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Training Camp Preview Part 4: Offensive Line

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Miami Dolphin Nation, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Miami Dolphin Nation

    Miami Dolphin Nation New Member

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    The fourth part in Miami Dolphin Nation's training camp preview takes a look at the offensive line. I will spare you of the lag of analyzing every position on the O-line. I know that talk about any position on the offensive line is not as exciting as that of the receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks, but the O-line is just as important. After all what where did Bill Parcells and staff turn to to start the re-building process a year ago. Miami went with Jake Long a left-tackle. They went and got protection for the quarterbacks blind side even before they went after a franchise QB.

    This unit as whole had a very solid year last year protecting Pennington very well all year long and spurring a solid unconventional running attack. However, the one place this unit performed sub-par would be running the ball out of base formations. If you think about how they had some success running, like the wildcat formation (even though people who think this was Miami's main source of offense because of all the high-lights are mistaken, with the Dolphins only really running it about 5 times a game after its huge success against the Pats) and other ways of trying to find some room like handing it to a man motion, faking the pitch and handing off up the gut, and reverse plays.

    The Dolphins were never able to just drop back and pound away at teams. Teams that had dominate running attacks like the Steelers, Titans, and Panthers didn't need any trickery to run all over opposing defenses. Not trying to dis the wildcat of course, because we all love it. I am just pointing out an area that needed some improvement because if you get satisfied and complacent and don't look at ways to improve then you will not stay atop the division for long. Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland obviously had the same thing in mind when they signed Jake Grove and Joe Berger this off-season.

    Maybe some of the problem with not being able to run out of base formations has to do with Chad Pennington being the quarterback and teams being able to stack guys in the box, but the offense line additions made this off-season should improve the running attack whether its the wildcat or the regular old single back formation.

    Projected Depth Chart:

    Offensive Tackles

    Starters:
    LT Jake Long: The Dolphins got exactly what the wanted last season; the anchor for this offensive line that will be there for the next ten plus seasons and he was no bust in his rookie season making the pro bowl. Long became the first number one overall pick to make the pro bowl in his rookie season since 1981. He protected Chad Pennington's blind side well all season long, only giving up 2.5 sacks in his rookie campaign. Expect Jake to continue be the dominate force on this offensive line for years to come.

    RT Vernon Carey: It was a concern headed into the off-season if the Dolphins were going to be able to bring Carey back. However, Miami solidified their right tackle position for the next six years signing Carey to a 6 year 42 milion dollar deal. Carey who was born and raised in Miami and played his college ball for the Hurricanes likely will be able to end his career for his hometown team.


    Guards

    Starters:
    LG Justin Smiley: Was playing very well as the starter in '08, but went down in the St. Louis game with a broken leg. It was never really a question could he have his job back as long he was healthy. Smiley says he is 100 percent and took most of the first-team snaps in the OTA's.

    RG Shawn Murphy: This is probably the only real uncertain on this line. Donald Thomas was going to be the starter here last year before he broke his foot and was going to be the starter again this year but tore his pectoral muscle this off-season and will miss a good portion of camp. Murphy has the role for now and will keep it with a solid camp and pre-season. Last season's starter Ike Ndukwe will have something to say about this however, and could turn it into an intriguing position battle.

    Center
    C Jake Grove: The center position was the position that needed the most improvement on this offensive line, and that's exactly what the Dolphins did bringing in Jake Grove from the Oakland Raiders. Last years starter, Samson Satale, got pushed around at times by bigger nose-tackles. The 6-4 300 pound Grove should put an end to that and if this running game has great improvement this acquisition will get a lot of the credit.
     
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  2. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

    Offensive line is just as exciting as runningbacks, quarterbacks and wide recievers.

    Also a problem was last year it was an entirely new line. Chemistry is very important in new lines.
     
  3. late again

    late again Senior Member

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    I'm with you dupree. I want to read/hear any and all information concerning our OL. Considering it's been a weakness for this team for so many years, it's refreshing not to have to be skeptical about their performance anymore.
    I guess I hadn't heard that Murphy was being penciled in at RG. I had thought they were leaning towards Frye.
    ..doesn't matter..whomever they decide looks best out there is ok with me.
    My fingers are crossed for a healthy season for all 3 interior lineman. If the OL stays healthy we're going to have a scary offense, IMO.
    Pennington might just have an even better year than last because teams will have to respect our running game.
     
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  4. Sippi

    Sippi Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I believe that the Oline overall is more important then some of those positions that you mentioned.
     
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  5. TiP54

    TiP54 Bad Reputation

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    Live from the Internet.
    Oline is THE key to everything.
    Oline is the key to Chad being confortable, and being the precision QB that he is.
    Oline is the key to Ronnie breaking out, the way that fans expect him to.
    Oline is the key to the Wildcat, because if they don't do their job, no matter who direct snaps goes to, and weather its run or pass, will fail.
    Oline is the key to controlling the clock, and sticking to our game plan of wasting time.
     
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  6. MrClean

    MrClean Inglourious Basterd Club Member

    Speak for yourself. To any serious fan the OL should be just as exciting to discuss.

    Unless, perhaps you think we are mostly a bunch of simpletons around here. :wink2:
     
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  7. Fin Fan In Cali

    Fin Fan In Cali Dolphin fan since 1970 Luxury Box

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    Give the brother a break, at least he took the time to put a very good thread together.
     
  8. Fin Fan In Cali

    Fin Fan In Cali Dolphin fan since 1970 Luxury Box

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    I think a real concern is getting someone to back up Smiley and be ready to enter the game, and contribute. I like Smiley but he hasn't been able to stay healthy the last few years.
     
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  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I think he was joking. Not sure, but I think he was.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I agree with Fin Fan In Cali. Depth, to put it better, on the interior is piss poor, IMO. That is why I prayed Miami would draft Max Unger in the second round.
     
  11. the 23rd

    the 23rd a.k.a. Rio

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    I like the trenches as much as any other aspect of football. Nice thread.
    the Orca-5 (however they wind up) will eat defense alive
    I guarantee it!

    bet Thomas returns by training camp
     
  12. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    23rd...you crack me up brother..

    Sometimes when you write stuff i have a visual of you like one of those braveheart dudes with one foot on a rock and a sword in your hand....lol
     
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  13. the 23rd

    the 23rd a.k.a. Rio

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    thank you
     
  14. Fin Fan In Cali

    Fin Fan In Cali Dolphin fan since 1970 Luxury Box

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    I think he was looking up your kilt.:lol:
     
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  15. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    lol.... SSSSstop it Johnny
     
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  16. PhinsRock

    PhinsRock Premium Member Luxury Box

    Another good thread, thanks for the effort. The OL is THE key to winning the game IMHO. You know what they say, games are won or lost in the trenches. I think how our OL comes together, and stays together, will be the key to whether we have another successful season or not.
     
  17. cnc66

    cnc66 wiley veteran, bad spelur Luxury Box

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    Nice MDN... as you can see, the knowledge level here is high enough to recognize the importance of our Oline. Maybe other places you might have to qualify a statement about o line like you did, but not in this group. Some of us salivate over this stuff (like me) and look forward all year to the line breakdowns during camp by some of our great posters. Personally, I am impressed and appreciative that you are knowledgable, speak well and willing to put it out there and take your lumps right out of the box, thanks!
     
  18. MrClean

    MrClean Inglourious Basterd Club Member

    Orca-5? :lol:

    Don't you think this OL should actually accomplish something meaningful, before giving them some clever nickname?

    Our great OLs of the 70s and early 80s managed to do the job, without having a nickname.
     
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