With the 2022 NFL season fast approaching, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel takes a look at 10 storylines to watch in a 10-part series. First day of training camp for the Miami Dolphinswhich is scheduled for Wednesday.
Terron Armstead has had a fulfilling nine-year NFL career, but one thing he’s been missing is a football legacy.
While Armstead was a three-time Pro Bowler and a vital cog in Sean Patton’s New Orleans Saints offense, he wasn’t the straw that stirred the drink. He was one of many Ice Cubes in New Orleans.
In Miami, he has the potential to do a lot more — and maybe because this Dolphins offensive line is now his. If things go well, that unit will serve as the foundation of the entire team.
That’s why it shouldn’t be too hard for Armistead to envision himself as a player who turned one of the NFL’s weakest offensive lines into one of its most feared units, and Part of the turnaround needed to help Miami. Won their first playoff game since the 2000 season..
That may be the legacy of the 6-foot-5, 304-pounder.
Armstead, who has started 93 of the 97 games he has played, is an offensive lineman in the Trent Williams mold. He is a talent. New coach Mike McDaniel can build the Dolphins’ entire running game around.just as McDaniel led the San Francisco 49ers’ attack around Williams.
That kind of 300-pound athlete, who can dominate the man in front of him for 50 snaps a game, is exactly what the Dolphins have been missing since Laremy Tunsil was traded for draft picks before the 2019 season. Traded to Houston for treasure chest. .
And even more fittingly, Armstead, who owns the NFL Combine record for the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.71) of any offensive lineman, is a perfect fit for this scheme, and he knows it. Is.
“This scheme. I think it fits my skill set very well, so I’m excited,” said Armstead, who is rehabbing a knee injury that kept him out the final four of the 2021 season. Forced to miss games, and all of Miami’s offseason field work. “I’m going to keep saying that word because I really am. Just ready to get out there and show what I can do in this fit.”
The Dolphins will need him to turn their West Coast offense into a top-10 unit. Wide zone running scheme to workand the best chance for that to happen is if Armstead can dominate 17 games, like Williams has in San Francisco.
“When you’re running a wide zone, and he’s got 11 guys moving on a deal, and the running back isn’t rushing his reads,” Williams said of the scheme. “He’s reading it one break at a time and then exposing a hole in the defense. If executed correctly, he’s almost impossible to stop.
And if a team’s players are on the offensive line, look out.
That’s what Williams is, and what Armstead brings to Miami.
“The only way to stop that is to put six down linemen down and make sure you limit your coverage and then we pass because all tight ends and fullbacks are like receivers. They’re the same route. run,” Williams said of McDaniel explaining the 49ers-style offense to the Dolphins.
“Then you got Debo. [Samuel]Williams added (Miami only Replace it with a tire heel.).
“We can look like we’re five wide and then run an I formation,” Williams continued. “That dynamic, and when you add all of that to it, it becomes extremely difficult to guard. So no matter who we go up against, we have success.”
The goal is to replicate that style for Miami, and it’s Armstead who will do the primary work because when healthy he’ll open up running lanes, compete with second-tier defenders for big runs, and often Will stop the opposition’s best pass rusher. -On one, potentially lightening the load on the other four offensive linemen.
We’ll find out if Armstead, who recently turned 31, still has the athleticism when he’s cleared to practice on a surgically repaired knee.
That’s when his career-defining decision to leave New Orleans for Miami is tested because Armistead is the type of talent who should help everyone around him perform at a high level.
That type of player is critical to Miami’s success this season because it’s time to raise the bar, and it’s time for Armistead to cement his legacy.