A big pick-up

Coach Nick Saban was busy in the offseason and training camp reshaping the Dolphins' roster, and we made several significant additions to the team, such as veterans Kevin Carter, Vonnie Holliday, Lance Schulters, Gus Frerotte as well as rookies like Ronnie Brown, Channing Crowder and Travis Daniels. But one of his most unheralded personnel moves might turn out to be the best, at least for this year.

We're talking about the signing of veteran defensive tackle Keith Traylor in late May. Because Saban did away with the practice of holding press conference to announce player signings and because Traylor had been released by New England a few weeks later, this move didn't attract that much attention at the time.

But anybody who has watched Traylor perform the last few years should have known this was big. As in Keith Traylor big.

This guy, pure and simple, is among the elite run stoppers in the NFL and he was a big reason New England was so good at it last year.

Then, why, did the Patriots release him if he was so good. Simple, it was because they drafted Vince Wilfork in the first round of the 2004 draft to do the exact same job and felt Wilfork was ready to be a full-time starter this season.

As for Traylor, we got a glimpse in the preseason of what he could mean to the Dolphins' run defense and he was at it again the opener last Sunday.

Zach Thomas clearly was the star of the Dolphins' spirited second-quarter goal-line stand, but don't downplay Traylor's contribution during that sequence.

It was Traylor who controlled the line of scrimmage on the three running plays during the sequence, something Thomas made sure to point out after the game.

Then Thursday Thomas compared Traylor to Tim Bowens, and if you know Thomas you know that's a huge compliment.

Traylor won't produce big stats this season because his position isn't conducive to it. But he just might be the most important player when it comes to stopping the run.

There were a few reasons the Dolphins stuffed the Denver running game last Sunday, and Traylor was as big as any.

And that's what this guy does on a consistent basis. He's not flashy, but he's the type of guy who will help the Dolphins win games.

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