It's pretty rare that blocks on the interior offensive line wind up on a football highlight reel, but for Dolphins rookie guard Solomon Kindley, playing through the echo of the whistle is a mindset.
Nicknamed ‘The Big Fish’ for his excellence in aquatics, Kindley put together a rookie reel of crushing blocks, effective communication of the protection schemes and a contagious attitude that reverberated throughout the Dolphins offensive line room.
"I never want to give the coaches a reason to ask me about my effort," Kindley said on Drive Time with Travis Wingfield last season. "I'm blessed for this opportunity and I'm going to give it my all in everything I do and make sure I cherish it."
Kindley started 13 games for Miami before an injury cut his season short in late December. He showcased veteran tendencies over the course of his rookie campaign. An old football adage calls for offensive linemen to "punish jumpers." Defensive linemen are taught to stop their rush once momentum is lost and attempt to affect the play by getting their hands up. To ensure the quarterback isn't having his passes rejected at the line, an offensive linemen needs to make the opposition pay for attempting to affect the passing lane.
That clip comes from one of the game's best offensive line analysts, Brandon Thorn. Thorn appeared on Drive Time with Travis Wingfield to break down Miami's rookie offensive linemen (Kindley, Austin Jackson and Robert Hunt) last month.
Thorn clipped off a handful of plays that best exhibit Kindley's style – that of a mauler.
According to Pro Football Focus, Kindley surrendered only 17 total quarterback pressures in 448 pass-blocking snaps. Keeping the QB free of pressure on 96.2 percent of his snaps in pass protection, Kindley finished second on the team in that metric behind only center Ted Karras (98.4 percent).
The 17 pressures allowed by Kindley were fewer than 48 guards in the National Football League in 2020 with just 24 of the guards playing more snaps than Miami's rookie.
Kindley celebrated his first full season in the NFL by fulfilling a promise that coincided with realizing his lifelong dream; a promise to buy his mother a home.
Hopefully there's a pool in the backyard so The Big Fish can get his laps in when he comes to visit.