Dolphins Making Rookies Work For It

20 May

Ah, the wait between rookie camp and OTAs is over. Enough fluff stories. No more “Get to know undrafted rookie John Doe” articles. Finally there’s actual football to discuss, and it’s about time.

As OTAs got under way, it didn’t take a detective to notice that not a single rookie was running with the first team. Jared Odrick was behind Phillip Merling. Koa Misi was backing up Quentin Moses. John Jerry was second fiddle to Donald Thomas. And safety Reshad Jones was watching Chris Clemons run with “the ones”.

It won’t last. You don’t want to just hand the starting gig to a rookie, but it’s safe to say that there will be probably be at least a couple of newbies lining up with the big boys on opening day.

Is Phillip “The Wizard” Merling better than Jared “Off His Diet” Odrick? Merling has talent, and was drafted just a notch below where we snagged Odrick, in an earlier draft of course. Though Mike Nolan will be using all available warm bodies to facilitate his 4/3, 3/4, 2/5, 1/6 hybrid defense (or whatever the heck it is this guy’s drawing up), it seems a stretch to believe that our first rounder wont be giving ’em hell opposite Kendall Langford from day one this season.

Can Quentin “Red Sea” Moses hold Koa “Actual Name Too Hard to Pronounce” Misi off? Moses is nothing to sneeze at actually. 6 tackles and a sack in just 40+ snaps (fyi, there are about 60 defensive snaps a game) in 2009. He’s produced when he’s been given the playing time. Still, it’s hard to imagine the Dolphins not winding Misi up and letting him go once the season starts.

John “Really Big” Jerry starting at left guard? This one could go to Donald “Also Really Big” Thomas (currently penciled in), or any of the other linemen the Trifecta has stockpiled. I like Jerry. He’s got a wealth of experience against the SEC’s best. But there’s always a bit of technique to be learned. Not to mention the interior line lends itself to mid-season shuffling. He may not start from day one, but I would expect him to see the field soon thereafter.

Reshad “Hit You In the Mouth Really Hard and Give You a Boo Boo” Jones may currently be second string behind Chris “Faster Than a Cheetah on Fire” Clemons, but this one has the makings of a true toss up. Clemons is probably the fastest Dolphin, with Ted Ginn now dropping passes on the opposite coast. But Reshad has a splash of nasty that has to appeal to the staff. This battle could go on for a long while. If Reshad can show enough smarts and cover skills, he gets the nod.

It’ll be fun to watch these rookies battle for the right to start for the Miami Dolphins. It’s no secret that they’ve got the stuff to make a difference. It’s also no secret that making them earn that playing time will be key to their growth between now and opening day.

That 1pm kickoff at Ralph Wilson Stadium is closer than it seems.

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9 Responses to “Dolphins Making Rookies Work For It”

  1. finfan28 May 20, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    Good post Dan, I enjoyed. Keep ’em comming.

    • danewen May 20, 2010 at 6:00 am #

      Thanks, Finfan. Stop by anytime.

  2. InFINcible May 20, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    Doesn’t Donald Brown play for the Colts? 🙂

    What’s your take on this BM injury? Are we cursed, unlucky, or both? Don’t two negatives make a positive?

    Trying not to freak out abt the missed tinme with Henne and in the offense but we can’t afford another slow start this season. Also don’t like that Sparano said “at least” until training camp. I know he’s historically missed time and still snagged 100+ catches from the likes of Orton. Give me some hope Dan. I haven’t sang my “we got Brandon Marshall” song since yesterday!

    GO FINS!!

    • danewen May 20, 2010 at 6:06 am #

      Thanks for the catch. I wrote this one late last night, when I was seeing vapor trails. Somehow I made the Colts’ backup RB our LG. Fixed.

      You want hope on the Brandon Marshall front? How about this? We open against Buffalo. BM and Chad should be able to work on their chemistry in live action (probably most of the preseason too) without it deciding the game. Dolphins 27 Bills 13.

      And other big news? Ronnie’s much further along than I expected. I expected a boot. Maybe a little work on the stationary bike. The kid did a good bit of actual practicing.

      That’s huge.

  3. InFINcible May 20, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Ahhh thanks…gotta love them Bills, tho they weren’t as much of a gimme as they were supposed to be last year. Our D shud fix that.

    GO FINS!!

  4. bond, david bond May 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    I have the solution to both issues of brandon’s injury and clemmons vs jones battle. I say that rashed jones should get the nod and chris clemmons should be used to return kick and punts due to his elite ginn like speed. We should sign T.O. so that brandon marshall does not have to rush in his recovery and limp all season due to returning too soon. T.O. would love nothing better than to be near his main squeeze who is one of the dolphin’s cheerleaders and impress her on the field.

    • danewen May 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

      Interesting. I would guess that, if they really do believe that Marshall will be back for training camp, bringing in T.O. would be more headache than it’s worth. Once Brandon’s back T.O. would certainly expect to keep playing. That might slow the growth of Brian Hartline, who has a world of potential. I do wonder what Clemons’ experience is with kick returns. He certainly has the speed.

      I’m partial to putting Pat White on kick returns personally. The guy is murder in the open field. Or would he get murdered in the open field?

  5. peter May 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Great post danewen love pretty much everything you say…keep on writing

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