Camp Countdown: Defense Preview

Training Camp 2008 is scheduled to begin with the first practice on Saturday morning, and it figures to be an intriguing summer for the Dolphins. We take a look at the Dolphins heading into camp by breaking down the team by position with an analysis of the biggest issue at each spot and a projection of the roster battles. This installment looks at the defense.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

On the roster: Anthony Toribio, Kendall Langford, Lionel Dotson, Rodrique Wright, Vonnie Holliday, Randy Starks, Jason Ferguson, Paul Soliai, Phillip Merling, Matt Roth

Number likely to be kept: 7

The big training camp question: How quickly can rookies Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford make a big impact up front?

Analysis: The Dolphins are switching to a 3-4 this season, and it will be interesting to see what the starting line will look like. We can assume Holliday and Ferguson will start, but the third spot on the defensive line appears wide open.

Who will make the team: Holliday, Ferguson, Langford, Merling, Wright, Starks, Roth

LINEBACKERS

On the roster: Keith Saunders, Kelly Poppinga, Edmond Miles, Akin Ayodele, Channing Crowder, Reggie Torbor, Joey Porter, Charlie Anderson, Titus Brown, Kelvin Smith, Junior Glymph, Quentin Moses, Rob Ninkovich

Number likely to be kept: 8

The big training camp question: Who will fill the spot that was vacated by the trade of Jason Taylor to Washington?

Analysis: The Dolphins lost their best player when they traded Taylor, but there's still good depth at linebacker. That will come in handy as the team transitions to a 3-4 alignment.

Who will make the team: Miles, Ayodele, Crowder, Torbor, Porter, Anderson, Smith, Moses

DEFENSIVE BACKS

On the roster: Chris Crocker, Andre' Goodman, Michael Lehan, Renaldo Hill, Will Allen, Will Billingsley, Keith Davis, Travis Daniels, Jason Allen, Nathan Jones, Scorpio Babers, Yeremiah Bell, Joey Thomas, Courtney Bryan

Number likely to be kept: 9

The big training camp question: Are the Dolphins good enough at cornerback?

Analysis: While they brought in several new safeties in the offseason, the Dolphins pretty much kept the status quo at cornerback. The big starting battle in the secondary will be at safety, where Chris Crocker and Jason Allen should fight to the job next to Yeremiah Bell.

Who will make the roster: Goodman, Lehan, Will Allen, Daniels, Jones, Crocker, Davis, Jason Allen, Bell


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