in training camp at left guard.
Last year the Dolphins set a franchise record with 58 quarterback sacks allowed -- all on starter Ryan Tannehill. Colledge vows that won't happen again.
“Well, I think everybody knows what happened here last year, but nobody was here last year,” Colledge explained. “So it's a matter of us, I mean, that can't happen on any team. So I think we all know that there's a certain standard that's among professionals that you just can't be that guy. You don't want to be the last team in the league in sacks.”
The Dolphins signed Colledge because they believed he was a “plug and play” option. He has 124 career starts and has been very durable throughout his career. Colledge has started all 16 games for the past six seasons as a member of the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers.
Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin coached Colledge in Green Bay from 2006-10 and turned to a familiar face for help. Philbin says Colledge “pretty much” looks like the same player he remembered in Green Bay.
“He's a very bright guy, smart and I think he's picked up the system well,” Philbin said. “But it's taken a little while. I don't think it's all the way there yet, but I'm hoping there is more development coming in the next couple of weeks.”
The Dolphins made an interesting move to place Colledge on the left side to team with Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert. It's where Colledge played his entire career, but that leaves a lot of inexperience on the right side with rookie right tackle Ja'Wuan James and guard Dallas Thomas.
Miami's left side should be steady and the strength of the offensive line this year. That is important because Albert and Colledge are responsible for protecting Tannehill's blind side.
“The good thing about me and Branden is we've both got a lot of experience. So we know what each other wants to see out there,” Colledge said. “It's just a matter of us knowing exactly what we want on each play. Once we have that down, we can kind of start taking the communication stuff out of it and a lot of it becomes nonverbal, which helps out me and him. We're getting to that point.”