At his press conference today, Tony Sparano really made some things clear in terms of the position battles.
And one thing that might come as a surprise is that this team is going to very much trust their rookies.
Rookie guard Donald Thomas is likely to start at right guard, with Sparano declaring it "Donald's job to lose." He also says of Thomas:
"Donald’s a young player that’s shown great progress. I like what he does in there and he’s continuing to get better, and as long as that happens I think he’s going to stay there."
Just think of the starting OL that this team could have for the next 8 to 10 years! Jake Long, Justin Smiley, Samson Satele, Donald Thomas, and Vernon Carey. Now that's an elite offensive line in a matter of a year or two.
Jumping to the other side of the ball, Kendall Langford being listed as the starting left defensive end on the latest depth chart was no accident. Sparano said that he could see Langford "there for a long time." He's likely going to start at that LDE spot, as he has in each preseason game as well. Sparano says of Langford:
"We watched him and this guy has done a heck of a job. I was impressed with what he did early in the game last week with his hands, had a couple of pressures early on in the game."
Meanwhile, one battle that doesn't appear to be as clear-cut as some like to think is the QB position. Everyone has assumed that Chad Pennington will be the starting quarterback come September. And that could still very well be the case. But Sparano hasn't ruled out Chad Henne as the starter. Sparano says of Henne:
This guy has shown me great poise, he really has. He's been in some tough situations and handled it well. He's probably made the most heads-up plays at the position. Now that being said, he's played the most."
And when asked about if he would have any issues with starting a rookie at QB, Sparano simply said, "If he's the best guy, I play him."
That '08 draft class is looking better and better every day, isn't it?
Don't forget to get involved with our first round of community projections. We've begun with Channing Crowder and Joey Porter.