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Jake Long struggles as challenging season awaits

Even as Mel Kiper continues to believe the Dolphins made a mistake in picking Jake Long over Matt Ryan, the Dolphins seem pleased they picked the anchor left tackle. That was especially true after Long was a Pro Bowl alternate and earned a trip to the game by starting all 16 games last season.

Well, this preseason Long has had some struggles this preseason. He gave up a sack to Everette Brown during the Carolina game. He lost his footing and his leverage on the dirt infield in the Jacksonville game, allowing the defender he was blocking to tackle Ricky Williams for a loss. Long also yielded a quarterback hurry to Quentin Grove in that game.

Long was also flagged on a false start against Jacksonville and a holding call against Tampa Bay.

And all that comes as talk about Long struggling against speed rushers persists outside the Dolphins organization.

“Jake didn’t give up many plays last year; he didn’t give up many sacks," coach Tony Sparano said Sunday. " So, I don’t know if that was a problem or a perception. But from my end, I felt the guy played pretty well against some pretty good people during the course of the season last year.

"Now, in the preseason right now, he’s gotten beat a couple times out there, and, you know, I think he’ll get that, Jake will get that fixed. Every week he goes in, he’s [a] pretty good pro, for just being a young guy. He goes in, he watches the film, he’s critical of himself and wants, and is very curious to get problems fixed. So, I think that any of those things that have happened right now with Jake, you know, he’ll get some of those things fixed.”

That is necessary because Long faces some talented rushers this season that perhaps he didn't see last season. Every week will be a challenge for Long.

John Abraham, he of the 16 1/2 sacks a season ago, is the first challenge in the regular-season opener.

And then there's Dwight Freeney  and Robert Mathis, Julius Peppers and Everette Brown, Adalius Thomas and Derrick Burgess, Shawne Merriman and Larry English, Calvin Pace, Mario Williams, and of course, James Harrison, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.

Abraham, Freeney, Mathis, Peppers, Williams and Harrison all had double-digit sacks last season.

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Mando,

It's only preseason, Jake will learn more he still have plenty of learning in his carrer. Ryan will learn more too this season with defenses ready for him, will see by the end of the season.

Well, like I was saying in my last post, I agree with Mel Kiper JR that we should of drafted Matt Ryan instead of Jake. Nothing against Long, but Clady has been just as good if not better than him, but regardless... If Matt Ryan becomes a franchise QB, and so far so good, you HAVE to draft that QB... Look at the past super bowl winners, the Steelers with Roethlisberger, the Colts with Peyton Manning, the Giants with Eli Manning, the Patriots with Tom Brady, and the list goes on... You need that franchise QB to take you to the next level, UNLESS you have a really dominating "D", a bit like the 86 Bears had, which allowed them to win it all with a mediocre QB like Jim McMahon. Or when the Ravens won it all with Trent Dilfer... But that rarely happens, and anyone who thinks the Dolphins defense is in the same category as those defenses are dreaming in high def... So Jake will probably end up as a solid player, but Matt Ryan should of been the pick. I like Chad Pennington, and he's probably the best QB we've had in Miami since Dan Marino. But can he lead the Dolphins to a SB? I have my doubts, but if he can prove me wrong, I'll be extremely happy. ))) LOL!

I've been talkin about Jake long's struggles for about a week. it seems like he's regressed a little. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt he wiil correct this , but it has been a pattern this preseason. Let's hope so because the pass rushers he's going to face can penny killed.

Jake has made some mistakes this pre-season, but lets not get carried away. In the same game that he gave up a sack to E. Brown, he erased Julius Peppers from the game.

And for those who claim that things will be a lot more difficult for Matt Ryan playing in his 2nd year and defenses preparing differently for him and all that stuff, you might have a point. But having said that, Jake Long will also have a hell of a more difficult 2nd year, if you have any doubts, look at the list of pass rushers he will face this year. Much better defenses compared to last year, so that goes both ways. Don't get me wrong, I'm a dolphins fan, I'm cheering for Jake, and i'll be very happy if we can pound Matt Ryan in the turf a couple of times in our game opener. But if Ryan has the same type of season he had last year, or even better, he will confirm without a doubt that he should of been the first pick overall of the 2008 draft. We'll find out.

Mel Kiper always says the Dolphins should have drafted Matt Ryan. You cant look back at a draft like that in hindsight. By that logic, every NFL team made a huge mistake by not drafting Tom Brady. You cant look at a draft after it has already gone down, thats ridiculous.

