I talked to Jason Ferguson late this week and related his thoughts about how good the Dolphins may or may not be in a column I wrote for The Herald's print and online editions.
Regardless of how you feel about Ferguson's view of the Dolphins -- he believes they can be pretty good in 2008 -- there can be no denying his presence on the team will affect the offensive line as well as the defensive line.
Ferguson, you see, will be practicing every day opposite second-year center Samson Satele and the hope is he can help the young offensive player improve just as he helped Kevin Mawae (with the Jets) and Andre Gurode (with Dallas) become better players.
Both have been Pro Bowl performers, by the way.
"The last two teams I played with, I faced the best two centers in the league," Ferguson told me. "That was Kevin Mawae when I was with the Jets and Andre Gurode with the Cowboys. When you go against Pro Bowlers every day in practice, it made me better. And I think I helped make them better."
Ferguson says he and Satele should become close -- just as he did with the other two centers -- because it suits everyone's best interest as well as the team's.
"You become one of the guy's best friends because you go and check with him every day and ask questions that help each other," Ferguson said. "You say, 'What about my technique? How was it then?' And they ask me the same about themselves. That's what I expect from the young guy here.
"I think he's a good worker. He's a good, athletic kid. When I watch him, I say, 'Hey, he's not going to sit there and just take it.' You don't want no offensive lineman taking it."
Although I've talked to Ferguson only once, I like him already. He promises to improve the run defense, and his attitude is wonderful.
Example: I asked him how he did in his practice work against Mawae and Gurode: "You don't go in thinking I'll win this one and he'll win that one. I want to win nine out of 10."