« Next chapter for Thomas: Fatherhood, coaching? | Main | Source: Justin Smiley traded to Jags »

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.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e20133ee28f540970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A pre-minicamp look at Dolphins' offensive line:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

i am watching (( amber frey witness )) a crapy movies on the life channel .it's about the calafornia murder .......

The more the merrier. I wouldn´t release grove, he is good and i´d rather have a nice deep depth than a short low paid depth.

For me last year, las 4 or 5 games RT was the weak spot, Carey was just awful...he struggled alot!!

I think we have a pretty good o-line depth and the good part is the versatility they all have. Loving long,gardner and thomas, liking grove,carey and incognito and would love to love John Jerry.

I REMEMBER THE FINS SIGNED A PLAYER FOR 2 MILLION LAST YEAR BY THE NAME BURGER.WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM .A LOT OF LUCKY PLAYER THEY COME AND SIGN FOR MILLIONS AND NEVER HEAR ANY THING ABOUT THEM AGAIN .....BURGER

ANOTHER PLAYER SIGNED FOR MILLION AND HE WAS A HOLD OUT UNTIL AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED..........PAT WHITE ....WHAT HAPPENED THERE ?

Aloco, He was cut and re-Signed with Burger King, He's the creepy looking guy using that "KING" Head............. Very creepy.....

CUBAN, ANOTHER PLAYER SIGNED FOR MILLION AND WILL NEVER SEE AY ACTION IS ...........TURNER ..

ANOTHER ONE IS WILSON WAS SIGNED MILLIONS W/8 MILL GURNT.

HOW WE CAN IGNORE THE PRINCE W/THE BEST CONTRACT....THE BEAUTIFUL CROWDER .......CRWODER THE LUCKIEST MAN ALIVE .

Thanks Armando. Nice article.

Looking forward to seeing how things shape up at left guard.

I'm not worried about the center position. Grove was pretty solid. More power to Berger if he beats Grove out. Having been a backup, he may be a little hungrier than Grove. I think these battles are good for everybody....so long as they don't drag on through the end of preseason.

Wow, checked out yesterday not knowing so much would happen in Phin Land. Congrats to Zack, you were a rock, and played the game the right way. Hopefully legacy will be an inspiration for the players, and staff. Congrats to the front office, classy move yesterday.
The offensive line could be the deepest unit on this team. We have good payers at every spot, and two deep at most as well. I've said that I thought Jerry will be the prize choice in the draft. The left side should be solid for the next 5-6 years(barring injury) As far as Proctor goes the local media here is going mental because he had a workout with the Donkeys. I don't know if this means anything we will see how his workout goes here. He would be best suited to play Rg. his natural spot, but he could play center if needed.

Aloco, Stop with the BS posts and tell me what to invest in Tommarrow............

CUBAN, YOU KNOW ME MORE THAN ME KNOWS ME .

DEPENDS ON THE NEWS ON THE WEEKENDS COMING FROM EUORPE ,THAT'S WHY WHEN THE MARKET OPEND TODAY DOWN 80 I SOLD ALL MY SHORTS TO CASH UNTIL WE SEE MONDAY .


CUBAN, DID CARLITO PAID A VIST TODAY AND IS IT TRUE HE BAD MOUTH MANDO ON THE SS BLOG ? THAT'S NOT GOOD .

I'Am Dying over here Aloco....... Give me some "WIFF" after the weekend..............

WHAT ABOUT QVC ,THEY ARE SELLING WOMEN BAGS ,I WATCH THAT CHANNEL FOR THE WOMEN NO THING ELSE .


HSN NOT SO MUCH, THE WOMEN IN THERE THEY LOOK LIKE MAIDS .IT LOCATED IN FL .LO...L

No Aloco, He was very Diplomatic actually.....

Hey JetFan, what was the Jets record against the Phins last year? Crickets... crickets... crickets.. Just shut-up already. What a lame loser to go on another teams site and try to incite people. Run your greasy black comb through your feathered hair, jam into the back pocket of those acid-washed Guess jeans (with the legs pegged), unbutton the top four buttons on your 11 year old multi-purple vertical striped button-up shirt, jump in your T-topped Firebird and go hit on high school girls. We know who you are!

unbutton the top four buttons on your 11 year old multi-purple vertical striped button-up shirt, jump in your T-topped Firebird and go hit on high school girls. We know who you are!


