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Handful of starting jobs still wide open

The Dolphins begin their fourth week of training camp and will prepare for their third preseason game this week but there are still issues as fundamental as picking starting personnel at a handful of positions that need settling.

The club has yet to fully decide on a starting running back, starting right guard, starting defensive tackle next to Paul Soliai, starting cornerback opposite Brent Grimes, and perhaps even starting defensive end opposite Cameron Wake.

At running back, it's obvious Lamar Miller is the presumed starter but he hasn't exactly wowed yet, despite enormous potential to do so. The fact is he had the tough moment fumbling against Dallas and didn't really do much in carrying two times for 6 yards against Jacksonville.

Daniel Thomas, who has been given a smaller share of first-team snaps in practice, has avoided the turnover but also hasn't impressed in two games. Thus, we've got a no-decision so far.

Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman today said the competition is "pretty close."

At right guard, it seemed as if Josh Samuda had established himself as the favorite once John Jerry went down with a knee injury. Multiple players inlcuding Samuda were tried as part of the guard competition. But Samuda, who has started two games at the position, struggled against Jacksonville, giving up a sack and showing poor technique on another play. So he regressed somewhat.

That means the job is wide open again. Coach Joe Philbin said today that Nate Garner is "absolutely in the competition" for the starting job. Lance Louis has a chance as well, although he has yet to play in the preseason despite practicing. Louis is recovering from offseason knee surgery.

Best case scenario for the Dolphins is Jerry gets back to work this week and plays in two weeks. And he's in shape. And plays well.

Yeah, all that could happen.

Oh boy.

The kicking job is obviously open. Rookie Caleb Sturgis was brought in to replace veteran Dan Carpenter and after getting off to a slow start, has picked things up lately. He connected on a 58 yard field goal against Jacksonville, booted every one of his six kickoffs into the end zone and got four touchbacks for the trouble.

Message sent.

Do not be surprised if the Dolphins start shopping the loser of this competition in trade as both are actually kicking well this camp.

The cornerback job opposite Brent Grimes is being decided between Richard Marshall and Dimitri Patterson. Want a darkhorse?

Rookie Will Davis continues to make plays and although he is "inconsistent," according to coaches. He is seemingly always around the ball. He had an interception against Jacksonville and another against Dallas. Yes, he also had a PI against Dallas in the end zone, but picks are valuable commodities.

The competition for a starting job between Randy Starks and Jared Odrick was supposed to be a slugfest. Starks, however, has been battling a knee injury for over a week so he's not been in the battle. Odrick is the guy right now but if Starks gets back this week or next, the competition will resume.

Either way, the Dolphins plan to alternate DTs. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has said he has two starters at that position although it is obvious only one player plays the opening snap. The two players are good at different things so the job may alternate depending on the offense they face.

Everyone assumes the left defensive end job belongs to Olivier Vernon. Well, yes, he's making it hard to think otherwise. He's practicing well and there's nothing about his play against Jacksonville (only game he's been in) that suggested regression.

But ...

Rookie Dion Jordan is being groomed for that spot. The team wants him pushing Vernon. The team wants him to be good enough to be a three-down player. If he doesn't win the job, well, that's life and he can be used as a passing-down specialist. But that decision has not been made yet.

So that job, like the others, is still open. 

Comments

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I'm neither mentally retarded nor a troll!

And, you're probably not allowed within 500 feet of a school zone....

According to the DSM-5, the proper terminology to use would be "intellectually disabled". The words "mentally retarded" are no longer used.

Do you know what you get when you cross a troll with a pig?

Nothing! Because there's some things even a pig won't do!

4 TDs 395 Yds

A good move would be to cancel this blog because the crazy folks have use it for there personal messages and nothing about the Dolphins. Bill

Predictions:

Daniel Thomas will be traded for picks
Randy Stark will be traded for an OG
Dan Carpenter will be traded for a pick
Patterson will be cut

yeah, Starks was franchised but the only reason he's battling for the starting spot is because he's been hurt.....dude is good but its football, it happens--Lance Louis is probably the best guard talent wise, but he's still on the mend, as is Jerry--one of them will start--half of you clowns act like Miami is the only team dealing with some of these issues but nearly every team has these issues, or similar ones--this is a deeper, younger and more talented roster than we've had for years.....FA pickups look good--getting there.

