Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NFL sack leader ready to face 'serviceable' Martin


Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin will be going up against his former college coach Jim Harbaugh this coming Sunday, but that's probably the last thing on his mind these days.

NFL sack leader Aldon Smith likely has most of Martin's attention. (photo: Bay Area Bias, Flickr)

With left tackle Jake Long going on Injured Reserve this week, Martin, a rookie, will move from right tackle to the blindside just in time to travel to San Francisco to face Smith and Harbaugh's red-hot 49ers.

Smith leads the NFL in sacks with 17.5 and is ready to pin back his ears facing a young lineman who he referred to as "serviceable."

“He’s a serviceable tackle in this league,” Smith said this week, according to “It’s definitely not Long in there."

Martin was a little more complimentary of Smith.

“He’s a beast,” Martin said, via the Palm Beach Post. “That left side of the defense is really talented. It will be a big challenge.”

Martin has given up 34 quarterback hurries and five sacks, according to Pro Football Focus. He struggled in run blocking early in the season but graded a little better over his last four starts.

Harbaugh, who coached Martin at Stanford, said he's been impressed with Martin this season, particularly what he did in more than a half's worth of work last week in a loss to the New England Patriots after Long went down.

He’s been doing a good job his entire rookie year, and to make the switch from right tackle to left tackle, he’s adapted and doing a good job," Harbaugh said, via

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