Posted by: Zumajay | May 21, 2010 at 09:14 PM

NJ PHIN FAN???????????????

THAT'S GOOD CUBAN, I AM LOOKING FORWARD FOR HIM COMING BACK .
ARMANDO DOES HIS JOB ON A WAY HE BELIEVES IN AND THE WAY IT SUITS HIM FROM RUNNING THE BLOG TO WRITING TO VOICING HIS VIEWS AND HE DID IT FOR 20 YEARS THE WAY HE LIKES IT .WE SHOULD RESPECT THAT AND ENJOY THE BLOG .

Golfito People dont hold grudges from what i UNDERSTAND............................

AGREE CUBAN, CARLITO HAS A GOOD HEART , HE'S LIKE YOU .YOU GET MAD FOR A MINUTE AND THAT'S IT .

Yatil green was a bmf man. Mark Higgs another bmf. Bernie parmalee another bmf. WickyRilliams is a bad mf

We need a tight end who can get down the field. Anybody decent expected to be released July 1st. Good article Mando. I feel the O line will be solid w good depth. We definitely got bigger over the past two years. No finese there.

That is if yatil wouldve ever really played. He wouldve be a bmf.

Brandon Marshall one bmf.

I'm one bmf.

Seriously I'm one bmf. Like y'all just recognize that in one bmf.

Jeff Ireland is a bmf.

Pete stoyanovich.
Bmf.

Don Shula. Bmf.

Jim jenson. Bmf.

Eric Green. Bmf.

This blog hijacked by a bmf.

Good night. Ice hats.

Hey Rick. Randy McMichael might be available. He's listed as a free agent and I don't know if he's been signed. He's not the best blocker but he could help the offense big-time.

aloco, but NJ is just garbage. Even Bobby too.

Mando, I've listened to you on 790 The Ticket a lot almost every time you're on and I think you're great.

You have information, you are funny and you don't get all stupid like Lebotard usually does. You are entertaining.

Posted by: Alex in Hialeah | May 21, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Man love at its finest!


Rodge

Please pass the joint! McMichael was good for 2-3 games a season. After that you would wonder if he was even still on the roster. Why the hell do you think we eventually got rid of him?

Bring him back, lol. Please pass the "trees" brother!

There's some really great gunja on this blog, cut a guy(McMichaels) and then bring him back. Will you please share the "trees mon'"

Mcmike a has been. He wah amost a bmf.

But never quite lived up to true bmf status.

Unlike myself.

A real g.
A big bmf.

Looking at the list of free agent tight ends, I don't see much out there that would be an upgrade to what we have here right now. I'm still suprised that we failed to draft a tight end in the draft. The trifecta must have faith in the players we have at that position, so I will have faith in the trifecta

Huh. Where's f. A. Gee. Home and Odin? Gaying it up somewhere ? Together perhaps?

I think Fasano will be back this year. He started last year in a funk and could never quite shake it. A new year will do him good. Marshall will also open the field up for him. I still want to know what happened to David Martin. Bring him back.

Wicky,

I just got a visual. I see Home packing it into Odin. Home is pumping odin full of all that conspiracy krap. Then I see NJ/BobbyD12 laying on pricemaster's sofa with their mouth full of.... well....you know...
Then again NJ's mouth is so big, pricemasters whole body fell into it.

To all you Jetsies fans, Jason just like Zack will retire a Fin. You fools paid him all that money, he will play hard for you, but not against his beloved Fins. That boy bleeds Miami. So get excited get all stupid like you fans do, you know all giggalya and stuff, then stay at home for christmas and watch the Fins in the play-off's. Then next year watch Jason retire a Fin and take the money you gave him and buy a big-ass house in Miami. Your Record this season 9-7, Miami 11-5.... Oh 2 extra wins against the Jetsies. ENJOY!!

Jason can retire as a Jet for all I care.I've lost all respect for that fool.Yeah,sure,whatever,I know it's a business,but that fool had no business signing with the Jets.Jason is garbage to me now.He fits in perfect up there in Jersey.Oh and one more thing;great article Armando.Keep up the good work.