Julius peppers isn't a speed rusher.

All the Dolphins were doing last year were going for the higher percentage pick. Picking a great offensive tackle in the 1st round (Jake Grove, Ryan Clady, Walter Jones, Orlando Pace, Jammal Brown, Bryant Mckinnie)is much less risky than picking a QB in the 1st round (David Carr, Heath Shuler, Joey Harrington, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Byron Leftwich, Ryan Leaf, Cade Mcnown, Alex Smith). When you win one game the year before, you have to go for the safe pick, which was Jake Long. That was 100% the right thing to do, even if Matt Ryan is already a franchise, pro-bowl QB after one year (and he is just that).

Peppers isnt a speed rusher, but he is considered one of the best pass rushers in football.

I think if you make the pro bowl as a rookie, as Jake Long did, you get a pass to allow a sack the following pre-season. Now if he starts to get beat in the regular season, you guys can criticize him all you want. But I think a pro bowl birth in your rookie year gives you some credibility, just a little.

You would have to think that the Dolphins front office would trade Jake Long straight up for Matt Ryan right now. But when you are making the pick, you have to consider all the circumstances. And the circumstances were that you had won one game the year before and the franchise was a joke after 6 years of blind-fold drafting. You have to take the safe pick in that spot, which was the left tackle.

You also have to remember that one of the reasons Jake was such a safe pick was that if he didnt cut it as a LT, they were just going to move him to right tackle where he can just maul people. Everyone agreed before the draft that he projected as a pro bowl right tackle, the only question was whether Jake would be a pro bowl left tackle. So there was that "plan B" factor that made J. Long a safer pick than a QB.

Playing behind the o-line we had last season, minus a Jake Long, Ryan would have been totally shellshocked. He wouldnt have started last season anyway once CP fell into our laps.

julius peppers WAS ! one of the past pass rushers. What did he have like 2 and half sacks last year and is 30 yrs old . I love jake long and wanted him to be the pick . but he made the pro bowl because someone got injured. Clady should've made it before long. I'm a dolphins fan , but i don't see through aqua/orange glasses . he needs a little work against speed rushers.

Still it wasnt Long, it seems Phillip Merling in the 2nd was the pick we blew

Thank goodness we made up for Merling later with Langford

Next season once the trifecta beefs up the rookie Adrew Gardner he may push Soft Carey Tissues out of the right tackle spot

Even with Ryan, I dont think Atlanta has enough D to win a SB yet anyway. So it really doesnt matter right now.

Well it's easy to say we should of picked Ryan now. Hindsight is always 20/20. However, Ryan did well because they had a great run game and their OL played really well. If we didn't have Jake Long, Ryan more than likely gets sacked repeatedly and we don't run the wildcat I don't think as effectively if at all. Also having Roddy White and Michael Jenkins to throw too helps a lot. Jake Long was the best pick for us at the time and still would be right now. I'd take Long/Henne before I took Ryan/Baker.

This is only his 2nd year. Jake Long will continue to improve and will be an anchor on the line for the next decade.

If I remember correctly we were building a team last year. And if we picked a qb first overall we would have had to pay him an enormous amount of money. That money would be for a player to come in and take the toughest spot on the team that was 1-15 the previous season.
We picked a great player in Long with a lot of upside. He is in his sophomore season and is pressing himself to be better that last season and most of us would be happy if he just played as good as last season.
As for Matt Ryan...Pennington wouldn't be here. Stability, brains, wisdom, team leader, winner, desire to be the best, are the proven attributes that Pennington brought to this team. We might have won 4 games with Ryan at the helm last year. Pennington is the man for this team and I sincerley hope we resign him this year. He was a steal and he is the real deal.

possible that they were negotiating w/ long, ryan and maybe another player(s) and j.long was willing to give them best deal and get in camp

remember, this was a 1-15 team, new owner/regime, pizzed off fans, tough economy, and coming off some top draft holdouts (allen, brown); or guy just didnt have huge 1st year (ginn) as fans expected

doubt they were gonna start new era w/ holdout, or w/ a guy who wasnt viewed as "cant miss"

personally at qb position had flacco as top guy in that draft; could've traded down possibly gotten extra picks/players... jf didnt go off board until 18

its always easy to go back and say... shouldve done this or that but shouldnt take j. long pick out of proper context

I really don't think Ryan would have had the success he has had if he was with Miami. With the Falcons he had a great running game to lean on a a very good defense. Don't forget that Kiper also said that Miami should have taken Brohm over Henne. Brohm last I heard was struggling to make the team. Kiper knows squat!

