THE DAILY TAKE

The Daily Take will be posted every weekday at 3 p.m. and will offer our opinion on a pertinent topic involving the Dolphins. Today we look at the furor over the outside linebacker position.

A lot has been made about Dave Wannstedt's comments that upgrading at outside linebacker is not a major priority.

That is flat-out not true, but the bottom line is Wannstedt doesn't have that much choice but to say what he's been saying. Why? Because chances are both Derrick Rodgers and Morlon Greenwood could be with the team in 2003. Do you want them going into the season remembering how their coach kept saying he needed to get better at that position? Didn't think so.

When Wannstedt was asked last week about the team's priorities, he ran off these positions: Offensive line, wide receiver, punt returner, fullback, tight end.

Now examine all those positions. On the offensive line, the Dolphins have only one pure veteran tackle signed, Todd Wade. At wide receiver, only James McKnight and Chris Chambers are signed. At punt returner, Robert Baker and Albert Johnson are young unproven players. At fullback, Rob Konrad was unsigned at the time. At tight end, both Jed Weaver and Desmond Clark were free agents at the time, with Clark having signed with Chicago since then.

The one thing those positions have in common is that Wannstedt could say the Dolphins needed an upgrade without dissing a veteran player who could wind up being asked to play a big role if an upgrade couldn't be found.

That's why Wannstedt is not mentioning outside linebacker as a priority. Not because he doesn't want to get better there.


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