New Guard in Town

The Dolphins offensive line remains a work in progress, as Coach Cam Cameron pointed out following the recent minicamp, and any number of players could wind up being starters. One of those is free agent acquisition Chris Liwienski, a longtime starter in the NFL, who played for Cameron at the University of Indiana. We caught up with Liwienski at minicamp for this exclusive one-on-one interview.

Q. You signed with the Dolphins as a free agent in the offseason; how much did your previously having played under Cam Cameron factor into that decision?

Liwienski: "You know what, probably not as much as some people think, but he knew who I was. He could vouch for my character."

Q. Did you sign here pretty much with the idea that you were going to be a starter?

Liwienski: "Yes or no. I knew the opportunity was there. I didn't know exactly how things were going to pan out. But I knew I'd be coming in to compete, either push somebody or take the job myself."

Q. How about the opportunity to play in Miami after so many years in Minnesota (and last year in Arizona); did that play a part as well?

Liwienski: "It was a hell of an opportunity in terms of the numbers at the time that I signed, and Coach Cameron was here, and the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area is a pretty nice place to live. I'm pretty much at the back end of my career, so that was definitely a factor in my decision."

Q. You are about to enter your ninth season in the NFL; do you see yourself playing much longer?

Liwienski: "God wiling if my body continues to hold together, I'll continue to play as long as I can. The thing with age is, the will is still there, it's just a matter of whether the engine turns when you turn the key."

Q. You played last season with Arizona last season and started six games; did the Cardinals make an effort to re-sign you after last season?

Liwienski: "They pretty much cleaned house, kept the younger guys. I don't know what the situation was. They didn't want to re-sign me and I started six games, so I had some value there."

Q. What teams did you talk to in the offseason before signing with the Dolphins?

Liwienski: "Talked to Arizona, we talked here, we had some minor interest from some other people, but the day the contract was on the table here I wasn't entertaining any other offers. That's not to say something wasn't going to develop, but the way I looked at the situation here it wasn't worth waiting around to see."

Q. How would you describe yourself as an offensive lineman?

Liwienski: "A big, physical, hard-working guy who's done it through sheer determination probably more so than natural ability. It's kind of how I've made my way."


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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and DolphinDigest.com. To read him every day, visit DolphinDigest.com and become a Miami Dolphins insider.