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Offensive line play as a grand, poetic dance

Offensive line play is like a ballet, which is ironic because I don't remember the last time I saw a 320-pound ballerina. I make the analogy because offensive line play has to be synchronized. It is about footwork. It values both strength and skill or technique.

It is beautiful when it is done well. It should be played to a soundtrack.

But it looks bad when someone butchers the technique or the execution.

The Dolphins offensive line last year was both poetry and an incomplete, no-sense-making sentence. (As the author of many incomplete, no-sense-making sentences, I know of what I speak.)

Anyway, coach Tony Sparano doesn't want his ballet to fall flat this year after struggling with inconsistency so often last year. 

Sparano, looking for answers, sometimes made changes along the offensive line. The right guard spot was often a revolving door that dropped one player off and picked another up. And that was probably too much switching week to week.

“The combinations of people sometimes from a mental standpoint can lead to the one or two mental errors per game that can hurt you,” the coach admitted Tuesday.

So whenever training camp begins, Sparano wants to build a line and stick with that group of starters. That's going to take some work because there is precious little the coach knows for sure about his offensive line.

He knows Vernon Carey will stay at right tackle. He said a move to guard is not in the cards "right now." Carey, seemingly slow at times last season to my eyes, can be a very good player. And he can also be very ordinary. Last year he was both.

But he was not fat. At least that's what Sparano said. The coach said Carey missed weight only once.

Sparano knows Jake Long will continue to be his most impressive and productive player. And, the good news is, Long should be healthy in time for camp. I asked the coach about Long's status and he said that while he wouldn't be ready to fully participate in offseason lifting or conditioning were a lockout not in place, the schedule was to have him ready for training camp. (You see what I meant about those crazy sentences?)

Richie Incognito is also a question mark. He can play either center or guard and Sparano said he is not 100 percent certain which one he'll play yet.

John Jerry? He was a right guard last year. The Dolphins want him to win a guard job this year and pay dividends on his draft stock and potential. But to do that he has to strengthen his core, according to the coach.

"He plays too bent," Sparano said. "I want him to play more erect."

Ahem. Moving on.

I wish to say something that will bust a myth wide open: Players with position flexibility is not what the Dolphins should want. Yes, I said it. A very wise and successful football man taught me recently what his definition of is of an offensive lineman who has position flexibility.

It means the guy is not good enough.

If the Dolphins are drafting offensive linemen, they should want a great center or a great guard. They should aspire to find someone who can play guard and tackle or center and guard. Why? Because only backups are position flexible.

If a player is a great center. That's where he'll go. That's where he'll stay. And no one will move him from there. Long? The guy is a left tackle. Period. End of story.

It is the journeymen and have-nots that have to find value as position flexible linemen. The Dolphins should not aspire to have-nots on the roster any more.

NOTE: As you know, the offensive line play and running back production go hand in hand. My column in today's Miami Herald examines why the Miami running game struggled and why you should not be buying Ricky Williams or Ronnie Brown jerseys this offseason.



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Dying Breed... Your post at 5:29 is a voice of reason in a world of shyt...
Any football die hard will tell you the idea of guys coming straight out of the NCAA and being starters is not only a new development, but one no one should get very used to. The offensive line has always been a unit that required cohesion via playing time and continuity via playing every game without injuries racking its personnel. It has never been a plug and play deal. Guys like Murtha and McQuistan are on their way out and guys like Berger and Feinga will end up in back up roles. Procter had a position all but nailed down before being injured last season. Nate Garner showed flashes of ability, Boston College's James Marten is HUGE and should get some time in camp should it occur, He may push the RT spot should Carey faulter. And Jerry is expected and I feel should get mush better. Long, Carey and Incognito are solid. Add a minimum of one guy out of the draft and perhaps a FA and a Undrafted guy or two and the line should be settled. Its clear that at least 2 guys and maybe 3 will get the axe. I believe Tony learned a hard lesson about tinkering with the o-line all year. He won't do it again save massive injury issues.


OK gotcha now. I thought you were saying if we draft an OL in the first round there is only one guy we can draft. I am sure Ireland will do the very best he can to trade down again, even if it only nets us a third round pick.

Again, every mock I have read has us picking Ingram at 15, and most feel it isn't even close between Ingram and anyone else. I've actually seen very few where another back is drafted in the first round.


My 13 year old just got the "Dune Buggy" burried in a snow bank.

This kid's going to be trying to borrow my keys in just a few short years!


