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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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Why would I have any desire to learn Spanish...I can give twoshits less about speaking Spanish in the USA ..and u are ALoco....LMAO @. YOU


Truck driver LMFAO!!! What a bottom of the barrel job that is!!! What a boring-crappy life that must be!!! Instead of pot may I suggest heroin??? If I had ur life i'd be shooting everyday trying to overdose and end the misery...truckdriver. ROTLLMFAO

Posted by: bobbyd12 | May 22, 2010 at 08:41 PM

Not trying to get involved here or pick sides, just curious, but whats so bad about being a truck driver? I would do it, seems like a pretty chill job...

By the way, there's nothinhg wrong pot. While I myself am not a pothead, I know quite a few who are very successful ( attorneys, business owners, chefs, personal trainers ) of course they are not under the influence while working, but its a good way to relieve stress and wind down.

ALoco IS all of these characters, he has admitted it NUMEROUS times on this blog...LMAO. Play stupid with someone else Paul, anyway, I gotta get back to work so enjoy making up those greaseball names, there so CUTE. LMAO @ ALoco

with*

Ron, "AL-Justin" has admitted he is fat and has asthma.. U would think he would lay off the pot if he has health problems, like having problems breathing, yet he ain't too smart, is he??? Gotta go

Ron, my point exactly. This cat(Booby) insults people naturally when he opens his mouth. He insults truck drivers, 50 year olds, Hispanics and so on. Just ignore,this piece of garbage. He is also NJ, NJ never left. What a lost soul.

Ron,

Just look at Bobby's responses vs mine? Just think about his character. He has none, yet he is a character.

My soul, my soul, Cream Pie wants to Save my Soul!!!

Funny how Justin admitted he had asthma to NJ. How does Bobby know this?? Hmmnnnnn

Coming from a guy who uses MULTIPLE names daily who never talks football but has a MAN-CRUSH on me!!! What a FOOL. LMAO

No booby you got me all wrong. I would love nothing better than to put you out and send you straight to He!!

Funny how cien pie knows who justin admitted what to.

Cream Pie, ur not THAT stupid are you??? NJ has talked about Justins Asthma MULTIPLE times on this blog....what a joke. Really gotta go ALoco, have fun

YOU obviously have a MAN crush on me. You are still posting to me. WHY dont U leave?

How does cien pie know this?

Bye Bye NJ

You couldn't put me out with a bat!!! You LOVE me tooooooo much....ALL DAY EVERYDAY DAY bobbyd12, that's all u talk about.....Major MAN-CRUSH

interested observer/Odin,

I was reading the posts the night that Justin admitted this to NJ. The question should be. Why does bobby bring it up so much and hangs on to this detail? becuase he is NJ

You mean bat like murcielago? No Bobby, I would use my fists and a roundhouse kick to the head a couple of times.

S'cool cien pie. Not Odin. Just wandering through and happened on your spat. Just thought I'd throw that question out.

Ok you are not Odin, like I will ever know. The point is that this is between me and Booby.

meh, doesn't matter to me but I can have fun just like you do ;)

but I'll leave ya to him

interested obv

Why does Bobby use filthy language when he communicates with people? I think his rage gets the better of his mind.

interested obv, watch Bobby blame you and me on aloco. Gotta go now,
I got a new name for Bobby, it is babyd12

Some people just can't deal with frustration very well. When they get pushed or cornered in an argument they invariably turn to insults because they can't beat you down intellectually either due to a lack of communication skills or a lack of intelligence. Or because it is simply the easy way out.

Of course the same could be said for childish insults under multiple names backing each other up.

interested obv, BINGO!

You are posting with another name for fear of retaliation, you are very smart poster. I am OUT.

Well idk about all that you guys are talking about but if the dude does have asthma and is still tokin, that doesn't make much sense. He should try special brownies. However, I don't see what being fat has to do with smokin pot or truck driving....There are plenty of fat people in this world doing other things and plenty of pot smokers and truck drivers in great shape.

