BY NICK ST. DENIS
Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin started all 16 games of his rookie season. So first things first, he deserves credit for that.
Martin wasn't stellar in his inaugural year, but he certainly didn't make a bad name for himself. He started his first 11 games at right tackle and moved to the left side when veteran Jake Long, who could be a goner after this season, was lost to injury.
“I’ll play either side," Martin said Monday, a day after the team's season-finale loss to the New England Patriots, via Dolphins.com. "I feel good at both left and right tackle so whatever I’m asked to do I’ll be willing to step up and play and do it."
Martin gave up a sack in his first professional game but went the next six without surrendering a quarterback takedown. However, he allowed a sack five of Miami's next six games, according to Pro Football Focus.
Martin bounced back with a pair of solid showings in Weeks 15 and 16, but he was beat more times Week 17 than in any of his first 15 games.
"I think I had a pretty solid rookie season for the most part," he said. "There were some ups and downs but overall I think it was a successful campaign and I’m just excited to work and get ready for next year. I just need to get back in the weight room and work on fundamentals and technique.”
As for the run game, Martin was serviceable early on and improved noticeably in the second half of the season. A promising offseason would instill a little confidence in a coaching staff that might be without the once-franchise cog Long.
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