Your totally proving light rarely penetrates underneath rocks. Pouncey is a totally legit #18-#32 1st rd pick. #15 is just slightly early for pulling the trigger on him.

Say if we traded back to #25, he totally makes sense for us. It enables us to succefully transition Incognito to center without fallout.


GREAT POST @ 5;50 BY 0X80

No Lil Aloco, I dont get retirement benifits till I have 25 years, Another 7 years, at that time I'll be 50.......And BTW, Is it true you must change the water every 2 hours or else the dishes dont come clean?????

Though the Bonds case isnt totally airtight for the feds, in comparison your Jerry allegations look its entirely missing a sky. LOL..............

Posted by: DyingBreed | March 23, 2011 at 05:49 PM

I'm not exactly sure what you meant there, However, I'm positive I totally AGREE-LOL!

PS: Judging from Jerry's collegiate career, steroids or no steroids, 3rd round grade aside, I expected him to come in and dominate from day 1.

I think he'll be awesome in his second season!


I believe most mocks have us taking Ingram at #15 are for several reasons.

One, there isnt really an instant impact player available to trade out of the position to gain athat much sought after "2nd rd" pick. Two, these so called experts are doubting Ireland will be willing to trade back for a 3rd rd pick instead of a 2nd rd pick.

IMO, I see nice value trading back for an extra 3rd rd pick. I like Ingram but in no way do I see the prospect of us taking him at #15 close to being set in stone. There's nice value at our need positions available in the 2
3rd rd, so it's far too early to ruled this prospect out.

is this general o-line optimism with 1 extra early-ish o-line pic and no 2010 like tinkering in 2011?

remember it's the hope that hurts

you're giving me hope and i know thats gonna hurt sometime


Even to think a 3rd pick comes in and starts year one is a mild longshot. So thinking a 3rd rd pick comes and not only starts, but dominates is the stuff that great fairy tales are made of. LOL..............

Odin, it's 80* in Florida, you still have snow banks there?




no wolf nascar is complete garbage

tarde down pick up a 2nd rounder. we have 2 drafts until we play a season so go into this one taking the best player each pick and do the same next year. should even out


FAKE ALOCO @ 6;17........



what horses don't race anymore?

well can u tell me anything about footwear friction coefficients then i still think we need to focus more on getting a grip, even the o-line have footwear, i can still see j allen, d bess, b marshall, b hartline and loads of others slipping and missing crucial plays!!!

ok d4d - im the talking shyt u were referring to i know , and u r right i am, but i haven't got anything intelligent to say

oh right - that'll be the quality control coaches job - check they've got the right studs, i get it , i get it

our defense needs more also


d4d is a hothead. too much agent orange type.

Since there isn't a qb worth really taking in the first, then we take the best available player at 15. Take Ingram. Easy play. We need a back and he is a potentially good player. Sit back and watch if you can better the team during the draft. Then in the lower rounds look for the diamond in the rough. 3rd round leave lots of room of a potentially good o lineman. And you can always sign one out of free agency. No panic. We were few points and a few yards from a 12 win season last year. Just a few. Negate a couple of Ricky's fumbles. Add a few yards to Ronnies totals. We didn't need much to be over the top. We beat the Wets twice last year.


Posted by: ALoco | March 23, 2011 at 06:26 PM

Lil Aloco, Please use "Spell-check".....

i missed that extra game when we beat the wets for a second time but i like the sentiment but hey if we can't trade down i think u got a point ingram might be the best pic at 15 - argument against - rb is deep and we can pic up good ones later, but he might be a great player and poss worth the pic to add greatness - we need some of that

I just looked at our stats from last year. We were close or soundly beat all of our opponents last except for one. Touchdowns. Draft guys that score touchdowns. It is an amazing stat. So, what I am looking for in the draft is a guy that makes touchdowns happen. And it ain't the o line. And then when FA starts, guess what I am after. Touchdown makers. Guys that have stats that result in touchdowns when they are on the field. Could be luck, could be talent. But the intangible of all of games are the ability of some guys to be on the field when his team is scoring. Guys like Welker. Little guy, some talent but he has the heart and head of a winner.

