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'Pouncey will be a center, and a good one'

The criticisms I hear most often of the Dolphins first round choice of Mike Pouncey is two-fold:

The first criticism is Pouncey is a guard -- just a guard. The second one is that Pouncey, when given the chance to play center, was terrible with the shotgun snap.

Let me make something perfectly clear. The Dolphins picked Pouncey to be a center. If he turns out to be a guard, he will have failed in meeting the expectations the Dolphins had for him. And the Dolphins will have failed in their vision for Pouncey because guards at No. 15 better be Pro Bowl types rather than merely starters.

Let me make something else clear. After speaking to two scouts and a coaching source on the college level, I was convinced by them that Pouncey is a center and will be a good one. Moreover, I was told not to fret too much over the shotgun snap problem Pouncey had early in the 2010 season.

"It was his first season starting at center, they probably didn't work on it live in practice as much as they should have, and once they identified it as a problem, it took him just a couple of weeks to resolve it," the college source told me. "Pouncey will be a center, and a good one. Don't get caught up in the comparisons with his brother. He'll be good in his own right."

So next time you hear someone say the Dolphins wasted their first round pick or didn't get value because Pouncey is not a center, do not remain silent. He is a center until further notice. And if someone says the shotgun snaps in college is a concern, you know the facts. He struggled early but addressed the issue.

By the way, it was interesting to me that the ESPN Sports Science video below (I love this series) has Pouncey at center. And he's snapping shotgun. And he snaps correctly 30 of 30 times.

There's something else that caught my eye in the video. Pouncey was put under some duress. And he seemed to like it. "I definitely best under pressure," he said, "and I love being under pressure."

Cool!

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Besides Poucey, Gates will be the 2nd most defining piece in how great our 2011 offensive success will be. Gates must command a double team.

When Gates began commanding doubleteams it will open up the run game and create all kinds of operating room underneath for other reciever. Plus it'll leave the sem passes to Clay wide open. It will be pick your poison for defenses in finding a way to stop us.

0x80,

I think he gets some starts by mid-season, if not at the very least your going to see alot of 3 and even 4 rec. sets with Bess on the fiels as well, remember Hartline had a tough time keeping Bess out of the starting rotation and we all know he`s best suited in the slot. I can see Gates at least splitting the job by mid-season and backing the safties up as a decoy if necessary but you will see it and Henne will air it out his way.

0x80,

Im not jumping the gun on Gates. Im not stating what he will do. Im stating what he must do in order for us to be a successful offense.

Should you not see these things I stated happen in 2011, our win-loss record will greatly reflect this.

0x80,

Dont think you fully get it. Gates is not drafted to become a developmental guy. He's drafted to start right away. If he doesnt it'll be the same as last season. No DC in this league respects Hartline's ability enough to doubl him. He's not blowing the top off of any nfl defense.

That's exactly why Gates was drafted. If Gates isnt a day one starter it has to immediately looked as a setback. Dont know about you guys but thats the way I'll see it.

fin4life,

Name even one nfl wr running in the 4.3's primarily playing out of the slot? No one plays a 4.3 speed wr primarily from the slot position. That type of speed always belongs primarily on the outside.

DB,

I still say your are jumping the gun. It takes most recievers a little more time than that to get rolling. Hartline still may be better than we realize. It took Cris Carter a few years to be really good. Hartline hasn't exactly had the most advantageous situation to work under. Getting 900 yards for a rookie receiver who may not even start until mid season or later is just a tad optimistic.

DB,

Gates poor route running could also be a liability on the field if brought in to early and not aloud to refine his tech. against NFL corners but I believe he splits the job early and also expect him out right starting by seasons end, hey Sparano has shown he isn`t scared to put rooks on the field, so if Gates isn`t out there often an early we will know he`s just another track guy.

I read up on what I missed while walking the dog....as I said Zo is still the man...signed 2 basketballs for me....and Shaq took a picture with me when visiting my PD in SoFla!

DB,

Where in the post did I state we would turn him into a slot guy ? you need to re-read the post I put up and by the way he will be inside on 4 rec. sets just like the Steelers and Jets do with Santonio Holmes on occasion when he becomes a better route runner.

With Gates some experts say you have to consider level of competition. 4.3 speed translates well no matter the level of competition. They said the same about Randy Moss.

If Gates were as tall it would be Moss' 2nd coming. Gates himself admitted he has run the 40 as low as the 4.2's. He has great hands and scouting reports say he is very explosive in and out of his routes.

In comparison Ted Ginn had that same type of speed but was slow in and out of his routes. There's your major difference between Ginn and Gates. He'll alway quickly create separation between he and the db becuase of this skill and it doesnt matter what level of competition.

fin4life,

I want to see the scouting report that says Gates is a "poor" route runner. All of the ones I read says he is "average". But explosive gettting in and out of his breaks.

