Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

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Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by JMP on Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:49 pm

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article159866014.html

About DT:
Beyond all the uncertainty about whether Jordan Phillips will ever put it all together, the decision so far to pass on a bunch of available veteran tackles (Sen’Derrick Marks, Dan Williams, Paul Soliai, Vance Walker) means, barring a change of heart, the Dolphins’ No. 3 defensive tackle (a role that can involve 20 or more snaps a game) will be journeyman Nick Williams (12 career tackles and was pushed off the ball in the Steelers playoff game), Lawrence Okoye (previously cut by five teams), or fifth- and sixth-round rookies Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor – neither of whom seems ready for a major role, according to one player.


About OL:
...if Pouncey has another setback with his hip (he wasn’t cleared to practice last month), this offensive line will have four average or below average starters (Kraig Urbik, Jermon Bushrod, Ted Larsen, Ja’Wuan James).

And if Laremy Tunsil or James is out, tackle depth appears deficient beyond journeyman-type Sam Young. Most of the others (Avery Young, Jesse Davis, etc.) couldn’t control Miami’s pass rush during minicamp, albeit without pads.

Jackson goes into more detail, but there's no doubt that these are the two biggest concerns about this team. Not the only concerns by far - but definitely the biggest. You always hear that great teams are build from the inside out, but the Dolphins don't seem to share that philosophy. I sure hope they're right, because both lines are paper-thin and could send the season into a downward spiral if things don't work out.


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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by mercury22nathan on Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:47 am

is there any likelihood for a late training camp signing of some veteran depth for either of the lines? while there may not be much out there, if it is better than what is already on the roster, it might be worth it.

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by JMP on Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:09 am

There are some interesting names available at both OL and DT (see below), and there will certainly be more players available later, but honestly I don't think the Phins are looking to add anyone else (barring injuries). They seem content to roll with what they have. Reading all the press, it sounds like the Dolphins think they are already Super Bowl-bound...which is absurd, but it is what it is.

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/defensive-tackle/available/

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/offensive-line/available/


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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by Degarmo on Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:12 pm

With the current offensive line, including a lead-pipe lock on Pouncey not going more than 8 games, if at all, we are looking at another record-breaking sacks against season. That being the case, Tannehill's knee will fail, Moore may also be murdered, and we'll end up signing Vince Young from the CFL. Smile

I have been concerned with this OL for a decade plus; that and free safety. A couple of front offices tried addressing it with terrible picks.

I'm still waiting.
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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by Birdmond on Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:07 am

Degarmo wrote:With the current offensive line, including a lead-pipe lock on Pouncey not going more than 8 games, if at all, we are looking at another record-breaking sacks against season. That being the case, Tannehill's knee will fail, Moore may also be murdered, and we'll end up signing Vince Young from the CFL. Smile

I have been concerned with this OL for a decade plus; that and free safety. A couple of front offices tried addressing it with terrible picks.

I'm still waiting.

Based on what I've read the emphasis in OTA's was to get the ball out of Tannehills hands as fast as possible. Probably a good thing

But yeah, give me a dependable center and another stud DL and I'd be consideredably more optimistic than I am now and I actually really like this team. My only hope is Phillips is approaching a contract year and based on following him on Instagram, the man loves money. I have no hope for the center position unless Mangold signs. Is he still available?

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by Degarmo on Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:16 pm

Looks like he is still available, but he wants to start and the Fins have no intention of signing him. Maybe that opinion will change given Pouncey still appearing crippled.
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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by JMP on Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:52 pm

Mangold isn't coming to Miami to sit on the bench. He'll get a starting job somewhere before long.

Now, if the Phins learn that Pouncey won't be ready to play, that could be a different story for Mangold if he's still around at that point.

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by Birdmond on Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:47 am

JMP wrote:Mangold isn't coming to Miami to sit on the bench. He'll get a starting job somewhere before long.

Now, if the Phins learn that Pouncey won't be ready to play, that could be a different story for Mangold if he's still around at that point.

I would hand Mangold the starting center job and let Pouncey compete at guard.

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by JMP on Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:58 pm

Birdmond wrote:
JMP wrote:Mangold isn't coming to Miami to sit on the bench.  He'll get a starting job somewhere before long.

Now, if the Phins learn that Pouncey won't be ready to play, that could be a different story for Mangold if he's still around at that point.  

