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

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.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

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


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

You guys are mad cool ,
Fighting and arguing over the internet ,
You guys some real internet g's
Matter fact explain to me how I can possibly grow up to be like you guys

Jncrdn. Well to gets dat Des hoes rate cheer just flex some bonics. Call Obama a dirt dawg Muslim monkey or say Justin bruner is a weak white peice wonder bread. Or say ms-13 Latino gang sine fraud acss psssses. See you lil mark buster. It's quite e z.

Word to yo mother.

Tell het I be back for my sicks. They under the night stand.

Little wicky dicky

Lay offs dat crack

Droolin-hidin-peeking out da window

stealin-pawnin-we all know whazzup Doh

So, what does everybody think of Lex Hilliard ? I think if either Ricky or Ronnie goes down, this dude will step in and break out and impress the league. I don't know why, I just see something in him that tells me he will be a gamer.


It's NOT Aloco.

It's definitely NOT Aloco.

Think about it. People have been saying you're NJ PHIN FAN. Who hates NJ PHIN FAN more than anyone we know? What new guy has done this crap so much that he has been banned elsewhere?

I don't want to mention any names(I'm lying, I want to real bad), but this stuff picked up as soon as SOMEONE was Banned from somewhere else.

This guy can't get at NJ over there. Now that he thinks you're one and the same, he's been relentless.

Aloco is good. He's one of the best. He's like the acid test here at the Herald. Believe me though, I've posted with Aloco for years.


Dummy up Bobby, I know who it is!

He plays like a tough guy. I love the way he plows into people.

I think the only concern with him is that he doesn't try yo make people miss enough.

Hilliard can help the Dolphins pound teams into submission as a 'fresh' alternate to Ronnie and Ricky.

Sexy Lexy fishnet and heels

Trollin for a Man that can make him squeal

Humpty Dumpty Dippity Do

Lex is the Man

He gonna run up in you

Mondo where you at bro?!! I do beleive it is time my man


Lex is going to be great.

He was running scared last year. He wasn't afraid of defenses, he was afraid of Tony and the Trifecta.
Backing up a couple of guys like Ricky and Ronnie, he didn't want to take any chances by getting too cute. So he stayed pretty much north and south.
Once he feels he's got his foot in the door, he'll develop quickly.

odinseye: (@ 12:40 AM)

The whole thing makes you wonder if ANYONE could really be that caught up in an agenda. Its so wacky that you could suspect this guy is running some kind of Social experiment. (...Perhaps for a project at school.)

(How's THAT for a 'Conspiracy Theory'?^#!)

Nothing would make me happier than watching them deploy Lex as an additional weapon.

If things go just right....the Season might turn out even
better than people think.

hey guy I was told that Miami Dolphins will sign Cory Procter. This is a great move the guy it a class act.
look me up on facebook Moondragontoyz Customs

I think Lex will find his spot as the third down back again this season. He is the best pass protector not named Lousaka Polite.Lex also has sure hands, and should be trusted is some of the short yard situations. The thing that Lex may have in his favor is perhaps more reps with the first team in the preseason. I'm sure Brown, and Cobbs will see limited snaps, Bong Pipe doesn't need them, and Sparano blew it at the end of last year by not letting Lex get carries when Bong Pipe was wearing down. This preseason should be a huge barometer as far as Hilliards future here.

Wow Joey.

I hadn't thought of that. At least it would make some sort of sense.
I kind of hope you're right, though I would still somehow feel violated.

I've wondered about it a couple of times and thought, HOW?

How could one guy on a blog make another guy on a blog so pissed off that he goes on and on and on and..........

You're a guy on a blog and I'm a guy on a blog. Could I possibly, in any way, shape or form, piss you off enough for you to make it your lifes mission to "get back" at me?

You MIGHT be able to piss me off enough to call you a couple of names(if I was drinking alot-LOL)once or twice, but that would be it.

I don't get it.


Aren't you the guy that said you heard Lex was going to get more playing time this year?

I can't really remember if I read it in an article or if you posted it.
Either way, I would give Hilliard alot more playing time. I think he will eventually fill Ricky's role in our offense.


I think they're going to have the greatest Offensive Line in the Solar System by the time they're done.
Maybe that's what happens when a former O-line coach get promoted!

But what they need most right now is an above average NOSE TACKLE. I know that Starks is sliding over...but that spot is the heart of everything that goes on in the 3-4 -- and right now, they don't have an elite player there.

