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Benton honest in discussing tough task

The Dolphins offensive line is a handful of practices into what must be a painful, arduous and fast process of growing up.

New from tackle to tackle for the start of the regular season, this unit doesn't just have to find the right five players but then get those players to come together and work with one heartbeat.

"Call it gel, call it what you will," Benton said Tuesday. "We have to quickly evaluate who's going to be playing where ... exactly ... and how much. And get them together as much as possible because there really is something to the gel thing, communication and one guy knowing what the other guy's is going to do. That's going to be vital for us."

The problem with that?

The Dolphins don't really know who their starting five are just yet. Yes, left tackle Branden Albert is a given. But that's it, really.

Daryn Colledge may be the best left guard on the roster ... or he might not.

Shelley Smith might be best suited to start at center ... or perhaps he goes to left guard.

Dallas Thomas is starting at right guard now but he's in competition with Billy Turner.

And rookie Ja'Wuan James seems the most likely right tackle. But he has yet to take a snap in anger so let's not go crazy.

The point is the Dolphins coaching staff has to let this competition play out. But time is short.

"I think it's a little early but by the end of this week, definitely through the first preseason game, we got cut down some of the competition," Benton said. "Heading into the second one we've got to be down to one or two. And then after that it's got to be we've got to be ready to play opening week."

According to that timetable, the Dolphins have three more weeks to get competitions sorted out before the starting unit faces the Dallas Cowboys in the Aug. 23 preseason game.

One position where the Dolphins seem unsure is the center position. That's the curveball in that everyone in the organization expected to add four new offensive line starters for this camp. But five?

No. No one.

Then starting center Mike Pouncey injured his hip and had surgery that will cost him anywhere from 4-7 games.

So Smith, who was signed as a left guard, is at center. He's never played center in an NFL game.

Is Benton clear whether Smith will be able to play well?

"It's unclear in the sense that there's a lot unclear until we get to that first game," Benton said. "I think we'll know a lot after that first preseason game. I'm optimistic. To say confident is probably a little stretch."

Benton is unable to predict the future. But his level of expectation -- that which he's aiming for -- does not change.

"We're going to fully expect to be quality," he said of his line. "Striving to be the best in the league. That doesn't change whatever the situation is. I feel we've got the talent. it's how fast we come together, how hard we work."

The Dolphins open the season against a Bill Belichick defense. The second game of the season is against Buffalo, which matches that team's strength (the front seven) against the Dolphins line. That a tough assignment the first two games out of the gate. 

Has Benton ever seen a team gel that fast?

"Sure, sure," he said. "I've been around and I've come out thinking we're inexperienced and we've come out hot and faded away as the season goes on. There's just so many factors it's impossible to tell. Obviously, is that an issue? Yes, it is an issue. We've got to get together quickly. Will it be 100 percent refined? No, but we're going to have a heck of a game plan for what we do and they're going to understand it. That's how we've got to approach it week to week and, really, day to day at this point."

Comments

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still need
a qb

Armando
stellar scouting
as usual btw

Better be careful, honesty can get you fired in the Dolphins organization.

still need
a C

2 watt
still need
a bang

Maui is
nice
..
.
lol

Sounds like Mando was drinking mojitos out of a flask with the Cuban janitor in the parking lot instead of watching practice.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | July 29, 2014 at 01:26 PM

I guess he is still in furlow mode. Let's hope he works as hard to improve at his job as the Dolphins Oline is.

benton > turner
+
lazor > sherman
=
improved OL performance

The front office did their part. They got a high priced free agent and invested a first round pick on the O-line. Now it's up to the coaches to make it work. It can't be any worse than last year, right?

Maui
Wowi
explains the
scaxxerd brain

lol

lol

Posted by: The Woodshed Gang | July 29, 2014 at 01:47 PM

The first preseason game will tell us a lot about this o-line, it did last year, it was real bad.

it's
only practice
preseason's
not important
.
lol

true story. 2 watt wanted to be an astrophysicist. so he stared taking bath salts mixed with meth so he could be closer to the stars. That's why he learned and speaks Klingon.

Don't know anything about the players and positions yet on that line.

Do KNOW they have a better OL coach this year.

Thank god we have a good QB, or maybe we shouldnt. Without Tanny we would have o0nly had 3 wins last year.

Got to get this o-line straight.

I don't trust any Olineman with no eyebrows. He might not get angry enough.

