Tyson Clabo's agent called Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland time and again about his client, trying to stir up interest. For a long time, Ireland didn't return the phone calls.
A week ago, Ireland finally called back and said the Dolphins wanted to take a look at Clabo. Today's he's a Dolphins right tackle.
He thinks he's not much diminished from the guy that made the Pro Bowl a couple of years ago. He's very familiar with zone blocking, which is the technique the Miami line uses. And he thinks the Dolphins can "make some noise."
Here is Tyson Clabo:
(On the determining factor on signing with the Dolphins) –“When I was released and became a free agent, one of the first things that we wanted to find out was, who had interest. Once we found out who had interest, I sat down and I said, ‘What team do I think has use and is on the move upward in the League’ and Miami was right there on the top of that list and so we decided that this was the place for us."
(On if he was given a vision of what his role will be) – “I do have some experience. I have been in the League for a while, but there are some really talented offensive linemen on this team already, so if they feel that my experience will help in any way, I am more than happy to do whatever I can.”
(On how surprising his release from Atlanta was and what the last month was like) –“Well it was very sudden when I was released. Unexpected. The month that followed was, with all that uncertainty, I’m a guy who likes to have plan and who likes to be able to have a vision, a clear vision for the future and I didn’t have that for a while. It was a difficult time, but I think that its going to turn out for the best and its going to be worth it."
(On what makes him think that the Dolphins are headed in an upward direction) –“We made some big moves in the off-season and in free agency, the draft looked like it went really well, you never know but it seems like there is some talent. The young QB with a lot of upside and I just felt like we could make some noise."
(On coming from a power offensive system to a zone blocking scheme) –“I think that I am going to fit in pretty well. When I first came into the League I was with the Broncos on the practice squad and that’s (zone-blocking) all they did and then when I came to Atlanta, Alex Gibbs and Tom Cable were the line coaches, so I know the zone-scheme and I feel like that I should be able to hold my own."
(On if he is still the same player who made the Pro Bowl in 2010 from a skill-set standpoint) –“I’m a pretty tough critic on myself and I don’t feel like there has been much drop in my play to date, so I am just going to continue to take care of my body and try to continue to play at a high level."
(On how much his past as an undrafted, practice squad, NFL Europe player play in motivating him) –“I always want to do well. That’s really my biggest driving force is to feel like I did the job that I was brought here to do, or when I was in Atlanta the job that I had there. I just want to do well, and that’s really my biggest driving force is success. I work to reach those goals and so far it’s been pretty good for me so I am just going to keep doing that."
(On how quickly following his release did he hear from the Dolphins, did he expect this and if he has spoken to Brent Grimes) –“I haven’t had the chance to talk to Brent yet, but our wives are Facebook buddies and all that stuff, so I think that they have been in touch a little bit. Miami didn’t come into play until later in the process, after the draft. Some teams showed interest before the draft and then of course the draft happened and everybody changed their mind. So I was just happy when the phone rang and Mr. Ireland was on the other side."
(On the slow developing free agent market this spring) –“I didn’t get into it until much later in the process than a lot of guys did, but it was slow. I think that the depth of the draft had a lot to do with that, I thought there was lot of talent and depth in the draft, so teams wanted to sit back and see what they wanted to do there before they committed to any free agent."
(On looking forward to the home opener against the Atlanta Falcons) –“I am always looking forward to home openers. So it will be exciting, it will be good to see some of my friends and (former) teammates before the game and then after that we are going to try to put it to them."
(On what the experience was like reaching the NFC Championship game and getting so close to the Super Bowl) –“It was disappointing. Last year in Atlanta I thought that we had a really good team, a special team. Offensively we were dynamic and to come up just a little short was disappointing."
(On if he sees similarities in the Miami offense to the Atlanta offense) –“Well, over the past five years I’ve been in Atlanta we have had a young quarterback at the time and he turned out to be a pretty good player. We have a young quarterback here and he has the potential to be a very good player, and with the addition of some free agents, we have some guys that can take the top off the defense and have a vertical threat, run the football well. Offense’s if you can throw the deep ball and run the ball you are going to have a good chance, so I think that we have the chance to do both of those things really well."
(On if he has a lot still left to prove) –“I am not here to prove anything to be honest with you. I am here to play football and have a good time and win. If I play well, then it will give us a chance to do those things. I am here because I want to be, I am here because I still like to play football and I think that I can still do it at a high level. So as far as having something to prove, I just want to play and have fun and win football games."