Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pre-Camp Competitions

In order to attempt to tie the upcoming draft in with the ongoing free agency signing period and the all too distant start of the 2009 season, I thought we could look at some head to head competition at some key positions. Despite our improvements of late, there are still a few spots that will likely hold open audition for starting roles as well as the all-too-overlooked second-string.

So, in the comments section, please vote for whomever you’d like, based on talent, contract size, personal bias, whatever. This is simply a warm-up exercise for the final exam in September!

Right Defensive End. It’s almost a lock that Langford will continue to start on the left side after a good start in 2008. He sort of gasped to the finish line whereas Merling started slow and then caught up.

Philip Merling
vs. Randy Starks vs. ROOKIE

Inside Linebacker. While Channing Crowder’s contract suggests he’ll return as a starter, rumour is the Trifecta is looking to replace Akin Ayodele with someone more consistent. Truth is, we don’t have that guy on the team and this position has always been a glaring need, in my opinion. You simply cannot run a 3-4 without solid linebackers at every spot. If you have those 4 guys dialed in, you suddenly have a potential elite defense. They are the key to the defensive front which takes pressure off the secondary and allows them to make plays. So who will it be?

Akin Ayodele
vs. Reggie Torbor vs. ROOKIE

Right Cornerback
. A lot of huffing and puffing occurred when the Dolphins signed Eric Green to replace Goodie, but as usual, the media jumped the gun on this one. They assume that because Jason Allen ended the year back on special teams that the coaches have no confidence in him. Well for those of who have a memory (the media should remember this, they were actually AT the press conferences), Sparano and Pass-the-baloney both love them some Jason Allen. Allen came out of the line-up after breaking his hand (I forget the game…was it Kansas City?). He came back a few games later and had to contend one on one with Randy Moss. Only problem (besides being one-on-one with Moss) is that he couldn’t jam Moss at the line and Moss was able to get separation (especially when he pushed off on the TD in the 4th Q). Why am I making this argument for Allen? Mostly it’s because of my deep-down desire to have two CBs named Allen so the media can have a field day with word-play. But secondly it’s because I believe Jason will be the starting corner come September.

Jason Allen
vs. Eric Green vs. ROOKIE

Tight End. When Anthony Fasano was brought in last year, he was given the throne, crown, sceptre and robe as THE Miami Dolphins tight end. He was electrifying in week one vs. the Jets. I barely remember him for the rest of the year. That's because he couldn't get open and could barely block. He has the physical skills but things were not clicking on all cylinders and he was occasionally outplayed by the 'back-up', David Martin. Meanwhile the Dolphins are shopping hardcore for a tight-end who can block, catch, run, jump, throw, do needlework, and do the multiplication tables. They want someone diverse who can do it all and do it on a high level.

Anthony Fasano
vs. David Martin vs. ROOKIE

Split End. A position primarily played by Greg Camarillo in 2008, everyone from Ginn, Bess, London, Wilford and Chad Pennington (in the wildcat) lined up here. Since Camarillo is likely to not start the season on the active roster, someone else will have to be the STARTING SPLIT END (how scary is that looking at these names?). I would assume (perhaps wrongly) that Ginn would move to from flanker to split end and that Bess/London would share the flanker role. That still scares me. When you actually stop and think about it in depth, I honestly believe the Dolphins will draft a big physical WR on the first day, at least they should.

Davone Bess
vs. Brandon London vs. ROOKIE

Quarterback. Ha, just kidding.

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