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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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I found this site that provides some really solid stats on NFL tackles:

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/10/17/snapshot-pbe-offensive-tackles/

It assesses pass pressure vs. pass snaps. It provides top ranked and bottom ranked players.

According to this site Martin had 211 pass block snaps and had 20 pressures. That is better than 90%, which is what I said earlier. That however, ranks him #45 last year and that is not good. It doesn't account for run blocking and effectiveness there. But all in all I still say that for his first year it wasn't a failure. Again, not Elite by a long shot. I think he will do well year 2.

Also interesting is that Long and Albert were tied for ranking of #5. Both protected the QB well...when they played.

It doesn't show Winston, Clabo or Mckinnie but they were in the middle of the pack. So, again...all 3 were better than anyone else on the squad.

A Great Piece From Pro Football Focus: "EXAMINING PRESSURE

Here's a small sniplet:

Winds of Change in the NFL

The data clearly shows that NFL teams have put their best pass blockers at left tackle, but is it necessary? We now know that pressure that comes from all angles is equally detrimental to quarterback performance, so how can teams use this information?

Right Tackle Only

Gone are the days of designating a player as a “right tackle only.” Given the data, it does not make much sense to deem a player incapable of pass protecting from left tackle, but having complete faith in his ability to pass protect from right tackle where we’ve shown that his performance is just as important as the left tackle’s and he has to go up against the likes of Cameron Wake, Von Miller, and other top-notch pass rushers who come off left end.

When evaluating offensive tackles, if you don’t trust a player on the left side, he might as well just be a guard.


The entire article:

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/04/29/examining-pressure-are-left-tackles-overvalued/

This article states that teams are moving their top pass rusher to the other side to expose the "weaker RT's" now anyway.

Armando,
I read in your tweet that Jake Long passed up more money in Miami and signed with the Rams. If that is accurate then the Dolphins really messed up the negotiations with Long. This sounds really like Long was offended and pissed off at the way the Dolphins might have diked him around for months. No way he goes to St. Louis when his wife liked South Florida, his involvement in the community and just the comparison of South Florida vs St Louis unless he was totally pissed at Ireland and the Dolphins in general.

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.

Craig,

I see your point on Jordan. In this draft MAYBE a couple of the O-lineman are going to be impact players right away but the pass rushers like Jordan, Ansah, Mingo, etc need some seasoning.

Obviously the expectations for rookies being drafted are insane now. People are always quick to jump all over them if they don't dominate from Week One. Like I said if the TEAM is good this year I couldn't care less if Jordan & some of the other rookies need time to develop. I just want to see more wins than losses.

The thing about Martin is what if he gets hurt? Who comes in at LT? I say get Albert, put Martin back at RT, and lets just hope neither get hurt. I still say Miami should not have traded up to get Jordan. He would've still been there at #12 and they would've kept the other second round pick.

Posted by: notsotiredfinfananymore
DUDE NO ONE CARE IF YOU THINK DION JORDAN WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!! cause guess what .. you are the only one in the world that thinks he would have been there.. IN FACT NONE OF THE "GM'S" THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO BE THERE .. SO GUESS WHAT?!? he would NOT HAVE BEEN THERE! Glad you will never work for a NFL team. cause you know nothing.

Lawrence Taylor was the one that invented this, "LT needs to be your best pass protector trend".

Now that teams are placing so much more of their resources(money) into LT vs RT. Teams are now lining their best pass rushers over the weaker RT, to exploit this weakness.

RT's, not LT's, are now going up against teams best pass rushers.

Jordan's a wounded tweener...........if he doesn't play this year its a debacle..........stop covering for Jeffy/.

i dont know what all those names meanon pats and phins draft?those names dont mean squat till 3or4yrs down the road.Yeah pats drafts havent been as great lately as some might think but i would take theirs over ours over the last 5yrs with exception of couple players.Pats have drafted more solid players and players still on team then fis have the last few yrs.

oSCAR, WE pay 35 -1 at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas. I remember that during one of my few moments of clarity last weekend.

WHPs,

This instant stardom expectations from the number three pick is even more ludicrous when you consider these guys are being paid FAR less than they were years ago. I can understand the desire for immediate success when you are paying these guys $50-60 million on contracts but they're about a third of that these days. Teams don't have nearly the dollards invested in thes young guys early as they used to, so I think the expectations from the fans needs to be tempered.

Posted by: We Have Playmakers | May 01, 2013 at 03:51 PM

Glad you decided Thomas' position. Let Philbin know.

What makes you think I'm someone else?

Aliens!!!

I would take Clabo over all of them

Jason Nuhfer,

You might want to do your homework, son. The Pats drafts have been VERY spotty the last 5 years. Go back and take a look at how many 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks haven't panned out. Quite astonishing. With the excpetion of Mayo, Gronk, Hernandez and perhaps the RT, they've been very, very, mediocre. Don't take my word for it, go back and look.