Mel Kiper also thought we should’ve taken Vernon Gholston only the Jets were that stupid… Atlanta and Miami were in two different places in respect to the needs of the team. Atlanta already had a good team that had lost its QB and its identity. They were in the prime position to pick up a QB and had the nucleus already around him to take the pressure off him having to be a miracle man. Miami conversely was in complete disarray and needed to build from bottom up. The base of any team is the offensive and defensive lines and without those pieces in place it does not matter who is playing QB or RB or WR. Miami did the absolute right thing in selecting Jake Long, Merling, Langford, Thomas, Murphy. This year they strengthened the defensive backfield and selected WRs where they should be picked, mid to late in the draft. Next will be for those few remaining pieces and don’t be surprised if a Tebow falls in our laps and his number is called.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it is so short sighted that one can only see their own backside when the past waylays the present. Learn from the past, have a plan for the future, but live in the moment. Jake will be just fine and so will the Dolphins because they are working off a solid plan.

If we'd have drafted Ryan .... who'd be protecting him.... ?

Struggles?

No regrets here--alot of big playmakers sure help, but the game is still won from the line, out.

And Long will be fine--plenty of time to grow. :)

If we would have drafted Ryan he would probably have the same amount of snaps as Henne, and everyone would wonder how good he will be eventually.He ended up in a great situation for himself in Atlanta and got to start right away. Who knows what would have happened if Henne would have been in Atlanta instead. Diffrent circumstances alltogether and time will tell.

Anyone else feel that this is the calm before the storm----Falcons, Colts, Chargers----can we even compete with the elite?

Jake Long will prove this year to the biggest bust in NFL history.

Fire Everybody,

Can someone make the pro bowl in their rookie year and still be considered a bust? Just saying.

If jake long is the one worrying you i would advise you to check yourself in the funny farm.Seems always someone crying coming up with crazy stuff just to have something to write.Everybody thinks matt ryan is god now?Mistakes are coming on his part so don't worry the crush you have on him will fade.Like the old saying goes what is put on your mind can be put on your a..!So, after we welcome him back this year in the opener maybe he will give you his jock strap.Remember he is a enemy!If you love him go report for the falcons!

Terry stop bashing mando. He is good to us, he will stop providing us good info if idiots like you continue to bash him. go away.

This is a joke right? Jake Long is an All-Pro LT and an anchor, EVERY LT gets beat by speed rushers wether the numbers show it or not, the DE's and LB's r just too fast in today's game. I live in Philly and the Eagles just spent something like 65 Million on Jason Peters ( an All-Pro ) who has been getting beat by speed rushers ALL PRESEASON!

If this is the only way you can get news your a mental midget yourself.If you going to write news come up with something that's worth reading.Mean while mind your on business finheaven.we all know you blow ! looks like it's matt ryan too.If mando not avaliable.

Atlanta is not an elite team ppl! my god, was is with the love affair with the falcons? i just watched their latest preseason game, they gave up a touchdown on 3rd and 29! so they have their problems too, and their secondary stinks.

If everyone remembers, last year before the draft Mel Kiper was bashing Matt Ryan and did not believe he was worthy of the #1 overall pick. The only "draft expert" that was high on Ryan was Mike Mayock. Kiper has now done a 180 based on how well Ryan played. But in the final analysis the Fins made the right pick. It has always been Parcell's philosphy that you build a football from the lines out. That is why so many picks last year were OLs and DLs. That is starting to pay dividends. Furthermore if Ryan was on the Fins last year it is unlikely he would have had the level of success Chad P had. So there is no looking back.

How many Superbowls has Mel Kiper won? Bill Parcells? Kiper evaluates college talent for one year and moves on. Parcells has to BUILD a team that will compete for years. I will take Parcells advice on what the Dolphins NEED and his picks over Mel Kiper, thank you

We didn't not be knowing Jake Long made the Pro Bowl last year. Saw Ryan Clady Sunday night. He's better than Jake Long.

As many story you could write on the Dolphins.It's real bothersome to bash a all pro tackle!So he got beat?Who hasn't?These are the same people who think cortney bryant should start?Does not anyone know talent when they see it?Glad some of you are not a coach we be 0- 16 for sure!If you can't handle the truth or get your panties in a wad when someone corrects you your know more than a coward. enough said!

The previous post under my name is an imposter. Regardless, terry you can suck it.

