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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):


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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I liked Smiley Too........To bad....

cuban looking at it this way, I guess we were lucky for the 5th rounder. Would have liked more. Now he is there problem.

Ginn will be a kick returner, that's it, that's all

Bobby, The last time someone returned 2 ko FOR A td during the season he led the NFL in return average, Not Ted(no sideline safe) Ginn, he finished 7th last year on KO return average, Just saying he really, AND I MEAN really Sucks.........

The Smiley situation was handled poorly. What team in their right mind would make an offer to a team that has made it known they no longer would require his services. Two weeks ago the Bears said they were interested in Smiley but only after his release from here. Is Smileys injury so bad that we couldn't even fake it a little like he had any value as a phin. It seems like the Fo. gave up, and didn't even try and make a move with Smiley. So what gives? Is he so jacked up that he is beyond repair? or is this just a screw up in the front office?


You followed protocal to a tee. Its like I can predict the future. right down to the "it wasn't me" stuff.

I love all the LMAFO and LMAF or whatever you people who spend way to much time in text land say.


How is it in the land of make believe where you and your tea party friends have fake get togethers talking through a blog. I would think that you would have gotten his personal e-mail by now...ohhhh you do have it. Its your personal e-mail address.

According to PFT not to long ago, Smiley's injury "is nor career ending" The only reason I saw to keep him out of OTAs was not having to pay an "injury settlement" in case he hurt himself again...I think the Fins dropped the ball with Smiley

Krissy is smoking crack again...I work at Miami Airport Krissy, anytime u want to come down let me know....i'm there


DO bags fly free

Bobbyd12.. Good point about keeping him out of the OTA's. But how much would it have cost the team to have him at OTA's? He could have shown up and done limited work. Everyone knew he was hurt, but when Parcells announced to the world, Smiley don't bother showing up. I think that blew any chance of a trade because teams assumed he would be cut. Another team interested in Smiley is the Colts. But once again only after Smileys release.

U really should stop Krissy, all u do is talk about me ALL DAY today, sounding like a paranoid stalker to me

Agree bobby on the smiley issue, though not sure if Kris is smoking crack though, He might just have a "Man Crush" on you.....lol, Not that there's anything wrong with that...................

Yea Darryl, I think the FO made a mistake on this one...I mean, he is still a Dolphin and I would like to see him back but Darlington said they are intent on cutting him

The baby can't take it.

The baby can dish it out but not take it.

poor baby.

Change your name to baby12.

You are without a doubt the the most obnoxious person on here. Your either spewing racial hate, posting in other people's names and i could give 2 Sh*ts what you think. Who the F are u.

Cuban, I don't know what's up with this guy, bobbyd ALL day long...I know Krissy is a fan but it gets embarrassing...I'm here to talk football and he is here with his Man Crush

I'M BOBBYD12 and YOU obviously LOVE me Krissy!! You can't ignore me for 5 minutes LMFAO @ YOU Krissy!!

And NO Krissy, I'm neither leaving the blog or changing my "obnoxious ways" so live with it

When people don't put up with baby12. he always claim they have a man crush on him.

Can you say closet gay. I'm just saying you have some real tendencies. I believe your community calls that fishing.

Sorry no dice

Cuban, sorry for the interruptions, rabid fans, u know, anyway we are goung to have a very deep O-Line with or without Smiley, just wish we didn't give him away

See, I talk football and Krissy talking about me, WOW what a whack job, may wanna consider psychiatric help Krissy, along with medications...just saying

Well Bobby, That's what Fame gets you....., I see people posting as Hot Ashley all the time and she's at work.... It's sad really,but what can you do... Mark Twain*Not to be confused with Shaina Twain) said once the "greatest compliment to a person is impersonation", apparently Mr. Twain never visited Mando's blog........

Shania Twain was pretty hot, what happened to her, she like fell off the earth

Hopefully Mama Maria back tommorrow and the blog gets a break...ALoco has been a bit over the edge lately Cuban

Bobby, Shania made her Millions and moved to France, not surprising seeing how she was from Canada.... Again, not that there's anything wrong with that...........

France??!!! Wonder if she stopped shaving her armpits??

Great Question .................

Do you guys think the girl on Mythbusters is hot? I can't decide. But I'm leaning toward yes, in a wierd way!!

Darryl, that's just a myth!!! :). I never watch the show so I don't know

Speaking about not shaving, check out "Demi Moore bush pictures" WOW.............

Darryl, Your stuck in Montana,A sheep nore then likey looks good...... JK LOL........

She's totally hot. The red head, not the blond they had on for awhile.

Pre Striptease bush, or Post Aston Cutcher?

Hottest women coming thru Miami International, Colombians, Venezuelans, Dominicans and lately some real hot-ass Cubans!!!

