Camp Countdown: Linebackers

Training Camp 2009 is scheduled to begin with the first practice in the afternoon of Aug. 2, 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 linebackers.

LINEBACKERS

On the roster: Erik Walden, Cameron Wake, William Kershaw, Tearrius George, Channing Crowder, Akin Ayodele, Reggie Torbor, J.D. Folsom, Orion Martin, Quentin Moses, Jason Taylor, Matt Roth, Charlie Anderson, Joey Porter

Number likely to be kept: 8

On the 2008 opening-day roster: Matt Roth, Channing Crowder, Akin Ayodele, Joey Porter, Reggie Torbor, Charlie Anderson, Quentin Moses

The big training camp question: Just exactly how are the Dolphins going to use Jason Taylor on defense, particularly in terms of lining up on the field with Joey Porter?

Analysis: Getting some pass-rushing help for Joey Porter was the priority of the offseason, and that likely was accomplished with the signing of two-time CFL defensive MVP Cameron Wake and, of course, the signing of Jason Taylor. What the Dolphins have now is a deep group of linebackers with a nice mix of experience, playmaking ability and special teams contributors. What the Dolphins need, besides Taylor or Wake to make an impact in the pass rush, is for starting inside linebackers Channing Crowder and Akin Ayodele to make a few more impact plays. But this has the makings of a very good group.

Who will make the team: Porter, Crowder, Ayodele, Roth, Taylor, Walden, Torbor, Wake


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