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A look at Miami's tackle auditions

Eric Winston.

Tyson Clabo.

Bryant  McKinnie.

Winston Justice.

Let's play pick the offensive tackle!

The Dolphins have basically conducted an open offensive tackle tryout this week in order to try to fill their most glaring need remaining this offseason.

All of the players they've brought in to audition for the part have been excellent to good NFL players at one time. All of the players they've brought in are no longer the players they once were. All of the players they've brought in have been cast off by other teams now, some of them by multiple other teams. All of the players they've brought in want significant money -- at least $3 million for one season. All of the players they've brought in are probably just one-year solutions, in the Dolphins' mind. All of the players they've brought in had to work during their visits.

This is a tryout, not a classic free agent visit. Yes, there are meetings with the coaching staff and meals and so forth. But all the players have been or will be put through a work out on the field.

So which player will the Dolphins pick?

Which is the best option?

Obviously, we're not allowed to see the workouts. So assuming all the players are in relatively equal shape (probably a bad assumption) the Dolphins have to also judge a variety of factors.

Injury history.

Contract demands/desire.

Character/Culture fit.

Right off the bat if one of these players is willing to play for one year and relatively cheaply, he has an advantage. I don't know that any will do that, but that's out there. I would assume that the most expensive of the bunch would be Bryant McKinnie because he's the only actual left tackle of the group. Left tackles are more valuable.

The problem is McKinnie is clearly the worst character and culture fit. He's not Chad Johnson, as I mentioned in a previous blog post because he hasn't really been in constant legal problems. But he has been known to be a headache to coaches -- even last year in Baltimore. He is also an unrepentant partier. He has even recently hosted a party at a local club in Pembroke Pines as recently as two weeks ago.

Now, there's nothing wrong with partying. But even if McKinnie isn't the king of all partiers, he's royalty. And as the Dolphins are within 12 miles of Pembroke Pines and South Beach is down the coast a bit, this can lead to some distractions and negative example setting.

Just saying.

Winston, Clabo and Justice are not saints. But they're not in McKinnie's league at all.

Injuries?

McKinnie is clean in this regard. He didn't start a game last season during the regular season but that wasn't due to injury. He was overweight (another red flag) and out of shape (red flag) and it took him much of the season to get back in shape. He started every playoff game at left tackle.

Clabo last season managed a hip injury but continued to add to his 101 starts with the Falcons. He has not missed a game in five seasons. The chart below is missing a start in 2012.

Justice is not quite the iron man. He has started 16 NFL only once in his seven previous seasons, that coming in 2009. He was limited to 12 games last season with Indianapolis.

Eric Winston, like Clabo, answers the bell. He has started 16 games every year since 2007.

The age issue isn't really one. Look, the Dolphins know each man's age. They still brought them all in. This signing won't be a long-term affair. Even if the eventual contract signed is a multi-year deal, in all probability this will be a one-year rental.

Sidenotes:

The Dolphins are not the only team searching for tackle help. The Chargers need help at left tackle. The Ravens do also.

All are relatively interested in McKinnie. The Dolpins are really the only team trying out right tackles because they believe Jonathan Martin on some level can play left tackle. The Raven have Michael Oher and still would rather have a left tackle. The Chargers just drafted D.J. Fluker to play right tackle.

It should be interesting to compare and contrast how the three teams address the same need going forward. To me, however, this is starting to feel a bit like a Marc Colombo redo. I've seen this scenario before.

Comments

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We Have Playmakers,

I saw that tweet from Armando as well but I think this is what he was refferring too. I heard on Moving the Chains that Long turned down an extension during the season that was for money but when the season was over the deal was for right about the same as Rams deal so he felt disrespected. Jake was sort of ego-maniac. He had a self entitlement quality which to me was earned 3 seasons ago not 2 or 1 season ago. The NFL is what have you done for me lately.

See ya Jake!

I saw that tweet from Armando as well but I think this is what he was refferring too. I heard on Moving the Chains that Long turned down an extension during the season that was for money but when the season was over the deal was for right about the same as Rams deal so he felt disrespected. Jake was sort of ego-maniac. He had a self entitlement quality which to me was earned 3 seasons ago not 2 or 1 season ago. The NFL is what have you done for me lately.

See ya Jake!