Wolfy, Greatness and Tony(Fist pump)Sporono will never occur......

never say never i'm a dreamer

henne=sparano in maybe they can do it maybe they can't i'm still not sure, most folk seem to be down on sparano and i repeat myself in saying that he comes across v poorly but if 2008 wasn't a complete fluke and i don't think it was and some parts of our team have seriously improved year on year (but not results) then i'd give him not just one more season but 2 ( barring a complete fiasco next year)

h and ts - they sure don't shine bright though

but if we have to pic at 15 there are a multitude of ok's for me and ingram is one of them coz of the buzz that he might have star quality

i would also keep ronnie over ricky

I want to follow up on the question that Armando posted the other day, 'Is Mark Ingram special'? Well let me turn that around a little bit or at least extrapolate on that topic a little bit. Are ANY of the QB's in this draft special? I don't know that they are. No question Newton has special physical talents but there are other guys that have come into this league and bombed. I'm thinking about guys like Akili Smith and Jamarcus Russell. So the answer is we don't know if any of these guys are 'special' or not.

Let's also ask the question, who are the 'special' guys at 15? Answer?....we don't honestly know. We think Pouncey will be a good player and we think Aldon Smith will be a good player but we really don't know. Is there a 'special' player there for us at 15? Don't know.

Lastly, will teams such as the Pats be able to add a 'special' player at 17? Again we don't know. Who are they looking at who we know is going to be special? No idea. I would think they are in the same boat as us, likely taking the BPA to fill a need.

With all that being said, if we are unable to trade back, I think it will be hard for us to pass on Ingram at 15.

Craig M...that was good way to flip it around for perspective. From what Armando said in an article posted yesterday, he is getting the feeling that its highly unlikely Rickey or Ronnie will be back, which means they must either bring in an FA or get one from the draft.

Now then, I looked at the list of FA RB's for 2011. It's a long list. Even though Ingram is unproven in the NFL, its really hard to see most of those FA's as being more valuable than Ingram, and some are really likely to be back at the same team, like Steven Jackson. If we already had one solid every down back, I could see going for one of those speedsters in the 3rd, but as we stand now, it just appears to me Ingram would be the best one to 'anchor' the RB situation for years to come. And if he's a bust, I will give everyone here 24 hours to endlessly mock me until I am purple!

After re-reading Sparano's many words these past few days, I believe he's tipping his hand at drafting a RB in the 1st @ 15, and I think he is going to go with the majority of mock analyst and take Ingram if available.

Here are some obvious clues:

New offense unlike Old offense: "We're gonna keep running"; Brian Daboll will stretch the field; no comment on the R&R express...

O-line Poetic Dance: If J. Jerry tightens up, the O-line will be fine. [And lets hope all our players are willing to block, even the WR's etc.]

Sounds to me like TS is not going to trade any pick, nor is considering drafting an O-lineman.

Sounds like he's set on a RB, and at 15, it would obviously be Ingram.

I can only imagine what might go through his head if Ingram is picked just ahead of us, forcing him to draft another while the coo-coo clock ticks.


Thinking a 3rd rounder can dominate might be a fantasy. Still, it happens. I don't always make the safe predictions and I'm definitely not always right.

However, I did predict that a Free Agent pick up from Canada would dominate. It took Sporano and Ireland a little longer to realize it, but what the heck. Wake tore it up last season and he did awesome every chance he got the season before that.

Two other **5th** rounders I predicted would/will dominate is Chris Clemons and Reshad Jones. When all the pundits and bloggers were saying Jones is a Strong Safety, I kept telling them he was a Free Safety.

I'll go out on a limb again. You watch, Nolan will move Clemons to Strong safety and he and Jones will be the starters this season, forming one of the best safety tandems we've ever seen in Miami!

I strike out on a lot of my predictions, like in the case with Henne, SO FAR-LOL! But I don't look for the safe predictions, I just call it like I see it.

Climbing out on another limb, I predict that Jerry bounces back big time and dominates this year just like he should have last year.

not to mention the coy grin sparano had on his face (reported by some) when asked about ingram

maybe the take it to the house after the catch bit would be a problem with ingram though reports are his hands aren't great but if he could improve that aspect he could gain serious yardage, and we know a guy who likes to check d on the short pass

maybe the no name coaches will be better at coaching catching than the last lot who tried to coach ginn


Was it you who posted a list of all the FA running backs this year, the other day? You're right, there's not much there. Personally, and it's just my thought, if we draft Ingram, I would also bring Brown back for another year. He might have something left in the tank and be able to spell and tutor Ingram for a year. If that's not possible, I would take a long hard look at D'Angelo Williams too. Now some guys might think we'd be nuts to go after him also, but I think in todays NFL you've got to have two good back you can count on. I think we have ZERO right now. I'd like to see a vet coupled with Ingram to make certain the job gets done. There really wasn't much else on that list of interest, and I agree, I think Jackson goes back to the Rams.