Man the Fins should of really taking a chance on Seantrel Henderson I mean 6'7 330 you cant teach that size if he fails drug tests and all that just cut him. He killing it in Bills camp now...

I just dont get the Fins FO sometimes

LT 74 Wade Smith
LG 66 Jamie Nails
C 61 Tim Ruddy
RG 75 Todd Perry
RT 71 Todd Wade

TIM RUDDY!!!

and
counting
no sbs since 73
no qb since 98
no oline since 03
.
lol

Whewww am I glad I cancelled Sunday Ticket!!! No pain for me on Sundays this year

rw
ran for 7000 yds
behind that ol
duhty
.
lol

Posted by: ericatl
.
lol

So Omar falls in love with a UDFA every year and it seems to be Damien Williams. Be nice if he pans out.

does anybody need some?

Posted by: ericatl | July 29, 2014 at 01:59 PM

What you gonna do instead? I suggest knitting.

Hate Sunday Ticket. Really like it if it was just pay per view available on anything. Don't think I'd have a second thought dropping $5-20 to watch the game at home.

Posted by: CommonSense | July 29, 2014 at 02:07 PM

That's exactly why they don't do it that way' got to fill the seats.

ETF, he can't control who he's amtched up against. And I would hope our tackles would be the strongest part of our line since they are two #1 picks with one making a lot of bread to boot.

But point is the guy has been impactful and game changing when he's got the chance... so let's stop stapling him to the bench for 75% of the game.

Dallas Thomas (beefed up and playing his more natural position at guard) can be a top talent at right guard. The rookie is clearly going to start at right tackle and have ups and downs all season long like any rookie at that position does. Whoever starts at center is a temp player until Pouncey returns (of course). Colledge has a massive amount of starting experience (including every game last year in Arizona) at left guard at will do good work here in Miami this season. So to suggest their is any question about him being the starting left guard is a stretch when compared to the other options on the team. And of course, Albert is the man for the next 3-4 seasons (at least) at left tackle. So what's the problem here? They need to "gel"? Okay you have 4 preseason games and a ton of remaining practices. This is a massive upgrade from last years horrific line. Plus, we actually have a little depth along the line with some quality back ups. But don't mistake depth for confusion about who should be starting. The 2nd year guy at RG, the rookie at RT, the high priced free agent addition at LT and the highly experienced RG are all set! So just figure out who your "temp" center is (just don't mess with those other four starting spots to find him!!!!). We are actually now and finally set at four of the offensive line positions for the next several seasons!! Just need to add a young and talented left guard next draft/free agency period and the Dolphins will have one of the youngest and most promising offensive lines in the league assuming Thomas and James "are who we thought they are" (hat tip to Dennis Green their). Maybe you move on from Pouncey after this season as well as he will become an expensive cap hold very quickly. But center (in spite of Armando's apparent panic about the position while Pouncey is out) is not the most difficult position in football to fill especially when you have four quality linemen surrounding him.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | July 29, 2014 at 02:08 PM

Coyle doesn't know how to bring pressure effectively, we saw it all last season. He also play calls way too passive, this defense was built to rush the passer.

A Regular here @ 1:56

Let me explain the FO to you.
Jeff Ireland brought in enough talent to get to the postseason but the team choked down the stretch so Ireland took the fall. As we speak Jeff Ireland is still getting paid by the Phins >$1mil/year.

The team floated some big name GMs but they were interested in the job. Stephen Ross announced that there was no timetable the most important thing was finding the best GM no matter how long it took. Then the team brought in some medium names for interviews and none of the 'Finalists' wanted to come back for a second interview. At that point they called the 'non-finalists' and starting begging them to take the job - enter Dennis Hickey.
Dennis Hickey spend his career as the backup GM in Tampa. He has spent the offseason bringing in what he knows best: career backups.
And here we are.

Posted by: Phinfan72 | July 29, 2014 at 02:09 PM

The snaps are being muffed and no idea how well the line adjustments are going. You have a positive outlook,that's good but right now it's:

LT - Pro Bowler (back issues, no one to replace him if injured)
LG - Veteran new to team (maybe on down turn?)
C - First time starter (first time center)
RG - First time starter (bad as rookie)
RT - Rookie (unproven)

This o-line is in no way a slam dunk better than last year.

"So what's the problem here?"
- Phinfan72 @ 2:09

The problem here is that if all of these guys were here in addition to Martin/Jerry/Incogs then Martin/Jerry/Incogs would be the starters.
Albert is a legit starting LT, but none of these other scrubs are with the possible exception of Dallas Thomas who has not been in the NFL long enough to be called a 'career backup' yet.