And NJPHINFAN, Julius Peppers had 14 sacks last season, not two. It was a contract year for him and he played like it.

I've won as many Super Bowls in the last 18 years as Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland combined -- which is to say zero.

LISTEN!! people you have to have a strong line to protect the QB if the line doesnt hold up how are you gonna protect the QB all those QB's listed did win a superbowl but they also have a very good Oline If thats the case we should have drafted Brady Quinn. Jake will be fine its preseason guys he has a long 16 weeks..

Kiper!All you do is try to sale or make money off stuff that every body gives for free.Maylock will take your place and you know it.So i would suggest you listen to maylock clearly the draft guru!To finheavenblows!i accept your imposter story.So let it go before you get a facial!

taking a qb with the number 1 pick in the draft is very risky. hind sight is always 20/20 mando

Whats's the prob? :-) Sit back... enjoy. What was, is. What is to come, will be.
Would-be-Nostrodamuses who write in caps,speak in absolutes, and sermonize about what is going to happen, don't get your panties all in a bunch. The game, pizza and beer will do me just fine.
Jake Long looks like a pretty good player. No regrets.



NJ, Peppers had 12 or so sacks last year. And by looking at our pass rushers, I wish they were 30.

I be strokin !

Mel kiper has the most awesomely bad haircut in the entire world!!!

If Kiper is as good as he likes to think, why isn't he working for one of the NFL teams? While it seems to be an obsession to compare players from certain drafts, people always seem to overlook a simple fact. How to build a team. A good quarterback needs protection. Had the Dolphins picked Ryan would he have had the protection he was given by Atlanta? Remember now, Satele and Ndukwe are both gone. The wildcat was created to make up for lack of a conventional running game. Atlanta has an excellent running game. Let's see here Kiper( lord knows why) gets paid to predict future players, Parcells is being paid to build a team. I'll put my money on Parcells.
Now, I too am concerned about Long and his progress. He'll be tested all year and I do hope he's better than his camp so far has indicated.

Concussions are overrated. I could play another 7-10 years if I wanted. Now... who is this 'Teddy Bruschi' that ESPN keeps referencing?

Jason Taylor scares me. I want my mommy.

There, there Tom ... I want your mommy, too.

Been there, done that.

Good LT aren't that easy to find, and Long has done a good job so far. No-one is ever perfect, and we shouldn't start fretting after 3 pre-season games. Sure, Long has some growing to do - what did you expect, an instant veteran? This is a young team, that's growing and getting better. In two years time, they'll still be young, but well-seasoned, and ready to go for the big time. What with all the bitchin' and moanin', you'd think we were Jets fans in here.

Terry FYI finheavenblows! is a little coward who gets very upset when people bash Mando. The evidence is in previous blogs. He cannot stand for anyone to disagree with Mando. He has no balls.

If you come up with a LT that never gets beat, then you know the secret identity of Superman.

It's pretty obvious that terry and TDPD and Ace are all the same no-life-having tool.

We have a new many-me on this blog.

The last thing we need to worry about is Jake Long. I love the topic changer to get off our recievers, however LTackle is my furthest worry. That kid will be premiere. He blocks out the sun now. What about our future at running back? Nice huh? I know a 1-2 combo that looks to have a little competition. Can you say Cobbs and Hilliard. I wish we had Brandon Marshall. That would stretch the field with Penningtons small arm due to double teams. All they could do is play up like in softball when a girl hits. Still have to respect the pro bowl reciever and double team. Which leaves ten other guys to worry about nine. Thats Penningtons game. Remember Marshall with Randy Moss. Think about it.

Steve Ripp, your comment about Matt Ryan and hot having success in a dolphins uniform because of their running game or their o-line like LOL claims makes absolutely no sense. First of all, the hardest position to learn for a rookie in football is the QB position. It requires not only the athleticism to play, but also the ability to learn defensive schemes, most of them these kids have never seen before. That's why most young QBs DON'T make it and a much lower percentage do. So for a guy like Matt Ryan to come in as a rookie and accomplish what he did, that's just amazing. To claim he did it because of a running game is ridiculous. The same theory could be used on Jake Long. I don't think any other QB in the NFL got rid of the football quicker than Chad Pennington . 2 step drops, quick passes in the flat to RBs, etc... And I'm not even counting all the wildcat plays they used. That's the way the offense was designed because the coaching staff didn't want too much pressure on the o-line. So that theory is just as good for Jake Long as it is for Matt Ryan. If you believe it. I don't.

finhavenblow is mandos tool, he know he is

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