Downplaying the Depth Chart

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.

Some examples:

-- 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

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