Last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, eight rookies saw action in a game that was won convincingly by Miami, 35-13. Two of them were starters on offense – quarterback
Over on the defensive side of the ball,
“We were watching the film the other day and Coach Kacy (Rodgers) looked up and he paused it when he saw O.V., Shelby, Paul and Kheeston all in the game at the same time,” defensive end
Martin and Tannehill have been starters since the preseason so they are further along in their adjustment to the intensity level and some of the nuances of the professional game. Miller was inactive for the season opener at the Houston Texans on September 9th but was activated Sunday when second-year running back
One thing that was in Miller’s favor was his familiarity with the field at Sun Life Stadium having played his home game on it at the University of Miami and the same held true for Vernon. Still, he wasn’t exactly sure how much he was going to be used behind
“That just gives us more confidence and better opportunities for us to play so we’ve just got to take full advantage of it,” Miller said. “They figure that we can help the team win games and we have to reward that trust by going out there and playing hard.”
That effort has not been lost on the veterans on this team, from second-year center
Pouncey continues to sing the praises of Tannehill and his poise out on the field, projecting that the signal caller will get better each and every week. He has to be on the same page with Tannehill in the protection calls and audibles, so he has the best vantage point. Pouncey also helps get Martin lined up properly and sees something special in him.
“He’s doing a great job,” said Pouncey, who started all 16 games last year as a rookie. “He’s a kid and he doesn’t say anything. He’s a rookie that keeps his mouth shut, he comes out and works hard and does what the coaches say. He makes a few mistakes here and there but that’s what you expect out of a rookie. As long as he just goes out there and keeps playing how he’s playing, playing through the whistle and playing as hard as he can we’re happy.”
Martin and the other rookies have formed a bond and share the same work ethic when it comes to practice and preparing for the games. The fact that he came from a pro-style offense at Stanford and was blocking for Andrew Luck definitely helped to make his transition to the NFL a little easier.
“I think without a doubt it helps because it’s all the same stuff,” Martin said. “It’s the same plays. Maybe the names are different but it’s the same concepts I’ve been taught the last four years so it definitely helps coming in.”
Randall knows that he can’t rest on his laurels from Sunday and needs to continue to learn from Starks and Soliai and Rodgers about what to look for in certain situations and how to beat the blocks. He has gained a lot from going against Pouncey, left guard
“That’s great because those three guys are physical and our whole line is physical and it’s something that they pride themselves on,” said Randall, who was drafted in the seventh round out of Texas. “Every day we’re out there in practice is a grind and it’s constant contact and they force us to use our hands and work on our technique and that’s great for us young players.”
Head Coach Joe Philbin has been encouraged by the production he’s getting out of his rookies and acknowledged that it’s something he and his staff can build on going forward.
“I think it’s great and it’s not necessarily by design that we’re going to get three rookies on the defensive line at the same,” he said. “But as we were watching the tape on Monday that occurred during the course of the ballgame. There are pictures on both sides of the ball of guys in there that are young and learning on the job, but we like the energy that most of those guys are playing with and hopefully we can see a progression from week to week.”