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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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E-Z Quik Key To Deciphering Auditions:

Whoever Ireland picks will be the wrong selection.

YG,

Yeah I'm not going to argue that point. But all things considered, I'd rather give Martin a chance at LT than pay a ransom for Albert. NO thanks.

and guys can roast me for this during the season if ALbert is struggling, if they like. I wouldn't pay Albert's price....no way, no how.

Good chance he's out there next year as a FA. I'll bet he doesn't get $9mil a year on a long term deal next year from anyone and if he does, then good luck to him.

I'll put it this way. If we finish 2013 with 2014 15th or lower draft position. Our 2013 OT play was terrible to disastrous.

If we're drafting inside of top 10 in 2014, it was truly disastrous.

Meant to say, 'if Martin is struggling'.

Just some thoughts after reading all these posts today:

1) Getting sick of Craig calling people dumb. Why can't you just express your opinions and then simply disagree with those you don't agree with. You don't have to attack others...grow up.

2) A bit funny just how many people feel strongly about how the Fins should go with the OLINE. So many options and opinions. Hard to know who is right. We can't judge that on how Ireland picks as he could make a mistake (it wouldn't be his first OLINE miss that's for sure). We will have to see how the player chosen actually plays to know if it was 'right.'

3) It was well documented on NFL radio and in Baltimore news that the Raves were pissed with McKinnie on his weight and he got pissed when he was benched. If not for an injury he wouldn't have been given a shot at the playoffs. But in the end he did rally and protected Flacco well.

4) Regardless of Albert, McKinnie, Clabo or Winston they are all likely better options than what is on the roster now. So, I think they are all solid choices.

5) I don't like Mando's reference to Columbo. That was a Sparano F-Up and should not be put on Ireland. Sparano was supposed to be the OLINE guru and his OLINE was a s-show the entire time he was here.

While I'm normally looking at the glass as half-full, I think Martin is going to be a decent LT.

This is utterly ridiculous that there's clearly no plan in place for a starting LT. As I've said before Fireland is a horrendous negotiator. He overplayed his hand with the Chiefs and now he's running an open casting call for whoever will sign for the most team friendly deal. Meanwhile he spends a third round pick on a replacement for Incognito who just went to the freaking Pro Bowl.

If LT is worthy of being a first overall draft pick it's deserving of a well conceived plan to replace Long when he leaves. Fireland said he didn't necessarily think he needed a CB in the draft and then he takes THREE of them (none of them elite btw). He took Jenkins at a position they didn't need. He took a KICKER in the fifth round! As though the roster is so stacked that we ran out of needs? How about Chase Thomas OLB from Stanford or Joseph Fauria TE from UCLA or David Quessenberry OT from San Jose State?

He made a seemingly brilliant move in going up to get Jordan but that's a no-brainer value deal any GM in his position could have made and then he spent the rest of the draft futzing around and not really accomplishing anything. He's just such a buffoon it's ridiculous.

Craigm,

youre not paying attention to the available landscape and what Im saying. F'uck fat Albert. albert means 0 chance for Albert to start.

Sign a Clabo, Mckinnie etc.... Cheaper options. That means one of those cheaper options can slide to RT. Then if Martin proves he cant handle LT, we flip flop them. Signing one of those cheaper LT's already gives a proven Lt on the roster if Martin gets in trouble.

If we sign a RT(Winston) and Martin gets in trouble, we're spending more money to sign a LT, when we should have done it in the first place as insurance against Martin not handling LT as a starter.

"Albert means 0 chance for Martin to start."

I think the plan is that Martin is the day one starter at LT. To the guy that thinks Jordan would be there at 12 " No Way "

"Regardless of Albert, McKinnie, Clabo or Winston they are all likely better options than what is on the roster now. So, I think they are all solid choices."

Jpao,

Agreed. Let's sign one & move on.

I heard somewhere J. Martin is already 10-20 pounds heavier and still bulking up. I just can't remember where, exactly. It would be cool if some DolFAN here gives more insight on the matter.

I guess in the end it would be J. Martin + either Dallas Thomas, Clabo or McKinnie.

If everything works out as expected we won't even need to look for a new starter LT next preseason. But even if we do, at least we don't have a roster full of weak spots anymore.

Can we please get over trying to explain to the idiots Dion Jordan wouldn't have been there at #12?