If you are willing to just write off next season, trade down if you can. If you really want to compete next season, you take the best player you can get. There will always be later round stars, but the simple fact of the matter is, your chances of getting a solid year one starter at 15 is far better than at 28 or further back. This team desperately needs to add at least two first year starters this draft, take a sure fire starter at 15 and then hope the chips fall in your favor in the later rounds.

Let's play to win the game, not play to say well we are not far behind. Behind is already too far! Play to win the game.

Craig, I posted that list, it may have had some errors because I found a few other lists that were slightly different. I think the knock on DeAngelo is that he has been injured too much. Regarding Ronnie, I'd be ok with that, just that Armando give us the impression this FO just doesn't want to pay Ronnie any more money.

Considering Steven Jackson is an FA and the Rams pick at 14, who knows, maybe they are looking for some fresher legs. Just as some players fall on draft day, others rise.

Early on I was thinking Ingram if we didn't trade down.

Now I'm starting to lean more towards OT's Solder, Carimi and Castanzo, in that order. I know most experts have those three rated the exact opposite. Still, Solders the quicker, faster, and stronger of the three. Ultimately, I think he's the more overall polished product.

Wait, don't call me crazy yet! In the very dark reaches of my ADHD ladled mind, I keep finding myself thinking about taking a major reach and taking ILB Martez Wilson at 15.

He's been steadily climbing up every body's board. He's an ILB-6-4 250 and turned in a 4.42 40! In ALL timed events, as well as every other category, he bested the times of the 3rd overall ranked CORNERBACK Jimmy Smith.

Let THAT sink in for a sec. A 6-4 250 lb ILB that put up better numbers than a projected top 20 ranked CB!!!!

PS: He was also a very good situational pass rusher that lined up on the outside some on passing downs.

Channing who????


Good points....

Hey, I thought we were supposed to not get along....LOl.

I have to think the Rams are going WR. Bradford needs some weapons. If Jones and Green are gone maybe they go defence.

What would you guys think of Robert Quinn if he fell to us at 15. I doubt that happens but all accounts this guys all that. Again it would mean moving Misi inside which isn't the end of the world.


Do you know about Quinn's medical condition?



It involves footwork, technique & execution ...??
Aw man that rules out Incognito.
He can't "pull or run" to save his life.

No wonder he's being moved from starting OG to OC.

The best example of a scrambling run and shoot Q.B. (Todays spread) who faltered is Andre Ware and he was alot more accurate than C.Newton coming out of College (Univ. of Houston) he`s definetly the one who`s game compares the most to Newton`s. Akili Smith came out of the Univ. of Oregon (PAC 10) when it was common place for games to end 51-48, even remember alot of games ending with teams scoring over 60, I never understood the facination with anybody out of that Conf. in the 80`s and 90`s

I like Deangelo Williams game although I hate his injury history alot more, I can`t fathom paying a player 5 Mil plus to sit out for parts of the season (J.Grove), he`s only completed 1 season in 5, to risky if you ask me. If your gonna draft Ingram to be your hammer then A.Bradshaw makes more sense he`s never missed games due to serious injury and can be a powerful speed back. Micheal Bush is somebody I feel everybody is sleeping on and I will keep an eye on, I think alot of teams are going to regret not having signed him, just my opinion.

I haven`t posted anything today because anybody who`s read anything I`ve posted knows that I want an OL in round 1, alot of people say he`s a reach but I really like Carimi, good athlete for his size and what I`ve seen of them all on tape seems to be the one that plays with the biggest chip on his shoulder a real mauler. In a trade down I like Pouncey and now I`ve repeated it for the 20th time.

Peace !

They've drafted so many DE's, hard to see them taking another in round 1 until they see what they have in Odrick. I think its time to give some attention elsewhere.

I'll bet $1000.00 whatever the pick is will leave us scratching our heads.


I had Corn Beef and Cabbage tonight. Oh it WAS delicious.

Right afterwards I washed it down with a Milwaukees Best Ice and a Maverick Cigarette!

Everything was going just fine until the ash fell off. It burned a hole in my Indoor/Outdoor carpeting and set the laces of my new Skeechers on fire!


Earlier when someone was mentioning Akili Smith in regards to Newton, I thought to myself, no, more like Andre Ware!

I have to agree 100%!

Jeffy PLEASE! Just say NO to Newtons!!!!

