Vollmer impressive in pass protection


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With rookie left tackle Sebastian Vollmer making his third career start Sunday, all eyes were on how he would fare against Dolphins outside linebackers Joey Porter and Jason Taylor.

The results were impressive, as Vollmer had quarterback Tom Brady's blind side well protected in the Patriots' 27-17 win.

Porter, who ran his mouth before the game but was nowhere to be found afterward, wasn't around to comment on Vollmer's play. The classy Taylor was.

"He'll be fine, he's a big kid, a big guy," Taylor said of Vollmer. "I didn't get a whole lot of look at him, but from what I've seen on tape and in person, he'll be just fine."

The Dolphins lamented their lack of overall pressure, which was a compliment to the Patriots' offensive line of Vollmer, left guard Logan Mankins, centers Dan Koppen and Dan Connolly, right guard Stephen Neal, and right tackle Nick Kaczur.

Tight ends Chris Baker, Benjamin Watson and Mark LeVoir, as well as the team's running backs -- Laurence Maroney, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Kevin Faulk -- also contributed in protection.

"We didn't get enough pass rush in some of the situations out there," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "You got to get pressure on Tom, and we weren't able to do that, and you are asking guys to hold up for a long period of time. We need to have more pressure on the quarterback."

Said Patriots coach Bill Belichick: "I thought Tom had good time to throw. We got hit a couple times, but that was more when we held the ball and the coverage was there as opposed to just breakdowns in the protection."