The Miami Dolphins had one of their best offseasons in 2020, with multiple additions on both sides of the ball. Miami finished with a 10-6 record and just barely missed out on its first playoff game since 2016, due in large-part to their defensive acquisitions in free agency.
The signings of cornerback Byron Jones and outside linebackers Shaq Lawson and veteran Kyle Van Noy helped put the Dolphins on the map and into playoff contention. But no signing was more impactful this season than defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.
Ogbah Has Career-Year After Injury, Super Bowl
Miami signed Ogbah at a reasonable two-year, $15 million dollar deal when he was coming off an injury and Super Bowl win in Kansas City. But, he made sure to prove his worth early on by getting eight sacks in the first nine games of the season.
Ogbah would end the season with a career-high nine sacks, 21 quarterback hits and three forced fumbles for the Dolphins who would end up being top-five in fumble recoveries and lead the league with 29 total takeaways.
“First of all, Emmanuel (Ogbah) did a good job for us this year. He’s the right kind of person as well. He came in right away, worked hard,” Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier said of Ogbah’s season. “I think Brian (Flores) and the coaching staff did a great job once they got to be around him. Not having the offseason with him to figure out what he does well and the strengths in the scheme and he just kind of took off from there once everyone got a feel for what he did best. So I was very happy and pleased with him.”
Ogbah’s Consistency Gave Direction to Dolphins Defense
Ogbah put constant pressure on the QB, as he was Miami’s leading defensive lineman in passes defended with five, but also helped a lot as a run stopper. He garnered six tackles for loss and 42 total tackles on the season.
Ogbah was not only consistent on the field but he was also healthy for the entire season, playing all 16 games after missing six games in 2019 with a torn pectoral muscle. Miami has been staggered with injuries across its recent seasons, especially on defense, and a constant defender was a breath of fresh air for a unit that needed a sense of direction.
“This year was big for me because I really wanted to focus on my body and staying healthy throughout the year. The part of my game that I worked on the most I would say was my hands. I used my hands a lot,” Ogbah said on how he grew this season. “It definitely helps my game better, helps my game improve. There’s still lots of stuff I need to work on, I know for sure this offseason I’ve got to work on my lower body too.”
Sour Season Finale Loss Motivating Ogbah to Prove Miami is Better
Miami finished the season with a brutal 56-26 loss to the Buffalo Bills that would also end the Dolphins’ playoff hopes. The Miami defense had yet to give up more than 33 points in a single game during the entire season, and in a postgame interview, Ogbah spoke on the Dolphins’ worst loss of the season.
“First of all, that was probably one of the most embarrassing losses of my career. It definitely left a sour taste in my mouth,” Ogbah said. “I don’t want to speak for the rest of the guys but it definitely left a sour taste in a lot of our mouths.”
Despite the brutal loss, Ogbah is confident that going into the 2021 NFL season, Miami is ready to take the next step after surprising most people by reaching the 10-win plateau on the season.
“Like I said, (the Bills game) left a sour taste in our mouth, losing that way, because that is not us. That team Sunday was not us at all,” Ogbah said. “I know we’re going to be better next year. I’m just ready to lead and I’m just ready to step up and step my game up.”
Editor’s Note: This is Garrison Pulley’s final article for FPC Dolphins. Garrison is taking the next step in his communication career and expanding into finance as well. FPC Dolphins, on behalf of Full Press Coverage, wish him the best of luck. FPC Dolphins thanks him for his approximate year of writing for the page and we hope to have him back in the future as he will be missed.