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Reasons the OL struggled in scrimmage

Yes, the defense got the better of the offense in Saturday afternoon's scrimmage. Yes, it all started along the line of scrimmage where, outside of right tackle Vernon Carey and left tackle Jake Long, the offensive line looked like so much swiss cheese for a better-looking defensive front.

What did you expect?

There are reasons the DL and OLBs looked better than the OL. The reasons go well beyond talent.

1. The coaching staff has been mixing and matching players at both guard spots and at center. Andrew Hartline, an undrafted free agent last year, got first-team snaps last week. He got first-team snaps in the scrimmage. He also had a couple of low shotgun snaps, one that resulted in a blown play. The starting guards were rookie John Jerry at right guard and Donald Thomas at left guard. Bottom line? Look for the mixing and matching to settle down starting this week. The coaching staff is looking for players to start separating from one another. The staff is looking to see if certain players can compete against better competition. But the staff is also looking for a line that can begin to come together as the Buffalo regular-season opener looms closer. So look for that thought to become the priority pretty soon.

2. The defensive line is pretty good. One forgets the Dolphins have used many resources in the form of free agent signings and draft picks on the offensive line. They've used as much or more resources on the defensive line and outside linebackers. The DL and OLBs should be darn good and give the new OL fits. They should give any OL fits.

3. The coaching staff threw curveballs during the scrimmage. I counted three cornerback blitzes. I counted two safety blites. I counted three ILB blitzes. It's kind of early for a newly formed OL to pick those up seamlessly. I'm not sure they were even aware those were coming or allowed in the scrimmage. For the most part the recognition was good.

Anyway, the team gets back at it this morning. I'll have a new post up by early afternoon when coach Tony Sparano talks.

In the meantime, if you wish to talk Dolphins football and have any questions for me, you can listen and call my radio show. I'm on 640 Sports here in South Florida from 6 to 10 a.m. You can call the show toll free at 888-640-9385.

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