This is not a glamour position on the offensive side of the football, but one of importance moving forward in 2012 for the Miami Dolphins. Big bodies asked to be stout and strong as they run block, but have the agility to get outside and lead running back Reggie Bush outside on the edge! The Dolphins were very fortunate last season to avoid injury at this position, seeing the same lineup in 14 of 16 regular season games!
DOLPHINS OFFENSIVE GUARD SITUATION:
The current situation at this position is favorable, given the Dolphins’ depth, but at the same time, I wouldn’t call it a position that is set in stone. Although this offensive line helped Bush run for 1,086 yards last season, there might be a chance to see some new faces inside at the guard positions. Free-agent-to-be Vernon Carey started 15 games at right guard last season after switching from the right tackle position, where he played the last seven years. Carey’s transition wasn’t seamless early on, but he played very efficient football for the Dolphins as the season progressed. The left guard position was held down by seven-year veteran Richie Incognito, who also started 15 games last season for Miami. Incognito’s strength is straight-line blocking and his power in the run game. His toughness and effort are always on display, allowing him to be counted on moving forward to 2012. Second-year lineman John Jerry started to make strides not only at the guard position filling in for Carey, but also at left tackle, where he filled in for Jake Long in two of the last three games of the season. Jerry’s ability to move from guard to tackle might prove valuable moving forward in his career, especially with a new staff to impress moving forward! Ryan Cook played a reserve role in 2012 for the Dolphins, making his Miami debut in a reserve role on October 30th. Ray Feinga is also listed as a reserve lineman still on the roster and didn’t see any game action in 2011.
POTENTIAL FREE AGENTS:
Carl Nicks: Probably the most polished off all the free agents at this position. He would be missed in New Orleans if they don’t find a way to re-sign him, but he’ll be a valuable piece to any offensive line! Weight could be the only issue that might make teams weary of him, but that shouldn’t deter suitors in need of a dominant player.
Evan Mathis: Last season, Mathis played next to tackle Jason Peters on the left side of Philadelphia’s offensive line, and he helped lead LeSean McCoy to a sensational season. Mathis can run block with the best of them in the NFL, and is one of those players that doesn’t make mental errors. He’s technically sound and, like all good offensive lineman, enjoys that downhill type of game!
Ben Grubbs: The only issue that the Baltimore Ravens are facing when they look at re-signing Grubbs is that they’ve already emptied the bank for teammate Marshal Yanda, who plays the opposite guard position for the Ravens. Grubbs enjoys moving men against there will, and he should be looked at as a upgrade to most teams looking to fill a guard position.
Other offensive guards that are free-agents-to-be include: Cincinnati’s Mike McGlynn, Pittsburgh’s Trai Essex, Houston’s Kasey Studdard, Carolina’s Geoff Schwartz and 49ers’ Chilo Rachal.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.