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Depth chart means nothing with THIS exception

NFL team depth charts mean very little

Got that?

They mean nothing in the preseason when coaches routinely dismiss them and even mock them in private. They mean almost nothing right now, as no team is going to tell an opponent what it plans to do with its lineup in five or six days.

As an example of how little the depth chart means, I submit to you today's Dolphins depth chart. It lists three starting defensive tackles. I assure you Randy Starks, Jared Odrick and Earl Mitchell cannot all start at defensive tackle.

The team also lists Lamar Miller as the starting running back even though I have reported that Knowshon Moreno is Miami's lead back who will get the bulk of the carries while Miller will see a package in which he'll get his fewer carries.

(This is for now. If Miller gets hot, things can change).

But ...

There are instances when the depth chart proves valuable and that today is at the kick return and punt return positions. The Dolphins list rookie Jarvis Landry as the kickoff and punt returner. He obviously replaces Marcus Thigpen who filled those duties the past two years but was cut last week.

Landry thus will be active on Sundays, meaning the Dolphins may go to games with all five receivers active. (Rishard Matthews plays on special teams and that's how he gets on the game day 46-man roster).

This is a big deal because the Dolphins are trusting a rookie in his first game against a division opponent to, well, not screw up back there.

Also, five wide receivers active is a lot. Maybe Matthews is on the gameday bubble as he did miss a block on a punt in the preseason and that led to a blocked punt (It was nullified by a penalty but it still earned Matthews a stern talking-to from special teams coach Darren Rizzi).

Landry and right tackle Ja'Wuan James are two rookie "starters" for the Dolphins.

The Dolphins will have up to 10 new starters on offense and defense in the regular-season opener.

The Depth Chart:


WR 82 Brian Hartline

LT 71 Branden Albert, 75 Nate Garner

LG 67 Daryn Colledge 77 Billy Turner

C 64 Samson Satele, 51 Mike Pouncey

RG 66 Shelley Smith, 63 Dallas Thomas

RT 70 Ja’Wuan James, 74 Jason Fox

TE 42 Charles Clay, 80 Dion Sims, 89 Harold Hoskins

WR 11 Mike Wallace, 18 Rishard Matthews

QB 17 Ryan Tannehill, 8 Matt Moore

RB 26 Lamar Miller, 28 Knowshon Moreno, 34 Damien Williams, 32 Orleans Darkwa

WR 10 Brandon Gibson, 14 Jarvis Landry



LE 91 Cameron Wake, 79 Derrick Shelby

DT 94 Randy Starks/98 Jared Odrick, 76 Anthony Johnson

DT 90 Earl Mitchell

RE 50 Olivier Vernon, 78 Terrence Fede

LB 52 Philip Wheeler, 56 Jonathan Freeny 58 Chris McCain

LB 55 Koa Misi, 93 Jason Trusnik

LB 59 Dannell Ellerbe, 53 Jelani Jenkins, 57 Jordan Tripp

CB 21 Brent Grimes, 22 Jamar Taylor

CB 24 Cortland Finnegan, 29 Will Davis, 37 Sammy Seamster

S 25 Louis Delmas, 31 Michael Thomas

S 27 Jimmy Wilson, 35 Walt Aikens, 33 Brandian Ross



P 2 Brandon Fields

K 9 Caleb Sturgis

KO 9 Caleb Sturgis

H 2 Brandon Fields

KOR 14 Jarvis Landry, 34 Damien Williams, 32 Orleans Darkwa

PR 14 Jarvis Landry, 18 Rishard Matthews, 21 Brent Grimes

LS 92 John Denney