RIGHT CALL ON THE LINE?

The juggling of the offensive line, with Jamie Nails moving into the starting lineup and Mark Dixon switching from left guard to left tackle, certainly was a bold move. The question now is whether it will prove to be a good move.

From this vantage point, the answer is a clear yes. It simply was a move that had to be made at this point.

That's because, as we have pointed out before, neither Brent Smith nor Marcus Spriggs, did anything in the scrimmage against Tennessee or the first two preseason games to make the Dolphins coaches believe they would get the job done at left tackle.

Both are serviceable players, but they clearly are not among the five best offensive linemen on the Dolphins roster.

Smith and Spriggs are just as backups, but do you really want them protecting Jay Fiedler's back side against top pass rushers?

Of course, the other part of the equation is Mark Dixon, and his ability to make the switch from guard to tackle.

He's played tackle before, but that was five years ago and in the Canadian Football League, where there are not too many Jevon Kearses.

The best thing about Dixon always has been his technique and his ability to move. That's what he'll need most because most top defensive ends rely more on speed than power.

So it's not being overly optimistic to think Dixon can become a solid left tackle. At the very least, he should be better than either Spriggs or Smith.

Here's the other factor. If Dixon bombs at left tackle, you move him back to guard and put Smith and/or Spriggs back into the starting lineup.

The bottom line is it's worth a shot to try this move.

Nails has been very impressive this summer and his size (6-6, 320 pounds) will come in handy when the Dolphins are trying to pound the ball with Ricky Williams.

Let's put it this way: The Dolphins' starting offensive line is better today than it was yesterday.


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