The people who use this blog would be better off being dried, ground, and used as fertilizer. Such a useless existence they lead.

This whole thing here is truly pathetic. One has to question seriously the leadership of the Herald.

D Thomas will be cut.

do we really need to keep a roster spot for Devlin, or any 3rd string QB?--have an emergency QB or use/practice the wildcat a little, and use it if needed.....would much rather have that spot for another decent young player where we have some depth, instead of cutting them or putting them on the practice squad......while keeping a 3rd string QB that will never/rarely play

benz, I admire your courage in showing your stupidity. Go to bed now.

I'm expecting that Carpenter will be traded. D. Thomas is on the bubble. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Miami carry 4 Running Backs this year (and Thigpen may be considered a WR instead of a RB). Miller makes the roster. The coaches seem to love D. Thomas for some reason. Gray has shown enough to deserve a spot in my opinion. And, Gillisleewas drafted (and he's shown enough to at least make the Practice Squad if not the 53-man roster). Gray & Gillislee need to show something on Special Teams. That would solidify their spot on the roster. Philbin is looking for backs that can do it all; run, block, catch and Special Team duty if necessary.

So far, Miami has scored 47 points in 2 preseason games! That's improvement...

D Thomas will win the starting job.


He blocks better than Miller.

He has better hands than Miller.

He pounds better than Miller.

D Thomas will win the starting job.


He blocks better than Miller.

He has better hands than Miller.

He pounds better than Miller.

Posted by: sabe | August 11, 2013 at 11:32 PM

I believe there is a strong possibility this happens. Thomas looked really good running against JAX. He showed good speed and change of direction. More importantly, Tannehill seemed to have more time to pass when he was in the backfield.


My prediction is that we trade Moore and move Devlin up to 2nd string.

IMO, he fits the system better, takes better care of the football and is more decisive than Moore is.

They just gave Moore a 2 mil contract for a reason. Good backup QB's are a luxury that few teams have. Let's say we are in the playoff hunt and RT goes down. Who do you want going in - the very experienced Moore or Devlin with no starting experience at all?

Devlin has no shot at #2 this year. Maybe, maybe next year...only if he can prove he is better than Moore. So far, too different coaching staffs have deemed Moore better than Devlin.

Moore has the lockerroom won over. They love him. If they trade Moore, it would only be for a high value pick. Most of the top teams don't have a back up as good as Moore.

Some of you fail to grasp the concept of BUILDING a team. That doesn't mean trade away every expendable good player. Even if you get a high pick there is risk that player won't work out as well.

Building a team means keeping your best players, starters and backups. Moore is easily in the top 5 back up QBs.

we might win two games this year

Who Joe, the Pats?

we might win two games this year

Posted by: boston joe | August 12, 2013 at 12:20 AM

I have to disagree Joe. The Patriots will win at least 9 games unless something happens to Brady.


What ever happended to Kitty Carlisle day?

Posted by: Juanita | August 11, 2013 at 09:32 PM

************************************

Hello Juanita!

This is Kitty Carlisle speaking to you from the afterlife. Things are going swimmingly here and I just shared a vodka tonic with Richard Nixon and Dean Martin. Tomorrow, I'm going cloud surfing with Harry Houdini and Princess Diana.

I'd ask you to come and join us but that would require your death, and that can wait!

Until then, toodles!

4TDs 397 yds

meensy teensy weensy

Serious decisions to come, August 27th, cut down to 75, August 31st cut to 53....who is getting cut? Why aren't we discussing it?