1- PANTHERS........ CAM NEWTON......QB
2-DENVER............. P.PETERSON........ CB
3-BILLS.................. MARCEL DAREUS.. DE/DT
4-CIN..................... BLAINE GABBERT...QB
5-CARDINALS........ VON MILLER........ OLB
6-BROWNS.............. A.J,GREEN............WR
7-SF........................NICK FAIRLY........DT
8-TITANS.................DE'QUAN POWERS.....DE
9-COWBOYS.............TYRON SMITH..........OT
10-RED SKINS..........JULIO JONES.............WR
12-MIN................. LOCKER.........QB
13-LIONS......NATE SOLDER........OT
14-RAMES.........ROBERT QUINN.......DE



As far as I know Quinn is healthy. He missed last season but it wasn't for health reason. Some stupid NCAA infraction....total BS.

0x80, Quinn could be played at OLB, as opposed to as a DE.

fin4life, you said teams would regret not having signed Bradshaw but nobody could sign him. He was under contract to the Giants last year and will only be a FA once the new season starts. He wasn't available to be signed prior to the end of last year.


If your post is in regards to Quinn, he probably won't project to DE in a 3-4. If he goes to a 3-4 team he'll probably play SOLB.

Having said that, I think he'll make a better 4-3 DE in the NFL.

I'd rather wait and see how Misi pans out this year before spending that high of a pick on an OLB.

Some will argue with this and say he'd make an excellent SOLB in a 3-4 but I just don't see it, not at that price anyways!

Just thought I`d throw you all this little nugget on what`s going on with the Labor dispute I`ll bet alot of you were unaware that the omners one the case to keep the TV money !

Tha Reallionnaire
Posted by Reallionnaire at 1:55 PM 0 comments Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Google Buzz
No Franchise Tags?...
The Players union is DISPUTING that the franchise tag will be available.
So lets see, the owners won in court last week, they DO get the Television revenue, even if they lock-out that's a total loss for the players,
The players get to keep insurance coverage...COBRA policies
and now Franchise Tags,
Lets face it the owners WILL lock out, and the players WILL cave in pretty quickly...I always thought the owners COULD NOT afford to lock out, but if they get the Television revenue....they will do it, it will bend the players to accept whatever the owners throw to them. 50% of the players cannot afford the lockout, so its only a matter of time, small market teams like Buffalo and Green Bay wouldn't be able to withstand a lockout, but if ESPN is still writing checks, they will somehow make due...
Posted by Reallionnaire at 1:23 PM 0 comments Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Google Buzz



Craig M,

Re-read the post Bro, I was talking about Bradshaw this season when the new CBA takes affect because I see him as a better compliment to Ingram if we go the route. The player I`m seeing everybody sleeping on is Micheal Bush and again was reffering to this coming season.


You said you like Carimi.

Give us a rundown on how you rank the top 4 OT's and why.

I keep bouncing back and forth between them and I keep coming back to Solder.

PS: Uh, this wasn't meant to sound rude, I mean, you don't HAVE too if you don't WANT too.


Excuse me I meant to say the owners won the case for TV rev. @9:26


I surely hope Clemons and Jones could become a great safety tamden in Miami. It would take a lot of doing.

The best safety tamden in Dolphins history is clearly Jake Scott and Dick Anderson. The 2nd best tamden are the Blackwood brothers. 3rd best are Louis Oliver and Jarvis Williams.

If Clemons and Jones could just become Oliver and Williams I would be pleased. LOL..........


03/15/2011 - Dropping Like They're Cold: 2. North Carolina DE Robert Quinn...Sitting out a year because of his dealings with agent is not the reason Quinn could be available to Houston or Minnesota in the mid-first round. Teams may have concerns about a tumor still located at the base of his brain, although he has not had any episodes since he had surgery on the tumor after his high school career was complete.

Suspended for the entire 2010 season after an NCAA investigation found that he had accepted benefits from a player agent. Despite the suspension, those close to the UNC program describe Quinn as a quality person and teammate and are endorsing him to NFL teams.

-Craig, I know he could play OLB in the NFL, but (just my opinion)I think he'll be better suited to DE in a 4-3 defense.

You guys should just forget about trading up to get any players inside of the top ten. For one it's too expensive and reality states we just cant afford to be alleviated of any more draft picks. Two, it basically means our draft begins 4th rd.

If Newton or Gabbert slips #8-#10 it might be worth it but its still a very huge gamble. Outside of this happening it would be very foolish for us to trade up for any other player position.

Especially at the rolb position where no player dominates his 1st season. If it were weakside pass rusher it would be an entirely different story because it means youre generating zero pass rush from your PRIMARY pass rush position.




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