Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said rookie right tackle Jonathan Martin wasn't "God awful" during Friday night's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, but the second-round draft pick out of Stanford knows that he has to play much better.
"Everyone can tell it wasn't my best performance," Martin said, according to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "There are little things I've got to correct. I give the Carolina defenders a lot of credit, but I was beating myself out there."
On Friday night, Martin was beaten for two sacks, committed one holding penalty, and could have been flagged for another. He also had a false start penalty, his third in two preseason games. Growing pains are to be expected from a rookie offensive lineman, particularly one who missed most of the Dolphins' OTAs because his school operates on the "quarters" system.
Martin is smart enough to know that it's better to learn those lessons now rather than when the season kicks off for real next month against the Houston Texans, who have one of the NFL's best pass rushes.
"I've learned a ton," Martin said. "That's what the preseason is for, improve your skills. I'd rather make these mistakes now than against the Houston Texans in a couple weeks. I'm going to watch the film and make sure I don't make these same mistakes again."Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter @brian_mcintyre.