Dudes, Albert said he's not playing RT & now Ireland has even more leverage. So, after the OT tryouts expect a 3rd round trade and 4-5 million yr contract for Albert.

THE FINS NEED TO GET TWO OT I AGREE ONE SHOULD BE ALBERT AND THE OTHER SHOULD BE WINSTON FOR ONE YEAR IN THE EVENT THAT WE GET AN INJURY. ALBERT WILL SOLIDIFY THE OL AND GIVE THE FINS ON PAPER A VERY GOOD OL WITH DEPTH . IF ALBERT DEAL NOT IN WORKS THAN SIGN MCKINNEY WITH A CLAUSE AND WAIT TIL SUMMER CUTS. IF THINGS PAN OUT I THINK WE SPLIT WITH PATS AND SWEEP BILLS/JETS.

PEOPLE-IT'S EARLY--STOP CRYING ABOUT LT!!!
After all the crappy past 10 years, we seem to finally have a management, FO and coaching staff that are developing a nice team concept, and NO TUNA, er,primadonnas! We are the 2nd youngest team in the league (I think) and we have much more cohesive talent--i.e. players that will fill schemes and work together to be a better overall TEAM!. Jordan was a very welcome value and risk/reward play. Yes--he better perform, but it fits an important need and makes sense. More specifically, if the FO/coaches felt desperate for LT, they would have made other moves. They have no need to tell us or other teams their plans and we really don't have to worry about it this until 9/8. We will see what we really have through the summer. There will be other options besides the players on current parade and we don't need to rush. While nice to have, we don't need a superstar LT to have a successfult OL. Let them evaluate and deal where they see the best opportunity. I want us to go into playoff's but, more importantly, I want us to build into a dominant team for many years and become the AFC East power. That will continue to take time and we are finally in the right direction. I think they have a plan and am willing to see it play out. The rest is BS until the games begin. There--an afternoon rant!

NHOhinsfan......great post!!!!!!!

GOTTA BE ERIC WINSTON OR CLABO...

MARTIN SHOULD BE GOOD AT LT AND THESE 2 ARE SOLID RIGHT TACKLES.

I WOULD NOT WASTE TIME WITH MCKINIE OR JUSTICE.


oSCAR, WE pay 35 -1 at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas. I remember that during one of my few moments of clarity last weekend.
Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 01, 2013 at 04:09 PM

=======================================================
In Vegas, besides boxcars and snake eyes in craps...., 0 and 00 pay 35 to 1 on the Roulette table..

...I once hit 0 right behind 00 ...was a $5 wager.. collected $175 on the 0...bet $5 each to repeat, and 00 came out for another $175...so I tried once more on both for $5 each ...

...22 came out...so just I picked up my $340 in chips and walked away....couldn't happen again in 100 years..

By and large its the same freaking fools that post here under Mando's blog over and over and over. Its as if the 'doctors' at a looney bin somewhere have their patients respond to Mando's blog as some form of therapy. It keeps the fruit loops busy so the doctors won't be bothered with their nonsense.

Gotcha Steve-o...and how long did your Doctor say you'd be on the therapy?????????

Here's another scenario the Dolphins go into camp with who ever they pick out of the bargain basement OT bin. Then realize oh crap.... This is not going to work out, we are going to get our QB killed out there. Then they have to go back to KC with their hand out, and pay the price on KC's terms, now it will be 2014's number one pick thank you.

Its going to be a long and boring transition into the 1st gm of the regular season. Usually this time of year we have 5-6 legitimate things to b'itch about. Now we have only 1, LT. LOL...

I wish we had a Trent Williams. He is a game changer no doubt...

YG...do you really think it will be boring? Seems like there are a lot of questions still to be answered.

I'm getting geared up for it myself. I think it will provide significant suspense at certain positions, if nothing else.

buster,

the only question i have ,


ARE WE GOING TO BE LIVING IN THE CELLAR NEXT YEAR ?

THE ,ANSWER...

IS ,YES ,,,,,,,,,,,

ALoco......since you already have the answer, it really isn't a question then, is it ?

BUSTER.. I KNOW,BUT I LIKE TO OPEN A SUBJECT NEAR AND DEAR TOMY HEART.....

THE
CELLAR ..............WITH NO WINDOWS...


Aha...so you enjoy being in dark places I gather?

YG.........


SEEMS LIKE MR.ODIN DOESN'T LIKE YOUR GUTS ....HE SPOKE ILL OF YOU YESTERDAY

BUSTER......

ARE YOU STARTING TO WRITE THE WAY I WRITE AND STEAL MY STYLE LIKE THE PHONY KRIS ?

To all Haters and Bellicheat too.

And that health scare contributed to Jamar Taylor sliding into the Dolphins’ lap at No. 54 in the draft.

