One of the unsung heroes of
the 2009 Miami Dolphins and their improbable playoff run has been fullback
Polite, a fifth year veteran
from Pitt, was signed as a free agent midway through
the 2008 season. Originally thought to be a low profile pick-up, Polite has quickly
become a very important part of the offense. His run and pass blocking have
been critical to the success of the run game (#3 in the NFL). But just as
importantly, his proficiency in converting short yardage first down
opportunities in 2009 has been remarkable (12 of 12). This continues a run of
success he had in this regard in 2008, where he converted 8 of 8 such
opportunities to keep drives alive. Seven of those eight drives resulted in
scores (five touchdowns and one field goal).
Truth is, Polite has been so
good in all aspects of his game that he is now garnering serious consideration
for the Pro Bowl.
Off the field, Polite is a
terrific presence in the locker room, a shining example of an unselfish leader.
I recently caught up with Polite at the Dolphins Training Facility in Davie to discuss his
success and his view of the offense in general.
On the Dolphins offensive system and why it suits him
and his teammates
Itís a very flexible system.
We have a lot of guys with a lot of (different) abilities, and the assistant
coaches can do a good job of putting guys in the right situations. Weíre a very
unselfish team, so we all like to see each other do well. We cheer each other
on, no matter who is the primary focus is on that play or whoeverís getting the
ball. All those things are never a problem. We really exemplify what a team is
On his success with converting third-and-short and
Thereís no real secret. Itís
just understanding the blocking scheme, understanding the defense front, how
theyíre lined up and where theyíre trying to attack. Just trust what you see
and go for it; pump your legs. Itís us against them; their 11 against our 11
and try to make it happen.
On if there is a particular part of his game that he
takes extra pride in.
I take pride in being a
complete player because at any play throughout the game it crucial to the
outcome. Whether itís pass protection or run blocking, or whatever it is, itís
all important. So I want to be known as a complete football player, not a guy
that can do some things then they got to pull you out cause you canít do
another thing. I want to be complete and reliable in any situation.
On if he feels the team is relying on him more with
Patrick Cobbs on Injured Reserve.
It definitely hurt losing
him, but I feel like they do a good job of having things as a group effort.
Itís not one more guy taking more of the load. Itís weíre all taking an equal
share of the load across the board, honestly.
can cast your Pro Bowl vote for Lousaka Polite at NFL.com (http://www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot).
Fan voting ends Monday, December 21. Rosters will be announced on December 29.