They haven't listened the first million times. Why would they listen now?

When we keep trying to explain to idiots a thing they don't want to hear. Sooner or late, we begin to look like the greater idiot.

He made a seemingly brilliant move in going up to get Jordan but that's a no-brainer value deal any GM in his position could have made and then he spent the rest of the draft futzing around and not really accomplishing anything. He's just such a buffoon it's ridiculous.

J. Fireland,

You may be right but I don't think Ireland is going anywhere. Ireland got a second chance in Miami when Ross chose to involve him in the hiring a new HC & then drafting a potential long term solution at QB with the 8th overall pick. Barring a disastrous season Ross is not about to pull the rip cord now.

Martin at LT is a quantifiable, irrefutable joke.

He cannot play that position.

Jeffy strikes (out) again!

I heard somewhere J. Martin is already 10-20 pounds heavier and still bulking up. I just can't remember where, exactly. It would be cool if some DolFAN here gives more insight on the matter.

Hydrashock,

I read that as well. I also read that Jerry came to the OTA's in the best shape since he was drafted.

Hey jpao....jacka88!!

Go back and look at FYI's post to me this morning. He started it by calling me 'dumb'. If you play nice with me, I'll play nice with you. If you want to be a jacka88 with me I'll give it back ten fold.

OK, with you? Get your facts straight before you accuse.

YG,

Well we see it from a different viewpoint. If there's not a way that Peters or Monroe will be coming available, I'd sign Winton and play Martin at LT. I want to see what he can do. By 2014 it will be clear whether he can play the position or not. I'm not into hedging our bets. I like Winston better at RT than McKinnie. McKinnie only signs if it's clear this team dosn't think Martin can play LT and I think if they really tryult thought that it would be done by now. McKinnie's a smokescreen, IMO.

3 Starters Out Of This Draft:

1. Dion Jordan
2. Jamar Taylor
3. Kaleb Sturgis

4 High Impact Contributors:

1. Will Davis(St's, dime, safety)
2. Jelani Jenkins(St's, coverage packages)
3. Dion Sims(redzone, 3rd downs, 2 Te's, seam)
4. Mike Gillislee(could even challenge Lamar Miller)

Diamond In The Rough:

1. Don Jones( A slight project that could yield very high dividends shortl down the road).

I don't know about anyone else, but, this checks out as a great draft to me.


"McKinnie's a smokescreen, IMO."

A 'smokescreen' for what??? You said the same thing about the Albert trade but that wasn't a smokescreen. Ireland just doesn't want to give up picks & on some level I get it. However I also understand that it's a terrible idea to put Tannehill into a risky situation & based on what I saw last year I view Martin @ LT as a pretty big risk right now.

That last post was for Craig.

h, I left out out Dallas Thomas(OG). He'll be the starting left OG in 2014.

so it looks like at least 4 starters from this draft in the first 2yrs.

Craig, I think he was useful at RT but in all 4 games at LT, he sucked the bastone. Even against pathetic pass rushers in the Jax game he kept getting pushed back. Just because Tannehill didn't take collossal shots didn't mean he played well. He got pushed back several times to the point where Tannehill had to significantly alter his throws. That's as good as a defensed pass.

CraigM doesn't want us to cover our ass in ase Martin fails. He'll rather wait until Martin fails then go looking for a starting LT when the market has become even more slim.

Craig...seriously...are you twelve? Maybe eleven?

Craig, I think he was useful at RT but in all 4 games at LT, he sucked the bastone. Even against pathetic pass rushers in the Jax game he kept getting pushed back. Just because Tannehill didn't take collossal shots didn't mean he played well. He got pushed back several times to the point where Tannehill had to significantly alter his throws. That's as good as a defensed pass.

Mark,

The game against Jacksonville was also Tannehill's best game.

At the end of the day all I REALLY care about is whether our coaches have confidence in Martin to be our starting LT??? If they do then I'm not sure why they even entertained a trade for Albert or met with McKinnie. This whole LT & RT situation is very cloudy to the outsiders...

JPAO,

What's your problem, kid? You come on with this 'I'm tired of Craig calling everyone dumb bullshyte'. Maybe if you weren't dumb it wouldn't bother you so much.

Like I said, go back and look at FYI's post to me today. Then tell me who took the first shot.

