With McKinnie, Clabo put on notice

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
3:10
PM ET
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins publicly have come to the defense of struggling right tackle Tyson Clabo. But privately it’s clear Clabo is on a short leash with Miami’s coaching staff and front office after allowing a team-high eight sacks in six games.

[+] EnlargeBryant McKinnie
Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesMiami is hoping that 34-year-old Bryant McKinnie can still be a force on the offensive line.
Clabo was officially put on notice Monday when the Dolphins reportedly acquired veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie from the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN and media reports. Fox Sports was the first to report the news. McKinnie has plenty of starting experience and is a former star at the University of Miami.

Clabo allowed two sacks to Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams on Sunday that completely changed the complexion of the game for Miami (3-3). The acquisition of McKinnie makes a statement that Clabo’s level of play this season is not acceptable.

This isn’t an Earth-shattering move by the Dolphins, but at least they are trying something. They couldn’t go 16 games at this rate with the amount of times quarterback Ryan Tannehill was getting hit.

McKinnie, 34, is past his prime. But he may still be an upgrade over Clabo, 32, who is allowing sacks at a record pace. McKinnie started for the defending Super Bowl champions last season. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland clearly believes McKinnie still has something left in the tank.

The Dolphins are at .500 and on a three-game losing streak. They also will play two first-place teams -- the New England Patriots (5-2) and Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) -- in the next two weeks.

Miami hasn’t shown enough recently to have a lot of confidence that the team can turn things around and make a playoff push. But improving at offensive tackle would be a good step in the right direction.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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