Friday, August 13, 2010

Training Camp Tin Bits - August 13th, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone.  This is my last blog entry in the great State of California.  As of tomorrow I'll be in the much greener (in more ways than one) State of Oregon and while the Dolphins are playing their first pre-season game I'll be engaged in the act of moving so I'll miss the whole thing.  I will do my best to continue blogging once my internet is hooked up but I'm bound to be busy with the things you get busy with when you pack up your house and move to another State.  One thing I will do is put up a chat box for use during the game.  FinFan13, you'll have the run of the place if you like, you won't have me there to disagree with everything you type and vice versa.

Now, onto the Tin Bits:

Today we'll look at the following positions: OL, DL and RB.
  • Our Offensive Line is as deep as its probably ever been in Dolphins history, at least on paper.  But to be honest, it will be impossible to know what we have until we see them line up in a game.  The interior line is so crowded right now it's going to be hard to choose.  One thing's for sure - John Jerry is making the 53.  I don't think he'll be starting, but I would expect him to be poached if he was placed on the practice squad, so they'll use up a roster spot on him.  Jake Grove is our best run-blocker inside by far, but Joe Berger is more well-rounded and the team really wants to throw the ball more so a good run and pass blocker is probably going to win out versus even a great run blocker.  If Grove hasn't improved his pass-blocking and is even mildly hobbled at the end of the pre-season, I'd suspect the Dolphins will trade him.  However, if he's healthy and serviceable in the pass game, I'd expect him to win the job hands down.  In any event, it's going into year 3 of Jake Long's career and aren't we all still loving that draft pick?  I suspect the Dolphins will keep 9 offensive linesmen, and my guesses are:  Jake Long, Vernon Carey, Jake Grove, Donald Thomas, Richie Incognito, Joe Berger, Nate Garner, John Jerry, and Cory Proctor.  I also guess the practice squad would include Lydon Murtha and Andrew Gardner.
  • The Defensive Line lost Philip Merling for the year and had some indecision with Jason Ferguson coming and going, but ultimately I don't expect there to be any issues during the season here.  Kendall Langford, Randy Starks and Jared Odrick/Charles Grant is a pretty good line.  In fact, those players are all pass-rushers by nature, so expect Mike Nolan to use the D-line differently than the way they have been the previous two years, when fans expressed great disappointment the last two years in the lack of pressure applied to opposing QBs.  In fact, even though much is being made of the strategy in the media, I fully expect the opponents to be confused regularly by the constant pressure from all over the line.  It should help keep the Defense fresher, especially the WOLB if he doesn't have to rush up field on every play.  My guess here is 7 defensive linemen: Langford, Starks, Odrick, Grant, Soliai, McDaniel, and Ryan Baker. Practice squadder - Vince Oghobaase or Travis Ivey.
  • The running back situation was a bit messy when Kory Sheets was pushing for a spot but now that he's injured, the picture is pretty clear for 2010 but could be very different a year from now.  Still, this position is one of strength for this team, and hardly merits discussing at this time.  On the 53:  Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Lousaka Polite, Patrick Cobbs, Lex Hilliard.  Practice squad - Maybe the PS games will change my mind, but I don't think we'll keep anyone.  Hilliard and Cobbs are both capable backups if there are any injuries and a stopgap could be brought in during the season if times get desperate.  

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