Andy,

Exactly. F#ck him & his wife.

notsotiredfinsfan,

I wasnt and still am trying to warm up to the Jordan pick myself. The one thing I keep seeing is how much he was used in space and it's true. If you go to youtube and NFL Draft Profile by Erick Ward you will see the first 2 highlights are him playing.....CB! That's insane for a 6'6 250 lb guy to be out there. Oregon seemed to use him in a variety of ways and that was what hurts his sack numbers but 5 sacks and 3 Forced Fumbles combined with his undeniable freakish athletic abilty and size made him a top 5 to 7 talent on every board I saw.

Make no mistake about it though he would have never come close to #12. He probably was going to Philly with the next pick or at worst Browns at #6.

It was reported here on the Philly radio that the top 4 teams, KC, Jacksonville, Miami (trade up) and Philly all had the top 4 prospects exactly the same but in no particular order Dion Jordan, Eric Fisher, Joeckel and Lane Johnson.

McKinnie is fat, old and a locker-room cancer degenerate. Not to mention even if he's in shape and shuts his mouth, doesn't act like he's 25 making ti rain every weekend -- he's not a scheme fit. Not happening. I strongly believe they are prepared to move forward with a stronger Jonathan Martin. High character, work ethic, intelligence perfect for zone, great feet -- just has to stop bull rush and getting tossed around by bulking up. Supposedly, he's done that.

RT - Clabo or Eric Winston probably based on Jim Turner's opinion, health and $$. Or, they say FU to all and go with Yeatmen. Philbin likes the kid and he's 25. Time to stop developing and start playing.

We Have Playmakers,

"Exactly. F#ck him & his wife"

Are you from South Philly bro? Lol. You sound exactly like me with that one. lol

Andy,

The only thing that is going to 'warm me up' to the Jordan pick is if & when he starts making plays. Aside from sacks I want to see tipped passes & TFL's. I know he's a great athlete but is he a great football player??? I sure as hell hope he is.

John Jeery is making this team and playing OT at some point. I'm pretty confident in this statement.

Mark,

Some of your comments on McKinnie don't make a lot of sense. First of all, I've heard from you and others that he had a very good year in Baltimore and helped take them to a Super Bowl. Fair enough. So if he's that good, as some have indicated, wouldn't it make sense for him to be brought back. Ie. Who cares if he was out of shape. He's always been out of shape. He got the job done. He can't get it done for another year? Doesn't make sense.

Keep in mind, Fat Albert and Fat B-Mac are both a-holes that question coaches and complain about their contracts in the media. Philbin HATES that. McKinnie's retarded methaphor was to a Maserati and Ravens need to pay for the insurance. Moron. Get a wife. Stop banging hookers - you're old and fat. Albert -- same thing bascially. Me,me,me. Idle threats. And, neither of them are pro-bowlers anymore.

Philbin isn't dealing with either of these two over-valued prima donnas. with or without a draft choice being involved.

Martin got bull rushed by a CB las year. IN addition, Jamar Taylor had a better bench than Martin. How much do you guys think you can improve your strength? It's not infinite. The guy had to improve his bench by more than 25% just to be adequate. That's not easy at all..

"Are you from South Philly bro? Lol. You sound exactly like me with that one. lol"

Andy,

Born & bred in NY.

BTW--Jake's wife is actually pretty f#cking hot. That's how we talk in NYC. LOL!!!

lol

Martin got bull rushed by a CB las year. IN addition, Jamar Taylor had a better bench than Martin. How much do you guys think you can improve your strength? It's not infinite. The guy had to improve his bench by more than 25% just to be adequate. That's not easy at all..

Mark,

Are you being serious or just f#cking around??? A CB??? LOL!!! I saw him get bull rushed & lifted off the ground by Aldon Smith but he's an animal.

We Have Playmakers,

I totally here you. I mean it's a wait and see approach with Jordan. I don't know what we see in year 1. I don't think you get Aldon Smith's year 1 of 13 sacks. I think it's a more patient approach and the other guy he gets compared to in Pierre Paul who had 4.5 (I think) his rookie year.

The #1 thing I would like to see is him used creatively depending on the matchup. I don't want to pencil him as DE opposite Cam Wake. I want to see him at OLB and DE. If he's so fast and able to cover up so much space then in a 4-3 playing him only at DE seems like a waste of his overall talents. Play him at OLB in the 4-3 and now he can blitz, cover, spy, etc. And then on 3rd and long or 2nd and longs then put him primarily on the edge.

I wish him the best but wasn't the look on his face sort of odd at the draft. Maybe it was the shock of them trading up for him but to me he looked almost disappointed. Maybe the emotion of the night was why he looked so stoned face next to Goddell.