According to a source, here’s the behind-the-scenes story that played out with Miami’s second-round pick: Taylor has had high blood pressure since high school. He was placed on medication that has serious side effects for some, especially black males.

The medication damaged his kidneys. Anti-inflammatories made matters worse. When he was tested at the Combine in February, his kidneys were functioning at 42 percent efficiency, alarming both Taylor and NFL teams.

When Taylor had a biopsy, it was determined the blood pressure medication was causing the problem, and there was no pre-existing kidney condition. So he was placed on new blood pressure medication and told not to take anti-inflammatories.

His kidneys were left with scar tissue, but doctors expect their operating efficiency to improve. He’ll have another test in a few months.

This was explained to teams, but several picking between 25 and 45 nevertheless voiced concern about his kidneys in deciding to pass on a player many considered a first-round talent.

So at 54, the Dolphins came away with “good value” and a likely starter, as Mel Kiper said. And more importantly, as a friend of Taylor said, “the Combine helped him from needing a kidney transplant in 10 years.”

-Barry Jackson-

He spoke ill of my guts...really !!! You're not just trying to get me riled up now, are you? Because regardless of what is said, it really doesn't count unless i'm around to hear it. And even then, I usually dismiss it out of hand. I generally don't emote.

It certainly hasn't been a boring off season so far. It seems like every addition has come staggered, after some waiting and pondering by both us fans and the the team.

We waited to see which WR they would sign in free agency. We pondered on who it should be for several weeks and as soon as free agency opened we found out it was Wallace.

Then came Ellerbe and Wheeler. Then Keller and then Grimes with a few others in between.

Now were waiting to find out about the OT. Before you know it, it will be July and training camp.

Not boring at all when you think about how last year went. Midway through the season I was still saying "we're seriously not gonna sign any wr's".

ALoco...how could I possibly imitate the way you write...I'd have to be as smart as you for that, and we both know that's absurd.

BUSTER,


PLEASE READ YOUR POST @ 6;01 PM.AGAIN ........

I WON'T SAY ANY MORE ...

Hey Odin

Ran into your hottie on the corner. Nice person, maybe needs some dental work and laser surgery, but I did give her 5 bucks to get nice hot egg breakfast at Denny's.
Maybe you can give her a bath before sending her back to the street?

And I apologize..I now see you were addressing YG with the Odin comment...my bad...

Yah..ALoco..I misread it...sorry cuz

BUSTER, YOU CAN STEAL MY STYLE OF WRITING...

I AM GIVING YOU THE PASS .....LIKE THE PHONY KRIS...

I'm not so sure that Ireland wants to make a move on LT or RT until teams have to trim their rosters and teams that drafted elite Tackles release the veterans they have on their rosters. The Dolphins can go with a stronger Martin @ LT, a trimmer Jerry at RT and they have Incognito, Thomas, Louis and Garner to fill the remaining Guard positions. Like it or not this regime may feel confident in what they have while fans on this blog may not agree.

Say what u will bottom line is there is a hole that needs to b filled either a LT or a RT with Martin taking the blindside. I do not care who it is as long as it works lol!

(( CONFIDENT )).......................


MY,AZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

ALoco...I really don't write like you at all. You use CAPITAL LETTERS ALL THE TIME and i don't....

BUSTER ....PEACE...........

LET'S TALK ILL ABOUT ODIN AND PHINS 78 .

OK Peace....but I'll pass on the suggestion....

BUSTER,

ARE YOU SAYING ,WE NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT TONIGHT ?

OH no...just saying I don't want to speak ill of anyone. You and I are not that depraved yet, are we?

CAN WE TALK NICE ABOUT THE DEVIL,DASHI ..?

Now..you realize that a positive response to that is a denegration in itself, right? So I respectfully must decline....

BUSTER,

DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL ?


YOU R VERY SMART..

lolololol....

YG4E,

I also read the Pro Football Focus article about how LT and RT are both equally important today and that teams over-investing in LT over RT may not be the best options according to the stats.

It's a good read and nice post by you to mention it.

It appears McKinnie may be out of the loop. The Chargers have made him an offer.

that article on tackles was posted weeks ago a couple of times. yesterdick now posts it like he found something.

Filling holes with cheap one or two year stopgaps is what good teams do. Example: Patriots. It's relatively cheap and keeps the team competitive at its weakest positions. Parcells philosophy on the matter with the Phins was retarded.

Bubba boot lip lol! ALoco is a IDIOT DA!

Bubba boot lip DID U GO TO SCHOOL? YOU KNOW ALL U HAVE TO DO IS PUSH THE.CAPS BOTTOM AND ALL THESE CAPS GO AWAY DA!

We don't need a tackle. Martin will be great with a full offseason of training. He'd have gone top 10 in this draft. Higher than Lane Johnson.

We're good.

Ready to WIN!

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