Branden Albert openly admits he didn't know who Olivier Vernon was when he joined the Miami Dolphins.
Albert's quite familiar with the former the former University of Miami standout now considering he's worked against him all offseason, and got beat by Vernon for two and a half sacks during Thursday's controlled scrimmage, which ended the team's offseason program.
"He's real good. Real good!" Albert said when talking about Vernon, who tallied 11.5 sacks last season in his first year as a starter for the Dolphins. "He made some good plays. That's part of the game. He's gotten better since I've been here, making some strides."
Albert admitted the offensive line still has some work to do before they're ready to redeem themselves from last year's dismal season, which featured the unit allowing a franchise-record 58 sacks.
Albert, Shelley Smith and Jason Fox's signing as free agents, and selecting Ja'Wuan James and Billy Turner early in the 2014 draft is supposed to fix the unit, which excelled in run blocking, but struggled in pass protection on Thursday.
"We had some miscues," Albert said, referring to the eight sacks the Dolphins offensive line allowed in the controlled scrimmage.
The Dolphins roster was split evenly between the aqua and white team for the scrimmage.
Albert's offensive line featured rookie Billy Turner as his starting left guard, Mike Pouncey at center, David Arkin at right guard and Nate Garner at right tackle, and they were the primary protectors for Ryan Tannehill, who had Charles Clay, Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Jarvis Landry and Lamar Miller as his primary weapons.
The white squad, which was led by Matt Moore, beat Tannehill's aqua unit 16-13. But the defensive line's dominance was the story of the day, and their success had Albert on the defensive.
"When training camp really starts that's when football starts," said Albert, a 2013 Pro Bowl selection who signed a five-year, $47 million contract to join the Dolphins this offseason. "[This] is football. You've got to do what you've got to do. But when training camp comes, the season comes, that's when real football begins."