I would hand Mangold the starting center job and let Pouncey compete at guard.  

I'd be OK with that, but I don't think that's anywhere on the Phins' agenda.

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by white1 on Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:44 pm

Agreed, Pouncey is an elite center but really an average guard.

When he played the position for us a few years ago IIRC he didn't even grade out all that well.


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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by Degarmo on Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:26 pm

Pouncey is an elite at nothing at this point because he's hurt all the time.

We should have been looking to replace him.  I would get Mangold for 2 years, and would have drafted a center this year.  

Pouncey is great when healthy, but you've got to play to be great.

Just as a comment about offensive line guys getting hurt, particularly lower-body issues.  They usually can never return to full duty, because the weight on the lower frame is not conducive to recovery, and it's not just their weight.  Essentially, playing the line is like squatting at least 500 pounds of moving weight 70 times a game.  That hip is not going to last through that, nor will knees, ankles, toes, etc. Couple this with the fact that Pouncey was not really enamored with the prospect of doing weight work for his legs, and you have a guy with hips like a 70-year-old.
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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by white1 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:36 am

I see your point Degarmo, and I agree most with your sentence about "great when healthy".

I guess I'm still holding out hope there is a way to treat the hip, manage his workload and get a good 16 games out of him. Probably fools gold.

Dammit. This team has me optimistic from the standpoint that I feel the foundation of Grier - Gase - Tannenbaum may actually be sound, without so much infighting, power grabbing, undermining that we have seen for years. Really, ever since JJ left. We needed a true offensive mind that can elevate QB play, lead the team and coach, and Gase has shown promising signs of being just that guy. Plus there's every sign he is in synch with Grier on how to retain our own players, draft, and use free agency sparingly along the way. This is the right approach, IMO.

However, that hope is mitigated by just how weak our lines are on BOTH sides of the ball. It's pretty bad when your 2nd year LT is the best player on the OL... and he didn't have a great OTA in fact suffered an injury of some kind.

The defensive line is universally old, unproven, or journeymen - with the exception of Suh. The DT next to him? Either the perennially underachieving Phillips... or no good options.

I know that teams are "getting away" with substandard lines, but I don't buy that as a sustainable strategy. Aaron Rodgers is probably the best in the game behind Brady, and what does he have one Superbowl ring? With that offense and talent, they should have more success, it's probably the line that's holding them back. They can't run the ball worth a damn when they need to.

Brady's line, while investing lower draft picks and getting guys at value, seems to play really well. They can pass and run, and he will go deep at times and has the time to do so.

Next offseason, the way I see it is like this. Upgrading at WR, or RB or TE will pale in comparison to getting a couple true studs on this offensive line. So why not do that?

Same on defense. Upgrading at CB, FS, or LB will only help so much. Get a couple studs in here at DT, DE or both. Harris will help if he turns out as good as it looks like he can be. But DT is a huge need, and if Phillips doesn't step up (the only real hope I can say is a possibility anything north of "wishful thinking") we'll get the ball run down our throats all day this year.

It seems like we worry about the trenches every offseason, and each season they prove to be a team weakness. Yet it's never really addressed. It's lightly approached, but we never seem to truly FIX IT. When will this front office take the issue seriously? Are we "waiting" for something to occur before going in that direction full force? Or is it true that you've just got to take your medicine, draft guys like Asiata in the 5th round and build a line the way successful teams build them? I don't know the answer, but I'd love to see an in depth interview with someone like Tannenbaum on this topic. It's driving me crazy. So close, yet so far.


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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by JMP on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:07 pm

Plenty of resources - including high picks and big $ - have been invested in the OL. The problem is, no one in this organization seems to know how to identify quality OL without using top resources. Anyone can find a good OL in round one...but the best teams are also able to find quality OL elsewhere. The Phins have failed miserably there.

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by Degarmo on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:03 pm

Problem is, we've missed a lot in our higher picks as well. We lucked out with Bongmask McPuffington, but we shot ourselves in the foot with our drafts time and time again under terrible front office management. Hopefully, as White said, we're looking at a group that's not involved in a power struggle now, and an actual coach.
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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by white1 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:07 pm

Agree on both counts. For a 1st round pick, James at RT is terribly underwhelming. And you'd like to get more than just a handful of injury-free years out of a 1st round Center.

