Tony Sparano said yesterday that the rotation of offensive lineman that saw new faces starting at various positions each practice will end. Sparano will try and nail down the starters early when the teams resume contact with players and the players resume contact with each other in practices. Then, he will simply let them play and gel towards a cohesive unit.
Last season the Dolphins strength was supposed to be their offensive line following a tremendous season the year before. Instead, the addition of Richie Incognito and rookie John Jerry, two lineman expected to improve the unit, were swapped in and out all training camp, all pre-season, and the first quarter of the regular season. Their inconsistency showed and their lack of practice time together forged what would become a completely inept offense.
If Sparano does in fact put his foot down and lines up his, well, line, then he will do something that he really hasn’t done since arriving in Miami. Sparano was, while in Dallas, a highly respected offensive line coach. Creating one of the best lines in football for the Cowboys. Since arriving in Miami, he was able to use the Wild Cat package to mask the units holes and while the Oline was stellar in his second season, the reality is he didn’t let the team work together as one unit from the start of that season.
Hopefully, this time around he gets it right. If the offensive line fails to produce this year, it will be the leading factor in his careers end in Miami. It’s also a reason that I believe the Dolphins will look strongly to doubling their Oline picks in next months draft.