Deep Thoughts

As the Dolphins get closer and closer to making their final roster cuts down to 53, there are some things that are apparent. One of them is rather troubling, and we can only hope it will be addressed before the Sept. 12 start of the regular season.

What we're seeing as being very worrisome is the lack of depth at offensive tackle after Nate Garner was placed on injured reserve because of foot problems.

With Garner gone, that leaves Lydon Murth and 2009 sixth-round pick Andrew Gardner as the top two backups at tackle behind starters Vernon Carey and Jake Long.

We would expect the Dolphins to scan the waiver wire after final cuts are made on Saturday afternoon for help at that position because if they don't, they're asking for trouble.

Now, we don't necessarily put a ton of stock in preseason games, but Gardner looks nothing like an NFL player and we'd be shocked if the Dolphins kept him on the 53-man roster. Gardner has consistently been beaten to the outside lining up at right tackle, and he's also had issues with false starts on top of that.

As for Murtha, he hasn't stood out one way or the either in the preseason, which can be a good thing. But do you really want to trust him if either Long or Carey get injured.

Mind you, Carey has missed some practice time lately. His injury is minor, but it illustrates just how quickly this could become a problem.

We look elsewhere on the roster, and it's not as though there's an option there. Sure, John Jerry played some tackle at Mississippi, but he's penciled right now to start at guard. Do you really want to rookie to start switching position to help out at tackle in the event of an injury?

Not a NFL coach, but don't think that would be very good for his development.

The Dolphins have the makings of a pretty good offense if everything clicks, but it has to start up front. And the Dolphins offensive line right now is built around Long and Carey.

There just can't be a major drop-off if one of them gets hurt if the Dolphins is going to be able to absorb that kind of blow.

So let us say it once again: Expect and hope that the Dolphins will pick up an offensive tackle released by another team.

The Dolphins also look a little thin for our taste at other spots — inside linebacker, nose tackle, tight end and safety come to mind — but nothing like the offensive tackle position.

It's a position played by big guys, and now it has to be viewed as a big concern when it comes to depth.


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