News and notes

The Dolphins are continuing to bolster their roster as they signed offensive tackle Stockar McDougle and reportedly came to terms with free agent fullback Heath Evans. The Dolphins also announced on Wednesday their opponents for the 2005 preseason.

Those opponents will be the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Bucs and Atlanta Falcons.

Based on the new preseason formula, the Dolphins will face Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Jacksonville every preseason, with the fourth opponent changing from year to year.

The only game where the date and time has been set is against Chicago, which will be the Hall of Fame Game and is scheduled for Aug. 8 at 8 p.m.

The Dolphins will play at Jacksonville the first full weekend of the preseason (Aug. 11-15), at Pittsburgh in the second week (Aug. 18-22), at home against Tampa Bay on the weekend of Aug. 25-29 and close out the preseason at home against Atlanta either Sept. 1 or 2.

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The signing of McDougle to a one-year contract adds depth to an offensive line that could make strides in 2005 under new assistant coach Hudson Houck.

McDougle, a former first-round pick and the brother of Eagles defensive end Jerome McDougle, has started the last two years at right tackle for Detroit.

So it will be interesting to see where the Dolphins play him initially because last year's starting right tackle, John St. Clair, probably was the best lineman on a unit that really struggled.

New coach Nick Saban has said he's going to play the best five linemen, so it's not impossible a position change might be in store for someone, perhaps Vernon Carey or McDougle.

The book on McDougle is that he's physical and good in the running game, but struggles at times in pass protection when he's out in space.

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Evans agreed to terms on Wednesday, according to the Palm Beach Post.

A backup during his time in Seattle, Evans is a good blocker with decent short-yardage running ability.

With the departure of Rob Konrad, released on Monday, there could be an interesting battle for the starting fullback job between Evans, Jamar Martin and perhaps even Sammy Morris, who played halfback last year but came to Miami as a fullback and is now listed as a fullback on the roster.


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