Otherwise, I'm done talking to you. OK?

I think it's interesting to see how many are declaring Martin a failure at LT. There are very few NFL lineman who can effecitvely play at this level and play both sides of the line.

This KID was the starting LT for Stanford and protected Luck. He was drafted and immediately slotted into RT. He spent the entire offseason and most of the regular season getting conditioned to play RT. He was thrown over to LT when Jake 'old man who can't finish a season' Long got hurt (Again!!).

I dont' know how many NFL offensive snaps he took at LT. Maybe it was 25-30 a game? That would put 4 games at about 120 snaps? He was 'bull rushed" and got 'pushed back' on how many snaps that really created a negative impact on the offense? Was it 10-12? Could not have been 25.

So he played 120 snaps and looked 'bad' on 12 of them. So, he was effective at LT in the NFL 90% of the time.

Now what if this KID was given all offseason to bulk up, get ready for LT and learn what he learned after year one? I think he will be fine. Elite? Not this year. But fine? Yes.

In order for us to build through the draft it requires us to give young, unproven players a chance. Guys like Lamar Miller and Jonathan Martin.

Really I'm surprised those of you who are up in arms about the LT position aren't flipping out over the RB position. To me it looks much more riskier than LT. Martin at least proved that he wasn't bad last year. Miller is much more of a wildcard.

Just ask yourself if you flipped out when Reshad Jones became a starter. Now use that calm yourself about the LT position. If you're still losing it then educate yourself in the skills of a zone blocking LT.

Forget the programming that you've been force fed over the years that a LT must be elite because it's far from the truth, especially in a zone blocking scheme.

Jpao,

I never said that Martin was a failure @ LT. I said that based on his play last year it's a risky situation for Tannehill to be in. Tannehill needs to thrive in this offense for us to have ANY chance this season & that can only happen if he can be protected.

BTW--If our coaches were confident with Martin @ LT then why even consider a trade for Albert that would cost us a fortune???

WHP, if they wanted a RT, they'd get a RT - they're a dime a dozen. They could've even traded up slightly to get Terron Armstead and be done with it.

Like you said, the fact that they are getting guys with position flexibility suggests all is not case closed with one J Martin and there's no reason to think there should be.

Mark,

No OT wins every single battle against his opponents. The kind of OT you seem to expect really doesn't exist. If you have a guy that wins 80-85% of those battles or higher. Then you have yourself a pretty damn good guy.

If Martin clearly wins 8 of 10 engagements, this clearly isn't a horrible showing. So:

If we pass 30 times, if Martin has 24 wins and gives up 6 mild to medium pressures, and 0 to 1 sack. That's a stat I'll take all day long.

Martin allowed 7 sacks last season. Not elite, but, less than a 1/2 sack per game. Remember, this includes 12 starts at RT, in which he was out of natural position.

My bad, the stat I was looking was not the total of sacks Martin gave up last season. It was the number of sacks the oline gave up against the Pats in the last game.

Aloowing two sacks a game against the only real teams you faced is not doing fine. And someone could've been seriously injured on that Aldon Smith play. That was extrememly scary - the guy puts a lot of people in peril.

"Really I'm surprised those of you who are up in arms about the LT position aren't flipping out over the RB position. To me it looks much more riskier than LT. Martin at least proved that he wasn't bad last year. Miller is much more of a wildcard."

First of all the LT position is more important position than RB but yes the RB position was dicey before the draft. With Daniel Thomas on this team I'm very pleased we drafted Gillislee.

I really wanted Stepfan Taylor but I think we found a kid who is a complete back. Gillislee will hopefully take some pressure off of Miller having to carry the entire load.

Seems to me that Albert gave up something like 9.5 sacks back in 2009. Since then his game has improved. I remember reading that Clady had given up something like 24.5 sacks his first three years in the league.

I'm just not convinced you give up on a guy like Martin after just 4 games at LT. He was late to the team's offseason plans because of NCAA rules and made a position switch 3/4 of the way through the season. Sounds like he's worked his a** of to bulk up this offseason. Maybe it was the FO's mission all offseason to have Martin biust his butt. There's been questions about his work ethic all along and I'm sure they didn't want him to back off.