I can't see Dallas Thomas being on the bubble. I understand the coaches have been experimenting with the Oline but DT is a guard in the NFL, not a tackle IMO. They must still be hoping he can be Incognito's replacement next season and am sure they will persevere with him for as long as possible.

As long as Sturgis doesn't regress he has the kicking job won. That 58 yarder was straight through the middle of the posts. Wonder if Tampa would want to trade a pick for Carpenter.

As for RB, Miller is the man. I don't see Thomas being able to play a full season, and would still not be surprised if he get's cut at some point. He has been OK so far, but not as far ahead as he need's to be of Gilleslee and Gray.

...Who is going to trade for Carpenter? IMO this is a pipe dream. First off what team is going to take on his contract? Why would they when if they just waited(assuming he does in fact lose the job here) the cost would be much less? When was the last time you remember a kicker being traded for draft picks, or in fact at all? (without Google)

I've never seen a RB worse then D Thomas.

L.Miller is the starting RB. He has been getting most of the #1 Reps for a long time. It would be a huge waste of time making D.Thomas the Starter.

There is a Competition for RB. Like there is a Competition at QB and Almost Every position on the Team. The Competition is for #2. The only competition for #1 is Kicker, and that's because we can only carry one.. The way it looks and if Ireland has his way. Sturgis is the Kicker.

D.Thomas, Gray, and Gillislee are competing for #2 carries.

I say Gray is looking like the best #2 right now.

This is D.Thomas last year. I don't think the Fins will resign him.

Let Reggie Bush leave but keep D Thomas? WTF??

..Lamar Miller is definitely the starter for now. He is the guy the team is hinging its bets on as far as top dog. The hiccup here. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point this season that another back gets the bulk of the carries for awhile. What I mean is that it is quite possible that Miller struggles, and he loses his right to carry the mail for a bit.

What I could also see(in this scenario)is that Miller works his way back into the fold and earns the trust back to be the feature guy.

A lot of ifs and buts. And hopefully Miller comes into his own, has a great year, and there is no shuffling. What Sherman said yesterday that the team was still looking for a back that can do it all is alarming to me. He didn't prop up Miller, he didn't say that any one back had separated himself from the others. Now I understand this is coach speak, and the group of backs are young. Perhaps this was just a motivational quote, perhaps it was nothing. IMO..Perhaps we all over rated Miller at this point in his career. Perhaps he isn't ready to be the man, or developed as far as the team hoped.

Hey Darryl, 99.9% of the time I would agree about teams not trading for a kicker. However with Tampa having lost Barth for the season in July, and depending on Tynes and a guy I haven't even heard off may they jump the gun and not wait.

To be honest the most important thing for me is that Sturgis is more than holding his own, and that 58 yarder was huge as far as the competition is concerned. Always nice when you can show how strong your leg is, in a game as opposed to practice.

...Think about C.J. Spiller. He was a first round pick that took a few years to get it. Spiller, and Miller are similar to me. I know Spiller was a much higher pick, had much more ballyhoo. But both are lightning waiting to strike. Both had issues blocking that kept them off the field their rookie years. Spiller took a couple years to figure it out. Now he is the best back in the division. Miller may be a guy that takes a bit to "come around"..

Still, IMO the Phins did the right thing here. Like Spiller. Miller has the goods. He just has to put it together. We have the opportunity to be much more dynamic if he can.

Just read this morning that MIller is averaging 6.8 YPC this preseason. I guess that's not doing much??? Don't believe the coachspeak, Miller is the starter, Sherman is just keeping him in check.

DE, That's Vernon's job at least to start the season. Jordan will come on strong.

RG, love or hate him we all see this preseason how much Jerry is than his backups right now.

CB, that's Patterson's job. Will Davis will come on strong, Carroll holding his own and looks better. Marshall may be on the outs but he's a Philbin fave. regardless, we have pretty good depth there all of a sudden. jamar Taylor needs to step it up or he will quickly find himself redshirted this year.

DT, Odrick's job as I said it should be last offseason and why I biatched and whined about the team paying Starks. That's a lot fo money for a 3rd DT. Should've given that money to Long.

