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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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Marcus , peppers had 2 and half the year before . He had 14 in a contract year and on team he wanted traded from. what does that tell you. as far wishing miami had a pass rusher who is 30 years old , you got that right . peppers still not what he used to be.

You have to look at the whole picture, not just Long vs Ryan. If we had drafted Ryan, who would have been our LT? Would we have brought in Chad P., anyway (I think the answer to this question is yes)? So we would have had Ryan, no LT, no Chad H., and Ryan would have been sitting on the bench all season - ala Henne.

Instead, we get an all pro LT, still have our starter in Chad P., with Chad H. waiting in the wings. So we still get our young soon to be franchise QB, but get an all pro LT in the deal. Whereas, drafting Ryan would have only gotten us a franchise QB.

Seems to me this was a no brainer, and that the Miami brass did it exactly right.

BTW, no one can judge Henne vs Ryan until Henne gets his chances to start a full season, so just leave that argument at the door (like I said, Ryan would have sat the first year or two in Miami just like Henne is doing, because Parcells likes Chad P., and has a history of wanting young QBs to sit and learn before getting into the action).

I'm glad the phins didn't get Ryan. Long should come along ok and to borrow a Parcells-ism, I don't think we can quite annoint Ryan a franchise QB and perennial top 10 guy just yet on the strength of one strong rookie season.

Besides...for a less scientific reason, he brings the baggage of, hands down, the worst nickname in the entire league. It kinda makes him sound like an effeminate mobster (not to mention the tricky brand name conflict of interest with the new stadium sponsor), and he would bring at least 2-4 additional losses per year from the psychological disadvantage therein (kinda like the old Bucs uniforms: following years of sustained sub-averageness, immediately after they ditched the pinkish-orange pirate, they became a playoff regular and eventually won a SB to cap that run...coincidence?...I think not.)

mark my words, he needs to shed that crap fast. He will never ever win a SB as "Matty Ice"

If Chad Henne turns out to be the QB of the future for the Dolphins, a productive one who will lead them in the playoffs and win a few games, than there's no question Jake Long was indeed the right pick. But having said that, if Henne turns out to be just another guy, than the pick should of been Matt Ryan. Very simple. And don't get me wrong, I love Henne. But we'll see. In the meantime, Matt Ryan is really impressive. That's all I'm saying. Again, I'm a dolphins fan, and I want a SB in Miami. But these are the decisions that have a HUGE impact on your future. I remember in 1999, everybody was divided about 50-50 in the Peyton Manning- Ryan Leaf pre-draft saga. Half the people were saying Peyton was the guy the Colts should take, the other half was claiming Leaf should be their guy. So Bill Polian had a HUGE decision to make, one a bit similar to the one Parcells and Ireland had to make with thier first overall pick. Polian decided on Manning, and that got the city of Indianapolis a SB. Simple stuff. That's it.

Mel Kiper Jr is a clown.... Here are just a few of his quotes.

"Ryan Leaf's "attitude" (which had rubbed teammates and coaches the wrong way in college) would be an asset in the NFL and give him a mental advantage over Peyton Manning"

""That’s why [they] keep picking number two every year(commenting on the Colts picking Marshall Faulk)""


""Akili Smith will be a great NFL player and would finally provide the Cincinnati Bengals with the passer they'd lacked since Boomer Esiason"

""Give the Lions credit for going away from their biggest needs to take receiver Mike Williams" & "I'll see you at his Hall of Fame induction"(commenting on WR Mike Williams)"

Lawl. Even if Ryan does turn out to be franchise which remains to be seen, after all his numbers while decent aren't that great. Lets compare him to penny.

Matt/Penny
Comp:265/321
Att:434/476
Pct:61.1/67.4
Yrds:3,440/3653
AVG Per:7.9/7.7
TD:16/19
INT:11/7
Rating:87.7/97.4


Now with that said even though Pennys numbers are indeed better most of us would rather have the young QB due to a "predicted" upside. But come on before you anoint him the next Tom Brady or Dan Marino please at least let him prove it first.

BTW feel free to add more Kiper Isms!

Yeah, Long lost his footing, gave up a sack and got caught for holding once during pre-season. Let's trade him. And then let's trade Ronnie Brown because of course he is horrible too. And ya know what, while we're at it, let's run Parcell's out of town because he and his crew didn't pick Matt Ryan. We only went from 1-15 to 11-5 and won the division. That's just not god enough though to get ANY sort of optimism because every back seat driving idiot has their opinion of what they would do better and more efficiently. And BTW- the WILD CAT happens to be a legitimate offensive scheme. So why do people contend that whatever we gain from that doesn't "count"?

I like jake long and wanted him to be the pick , but Just to play A devil's advocate some of you have forgotten that vernon played left tackle the year before miami drafted long. He played pretty well , so for those of you who areasking who would of played LT if miami drafted matt ryan , you haveyour answer.

1st of all, Matt Ryan can't block. And when is the last time the Dolphins sent an offensive lineman to the probowl. Some of you people are sad. Go Phins!

I agree with you completely, and would like to add what u are all forgetting. We have Jake long, A PRO BOWL LEFT TACKLE IN HIS FIRST YEAR, Chad pennington (second in MVP voting), and Ronnie brown for what it would have cost to have Matt Ryan at the first pick COMBINED! CASE CLOSED! don't be stupid.

Landshark -13 : those kiperisms were hilarious, sometimes I like him sometimes I can't stand him. Btw, this is random, but I think we should trade up for Sam Bradford this draft. He is going to be one of the best NFL players ever.

This is just part of the dog log stirring process of "they shoulda took Ryan."

Nuff Said LandShark-13. And we have a Probowl Tackle to go with it.

Its preseason,,,, everyone makes mistake trying to get in football shape,,,, When the season starts Big Jake will be in midseason form... I cant wait for the regular season when the Dolphins exposed Matt Ryan.

the man has cement shoes...i mean dont let him go deep sea fishing alone.....he will be a great right tackle one day, until we get the left tackle we need he will do, ryan was a better pick but no one could have known that going into the draft long was a good pick and much better than the other long (chris) and to my recollection his name was tossed around quite abit as a safer option to ryan as well

Fake GM nailed it. Don't risk the #1 pick in draft when you need so many players. Get something solid for 10 years and go from there. For every stud #1 overall QB there are 2 or 3 busts. This safe/solid philosophy is the reason our last two drafts have outdone the previous 5.

Arm chair QB's unite!!! Should have drafted Ryan.. Should have drafted Brady Quinn, Bolden, etc... Sure is easy when looking in the rear view mirror!!

Long was the safe pick plain and simple. The guy was a Pro Bowler in his rookie season - NUFF SAID!!

MARINO DIDN'T NEED TWO SEASONS OF UNDERSTUDY TO TAKE OVER THE TEAM. IF HENNE IS NOT CAPABLE OF DOING IT NOW, THEN WE BETTER SIGN PENNINGTON TO TWO MORE YEARS. ONE MORE FOR HENNE TO WATCH PENNINGTON AND THE SECOND FOR PENNINGTON TO WATCH HENNE.HECK SIGN PENNINGTON ANYWAY HE IS AN ASSET AS A LEADER. IF HENNE ISN'T READY THEN, THIS IS BLASPHEMY, BUT MAYBE THE TUNA SHOULD OF GONE WITH RYAN.
LONG IS GOING TO DO JUST FINE. HE IS BIG,FAST, SMART AND ABOVE ALL ELSE HARD WORKING AND HATES TO BE BEATEN.

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