0x80,

I hear you it took Mike Wallace 2 seasons in Pitt for the light to come on, there is no doubting your statement but this is a special case were he will learn under fire, hell brother I thought the great Mark Clayton sucked after watching him as a rookie rec./PR in 83 and look how that turned out for us.

All I`m saying is he will be brought on the field to run some deep patterns and force the FS to respect his speed, don`t get me wrong I don`t expect him to come in and be as polished as a new penny and there will be some ugly on the field with him and Thomas but play they will.

DB,

Yes explosive in and out of his breaks but if the CB can get the jam on him he`s in trouble, seems to rely heavily on using his speed to beat the jam and thats not gonna fly in the NFL.

I see Gates as what Cameron thought he was getting with Ginn. I am a bit suprised Gates was around that far back in the draft. Marshall, Bess, Hartline, Wallace, Gates.

I've got a bet with someone Moore will be the odd guy out.

0X80,

I see Gates as what Oak. got with J.Ford he will be a PR and more than likely in some 3 and 4 wr. sets early if he flashes he gets a shot time will tell, by the way Ford had over 500 rec. yards and scored some as well. If he matches the production I will be happy.

fin4,

I'm taming my expectations because it takes Sparanderthal time to work people in, we have a new OC, Henne has to learn a new system. So its not like he is coming aboard onto a well oiled machine, like some others have had the benefit of.

If Gates is too productive, anybody think Marshall won't start pouting?

The truth is everbody is banking alot on these 4 Offensive Rookies panning out from jump street and that is just not realistic. To quote Parcells,"lets not start drinking the Kool-aid just yet" They haven`t played a down and you have them scoring a combined 27 TD`s, DB if they do that then at least 2 of them are going to Hawai along with Henne who will have thrown for over 50 TD`s very unrealistic.

In all likley hood Pouncey is out there from the word go and I expect him to have his lumps but be up to the challenge he`s to physically dominant to not be better than what wev`e seen of late. Barring a catastrophic injury D.Thomas should get at least 200 carries, know thinking Gates will dominate from day one is wishful at best. If you ask me he`s more of a cross between Johnny Knox and Jacoby Ford than he is Santonio Holmes but I`ll take it.

Clay is a Wild Card because I think he is the most NFL ready of the group and would not be suprised given the mutiple formations he will be used in and the fact he already will be in alot of our 3rd down packages, his catching ability ect.. if he doesn`t turn into this particular classes suprise, while putting up some sweat numbers.

Anyone who watched video on Pouncey from last season saw that he sucked, and not just on long snaps. He got run over.

Obviously, Armando doesn't watch tape.

Still I dont think you guys understand what Im saying. What part of this rookie offensive can not play average if we're to be a successful 2011 offensive team you dont understand?

I am not saying what they will do. Im only stating what they will have to do for us to be successful. What they actually will do remains to be seen.

Where you guys are getting Henne throws for 57tds in scenarion I haven a clue.

Im saying Thomas needs 8-10 tds on the ground. That isnt an unreasonable number. Clay 7tds, that can also be 3 on the ground out of the wc.

Gates 7tds, that can come in the form of 4-5 in the air, 1 on punt/ko return, maybe hit a homerun a reverse running play.

How do you guys get Henne's throwing for 57tds? Henne threw for only 15tds last season. We need him to throw for at least 25tds this season. He has the weapons to do this but they all have to be consistent in thier parts too.

@dyingbreed

LOL 7 TD'S for clay LOL LOL LOL what was he a 6th 7th rounder FB/TE yes incredibly reasonable!!

This is A 3 win team, 5 tops. Anyone care to tell me how Henne has improved since the season finale? Answer: He hasnt, he's still horrible and until the phins fix that nothing else they do matters. Including taking a guard/center in round one. Brilliant.

Time will tell, who are we to judge?

soiledbottom, i think this blog is about football. why you bring out mrs. sparano?. she is a lady that you should respect. you can agree or disagree with tony sparano, thats your privilege in a free country, but i think you should left the family of the football people out of it.

Excellent choice in Pouncy. Improving the O line will only give Henney additional confidence and thus more completions with Marshall and the rest. What's happening with the running game? Are Brown & Williams coming back? Are we picking up a free agent running back? Who will carry the ball for the Phins in 2011??

Old McDonald was dyslexic O I E I E!

I have a funny side too!

The Dolphins should try to get Shaq to come and play TE for us. Could you imagine the match-up nightmares he would create?

To all doubters,
remember how you all criticized Ireland for not drafting Sergio Kindle.. have you seen his personal life lately? the guy is a mess..

How about those scout quotes:
"... and once they identified it as a problem, it took him just a couple of weeks to resolve it"

He was graded as having 18 bad snaps over the season... they did NOT all occur in the first 2 games.

"Don't get caught up in the comparisons with his brother. He'll be good in his own right"

He has gotten notice primarily because of his brother... and with the 15th pick we'll get a GOOD lineman, maybe at center?

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