Aqib Talib
Gerald McCoy
Doug Martin
Mike Evans

All fine starters for the Tampa Bay Bucs. I have no problem letting Hickey earn his stripes.

Ryan Tannehill, worst starting QB in football?

After the year the OL had last year, I would not want to start the season with a first time center. It's not like for 1 or 2 games. This is for half the season likely. I'd rather get Satele who's proven he can snap the ball without constant errors.

Daroak, not going to get any argument from me there...

ETF, I think Colledge would beat out Incognito ... Dallas would have at least pushed Jerry in camp this year if not knocked him out. jerry was talented but has a sense of ownership to the position and never realized his natural talents. But C, RT will have their problems it appears.

Agreed on Satele, DC. He may still get here.

Ponder, Bradford, Flacco, Glennon, Cassel, Palmer, Smith, Henne, Manuel

I think these guys qualify for worst starting QB in NFL based on last years stats.

Posted by: NHFinsFan | July 29, 2014 at 02:38 PM


You have zero credibility when you mention Flacco in that category.

Seantrel Henderson instead of Juwann James is a no brainer....

Henne > Tannehill

statistically Tannehill had a better year than Flacco and that is fact.
I was just responding to an earlier post staying Thill is the worst QB in the NFL.

My buddy (G-Men fan) in CT, says Jerry looks like a pile of turd so far. COGS,who the heck knows who he's picking on now. And Martin is just enjoying bath houses in SF.
So good riddance to all of them and whatever 5 start against Pats will be a huge improvement.
BTW notice how my lawsuit has been swept under the rug.

You have zero credibility when you mention Flacco in that category.

Posted by: A Regular

You have zero credibility regardless

Joe Flacco ia a top 8 QB in the league, period.

NH,
Hickey was not involved in bringing in the starters that you mentioned, that was the starting GM that did that.
Hickey is the guy that traded back in the draft to get an extra 7th rounder and then he spent that on a player from Marist.

If you want to pretend that that this is a fine OL that we have here then have at it - I hope it works out for you.

Henne>Flacco

Fcker... you can't have it both ways:
Hickey drafts back ups
Hickey was not involved in drafting quality starters while at TB

He got left a pile of crap and has been doing the best he can to clean it up.

Hickey was Dolphin choice #43. lol

MIT,
If Colledge is still so good then why did no one sign him before last week?

Better yet go to the sight that ranks all of the OL from last season and see where they all ranked.

I like the player from Marist. Didn't know him going into the draft but after a couple of years in the program he can turn into someone. he's going to be learning from some top dudes.

It's the early picks that got me worried, particularly the first since it looks like Landry will outperform his measureables and severly buck the trend.

Vegas, sometimes things work out for the best. Like your girlfriend... She probably picked you after her number 1, 2 & 3 choices all walked out. But now you're sporting some nice arm candy and think you're da bomb.

A better analogy is Tom Brady getting picked #199, you never know.

ETF, because he's 32 and people generally don't hand starting gigs to 32 year old guards. I don't like his odds of standing up over a full season but here he won;t need to - most likely. If he can get us to the halfwya point - we should have the interior line depth to not need to play him.

Also other teams continually draft to replenish their o line depth. Not us, or we just miss on too many o linemen. Man, these guys are the easiest to draft too, don't understand why it's never a team strength.

NH,
My recollection is that Hickey was the backup GM in Tampa for 20 years. During that time Tampa hired several GMs and Hickey was never one of them.
The backup GM makes the coffee for the starting GM and takes the calls that the starting GM doesn't want.
The backup GM scouts the players that will not be drafted and signs the guys off the street.
The backup GM does not Draft, talk to the star players or negotiate with their agents.
That description is 100% consistent with what he's done here from day 1.

And it's not just the OL that's worse, the D is worse also (see Mitchell, Delmas and Flannagan)

FLACCO HAS ALREADY WON MORE POSTSEASON GAMES

Than Marino ever did.

FLACCO AND MARINO EACH PLAYED IN 1 SUPER BOWL

Marino cried on camera after his SB.

How many seasons above .500 does Flacco have without Ray Lewis leading him?

Suggs is already complaining that Flacco can't lead.

Flacco is the E.Spoelstra of NFL QBs. The only QB worst than Flacco to win a Superbowl? T.Dilfer.

And what is the common denominator between the two?

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