"No. 77 overall pick OL Dallas Thomas (shoulder surgery) is expected to miss the Dolphins' entire offseason program, but could be ready for training camp.
Thomas was given a 4-6 month timetable after tearing his labrum in January's Senior Bowl. It's the same injury No. 3 pick Dion Jordan is recovering from, though Jordan didn't go under the knife until February 26. Capable of playing both guard and tackle, Thomas will likely serve in a super-sub role as a rookie."

Oh boy...

Did Ireland draft anyone who was healthy????

YG, problem was 4 of those sacks were in two games at LT. I have no problem with him as a RT right now and if he ever becomes dominant at RT then fine it's time to consider him on the left. but if you are a c+ RT, you will be an awful LT.

And losing as bad as he does on 20% of pass plays is not good. not good at all. That means if Tannehill goes back to pass 30 times - he already has 6 incompletions because of the OT. What about the other four guys, they have to play completely clean??? If a qb needs to complete 60% of his passes to have a good game that only leaves 6 more incompletions in the entire game for several other reasons. Your OT needs to be good 95% of the time. Even as horrible as Jake was last year - he only allowed what, 5 sacks in 12 games??? That's shangri la compared to Martin's pace and your 80% theory.

Posted by: We Have Playmakers | May 01, 2013 at 02:59 PM

Because for the right price it would have worked out well by moving Martin back to RT. Doesn't mean Martin can't play LT, just means that in the case that Albert came aboard that Martin CAN play RT as well.

Frankly you're assuming they were serious about Albert. I believe they weren't.

When you look at what we did you can see why it could be viewed as a smokescreen.

They wanted Jordan and they wanted people to believe they wanted a LT which there happened to be 3 of at the top of the draft. If you want to move up and not concern teams that are looking at Jordan as well (Eagles) then you get them comfortable with the belief that you want a LT.

An offensive line that's zone blocking is more about the sum of it's parts and how they work in unicen. It's not about an elite LT. It's about five guys that know what each are going to do at all times.

"WHP, if they wanted a RT, they'd get a RT - they're a dime a dozen. They could've even traded up slightly to get Terron Armstead and be done with it.

Like you said, the fact that they are getting guys with position flexibility suggests all is not case closed with one J Martin and there's no reason to think there should be."

Mark,

I didn't know Eric Winston or Tyson Clabo ever played LT. Did they???

Sign Tyson Clabo. Move Martin to LT. And sign Charles Woodson.

Albert let up ONE sack last year. ONE!!!

Thinking about it, Tannehill was a shoo-in to succeed in the NFL, no surprise to anybody that he did so well. Ireland's big gamble has come this Year with the drafting of DJ at #3 which many know is not the sure thing that RT was. Gutsy on Jeff's part. Dion becomes a Star, Ireland will be too as a GM. Dion fails to perform like a #3 pick overall and Ireland will forever have to answer questions about his being a good talent evaluator. I hope he succeeds for his sake, and ours. Again, very brave on his part, notwithstanding the result.

Mark,

I think you're being too hard on Martin. He wa a rookie. Not saying he had a great year but I think he's better than he's shown. I also believe he deserves chance to prove himself.

If I'm a betting man (and I am), I'd better that Martin starts at LT and Winston at RT.

Posted by: We Have Playmakers | May 01, 2013 at 03:05 PM

So the 5th round RB settles your concerns at that position but the 2nd rounder from last year that didn't look bad at LT is a problem?

I tend to just observe here but in this case it really seems like you're either pot committed to the idea that Martin isn't an answer at LT or you're being stubborn. Either way it sounds like a personal problem that none of us here can help you with.

At least hope that you're wrong for all of our sake.

An offensive line that's zone blocking is more about the sum of it's parts and how they work in unicen. It's not about an elite LT. It's about five guys that know what each are going to do at all times.

Hireland,

Really??? Tell that to the Texans who just re-signed Duane Brown who may be the best LT in football for 6 years/$53.6 Million. And the zone blocking scheme that Shanahan uses in Washington??? They just happened to have Trent Williams who has become one of the best LT in football.

You're talking out of your a@@.

Left tackle, right tackle - according to a recent analysis by ProFootballFocus, if a guy can't play left tackle well, he probably can't play right tackle very well either and may be better suited at guard. We should sign the best tackle, period.

"So the 5th round RB settles your concerns at that position but the 2nd rounder from last year that didn't look bad at LT is a problem?"

