THE DOLPHINS DISCUSSION

The Dolphins Discussion will be posted periodically until the start of training camp and will offer our opinion on a pertinent topic involving the Dolphins. Today we discuss the signing of Oronde Gadsden.

It really shouldn't have come as a major surprise that Oronde Gadsden wound up re-signing with the Dolphins. The question now is what kind of role, if any, he will have with the team in the 2003 season.

The Dolphins made a few moves at the wide receiver position in the offseason, and those moves all involved getting sure-handed receivers with size. The two biggest examples are free agent acquisition Derrius Thompson, former Arena Football League star Chris Jackson and fifth-round pick J.R. Tolver.

The problem now is the Dolphins have a surplus of that type of receiver and probably not enough speed guys to stretch the field. James McKnight and Chris Chambers can be considered deep threats, but there's nobody else on the roster who fits that description.

It's not a major problem, though, because the Dolphins passing game is geared more toward short and intermediate throws than the long ball. Face it, even if the Dolphins wanted to throw deep on a consistent basis, it's not what Jay Fiedler — or Brian Griese, for that matter — does best.

The only thing certain at the wide receiver position at this point is that Chambers will make the team and will start.

Beyond that, nothing is guaranteed. Tolver looks like a keeper, Thompson is coming off a very good season, McKnight has that speed, and everyone knows what Gadsden can do.

Coach Dave Wannstedt has said that as of right now McKnight is the starter opposite Chambers, but somehow we get the feeling it would be a mistake to overlook the sure-handed Gadsden.

He is, purely and simply, Fiedler's go-to guy, and that can't be discounted.

By the same token, Gadsden has been banged up in recent years and he's competing against younger guys, so it also wouldn't be a major shock to see him let go if some of the young receivers shine in training camp.

All in all, though, it's good to have him around nonetheless.


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