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A pre-minicamp look at Dolphins' offensive line

The Miami Dolphins offensive line is an interesting subject these days because what seemingly was an established unit now has a number of moving parts and issues that speak of possible improvement and, yes, the possibility of regression.

Here's the situation at each position (Coach Sparano, please correct me next time you see me if I get any of this wrong):

LEFT GUARD

The positive: There is a great chance to improve the spot because the Dolphins are separating from Justin Smiley, which means the next player up could be someone more dependable, that will be there every game of every season and not suffer the shoulder problems that plagued Smiley. The Dolphins have plenty of suitable candidates for the job as 2009 part-time starter Nate Garner (pictured) is expected to recover completely from the foot/toe injury that is keeping him out of OTA work. The Dolphins have also moved Donald Thomas to left guard because Richie Incognito is almost exclusively a right guard and a pretty good one at that when he keeps his emotions in check and stays free of dumb penalties. So Thomas adds competition to the spot as does promising rookie John Jerry, for whom the position seems eventually destined if he is the player the Dolphins hope and believe he was when they picked him in the third round of the recent draft. There are good options galore here.

Nategarner The negative: Smiley was a wiley, experienced veteran and a great help to young Jake Long. Long will miss him. The Dolphins may also miss Smiley's ability to pull, which was one of his strengths. Garner's injury is a setback for him. He cannot compete for the job now as he and the Dolphins would like. He is falling behind. Yes, he can catch up once he gets going in training camp, as scheduled. But right now he's missing time. Thomas is a novice on the left side. He didn't play the spot last year as the team was trying to get him fully acclimated at right guard. He seemingly slumped late last season, which is the reason Garner was able to move over from the left side when Smiley's injuries improved and take over the starting job from Thomas.

CENTER

The positive: Joe Berger (pictured) and Jake Grove are splitting first-team snaps here. This is probably because Berger played and graded out well while Grove nursed an injured ankle/leg last season. It speaks well of Berger that he started the final six games of the season, including the final two when Grove was well enough to start and otherwise regain his job. So regardless of who wins this competition, the Dolphins will have solid depth at the position.

Joeberger The negative: Um, the Dolphins paid a bunch of money to Jake Grove to be their starting center. When any team spends $29.5 million over five years on one player to be the starter and $2.5 million over three years for another player to be a swing C-G backup, the two guys should not be equals. And if the two guys are pretty much equals on the field, something is awry. Either Grove underperformed or Berger over-achieved or some of both. I think some of both is the right answer.

RIGHT GUARD

The positive: Incognito is an upgrade here and it's his job to lose. He is the first-team player there now. He will play there almost exclusively because that's what he is: A right guard. Coach Tony Sparano has lately been coy about the possibility of moving Incognito around, but if that somehow ends up happening, something went wrong. That's because Incognito is the strongest, ablest, most experienced right guard on the team right now. He is an upgrade over 2009, in case you missed it when I wrote it the first time. But he has to prove it. Also, the Dolphins have depth at the spot because Thomas or Garner offer starting possibilities, also.

The negative: There is a negative only if Incognito freaks out like he did with the St. Louis Rams and in college -- at both Nebraska and Oregon, where he got pretty much kicked off both squads. This would require the Dolphins to go back to last year's answer to start which would be either Thomas or Garner. And then the upgrade would suddenly disappear unless Thomas or Garner are markedly improved.

LEFT TACKLE

The postive: Jake Long (pictured) plays there. 'Nuff said. Man's a beast.Jake long

The negative: Jake Longis very, very good. But has he fully arrived? Probably not. Dolphins are still working some technical things with him to make him better. Scary thought, by the way. Here's another scary thought: If Long gets hurt, the depth is an issue because it is unproven. The Dolphins drafted Andrew Gardner last year and have worked hard in the past year to make him stronger and a better technician. I have no idea if that project has worked or not because I've not seen him in a live practice or game since the 2009 preseason. Lydon Murtha is also a possibility, but again, I have no clue if the guy can play or not.

RIGHT TACKLE

Vernoncarey The positive: Vernon Carey (pictured) is established and usually solid. He is also proven to be dependable as he's started 75 consecutive games. Gardner has played right tackle before and the game experience he picked up last year is invaluable for a young player.

The negative: Carey seemed to be a little heavy and slower of foot late last year. He was by no means a dominant right tackle so improvement is hoped for, if not required. The Dolphins don't seem to have a lot of competition for this job and that's not necessarily a good thing because the coaches love competition and Carey could probably stand some pushing.

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Soiled,

I know right now we have given you at least 3 additional cleverly written posts worth of subject material. I want you to know I am pulling for you, keep us laughing.

Bootang25 It's the Univerisity of Montana.

Ricky, What kind of job has you outta the house till 2:30 in the afternoon??????? My god man, what kind of slave labor are they putting you through????? Oh yeah, Bootang, Get some hammers at sam's, you know some of these Crab People are hard to break.........

The word of the day is "Prophylactic". Thank you Soiled!

Pistol,

I bought Bud Light, I hope that was okay? And you have no idea how tricky it was bungee cording 7 24 packs to the roof. I had to go back in and by a pack of bungee cords, you should have seen the look on the cashier's face. If I have to go back in again, and I better not, I'm going in a different line.

What did you think of the OTAs? Great article today about Dansby. He is the man.

Darryl,

I knew you would come through, thanks man. Are they the Grizzlies? I believe they are, and something tells me the colors are maroon and silver?

