The first depth chart of the 2008 season was released on Monday, and we can assure you it wasn't because Coach Tony Sparano wanted everyone to have a look. Rather, it was done in conjunction with the Dolphins' preseason opener, coming up this Saturday night at home against the Tampa Bay Bucs. Sparano, likes just about every coach, gladly would do without it.
Dolphins fans may recall that Nick Saban
was particularly anti-depth chart, saying it created expectations and might affect players' motivation.
As far as Sparano is concerned, his lineup is going to change many times, sometimes from practice to practice, so he says it's pointless to have a depth chart.
For example, Sparano said the reason Josh McCown is listed first at quarterback in front of John Beck and Chad Henne was based on NFL experience.
Still, Sparano's words of caution notwithstanding, media members everywhere will look at the depth chart and try to find some hidden clues in there.
-- Is Trey Darilek listed as the first-team right guard ahead of rookie Donald Thomas an indication the team prefers to have a veteran there?
-- If NFL experience was the criteria at quarterback, then why isn't returning starter David Martin listed first at tight end instead of being second behind newcomer Anthony Fasano?
-- Again going with the experience theory, why is Justin Peelle listed as the fourth tight end behind Sean Ryan?
Of the 22 listed starters, we would venture to guess that possibly as many as a half-dozen will be replaced by the time the Dolphins kick off the regular season against the New York Jets on Sept. 7.
Those who appear the most vulnerable to us at this point would be RG Trey Darilek, QB Josh McCown, FB Reagan Mauia, LE Matt Roth, ILB Akin Ayodele and FS Jason Allen.
Even though it really doesn't mean much, we would be remiss not to list the depth chart, which officially is categorized as "tentative."
QB -- Josh McCown, John Beck, Chad Henne
RB -- Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Patrick Cobbs, Jalen Parmele, Lex Hilliard
FB -- Reagan Mauia, Boomer Grigsby
WR -- Ted Ginn Jr., Derek Hagan, David Kircus, Jayson Foster, Anthony Armstrong
WR -- Ernest Wilford, Greg Camarillo, Davone Bess, John Dunlap, Selwyn Lymon
TE -- Anthony Fasano, David Martin, Sean Ryan, Justin Peelle, Matthew Mulligan
LT -- Jake Long, Ikechuku Ndukwe
LG -- Justin Smiley, Shawn Murphy
C -- Samson Satele, Steve McKinney, Matt Spanos
RG -- Trey Darilek, Donald Thomas, Mike Byrne
RT -- Vernon Carey, Daren Heerspink
LE -- Matt Roth, Randy Starks, Kendall Langford, Rodrique Wright
NT -- Jason Ferguson, Paul Soliai, Anthony Toribio
RE -- Vonnie Holliday, Phillip Merling, Lionel Dotson
SLB -- Joey Porter, Rob Ninkovich, Junior Glymph, Titus Brown
ILB -- Channing Crowder, Kelvin Smith, Kelly Poppinga
ILB -- Akin Ayodele, Reggie Torbor, Edmond Miles
WLB -- Charlie Anderson, Quentin Moses, Keith Saunders
LCB -- Will Allen, Joey Thomas, Chris Roberson
RCB -- Andre' Goodman, Travis Daniels, Nathan Jones, Will Billingsley
FS -- Jason Allen, Chris Crocker, Renaldo Hill
SS -- Yeremiah Bell, Keith Davis, Courtney Bryan
P -- Brandon Fields
K -- Jay Feely, Dan Carpenter
KO -- Jay Feely, Dan Carpenter
H -- Brandon Fields
KOR -- Ted Ginn Jr., Jayson Foster, Davone Bess
PR -- Ted Ginn Jr., Jayson Foster, Davone Bess
LS -- John Denney