Imagine how much better they would be with Starks in his natural position and a
H u m o n g o u s..'B o l d e r'
In the middle.

What up Odin- I have said here a few times that I thought he should get more playing time. It is dependant on the health of Ronnie Brown, and what happens with the health of Cobbs. I think that Lex fits well into what this offense asks the backs to do. Control the ball, screens, and draws, hot reads, and of course blocking assignments.

This is my opinion, so feel free to disagree. But I think having a back that is considered a Homerun threat, a dude that can take it to"The House" on any play is highly overrated. Look at the top 10 rushers in the league last year. There was only one back who was on a playoff team that averaged more then 4.5 yards a carry(Ray Rice)also of the top 10 backs last year, 6 had 10 or more carries of 20 yard or more. 3 were on teams that made the playoffs, none played in the super bowl. My argument is that modern offenses depend on multiple backs, that having 1 gamebreaker is not neccessary to have a good offense.

odinseye: (@ 1:26 AM)

Thats the thing...

There comes a point when a 'Character' acts so far outside the 'Realm of Normalcy' that you begin to question if he's "FOR-REAL".

I don't claim that my semi-bazzar idea is true...but it certainly is a different way to interpret the recent Hijacking.

If you want to be further amused...
My 'runner-up' was that Stephan Ross has hired a guy to 'Counter-spin' some of the potentially 'unfavorable topics' that Armando might release for discussion. (Large Companies do this all the time.) T H A T thought was based on our friend's style of writing.
His Dolphin posts are usually laced with slogans, 'promo-speak' and always end with a Tag-line. The reader-base had spiked -- so I wondered if that scenario was plausible as well.

We may never know if this is real...or something else...but its obvious that the Blog has been impacted in a 'not so great' way.

Hey Joey I know our Dline needs a huge huge rock in the middle but am just reporting what I hear. Corey is a good linemen and he is on his way to Miami


I believe you...
It seems like the O-Line will always be a 'Pet Project' of Sparano. (...which I actually like -- because he's actively 'maintaining' a Force that can
'S T E A M - R O L L'....people ! )

But, as a fan,
I want the team to be equally intimidating on Defense....and a (young) elite Nose Tackle is still one of the missing pieces.

They've done a lot during this off-season. I hope that, during the next 15 months, they can get a really good Nose Tackle.

Have a great night!

cien pie, I hope you get an opportunity to read this. But I know a new blog may go up so you may not. Please understand the statements I made on the previous page can only be kept by us, the individuals. I know there are some people who literally make me feel like I'm going to go nuts on their azzes... If in your case its Bobby or in my case it is someone else, we, ME, YOU, all of us are going to have to know when our conversation has reached the point where you are no longer "Communicating" all you are doing is throwing punches with words. It happens to me all the time, so I am not pulling a "better then thou" on anyone.
I have found when I cannot seem to control what I say because people have either pissed me off, or I have lost control that the best thing for me... and the blog... is to walk away and wait for another time to share what I have to say about the Dolphins to another group or when that person is not here. Sounds real 5th grade and like your running away huh?... But, damn if it don't work. You cannot win a shout down on the internet... its not a "Rap-Off" where you have no time to think and no Google to bash someone with fact by using. Arguing on here is like arguing with a genius every time. They have all the time in the world to consider their next statement and endless resources to use to do it. All that will happen is a stand off where everyone looks like complete idiots for ever taking it so far to begin with. I am just as or MORE guilty then anyone... So I tried something different and so far so good. I hope you understand my point here and not feel attacked.


Read your post about about the "tea party" comment.

I have to say that have never mentioned the tea party on this blog or anywhere else. Most likely somebody was posting in my name. Most likely it was baby12 but i can't prove that.

I like you and most other bloggers on here have a certain writing style and i will use and mispell certaion words frequently. I don't attempt to correct my mispellings because i feel its like leaving my calling card.

I did say baby12 has gay tendencies and therfore he may be a tea bagger but i didn't mean it in the political sense and I don't mean any disrespect to the gay community. Every class/race of people has thier A-holes. baby12 doesn't represent evey gay person. I need to realize that.

I said all that to say this.


I look like a liar. Went back and read yesterday's post and see where i said "tea party". I meant "tea bagger". sorry.

Cien pie,

You make a good point. Actually a great point.

