Tackling a Problem

In light of the Dolphins' problems at stopping the run, a lot of attention has been paid to the fact that no veteran was brought in to replace some of the depth that was lost in the offseason. Coach Cam Cameron said Thursday it wasn't for lack of trying.

"There was a significant amount of effort to sign some guys, and then obviously it doesn't always work out," Cameron said. "Without getting specific, there were several defensive linemen that we wanted and made an effort to get and they wound up going to other teams. I think that's a part of it. But at the same time, we're developing some young guys."

Among the noteworthy defensive tackles who changed teams this offseason were Darwin Walker, Kendrick Clancy, Aubrayo Franklin, Sam Adams, Robaire Smith, Jimmy Kennedy, Alvin McKinley and Alfonso Boone.

Of those, Adams clearly is the most talented, but he's also on the down swing of his career.

Regardless, because they didn't sign a veteran, the Dolphins were left with a group of backups along the interior of the defensive line that included Rodrique Wright, Steve Fifita, Chase Page and rookie fourth-round pick Paul Soliai.

It's a group that might have potential, but has no experience.

"Rod, I'm looking forward to seeing how he continues to develop," Cameron said. "He did some really good things in the (Oakland) game. I know the situation we were in during the draft – we knew we needed to go get a big body in there, and Paul (Soliai) is that guy. We'll continue to watch him grow and watch him develop. He's got a chance obviously to be a good football player."

Wright is likely to start Sunday in Houston in place of injured veteran Vonnie Holliday and Cameron already has said Soliai will be getting more playing time.

It certainly coudn't hurt the Dolphins' struggling run defense if either of those guys could emerge quickly.

The Dolphins are last in the NFL, allowing 199.3 yards per game and a frightening per-carry average of 4.9.

As Jason Taylor so beautifully put: "It wouldn't take a genius to figure out that we have a problem with the running game right now. I fully anticipate Houston to do the same thing that Oakland did, that Washington did and the Jets did. And we're going to see it until we stop it."


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