LOL, I have no problem admitting it. I have no desire to get into a childish war and am just posting now for fun.

See "easy way out"

Interested Obv,

About the multiples names bit. Who are we anyway. It is not like you will run into a person that will say "Hi I am bobbyd12". Nobody knows who we really are anyways. It is a name that people use on here. If I told you I was finfanrob what does that mean? Names are for tombstones.

Looks like the Niners are the front runner to land Atogwe if he doesn't stay in St. Louis. This is a side bar to the story but OJ. is laying the wood to Singletary's daughter, and has been doing all of his rehabilitation in the Bay area. This is a blessing in disguise. Atogwe can go fu^k off somewhere else. He seems to have a little diva quaility to him. Also, I think the FO. is set now with the guys we have at the position. Let the young guys learn the system, leave the mercenaries- overpaid players to teams in the bay.

I'm not arguing cien. I completely agree. I am a pretty regular poster who doesn't post enough to have a true identity, I occasionally change my moniker and stick with that one for a while. I normally post football stuff and sometimes come with fun little comments intended for people to enjoy while trying not to really call anybody out.

It's completely anonymous and I get a kick out of it.

I used to chat with fin fan rob a little bit on the SS so I guess it would mean I'd say what's up Rob? lol

No problem interested obv, see ya later

You too cien :)

Why I get feeling someone talking with himself?

LMAO Bwahaaaaaa Bruce Lee-Gomez is gonna throw his fists and kick, like a little girl LOL...Ur little greasy-ass will be on the ground and in handcuffs so quick you wouldn't know what hit you...The little girl is gonna slap and kick...go eat some meatballs Paul

ALoco = Cienfuegos = Cie pie = mureannglo = Justin Incredible = Tiburon = Away = so many me's LMAO

Y'all gay asz querrs keep on. Will kill u mofos. It disgusts me that your mother is a dez Bryant. Yout father is a mark asz buster.

Cie pie, all u need to do is work and pay taxes, government is giving my unit a $10,000 raise Sept 30th...just wanna make sure ur paying ur fair share bud....

Bobby you had me actually LMAO at your post at
3:45pm. Why would I want to assault you? I mean if you and I were to consentually agree to engage in kumite, what is the problem?
I dont have a problem sparring with someone named babyd12

Cien pie, I don't want to smell like a greasy taco, much less watch you slap n kick like a little girl thks

Bobby if I was a black, you would say you dont want to smell like fried chicken and watermelon

What The Hecks going on in here????? Mando, Please punish your kids, there ruining the blog..... LMAO, you guys are hilarious......

BOBBY TYPE OF GUY WHO THINK ALL HISPANCS
ARE MEXICANS.

THIS IS VERY INSULTING TO CUBAN MENACE

I haven't seen this much back biting since the 'Three Stooges" Marathon...........

cuban menace, Este tipo(Robertcito) no lo gusta a los latinos.

CUbano, I've got nothing but Respect for Bobby12, A fellow "brother in arms".......

Cien, Bobbys OK...............................

He just hates Possers................

No, I like Cuban Menace, he is a good guy, ALoco just need to get laid, he have to much time on his hands lately...

ALoco is the blog OWNER, I get it, he just needs to slow down a little...I know football don't start for 3 months but there must be SOMETHING else we can talk about besides me all day!!!

Aloco is not even around here!
Cuban tell bobby that I am not aloco. You KNOW this to be true. Another thing if Bobby is ok, so am I. LOL

Este estupido cree que yo soy aloco.

Ohhh Well Cien, just post something else, Football related preferably, and speaking about football, Did you see that Ted(No jock strap required)Ginn is dropping balls in San fran???? LMAO, I doubt this guy will make it to the season opener, The fins were lucky to get a 5th rounder for "Ol Side-lines".........

Cuban, we are not going to get ANYTHING for Smiley...that's disturbing, Porter I knew had no value but Smiley???

I'd say that was a front office F2ck up, I mean how else would you describe it, sign the guy to some type of contract and trade him.......but then again, what do I know............

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