THE DOLPHINS DISCUSSION

The Dolphins Discussion offers our opinion on a pertinent topic involving the Dolphins. Today we examine the first depth chart of 2003, focusing on the offense.

There weren't a lot of surprises when it came to the first team as the Dolphins unveiled their first depth chart of the preseason.

But there certainly were a couple of things that caught the eye as far as the backups and certain positions are concerned.

So without further ado, here's a quick analysis.

QUARTERBACKS — As expected, with Jay Fiedler ahead of Brian Griese and Sage Rosenfels third.

RUNNING BACKS — The interesting thing here is that both Travis Minor and Leonard Henry were listed as second team behind Ricky Williams. That means that Robert Edwards appears to have fallen behind Henry, who has been a star in camp so far. Charlie Rogers is listed third team along with Edwards, but that doesn't mean much in his case because he will make the team as a kick returner (if he does make it).

FULLBACKS — Rob Konrad is firmly entrenched as the starter, but it was interesting to see Obafemi Ayanbadejo listed as second team, ahead of both Deon Dyer and Sedrick Irvin. Ayanbadejo is more well rounded than Dyer and probably will make the team ahead of him.

WIDE RECEIVERS — Interesting things on both sides. On the one side, you've got Derrius Thompson starting, but with Oronde Gadsden and Robert Baker listed as second team ahead of rookie J.R. Tolver, Margin Hooks and Ronald Bellamy. Could this mean Baker has the edge over Tolver? Hmm. On the other side, the thing that caught our eye is Arena League star Chris Jackson joining James McKnight on the second team behind Chris Chambers, but ahead of camp sensation Sam Simmons. We haven't heard a lot of Chris Jackson in camp so far, but the depth chart tells you the Dolphins like what they see.

TIGHT ENDS — Nothing shocking here, with Marco Battaglia and rookie Donald Lee both listed as second team behind Randy McMichael. The Dolphins have made no secret of the fact they like Lee, while Ed Perry's roster spot is secure even though he's the fourth tight end because of his snapping ability.

LEFT TACKLE — As expected here, with Mark Dixon first, followed by rookie Wade Smith and youngster Jarvis Borum.

LEFT GUARD — Again, nothing shocking because rookie free agent Billy Yates has played so well. He was listed second team behind starter Jamie Nails, ahead of Dwayne Pierce and Mark Bristol.

CENTERS — This is a good battle, with the first depth chart showing Tim Ruddy as the starter and Seth McKinney as his backup.

RIGHT GUARDS — Here's where it gets very interesting. The starter is still listed as Todd Perry, but his top backup on the depth chart is Greg Jerman, who had been projected all along to be the top backup at tackle. Jerman has had problems in camp with speed rushers and the Dolphins apparently have decided he doesn't have the feet to be a full-time tackle.

RIGHT TACKLE — Another interesting scenario here, with rookie Taylor Whitley listed as the top backup to starter Todd Wade. Remember that Whitley was drafted as a guard, not a tackle.

Note: Tomorrow we'll examine the defensive depth chart.


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