Dissecting the Depth Chart

Coach Cam Cameron, like Nick Saban before him, easily could have done without putting out a depth chart, but the league requires it the week of the first game. So we have our first depth chart of 2007, and while it probably doesn't mean a whole lot in the big picture, that won't stop anybody from trying to analyze what it might mean. Here is our take.

First-team players are listed in all caps; returning starters are indicated by an asterisk; returning starters now playing a different position are indicated by two asterisks

OFFENSE

WR -- MARTY BOOKER*, Ted Ginn Jr., Az-Zahir Hakim, Kerry Reed, Michael Malone

Comment: Nothing surprising here.

WR -- CHRIS CHAMBERS*, Derek Hagan, P.K. Sam, David Sutton

Comment: Again, nothing surprising here.

LT -- VERNON CAREY**, Julius Wilson

Comment: No offense to Julius Wilson, but it's a little unsettling that the first backup at left tackle is an undrafted rookie free agent. If something were to happen to Carey, it's more likely L.J. Shelton would be switched back to left tackle.

LG -- CHRIS LIWIENSKI, Tala Esera

Comment: This is one position where we would expect to have some change.

C -- SAMSON SATELE, Johnathan Ingram, Dan Stevenson

Comment: Again, depth is an issue here, although Rex Hadnot can play center as well.

RG -- DREW MORMINO, Rex Hadnot*, Stephen Parker

Comment: Hadnot being second team at the moment is a major surprise, and we still can only wonder what has happened to make Cameron make this move.

RT -- ANTHONY ALABI, L.J. Shelton**, Mike Rosenthal

Comment: Another major surprise because Alabi has practically no experience and Shelton was expected to be the starter. Again, we have to wonder whether this is some kind of motivational ploy.

TE -- DAVID MARTIN, Justin Peelle, Aaron Halterman, Justin Peelle, Jason Rader

Comment: Nothing surprising here, although we would expect Anderson to actually give Martin a battle for the starting job at some point.

FB -- CORY SCHLESINGER, Reagan Mauia, Tim Massaquoi, Kyle Eckel

Comment: Massaquoi being listed at fullback is interesting, but he probably won't make the team at either fullback or tight end anyway.

RB -- RONNIE BROWN*, Jesse Chatman, Lorenzo Booker, Patrick Cobbs, Ray Perkins

Comment: We told you not too long ago to keep an eye on Chatman. Booker will get a lot of playing time as a rookie, but it will be as a third-down back or change of pace guy. If someone other than Brown needs to have a lot of carries, it will be Chatman.

QB -- TRENT GREEN/CLEO LEMON, John Beck, Gibran Hamdan

Comment: Green and Lemon being lumped together isn't surprising given Cameron's declaration of an open competition at quarterback. Before too long, it will be Green first team and Lemon second team.

DEFENSE

DE -- JASON TAYLOR*, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, Mkristo Bruce

Comment: Check.

DE -- MATT ROTH, Chase Page, Kevin Vickerson

Comment: We really like Vickerson's potential and wouldn't be surprised if he moved up soon.

NT -- KEITH TRAYLOR*, Paul Soliai, Marquay Love, Steve Fifita

Comment: Note to Love has moved over to offensive guard, which might give him a better chance, albeit still slim, to make the roster.

DT -- VONNIE HOLLIDAY*, Rodrique Wright, Brian Soi

Comment: Nothing surprising here. Just look for Wright to get a lot of playing time this season.

LB -- ZACH THOMAS*, Robert McCune, Kelvin Smith

Comment: OK, the thing that jumps out right away is the Dolphins doing away with the MLB, SLB, WLB designations. Make no mistake, though, Thomas still lines up inside.

LB -- CHANNING CROWDER*, Derrick Pope, Edmond Miles

Comment: Check.

LB -- JOEY PORTER, Donnie Spragan, Jim Maxwell, Abraham Wright

Comment: With Porter out right now, Spragan moves up to the first team.

CB -- WILL ALLEN*, Michael Lehan, Derrick Johnson, Geoff Pope

Comment: As with the linebackers, the Dolphins have done away with RCB and LCB, also did the same at safety. Nothing surprising here, though.

CB -- TRAVIS DANIELS, Jason Allen, Shirdonya Mitchell

Comment: You may notice that Andre' Goodman's name is missing. That's because he's currently on PUP as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery. He'll battle Daniels for the starting job once he comes back. By the way, Joe Toledo also is omitted from the depth chart because he's on PUP.

S -- YEREMIAH BELL*, Travares Tillman, Courtney Bryan, Christopher Vedder

Comment: Nothing surprising here.S -- RENALDO HILL*, Cameron Worrell, Tuff Harris, Chris Harrell

Comment: Nothing noteworthy here, either.

SPECIALISTS

P -- BRANDON FIELDS, Ryan Flinn

K -- JAY FEELY, Matt Prater

PC -- JOHN DENNEY*, Jason Taylor, Aaron Halterman

KC -- JOHN DENNEY*, Jason Taylor, Aaron Halterman

H -- BRANDON FIELDS, Ryan Flinn

PR -- TED GINN JR., Marty Booker, Az-Zahir Hakim

KR -- TED GINN JR., Ronnie Brown, Lorenzo Booker

Comment: The one thing that stands out on special teams is Ronnie Brown being listed as the second-team kickoff returner. Brown said Tuesday he never returned kickoffs in college or high school, but has been doing it throughout training camp.


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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.