Hireland,

Who said he didn't look bad??? You??? He's no Brandon Albert okay???

BTW--Am I completely sold on Miller??? No. How could anyone be??? He didn't play enough snaps last year so I like that AT LEAST we added another RB.

Taking into consideration we did not have much of an offense last year is why Tannehill was constantly pressured last year. Even when we had Long (considered by many as Elite) in the line up did not change much. Running game disappeared, Passing game ??? not much. We talked about Bush dancing behind the line, Not having receivers, No TE etc. etc. etc. Now it has become the fault of the LT. After last years performance and the changes made this off season I am very optimistic we are going to have a great season. That was Philbins first year and most of the players were what he inherited from the Sparano era. I can see the difference in the way Ireland has been learning to be a GM. Under Parcells it was Pound the ball now it is a very diverse play book on both sides on the field and he is bringing in the talent to be competative.

Sherman has said that Tannehill will be the most improved QB in the League this Year. Apparently and from there,they feel good about his OL for the Season.

Posted by: We Have Playmakers | May 01, 2013 at 03:19 PM

You're examples happen to be two players they drafted.

The point is what is keeping Martin from reaching that level?

Go build a team on Madden if you don't have the patience to develop our own talent.

BTW I'm sure the threat of Arian Foster and that kid from FAU as well as RG3 had nothing to do with Brown and Williams succeeding at LT.

Get a grip and try not to tell your fellow fans that they're talking out of their ass or at least grow a pair and actually type the word. Don't worry, the internet police aren't looking. Really what you should do is consider the fact that you might be wrong. In fact there's a good chance you're wrong.

I can consider the fact that I'm wrong and Martin will fail. You should do the same and start thinking outside the box. Must suck being stuck in that box.

Sherman has said that Tannehill will be the most improved QB in the League this Year. Apparently and from there,they feel good about his OL for the Season.

Oscar,

Unfortunately he's not clairvoyant & can't predict the future.

Do people realize that the recovery time from a torn labrum is 4-6 months & that Jordan had surgery on February 26th??? It's quite possible that both Jordan & Dallas Thomas will not be ready for training camp. That's so f#cked up!!!

Posted by: We Have Playmakers | May 01, 2013 at 03:25 PM

Okay, so they added a 3rd round lineman. What?

You have selective memory recall which is why no one is taking you seriously.

You remember things when they support your argument and leave things out when they don't.

Everyone sees that. Most of us just don't have the time to point it out or don't care. You caught me with a free moment.

Albert is just a name.

Posted by: We Have Playmakers | May 01, 2013 at 03:33 PM

It's also quite possible they'll be ready Debbie Downer.

"BTW I'm sure the threat of Arian Foster and that kid from FAU as well as RG3 had nothing to do with Brown and Williams succeeding at LT."

Hireland,

Oh boy...It's the O-line that makes the RB & QB better NOT the other way around. Dan Marino didn't make Richmond Webb a better player, Richmond Webb made Marino a better player.

WHPs,

I've seen others say this about Jordan and the reality is he wasn't drafted for THIS season. I know a lot of people have trouble with that but it's true. What they got is a top end talent who has the chance to make a mark in this game. they were obviously convinced he's got what it takes to be a star and were concerned that the shoulder is going to be an ongoing thing.

Back to my point about this year...

I REALLY struggle with this notion that guy taken third overall has to pay immediate dividends. Where is that written? If Ryan Khalil ends up struggling in his first season but goes on to have multiple Pro Bowl appearances, is that worth it? I'd say so. If Luck came out and bombed last year but has a Hall of Fame career would that be worth it?

Everyone's in a such a hurry that a guy has to be a star right away. At the end of the day, when you look back at a guy's career nobody remembers how it all started.

Okay, so they added a 3rd round lineman. What?

You have selective memory recall which is why no one is taking you seriously.

You remember things when they support your argument and leave things out when they don't.

Everyone sees that. Most of us just don't have the time to point it out or don't care. You caught me with a free moment.

Albert is just a name.


Hireland,

Where did you pop up from??? I don't recall your name being on here for very long. Did you get tired of your other aliases???

BTW--Dallas Thomas is going to play Guard not LT.

Well, we are middle of the pack this Year according to LV which I respect, 17th, 40/1 for SB win. Better than last year. I agree.

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