So let's get away from the Jason Taylor talk a little bit and instead look at some other things that are going on.
THIS WEEKEND'S MINICAMP TO GIVE US SOME CLUES
Even though the Dolphins have been conducting OTAs, we really don't know too much about who is playing where. And that's because these OTAs have been closed to the media. That will change when the final minicamp begins on Friday. It will be 3 days and is indeed mandatory. And with the exception of Jason Taylor, the entire team will be there.
But while we wait, there are some clues about where some players stand right now in terms of the early depth chart. And these clues come from a Barry Jackson article in the Miami Herald. Jackson reports that the remaining starting guard spot, the one opposite if Justin Smiley, currently is being filled with Ikechuku Ndukwe, according to rookie guard Shawn Murphy. It's important to note, too, that Murphy says Ndukwe is playing the left guard position next to Jake Long. However, that could change if this staff feels it's important to have a veteran like Smiley in between the rookie Long and the 2nd year center, Samson Satele.
Also in this article, we learn that both Charlie Anderson and Quentin Moses have been playing the rush linebacker spot that is currently being vacated by Jason Taylor, according to a radio interview with Tony Sparano. And if Taylor was indeed traded or decided to retire, this would be a very intriguing position battle. Both Anderson and Moses are young players who are very hungry for some playing time. Moses excites me more, but is much more raw.
The final piece of "depth chart" news that Jackson tells us is in regards to the cornerback position, which is going to be one of the more closely watched battles. Running with the first team, according to Jackson, are Will Allen and Andre Goodman, with Michael Lehan playing the nickelback. Travis Daniels and Nate Jones have been working with the 2nd team. And barring any issues that may arise stemming from Allen's recent "Bed, Bath, and Beyond parking lot situation," I'd suspect that the only change in this depth chart in training camp would be the possible switch of Lehan and Goodman, with Michael getting the starting nod opposite Allen.
THE PARCELLS FIVE
Jackson's article also features some thoughts on the five players who have come over from Dallas to Miami. And these thoughts are provided by former NFL scouts.
The most interesting, in my opinion, is in regards to new tight end Anthony Fasano:
''He's better than Martin,'' said former NFL scout Chris Landry, a Fox Radio analyst who consults for 11 teams. ''He's a little spotty getting open, but he'll become more productive as a receiver.'' Said espn.com analyst and former Browns scout Matt Williamson: "He won't stretch the field as much as Martin can. But Fasano is a better blocker.''
Well he can't be much worse than Martin, that's for sure. Martin, despite being able to stretch the field, show unreliable hands and terrible blocking skills that often times got our QBs killed. If Fasano is just an upgrade in terms of blocking, that's good enough for me. But I think he's going to thrive now that he'll have the opportunity to work with the first team, something he never got in Dallas playing behind Jason Witten. After all, when you excel at Notre Dame, you clearly have some skills. And they don't just disappear like some seem to think. So let's see what happens in camp and the preseason. I think some might be pleasantly surprised.
I also highly suggest you check out this full article to read some other thoughts on the "Parcells Five" - the name I've officially coined for those five Dallas-to-Miami offseason acquisitions.
SPARANO WANTS TAYLOR BACK
Alright, so I may have lied. But this isn't a Jason Taylor debate. Instead, I just wanted to point out what Tony Sparano told WQAM in a recent interview in regards to JT:
"But one of the issues that we really did want to get out there and I wanted to make a point to Jason about is we as an organization and, certainly me as a head coach, want to see Jason Taylor back here with the Miami Dolphins in uniform, out on the field, doing what he does best for the Miami Dolphins, and that’s running after quarterbacks and sacking quarterbacks."
Sounds good to me. Let's get him back in aqua and orange an get him on the practice field!!
And to hear Sparano's full interview, click here.
Thoughts on any of this below...