The Dolphins, today, released their latest version of the depth chart. And this time, we might actually be able to read into this version. Now, to see the entire thing, head over here.
As far as the QBs go, they are still listed in order of seniority. But other notable changes have been made.
First off, Ricky Williams is now listed as the team's starting running back, with Ronnie Brown now listed as 2nd string. It's likely that this really doesn't matter, as one is really "1a" and the other is "1b." But it's certainly worth noting. Perhaps the reason for the change is simply Ronnie's thumb injury combined with his comeback from the knee injury. Either way, I'm not really too worried about who starts and who comes off the bench once the season begins. Both will get plenty of carries and both will be key factors to the success of the team.
Perhaps the biggest change on the depth chart now is that Matt Roth has been officially listed at strong side linebacker, with Joey Porter moving over to the weak side - Jason Taylor's old position - and Kendall Langford stepping in to replace Roth as the starter at left defensive end. This also means that Charlie Anderson was bumped back to 2nd team and Quentin Moses has been moved to 3rd team.
I'll admit that after being a little worried about the Roth experiment, I'm much more comfortable with him now at OLB than I was this time last week. And I really like the move of Porter over to the weak side, the primary pass-rushing LB spot. But you do have to wonder if this change is only until Charlie Anderson is healthy again. Will Porter move back to the strong side once Anderson can play? Also worth wondering is if Roth can handle the coverage aspect as strong side linebacker. He'll be fine as a run-stopper. But playing the strong side means he's going to be responsible often for covering either a tight end of a back. Perhaps the plan is for Roth to work at SLB only on 1st down (and possibly 2nd depending on the situation). There's no way Roth will stay on the field at LB in clear passing situations.
Perhaps the bigger reason to be excited about this latest depth chart, though, is because of the number of rookies who are now listed as starters. I mentioned above that Kendall Langford, a 3rd round pick, is now listed as the starting left DE. Donald Thomas, a 6th round pick, is the starter at RG. And we all know Jake Long will be starting at LT. When you also consider that Phillip Merling will be heavily involved in the DL rotation and Chad Henne could very well be our backup QB (and QB of the future), you have to already consider this draft a mild success...with the potential for it to be a truly great draft.
-Barry Jackson reports that the Dolphins' front office do like both Vernon Carey and Channing Crowder (both free agents following the season). However they have decided to hold off on contract extensions for both as of right now. In my opinion, though, they should work out a deal with Carey before the season ends. Otherwise, they run the risk of Carey's agent deciding to hold off to see if Vernon can get LT money on the open market - which is a risky proposition for the Dolphins.
-Yes, I know I have to mention what Chris Mortensen said tonight about Ronnie Brown. But the idea that the Dolphins would look to trade Ronnie is completely ridiculous and I will not speak of it after this. Why would the Dolphins do that? Do they really feel like Ricky Williams, who is a bit "flaky" to say the least, is dependable? It's not going to happen, so let's just all move on.
-Good news. Those rumored uniform changes for the Dolphins are just that...rumors. No truth to them. Thank goodness!
Don't forget to get involved with our first round of community projections. We've begun with Channing Crowder and Joey Porter.