Joe in Jersey,

I'm a big Lex fan. I am hoping he can challenge and eventually take ricky's job before the seaon is up. Even if he can't, with Brown's injury history he is most likely gonna see significant playing time at some point this season. Sporano has got to let the kid play.


Note to YOU:

Never leave us with OL talk for a weekend.

Mand, I agree with Kris, NEVER leave us with a post about Off. Lineman.............thank you sir.........


I will assume you are reffering to me. Sometimes if you have nothing to add to a conversation then you have nothing to add. You sir added nothing.

Unless you count your 90's "kid and play" reference of "mad cool". and don't even think word G is used any more.

If your gonna stay out of it, then stay out of it.

Dear Mr. Salguero

This is the best blog ever!

Soiled :)


Warning this post was not paid for by any political affiliations.

This post has all rights reserved.
This post uses 2 D-cell batteries...Batteries not included.

This post may be harmful if swallowed.
This post is flammable.

Do not puncture or incinerate this post.
This post may cause headaches, drowsiness.

Don't operate heavy machinery while under the influence of this post.

Ask your doctor if this post may be right for you.
4 out of 5 doctors agree with this post.

Soiled, you forgot "If Erection last longer then 4 hours, Call more Ladies".........

Ugh. OL talk. Ok, here goes. What about working on pass blocking? These guys are all bull dozing run blockers. While better than not being good at either, I thought the drafting of Henne, Turner, Hartline, and Marshall trade were all indicators of turning into a pass first team, which seems to be the successfully trend these days?


I read your post and you sound like a man of wisdom. You can articulate a message witout insults, good.

Kris, thanks for the kind words.

I see Krissy is talking about me again...he talks about me day n night on this blog, yet I NEVER talk about him...funny, he calls me GAY when HE is the one that can't stop talking about me...mmm just saying 24/7 Krissy is thinking about/writing about me. Whose gay???? LMAO @ man-crush Krissy

Work time, enjoy ur day Krissy and everyone else that wants to make this the bobbyd blog...To ALL my FANS Thank you!!!

bobby why dont you give it rest. Take a few days off, then come back. Thank you sir

Good Stuff, 'Mando, but I made some edits for accuracy:


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

The negative: There's only one of him."

Thanks bobby now go to work and free your mind of this blog. You seem infatuated with this blog and this person, to the point that you are always on here. GAL

Guys Apparently Mando's taking another Mini-Vacation, Lets do a Live blog at 12 today..... What are your thoughts?????????????????????Hot Ashley will be taking all posts.......



"will be taking all posts"

Just doesnt sound right, if you know what I mean.

LOL avispa, Did'nt come out right........ But We're sitting on the fire escape getting ready to open up some wine while cooking some great Italian sauce....(By the way, not to be confused with a couple of alcoholics, Hot Ashley got off work at 8AM and I myself was stuck on the 11pm to 7am shift), So lets have a "LIVE BLOG" no "Q" will be unanswered, so make sure your here at 12..............

Michael, You are a true idiot.HOT ASHLEY.

I wonder where Armando went this time.

Cuban,is that 12:00 EST or 12:00 CST?

Eastern Beer, Be here or be Square......

hey i just wanted to say that i follow your blog and have missed your 'rawness' - so to speak-. i could really tell that the posts were diff and i am glad you are back. i never leave comments but just wanted ya to know! cool ok bye

Beer, Eastern, Be here or be square, I'll be on my third beer...........................

trade plumbing supplies do you own a shitz zhu?
You know a small little wussy type dog.

Cuban what kind of beer are you drinking?

I am working so none for me.

No beer today, Sipping a glass of Cabernet with the ever voluptuous and sensual Hot Ashley..........Might not make the 12 o'clock post, might be a little late if you know what I mean, And I think you do.............. See you at 12:03....lol.......


I just caught what you said cuban. I know why you will be late. LOL

But what had me rolling was, when you said you would return at 12:03. From 12:00 to 12:03, that is 3 minutes, boy you are a fast man. That is what had me LOL.

Avispa, That's a long time for "Mr. Menace".lol.HOT ASHLEY

Guys did I tell you that Hot Ashley has T.S.Ts...........................

Hot Ashley, it depends, if it is 3 mins in basketball, then it is a long time.

Cuban what do you think of the name avispa?

Like a wasp bite, Quite painful........

I just cracked open my second Budweiser,but it's ok...I work at night.My woman says I'm the biggest procrastinator......unless I'm doing the hokey pokey.

The comments to this entry are closed.