PRE, and sorry Darryl, I couldnt help posting that last post..........

No worries that was funny. The joke up here is ..... What is the difference between a sheep, and a cowboy? .... you can't get a sheep drunk enough ti fu^k a cowboy. Hahaa.

Ok guys Talk to you guys later.............have a "PHINTASTIC"nite....

U2 Cuban, I'm out too!!! Gonna eat dinner and watch Yanks-Mets

Why do I always feel like Carey is underrated

How is it in the land of make believe where you and your tea party friends have fake get togethers talking through a blog. I would think that you would have gotten his personal e-mail by now...ohhhh you do have it. Its your personal e-mail address.

Posted by: kris | May 23, 2010 at 06:05 PM

Dude, what does the Tea Party have anything to do with anything on here? They are good patriotic Americans who want the values and belief system that this country was founded on to come back. And they are not affiliated with any particular party contrary to what Kieth Olbermann will tell you, and if you do some research on them you would realize that.

Why do I always feel like Carey is underrated

Posted by: Jordi | May 23, 2010 at 07:37 PM

Its funny you feel like that, because I feel like hes actually overrated. Not bad, just a little overrated. (maybe overpaid would be a better phrase to use.)

Ron, Carey to me never seems to get there...It's like he is always at 95% potential to me, he just can't get over the top...

Why do I always feel like Carey is underrated

Posted by: Jordi | May 23, 2010 at 07:37 PM

Its funny you feel like that, because I feel like hes actually overrated...

Posted by: Ron Burgundy | May 23, 2010 at 08:01 PM

The second post makes the first post true in the mind of the first poster.

Kris... I have always enjoyed reading your comments about the Dolphins. I do not ALWAYS agree... but most of the time I do. That is what blogging and posting is all about...RIGHT?... I will tell you this as someone who is likely much older then you. I am a "Tea Party" advocate and supporter. And I assure you there is nothing "Make Believe" in my world or theirs. It is deadly serious. I will ask you and anyone else who wants to use this blog as a platform to discuss politics to please!.... please!!!... Don't do it. All it will do is alienate each of us from why we all come here to begin with. I would hate to stop even caring about what you discuss as a fellow Dolphins fan because you have placed your politics (whether I agree with them or not) on the table. It is a bad idea and I promise you... I guarantee you with all my soul... you will lose respect as the others who do it will also. I am not just pointing out you, Kris.... it is a bad idea for me, you, and anyone who does it. This blog is already suffering from some serious ailments... lets not make Blue and Red States and people one of them...Please!

Right on Derek.It's best to avoid politics, religion and sex when dealing with strangers because some people get nutty in the pants if you don't see things eye to eye.

Thank you Derek, well said.


I dont think kris meant the tea party thing as an insult to all. I believe he was trying to poke fun at Bobby. You can turn this around and look at how Bobby responds. He insults people who drive trucks and Hispanics and so on. But you dont ask him to stop. That is the problem when people make statements like Bobby does. Think about it. Kris will probably reconsider, because we dont want to get to the Bobby level.

cien pie, ALoco, didn't Cuban Menace tell u to talk football?? Is it that hard to do or must u always be a douchebag and mention my name??? STFU about me and talk football or take ur million names and go elsewhere

I guarantee you with all my soul... you will lose respect as the others who do it will also.

Posted by: Derek | May 23, 2010 at 08:59 PM

People will start/have already lost respect to Bobby the individual because of his posts. Derek, you are right. Lets not insult any groups, tea parties, Hispanics, Black, 50 year olds, truck drivers, and whatevers.

bobby I was trying to explain something to Derek. No need to get so defensive

You and I have been at this all day, no aloco or Home to blame. We can start fresh on Monday.

Hello Mrs. Robinson... you sure look good tonight, hey there Mrs. Robinson...

Anyway... we have incredible depth at o-line.. thats the only spot on the team i am not concerned about...

So I'm looking at all these bi7c h acss posts by u bunch of mark acss busters and I see y'all bamas don't know the fkkt y'all talking bout young. Football Is played for violent mother foukrrs to hit psssuy acss pssssys in they mouth. Y'all some mark ascs es cuz y'all spinning yo wheels talking all dat got dannm usht. Ya feel me kid? Cuzyo moms shoe nuff did.

Becareful Wicky, Bobby D12 not fond of blacks.

i never such a racist person as nj phin/bobbyd12 .he plays his game of blaming one guy when there are many people who hates him . enough of that .

i never seen

WickyRilliams... Consider this a warning. The language you have been using is not tolerated on this blog.

Yo. Moderate these nuts.


Moderator go warn BoobyD12, you will be up all night if that is the case

BoobyD12 has a big ass fit for a king .

mark no need to get down to bobby's level. Just understand what he is. You are smart to see that. catch ya on Monday, same place, diff name....LOL

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