ORLANDO — The Miami Dolphins believe center Daniel Kilgore and guard Josh Sitton are going to have a positive impact on Ryan Tannehill.
First of all, coach Adam Gase thinks Tannehill is going to take fewer violent shots, because of their talent.
And secondly, Gase thinks these two players have experienced success and will be outstanding leaders.
“I feel like we’re getting two good dudes that are hard workers, that want to do it right, that want to be part of the solution of us winning,” Miami coach Adam Gase said. “I think we’re going to have the positive results we’re looking for.”
Gase had ultimate respect for departed Mike Pouncey. But it is true that due to hip injuries, Pouncey’s practice time was limited. Gase thinks more consistent practice time with a unit of Laremy Tunsil-Josh Sitton-Daniel Kilgore-Jesse Davis-Ja’Wuan James should be beneficial.
“We’re just going to have to get that cohesiveness we need,” Gase said. “I know that we’ve talked about that a lot, where we’re always trying to figure out what’s the best thing to do. Practicing together, does that matter? If it’s every day for three months, what’s that going to do? I think we’re all in the same boat when we’re saying ‘Yes, that’s going to be a major factor.’ If we can keep guys healthy and practice together and get those reps together, that’s going to be important.”
The Dolphins traded for Kilgore and let Pouncey go because they like Kilgore’s strengths.
“I’ve got nothing but positive feedback from those guys out (in San Francisco),” Gase said of Kilgore’s previous squad. “I have a great relationship between Kyle (Shanahan) and John (Lynch), Paraag (Marathe) and Jed (York) and all of those guys. Those guys couldn’t say enough about him.”
As for “replacing” Pouncey, Gase said: “That’s a tough one because I think Pouncey … It’s a tough word to use, ‘replace.’ I think when you have a guy that’s done as much for this organization as Mike has, I don’t know if you can really replace him. I know Daniel will come in here and really put his spin on that position.”
Signing Sitton should put to rest the notion that Miami doesn’t care about investing in guard play.
“We know with what we’re getting with Josh, we’re getting a guy that has been a Pro Bowler,” Gase said. “He has won. He has played with an elite quarterback. I think he’s excited to have this opportunity, being able to help a young player that’s playing next to him. I think that’s something that really excited him.
Gase thinks Tannehill is going to benefit from conversations with both new linemen.
“Ryan does a good job when he gets around guys that have played with other guys and asks questions about how those guys did it as well,” Gase said. “Those guys are always good information-wise, as far as what other teams have done, especially good teams. But getting a guy with that kind of veteran leadership, that was excited to come in for us and be an impact guy with some of our younger players, that was going to be good for us.”
There is an expectation that Sitton and Kilgore will quickly become the leaders on the line. The organization also collectively believes that the offensive line will be better, and deeper, in 2018.
“I like where we’re at with our tackles right now,” Gase said. “I think those two guys (Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James) are only going to become better with the guys that they’re playing with.”
Gase is excited not only about the skill set of new players like Kilgore and Sitton, but the intangible qualities they bring.
“I think the common thread is we’re just trying to get guys with experience winning, who have been successful, have done it right, are professionals and are just good examples,” Gase said. “But at the same time, (we want) guys that can play. We’re trying to get guys that fit into what we’re looking to do. Right now, we feel great about the guys that we’ve acquired.”