Wow you guys see that musin muhammed (sic) pocked Davis n smith as "a-team" as cornerback duo on NFL network, pretty cool seeing ppl take notice that although jets may have revis and ge us great no getting around that, miami has a duo and jets only have one, and I do believe they will be like surtsin m Madison and maybe even better ad they progress

Lots if mistakes in the posts I know, I apologize

Guys, do not even lower yourselves to answer any of the Notyet fans. Crap, they do not even play in the same state their Franchise is named for. They are the Red headed step children of the Meadowlands. Who has the first game in the new Giants Stadium ? The Giants, the real tenants. Jets are, always have been and always will be, also rans when it comes to football in New York er, I mean, New Jersey.

Jets fans are just drunken idiots that did not want to wait the 10-15 years on the list to get Giants tickets so they took the next best thing, bought some cheap jerseys made in the Orient and BAM !!!!!!!!! they had a team to cheer for. Been that way since 64 when they opened Shea Stadium folks. Jets ain't done nothin since Namath was there in 69 and this beaner kid from California, Sanchez,is certainly not Joe Namath.

Yoyo i was with u till the beaner comment. Dont be a dick. Im not mexican but if u said beaner in front of me wed have a problem.

What?Only Mexicans can say that?THUNDERAZZZ?Got any polish jokes?AZZZZZ

I'm really excited about our OLine. Long, Gardner/Thomas, Grove, Incognito, Carey with Berger, Thomas/Gardner as primary subs. Deep, talented group. If R&R can stay healthy with the addition of #15 .... wow, they really can be onto something on offense.

&

getting closer.we will be fine.you women(yets) just need something too talk about.sounds too me like their scared and we have not even steped on a feild yet.yets!!!!!when we do "POW RIGHT IN THE KISSA".five knuckle smack down..

GO DOLPHINS 4 LIFE

NJ PHIN FAN says:
May 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm

” Nj1 like talking to you , you never have stupid comments ” . LMFAO !!! you like him because he bows down to you and doen’t call you out. You should be that last one commenting on stupid comments. You make stupid comments and stupid screennames and then cry that people insult you when you get called out for those stupid comments and screennames, LOL !
Reply

*
NJ PHIN FAN says:
May 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm

doesn’t ***

As a fan of the Dolphins I understand the pain that the franchise has given us fans over the past 30 years; however some of us fans really get negative about the smallest things that get reported by the media and it seems so ridiculous to me that the media controls your every emotion about your favorite team. Armando writes an article about our o-line and now all of a sudden our line sucks and our coaches/fo is confused? We are talking about OTA's right now (not even training camp). Have some faith, the team is heading in the right direction.

The jets fans on here should get a life, but why should we even bother acknowledging them, that's what they want. They will get their's when the regular season begins.

NJ the fairy bought a little puppy for him and his mommy who he lives with in Armpit, New Jersey.This ridiculous roid clown is so amusing & gay.
This is his one of his statements, followed by another bloggers reply.Could not make this stuff up, too funny.

NJ PHIN FAN says:
May 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm

LOL @ all of you. I’m very happy but happy for my mom too. She loves her. It is pretty weird seeing a big , muscled up guy with a little shih tzu. People think i should be on south beach. LMFAO !!!

finfanrob says:
May 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm

People think i should be on south beach. LMFAO !!!

yeah, we do, on south beach in your t – back speedo, pink flowery umbrella and high heels.

a shih tzu, geeeze, that is just pathetic LOL

To the jets fans: I ain't trying to stir up anything but when I read these comments the last thing I want to read is comments from a stinkin jets fan. Let the game speak for itself. We been housing that ass and will do so this season. Play ketchup, mustards and stay on your own stinkin website.

Thunderbolt, we did not like the beaner comment either. But what is the difference when Bobby says calls those people greaseballs and illegals? You know what he is getting at. Like someone else here said before. This poor soul(Bobby) has racist tendencies. Now I will wait for the attacks.....

I just read the comment about NJ and his puppy. LMFAO, you gotta be kidding. NJ has nerve to make fun of marc for wearing a dress. NJ you are a cupcake. no wait a pansy. Plumber from tri state area, f'kin joke

As much as I hate to admit it - we should all listen to Jetty Man (what ever the hell that is) because, except for the Jets winning the SB everything else is true. Parcells and company are in their third year - 3 free agencies and 3 drafts and three quarter of the teams position are still unsettled and to make thing worse they just flushed 50 million dollars of Ross' money down the toilet signing Marshall. It really is getting embarrassing.

the jets are a classy team with jason on the helm .

Mark sanchez to Jason Taylor , touch down .

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »

The comments to this entry are closed.