Surprisingly, the Phins reached in the first round of the draft to take a Center with the 15th selection. Nearly everyone thought the Phins were going to trade down from the 15th selection and pick up a late first rounder plus a second rounder. With the late first rounder, the Phins could take a right tackle like Carimi (now a starter with the Bears) or Castonzo (now a backup with the Colts) and put Carey at right guard. But, Jeff Ireland merely stated no team called to make a trade down deal and the Phins had no intention of moving Carey to guard. Hmmm! I think Tony exercised his “more say” in personnel matters. I think Tony got his man and he thought the offensive line problems were solved with Long (LT), Incognito (LG), Jerry (RG), Carey (RT), and Pouncey (C).
Incredibly, the Phins did not draft nor pick up any free agent at the guard position! Boy, it would have been nice to have taken Carimi late in the first round along with his Wisconsin line mate Moffitt (who now starts at guard for the Seahawks) in the second round. The Phins could have been set on the offensive line with Long (LT), Moffitt (a true LG), Incognito (C), Carey (RG), and Carimi (RT). And, it would have hardly even mattered who they chose at RB — consider the strength of the Patriots is their OL and it does not seem to matter who runs the ball.
Not Surprisingly, problems arose with the OL in training camp — again! It became apparent, early on, that Jerry was not the solution at RG and Carey was not going to hack it at RT. So, the Phins picked up Marc Columbo, former 10 year vet who was cut by the Cowboys, to play RT. And, they gave Carey a personal day off to decide if he wanted to take a pay cut and play RG. Hmmm, Carey now at right guard — what a novel idea? I think Tony exercised his “more say” in personnel matters. Columbo was his guy in Dallas.
So, how did the new look OL work out in the all important third game of the preseason? Well, the OL was utterly horrible. Yeh, I know that Murtha was filling in at LT for Long, But, the Phins carried the ball 13 times for just 15 yards in the first half with Reggie Bush being tackled for a loss three times. And, Henne was sacked three times. Sparano said “to be honest, we just kind of self-destructed a little bit here … well, not a little bit … a lot”. Hey Tony, you think? Carey said “”we didn’t do well at all”. Duh! But, Sparano added “everything that happened tonight is fixable”. Yeh right! Have we not heard that before? And, Long back in the lineup will not “fix” everything.
I think Jeff Ireland needs to work some magic — quickly. I think the Phins should leverage Phillip Merling and Marlon Moore to get a good offensive lineman. The Phins are filled to their gills with quality defensive linemen and wide receivers. They desparately need a RG or a RT. If they got a true RG, then they could let Carey and Columbo fight it out for the start at RT.
However, before they go out and get a RG, I would like to give a little advice. Please do not go out and get an over-the-hill vet cut by another team — like Columbo. Please do not go out and get someone who has a history of injuries — Like Grove or Smiley. And please do not go out and get another Dallas Cowboy — like Leonard Davis. But, please go out and get someone. Or else, we are going to be in for a long season.
What do you think?