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Shelley Smith: Line has potential 'to be really good'

Shelley Smith will be asked to both pass protect and run-block on the Dolphins offensive line -- either at left or right guard, which has not be determined yet -- but make no mistake, Smith loves run blocking over pass blocking.

"For me, a big thing is I try to play hard for a whole sixty minutes," Smith said today. "I try to be consistent with what I do. I'm sure most offensive linemen you'd talk to would say they love run-blocking and I love run-blocking."

Smith is not a certain starter, at least coaches have given him no guarantees. He'll have to earn his spot in a competition. But he's got the added advantage of being a scheme fit, according to the Dolphins.

"We had some knowledge of Shelley through John Benton, our head offensive line coach, who worked with Shelley," said general manager Dennis Hickey. "He had nothing but good things to say about Shelley not only as a player but as a person, which is always important for us. And as we watched the film and say the fit for the scheme we'll be employing under [offensive coordinator] Bill Lazor, we just like the fit."

Hickey noted Smith's "athleticism, his ability to climb to the second level and do a lot of things we're going to ask him to do." Hickey called Smith "an ascending player."

Smith, who visited the Giants and Patriots, said he believed the Dolphins were the best fit for him.

"In the zone blocking scheme, particularly how it was in Houston, they kind of looked for offensive linemen that maybe were more athletic, that can move and open up the holes on the outside zone by stretching out wide," Smith said. "I could fit there a little bit."

The Dolphins have added two offensive lineman so far this offseason after giving up a franchise record and league-leading 58 sacks last year. So far, so good, Smith said.

"There's a lot of potential," he said, "for the line to be really good." 

 

 

 

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