Craig, really? I said he had an awesome playoff and showed he still has it. You think Ozzie is perfect in his decision making? If he was, he wouldn't have 25% of his cap tied up into two washed up players in Ngata and Suggs. He makes errors in judgement too. I really think he felt let down by Mckinnie. If someone let you down, would you really trust him? That's why he's not going back to Baltimore. Personally I'd rather take a chance on a guy who has the best track record but may have personal flaws than a guy you know right off just isn't physically capable.

WHP, not kidding around at all. happened in the New England game last year. One on one too ... I felt like crying.

Andy@12:20.

Agreed.

The Fins Probably Had

1-L.Jockel (Obvious Reasons)
2-D. Jordan

I Don't Know The Fins Would've Token 1 Of The Other 2 Tackles. Maybe If Someone Else Would've Took D. Jordan #2. They Would Have Picked L. Johnson.

B. Albert Was The Smokescreen. The Fins Were Hoping The Jaguars Didn't Take Jockel. Since The Jags Already Had 2 Tackles And Zero Pass Rush.

But The Best Defensive Prospect Available And At A Position Of Need. Pass Rush. Was Available At #3.

Signing The LBs In Free Agency. Looks Even Better Now.

Jordan Is Only Going To Cost About $5m A Season For The Next 4-5 Years. By Then Wake Will Be Situational. Or Retired. And He Would've Mentored Vernon And D. Jordan.
I Bet J. Taylor Will Like To Talk To D. Jordan.

Dion Jordan according to Armando's tweet 1 hour ago:
"Dolphins have designated first-round pick Dion Jordan a DE, not OLB. Doesn't mean he won't at times stand up, but primary duties are clear."

This is very disappointing to my vision of him being used as a jack of all trades. I know you don't trade up to draft a cover OLB in a 4-3. I know pass rusher is the prime reason he was traded for but with such little production in that department. My fears were clear and still are he will become a bust at playing DE in a 4-3.

"I wish him the best but wasn't the look on his face sort of odd at the draft. Maybe it was the shock of them trading up for him but to me he looked almost disappointed. Maybe the emotion of the night was why he looked so stoned face next to Goddell."

Andy,

Well, two things I believe on that;

1) He wanted to go to Philly
2) Kelly was going to take him @ 4 since he pretty much said that after the draft

Mark,

We'll disagree. If McKinnie was all that he'd be back in Baltimore this year. Ozzie's smart enough not to let personal letdowns cloud his judgement.

What I'd siggest is that McKinnie's not nearly as good as most here have indicated. Yes he's a big man and hard to move but I don't think he's anything special. I guess he should be in the mix but I think he's far from a slam dunk, as Ozzie's actions indicate.

We should sign McKinnie for this reason alone ...

In October 2005, McKinnie was charged with a misdemeanor for his involvement in the 2005 Minnesota Vikings boat cruise scandal. He allegedly picked up a naked woman, placing her on the bar and performed cunnilingus on her in front of the crew and other guests. Later that evening, he and three other men were spotted sitting in deck chairs receiving fellatio from four women, which was also observed by the crew in a public area of the boat.

"WHP, not kidding around at all. happened in the New England game last year. One on one too ... I felt like crying."

Mark,

That's the one game I missed last year & by all accounts I'm glad I did.

Andy, why? Pass rush of Jordan off one edge, Wake off the other with Odrick, Starks, Ellerbe, Wheeler coming up the middle gives me a boner.

We'll disagree. If McKinnie was all that he'd be back in Baltimore this year. Ozzie's smart enough not to let personal letdowns cloud his judgement.

What I'd siggest is that McKinnie's not nearly as good as most here have indicated. Yes he's a big man and hard to move but I don't think he's anything special. I guess he should be in the mix but I think he's far from a slam dunk, as Ozzie's actions indicate.

Craig,

McKinnie was an extremely good LT in Minnesota before he ate himself out of there. Give the man some credit--he played very well for the Ravens down the stretch.

Craig, fair enough. I'm just saying I like him as a one year chance more than Winston or Clabo as more OTs will be on the market next year because he's the best LT.

WHP, it was a demoralizing effort. the entire team let the rookie hang. They had checked out ...

Well Armando this is not a fun game 'Let's Pick The Offensive Tackle'

My choice is to indicate that the Miami Dolphins have a potential beast at DE to work in with Wake. To me that's the best thing about this game of 'Pick the Offensive Tackle'

"We should sign McKinnie for this reason alone ...