With those picks, you should be solving problems long term. By that I mean well past the rookie contract expiration date. The same thing happened with Jake Long. Vernon Carey was a total reach and not nearly worth the first round pick invested.

If and I mean this is a BIG IF Asiata actually becomes something good at Guard, it would be the start of putting us on the right path to building a line without investing so much in money and draft value.


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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by JMP on Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:33 pm

You can live with picks like Vernon Carey and Ja'Wuan James. They sure as hell aren't great, but on this OL "serviceable" is not a bad thing. I actually hate James, and have since day one, but at least he is a football player and he's not awful.

It's the picks like Martin, Thomas, Turner and Douglas that are the problem...guys that either have no NFL ability at all or who need years to develop (if ever). Those are the picks that have destroyed this line.

Hopefully Asiata develops into a decent player. He seems like he could be a strong run blocker, but I'm not sure he can protect the QB.

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by Umix10 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:17 pm

This regime is stable from the bottom up. Unfortunately we won't know how well until these moves make a difference this season and the next 2.

IMHO this line on paper should be the best line in football. 4 1st rounders is in heard of anywhere in this league. But if we sucked ass that bad then really it's about the guys picking!!!!! Which goes back to my original point. In EXCEL they call it a circular reference. LMAO

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by JMP on Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:09 pm

The Phins are supposedly looking at DT Roy Miller...former Jaguar. Solid run stuffer with a lot of starting experience. He'd be a quality signing at this point.

BUT...

Miller is coming off a torn Achilles from late October 2016. Who knows if or when he'll be in football shape. You know how it is...those "big nasties" tend to eat their way into "fat and out of shape nasties" when they're not playing.

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by Birdmond on Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:12 am

JMP wrote:The Phins are supposedly looking at DT Roy Miller...former Jaguar. Solid run stuffer with a lot of starting experience. He'd be a quality signing at this point.

BUT...

Miller is coming off a torn Achilles from late October 2016. Who knows if or when he'll be in football shape. You know how it is...those "big nasties" tend to eat their way into "fat and out of shape nasties" when they're not playing.

If the Dolphins don't find depth at DL and a solid center I'm going to be very disappointed. I just don't understand how you can count on Pouncey physically and Phillips mentally.

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by JMP on Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:07 am

Birdmond wrote:
If the Dolphins don't find depth at DL and a solid center I'm going to be very disappointed.   I just don't understand how you can count on Pouncey physically and Phillips mentally.    

I may have mentioned this before, but it seems like Gase doesn't subscribe to the "build from the inside out" plan that most teams do. If you look at the OL, there's one potential young stud (Tunsil) and a lot of question marks. On the DL, you have an aging Wake, Suh (who isn't getting any younger himself), and a cast of, essentially, nobodies. Seems to me like a strange way to build a team.

I have always said that playmakers win games, and I still believe that...but it's really difficult to win with garbage OL and DL. I think last season was very telling - we could beat the weak teams but got dominated by the stronger teams. I think we'll see that same trend continue as long as we have crappy lines.

And along those lines, you're not beating the Patriots if you are weak in the trenches. Period.

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by JMP on Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:23 am

And back to the DL...it's a HUGE risk for the Phins to put all their eggs in the Jordan Phillips basket. There's literally no depth - at all - behind him, and he's what you call a classic underachiever....and that's me being nice.

Weak in the middle combined with a LB corps that can't cover anyone??? Yeah, it's safe to say that the Patriots aren't worried about the Dolphins. No

But it's OK...we have Julius Thomas! Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by CarsonChris on Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:00 pm

Miami not drafting a center may be the biggest mistake any NFL team made this off season. When your center has had hip surgeries on both hips and hadn't played a full season in 5 years and the front office doesn't address the issue. It's the equivalent of starting a land war in China

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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by scotgif on Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:07 am

Should have signed the vet guy from jests. Still can, I guess. Forgot his name.
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Re: Barry Jackson on depth at DT and OL

Post by Degarmo on Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:40 pm

CarsonChris wrote:Miami not drafting a center may be the biggest mistake any NFL team made this off season. When your center has had hip surgeries on both hips and hadn't played a full season in 5 years and the front office doesn't address the issue. It's the equivalent of starting a land war in China

Inconceivable!
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