Sturgis made sure Carpenter will have to pack his bags on Friday.

C.J. Spiller was great from day 1. Miller is not in the same class.

As far as John Jerry goes he has not been able to get on the filed the past 2 seasons. Now our season is riding on Jerry's ability to bail out the OL?

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | August 11, 2013 at 04:42 PM

Stop exposing yourself. You are the fraud if you want anyone to believe you know what you are talking about. John Jerry played more snaps last year than any other offensive player. Couldn't get on the feild??? Try again

There will be plenty of reps for the #2 RB on this team. Probably about 125. #2 RB is an important job.

John Jerry has no business on any decent team. He
is just terrible.

LMAO!

IT'S THE QB STUPID.

Mark, it was Jacksonville!! Dont get your panties in a bunch! LOL!

I honestly thought Jerry would be gone this offseason, shows how much I know. I am somewhat bemused by the slow pace of Lance Louis' return, I was hoping he would be ready earlier than this. We are seeming to be very cautious with injured players this offseason, giving them much more time to recover.

@ 9:03, he had ACL surgery in November, that's only like 9 months or so??? It's still early for him. He still may contribute at some point but starter to start the season is maybe asking a bit much.

Cant the canadien find a canadien blog?

YG, I watched the game again and your wrong about the Tannehill TD pass to Keller, Keller was not breaking open across the field and Tannehill put it the only spot he could a liitle behind and low, it was a wonderful catch by Keller, I'll bet 100 Fasnano couldnt make that grab.

i mixxed the 1st 3 series on o 4 thenne,
soooooooooooo it was,
3+ out punt
3 + out punt
3 + out punt huh.?
lol

Anyone worried if the Dolphins cut Carpenter, that Stargis will have to make some clutch kicks as a ROOKIE. Pressure might eat him alive or not

Truth,
If the win/loss will only affect the post-season status of our opponent then is it still a clutch kick?

Are the posters here with their disparate opinions on Football representative of the inhabitants of Miami? If so we educated in Football and otherwise so here are lost. Not that the SS MOB was any better regarding Football knowledge but at least they were less vulgar in their commentaries. There must be a Miami Dolphins Blog for more Educated Fans. I am beginning to come to the conclusion that My Friend Ralph was right when he told me many times, You don't belong with those people, Oscar.

2 watt, Tannehill played pretty well but the o line was probably the black eye on the team. They allowed a pretty poor pass rush to get consistent pressure on the qb to end drives early. And for once J. Martin had nothing to do with it. First Samuda, then Clabo.

oscar,
I'm sure Miller will be the primary back all season because no one else a)is as good and b) seems to want the job.

They play NFL games in Canada retard, so this is by extension a Canadian blog. Our own Miami Dolphins have played a regular season NFL game in my own city if you need reminding.

Don't worry, i will leave gay Miami lifestyle blog to you - I won't post there - promise.

EFT, no, doesnt matter the oponents win/loss records

It looks as if I am less worried about the OL than many.

Martin is slowly getting better and better and has definitely improved from the start of training when he was even making me nervous. Incognito and Pouncey are solid at LG and C with Pouncey being the leader of the group. RG will be Jerry / Louis (depending on when he gets back fully fit). Then it ends with Clabo at RT who will be solid.

That to me isn't that bad an OL, and would be better than many. Add to that the fact with Garner who is a jack of all trades and I find it easier to believe the struggles will soon be forgotten.

Last night I had a dream that everyone in here ignored posters like YG,ETF,2WATT,SHULA 73, NAT MOORE and a few others. It was great and the blog cleaned right up. Then I read the comments section in here today, now I'm sad.

wow, dream 'bout blogs,
talk 'bout no life.
lol

get some fresh air and pull that foam finger out of ya axx.
lol

@9:05, thanks for that Mark, that would explain why he is still not up to full speed yet. Would be good to get him fully fit asap as he will be a decent option at RG.

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