The Miami Dolphins wrapped up their sixth practice today and the offensive line is still a point of contention. According to a Twitter report by one of the Sun-Sentinel reporters, the Dolphins line looked better today, everywhere but center.
It begs the question, does this team have a problem at center?
Nate Garner has stepped in for Shelley Smith who has been moved back to guard after several bad practices at a position he never played. Sam Brenner is taking the rehab assignment approach with a banged up ankle that doesn’t appear serious. Tyler Larsen is still floating in the mix and David Arkin made his appearance today as the back-up behind Garner. The Dolphins can ill afford to keep playing merry-go-round at the position and it may be time to start thinking about adding another veteran who actually has played the position.
The first name that comes to mind is former Dolphin Samson Satele. Satele is a free agent and could provide the Dolphins with some competition and veteran savvy at the position. He isn’t a long term solution but could provide solid competition in training camp pushing others to get better or bridge the team until Pouncey gets back. It’s not an ideal situation but it’s one the Dolphins should at least look into.
Another option is Ryan Cook formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. Cook is entering his 8th season in the NFL and while not considered a road grader has been involved in a solid offensive system calling line assignments. Most of Dallas’ offensive line issues came from the outside tackle positions. Cook was released to make room for younger players. He isn’t a sure thing at center anymore but at this point in free agency, no one is. It’s not likely that Miami is going to see a starting caliber center hit the free agent market. Those types of players don’t normally get released prior to the season.
Another option could be the aging David Baas who is entering his 9th season. Baas isn’t the player he used to be but could still provide the Dolphins some real depth at the position.
It’s early in the process of training camp and someone could still step up and ideally an internal player would be the best option but at some point the Dolphins need to start thinking about this issue and I’m sure they already are.