Fins trade Justin Smiley to Jags!!!!!

pending physical of course...

That will do just fine.

Ricky, Dansby will be a animal this season in my opinion..

Moderator, where did you hear that?

Cuban,

I tried to buy hammers, but the lady in the 10 items or less line was being a real you know what. Seems that even though 24 hammers are sold in one package, they are still considered to be individual items, and she asked me to go to another line. I don't know why she got all bent out of shape when I asked her to kiss my you know what. Anyway, long story short, does anyone know the number for a good lawyer? And even worse, the butter is melting and the beer is getting warm.

per tweet from ProFootballTalk...

You are right Cuban . I am lucky sometimes. But you guys are on 24/7. You say good night and good morning more than I say to my wife-lol

http://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk

Bootang, go back and get a cooler with ice.

I wonder what we got for him.. probably a fifth...

DID THE OIL REACHED THE KEYS YET ?

I like the Justin Smiley news, gives him a fresh start, not too far away, and we get something in return. Our luck he will fail the physical.

Fins trade Justin Smiley to Jags, pending physical. Per league source.

Good job Moderator. Maybe you should take over for Armando.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/05/24/fins-trade-justin-smiley-to-jacksonville/

Pistol,

Believe it not, I was able to get back into Sam's Club simply by turning my shirt inside out, stealing a ballcap from a 7 year old, and sagging my pants. Did you know Sam's Club sells coolers already filled with ice, what a novel idea.

Thanks pistol but, nah, armando does a good job, but sometimes he just gets a bit too passionate. Some people let thier knickers get in a twist for no good reason at all.

BOOTANG, Concentrate, Hammers,butter and beer..............

Bootang25 Ok Good one, It's the Alma Mater so I take it to heart a little to much. I thought you were taking a dig at the Griz, comparing them to the State University. The junior varsity.

What a country!

Cuban,

I think I got everything. I believe we are in good shape. Do crab people like beer? Maybe it weakens them? Or maybe it makes them less threatening? Maybe it gives them liquid courage? I say before we get involved in the crabfight, we should throw a bottle of beer to them, see what happens. We might not even need to get into a fight. Then again, I need to put these hammers, butter, and breadcrumbs to use. I'm losing focus here.

I am sure Drew is happy about Justin. When healthy, he is good.

Wow, either everyone is drunk... or everyone is dkrnu...

Darryl,

I love me some Montana football. I love Dan Carpenter, people that bash the Trifecta easily leave out we sent an undrafted K to the Pro Bowl. I also love Hilliard. If you saw the other night, at least Montana issending productive players to the league, I can't say that for my Florida State.

We can steam them in beer.

Smiley was good for us when he was healthy and he probably had something to do with Longs developement.

Ricky, Hours of operation on this blog is as followed Wed thru Sunday, 5pm to 8. Monday any time Tuesday is a no blog day, that does not make me a guy that's on here 24/7, though I appreciate you being on here all I gotta ask you is'What are you doing about the Crab people infestation????????? Thank you for your cooperation.......PS bring butter, I dont think Bootang will be back with the butter............

Moderator, your first guess was right......

Why has noone told me which nWo we are dealing with? Why? This is critical information. Do we need to deal with Hollywood Hogan? He is no joke. The crab people I think can be contained, but I don't know about Hulk Hogan. 24 inch pythons, Hulkamaniacs, it may just be too much.

I have set up several crab traps in the yard. So far all that I have gotten is a couple of Jehova's Wittness.

So Tony Sparano says, "Home , What the Hell is HAARP?"
Home says, "Tony, Angels don`t play this HAARP!"

High(frequency) Active Auroral Research Program

Intially developed by Dr Bernard Eastlund for beaming down RF gravitational waves
Sending Vibrations more than 20 miles into the earths core if needed for finding oil & natural gas

The new HAARP toy was proved 100% successful
but remarkable with very low watts the RF waves set of an earthquake when used near an existing fault line

OOHHH Did The Miltary Eyes Open Up!

Now With the this & the ability of the new 1 Billion watt HAARP toy able to steer, stall and create weather currents

Severe weather Could Be Controlled

The Military Bought The Entire Research Facility & All the Classified Research & Patterns

The Facility Became Top Secret & Completely Off Limits To Civilians

stay tuned for more:
Off Season Fun Facts with Home


And only half the butter melted, we still have roughly 30 pounds. It does smell good in the car, they need butter scented air fresheners. Except i'm really hungry all of a sudden. I may need to stop at Red Lobster. Oh crap the beer. Maybe I will call in a carryout order? That's what I'll do. Does anyone want anything from Red Lobster? And no, I'm not stopping at KFC or Chili's, I don't care if they are on the way, only Red Lobster!!!!!

Pistol,

No amount of butter, beer, breadcrumbs or any combination of the 3 will make them taste good. I'm just saying.

Home, those are neither "Fun" nor "Facts".

Jeff Darlington says miami got two first round picks for Smiley!

oh wait, he was kidding...
"Clearly, Miami happy to just get anything"

Bootang, never underestimate beer my friend.

Finally a new blog, thank god. Oh crap, it's STILL about offensive linemen.

Guys, a new posts up, Guess what Mandos reporting????? Thats right something that one of our posters already posted 30 minutes ago........ Why to go "SCOOP" Salguero............lmfao.........

Fortunately , haven't had crabs in awhile. One less dolphin lineman to pay.

This lineup is such a good lineup. A well balanced team and I hope a great coach too. They only need a teamwork and share of talents to win games.

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