In October 2005, McKinnie was charged with a misdemeanor for his involvement in the 2005 Minnesota Vikings boat cruise scandal. He allegedly picked up a naked woman, placing her on the bar and performed cunnilingus on her in front of the crew and other guests. Later that evening, he and three other men were spotted sitting in deck chairs receiving fellatio from four women, which was also observed by the crew in a public area of the boat."

Exactly. And that's just a slow Friday night on a cruise...And I'm sure a guy like Incognito would never do ANYTHING like this. Richie is a borderline 'Caveman.'

WHP, it was a demoralizing effort. the entire team let the rookie hang. They had checked out ...

Mark,

As a fan I did the same thing. I knew NE would bury us. The difference is that they're getting paid to show up & play. I'm sure Philbin ripped them a new one.

Mark,

Enough with Odrick playing inside. Have you seen what he looks like lately??? He's thinner than Dion Jordan now.

Call Me Your Whipping Boy But:

Fins should inquire with Tebow about becoming a short yardage or goal line rb. Hold on... hold on......

Tebow most likely would give a resounding no, anyway. But, inquiring about his availability to take on such a role, is just one of those "you dribble and you shoot moments". Nothing ventured, nothing gaineds.

Playmaker,

Jamar Fletcher. LMAO.

Are V. Davis, S. Smith, and Even N. Carroll. Are They Worst Than Jamar Fletcher Or Jason Allen??

Hell Jimmy Wilson Isn't Jamar Fletcher.

We Have Playmakers,

Yeah you're probably dead on with that he wanted to go to Philly therefore he was disappointed. That makes sense and you can't really fault the kid for wanting to go play for his coach.

And NYC? Ok now I see the where the "F#ck him & his wife" comes from lol.

Sounds like Ireland, and the Dolphins have themselves a FA-RT tryout.

I told you guys over a month ago, Jake Long was an ungrateful sob. I guess now you'll finally believe me.

Word of the day...cunnilingus

YG,

I Wouldn't Inquire With Tebow To Lead The Team In Prayer Before The Game.

I Will Switch Clay Or D. Thomas To FB.

Gillislee and L. Miller Know How To Gain A Yard. You Don't Dance.

And Clay And D. Thomas Allow You To Run Play Fakes. With T-Hill Bootlegging.

And If The Fins Pick Up Where They Left Off. Expect The Brady Special. Quick Qb Sneak. Easiest Way To Get A Yard.

Why does everyone forget about Jared Gaither? HE signed a big contract with SD last year after playing LT well for Balt and keeping Oher at RT. He didnt get along with coaches in SD and ended up having a poor season. He lost his big money- now he is hungry to gain one more decent contract. He can be had on the cheap and he is only 27 with minimal injury risk at this point in his career. To me, this is a true LT we should bring in.

Matter of fact, I say bring in Winston or Clabo and Gaither. Give Martin competition at both LT and RT. The 2 of them would be cheaper than 1 Brandon Albert. Mckinnie doesnt fit the personality type that Philbin wants. Justice is always hurt.

I still feel that Winston would be the best fit (please not Clabo or Justice, frankly wouldn't want McKinnie either). He's cheap, WANTS to play here, and is a local guy of some form or another (played college here right?).

What Miami doesn't need is Brandon Albert for $9 million regardless of what we trade away.

Besides, what we don't use this season in cap space carries over to next season, and that's what I'd like to see, more money to fill those final holes next season for a legitimate playoff run. Tannehill will have the exp. Keller may walk away but that seems to be the only issue contract wise unless Wallace becomes Marshall 2.0

Grab Winston, save some roll-over cash for next year to pay for Jone's contract and grab a long term tackle next year

Dashi,

It wouldn't surprise me in the least, with the drafting of Gator rb Mike Gillislee, that I signals the cutting of D Thomas.

It's a terrible, terrible, thing for a 5th rd rb to come in and completely destroy a bottom 2nd rd pick. I believe the Gillislee/Thomas battle will be a landslide victory for Mike Gillislee.

Even in trade, Im not sure we could get a 6th rd pick for D Thomas. So, he may not be worth the time or effort to pick up the telephone.

point 1. there is no way, repeat no way that Dion Jordan would have been there at 12.
Chip Kelly wanted him bad.

Point 2. if Ireland was prepared to offer a 2nd to KC for Albert why not offer next years 2nd?

I'd be happy with that

Ray Finkle,

Too many OT options out there to offer a 2nd for Albert now. Chiefs should have taken the offer when they could.

