The Dolphins got to opposing quarters 48 times in 2022.
Terron Armstead was one of free agency’s biggest prizes and he landed in Miami with a fresh five-year deal as the Dolphins took another swing at solidifying the offensive line.
The 32-year-old is gearing up for his 10th season in the league, his first in aqua and orange after nine seasons with the Saints.
“Understanding all this is a process,” Armstead said of training camp when meeting with the media on Friday. “This entire segment of a season is a process where we’re building up to get to peak performance and be ready when the real live action starts. So if you’re not doing full 11-on-11 drills, you have to attack that process in a different way – that’s weight room, that’s training room. So whatever the task is that day to improve, just taking care of that.”
That process has featured going against a unit headlined by Christian Wilkins, Zach Sieler, Raekwon Davis, Emmanuel Ogbah and Melvin Ingram, who was also acquired in free agency.
The #Dolphins WR and DB units get a lot of love (deservedly so), but their defensive front is pretty damn good too. I’d say this is by far the most underrated unit on the team
— Ryan Smith (@PFF_RyanSmith) August 4, 2022
“Man, real active group,” Armstead said of the team’s defensive front. “Real active group. Highly talented. A lot of skill. Adding Melvin Ingram to that group is, I think, extremely underrated. He’s an amazing player and has been that way for a long time. A guy like Christian Wilkins who has been highly productive but hasn’t been that notable as far as popularity, he’s going to have a – I’m projecting that he has a standout year, more so in the stat line than ever before. (He’s an) extremely talented player, intelligent player, real good hands and feet technique. Man, Zach (Sieler), another one – extreme technique. (Emmanuel) Ogbah, I’m a fan of those guys.”
Wilkins broke out in his third season, starting all 17 games with 10 tackles for a loss, 13 quarterback hits, 192 total tackles and even four passes defended. Meanwhile, Davis slimmed down and said this is the leanest he’s been since his sophomore season at Alabama.
Sieler is entering his third year with the Dolphins and has had an impressive camp, earning the orange jersey twice since OTAs began. On top of Miami’s interior pressure, Ingram joins a pass-rushing unit that ranked fifth in the NFL with 48 sacks — led by nine from Ogbah and another 8.5 by former first-round pick Jaelan Phillips.
“You learn that when something’s not broke [you don’t fix it],” head coach Mike McDaniel said back in February when it was announced that Josh Boyer would remain the team’s defensive coordinator. “There’s also relationships with players that come into it, there’s the scheme itself, and then there’s the human relationships. There’s a good amount of time that I spent with Josh before I made that decision. All of those things contribute and then relying on the people that hired me that were in the building with him. This is not something that you just all of a sudden say, ‘Just keep him, I don’t feel like looking into stuff.’
“It’s a calculated decision that’s very informed — and I think the proof is in the pudding. That’s a top-10 defense last year that I would not want to play against.”