Other gm's will force KC to sit on fat Albert, then pluck him away in next year's fa. Provided he stays healthy.

Ray Finkle,

However, if KC

But of course they could start Albert LT and have Fisher play RT for 1yr too. gets desperate to take a 4th or 5th next year, Im sure Ireland pounces all over it. Chiefs are in a very precarious position right now.

armando,
cut to the chase. the dolphins should of found a way to keep jake long. they could have done it and should have done it. the fins once again don't have an o line. Ireland has built a fancy sports car of a team and he has fork lift tires on the fancy sports car.

Part of the post disappeared:

"However, if KC is willing to accept a 4th or 5th rd pick, Im sure Ireland pounces all over it.

I agree, the pasrt that makes NO sense to me is giving up a pick and paying $9 million a year for Albert. I wouldn't do it.

the option I probably like best is Winston at RT and Martin at LT. Martin's played FOUR games there. Is everyone ready to write him off after 4 games at LT? Would you right Tannehill off at QB if he struggled in his first four games? This is different how?

Hahaha, WHP, didn't mean to touch a nerve, but why not play him inside on obvious pass downs? he's done it his whole career. I'd rather have him in there than Big Paul in that scenario.

I expect Miami to sign a LT. However, that LT may start RT, and Martin starts LT.

Reason being, is, if Martin proves he cant handle LT, then the switch is in.

I believe Miami gives Martin every reasonable chance to become the starting LT moving forward. Ideally, next season they rather shop the draft for a RT, rather than a LT.

CraigM,

Still, a little uncertainty exists around Martin starting LT. So, why not sign a LT and move him over to RT.

This way, if Martin doesn't handle LT well, the switch can be made. But, before signing the LT, make sure you've ok'd the switchover with him first.

I say all of this, because of Martin's youth, you want to give him every reasonable chance possible to be the starting LT moving forward. Its a lot easier finding a future RT, than finding a starting LT.

YG,

I believe if they commit to Martin this year, then he'll get a year to show what he's got. If he fails then they'll address LT in the draft next year and either move Martin back to RT or get rid of him.

wtf?
lol

If Tannehill threw 8 picks in one game, yeah, I might be ready to write him off. That's the equivalent of getting pushed into the backfield on seemingly every pass play against Buffalo and Jax and then getting tossed by Aldon Smith and bull rushed by Ne's nickel corner. Martin did not play one good game out of the four. NOT ONE.

Toronto,

In all fairness Martin was a rookie. His body needs to remolded into an NFL player. His body fat last year was way to high for a guy without natural country stength. He needs to get MUCH stronger, no doubt but that happens often with linemen on both sides.

CraigM,

If you sign Winston(RT) and Martin doesn't quite handle starting LT. There isn't a switch to be made because Winston doesn't play LT either.

Thatys why if we sign one of the Lt's and play that LT at RT, Should Martin not handle starting LT, then we switch the LT we signed to play RT, to LT and Martin back to RT.

Signing a LT over RT(Winston) gives flexibility if Martin gets in trouble as starting LT.

2013 = no middle
either ^ or suxx.
lol

also mark. he only played 11 games before
not 16.
armando said he saw him in the showers and he bulked up 15-20.
lol

CraigM,

The greatest problem about addressing LT in the draft, and you saw it this year, when outside of the top 10 drafting positions its very difficult to do it with the greatest quality. In comparison, its far easier to get a RT.

At least talking about which Tackle to select is better than worrying about not having a quality QB prospect on the roster.

In all honestly, it does not sound as if any of the options are ideal. If I had to guess, I think the Dolphins go with Winston.

On another subject, the medical issues reported in the Herald concerning Taylor's kidneys are worrisome; hopefully, he will be OK.

YG,

I believe there will be LTs avaiable throughout the year. If Martin fails, I believe you can add a vet at that point or you can move a guy like Jerry over in a pinch or even give Thomas a chance. Lots of options I feel.

Martin likely deserves that the chance, all thing considered. And Mark, I don't feel it's fair to say Martin didn't have any good games. He got through two games just fine and had two bad games. Under the circumstances that's not awful.

Terrible thing about needing to draft a LT next season is that it would cost a small ransom in draft picks to get a quality LT.

I expect to finish 2013 in at least 20th 2014 draft position. From this position calculate trading up into the top 5 draft position to target a top LT.

CraigM,

There always LT's available. It doesn't mean they are worth a s'hit. That's usually why they are available.

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