Will it be Billy Turner or Jamil Douglas for Miami Dolphins?
By Brian Miller
There is a rumor going around that Jamil Douglas has surpassed Billy Turner for the starting right guard position. There is also a report that says that is not the case. Yet it won’t go away and there has been a lot of speculation that it is in fact a reality. Turner has downplayed it and Douglas hasn’t had anything to say on the subject either. Is this a case of the local media sprouting wings to get more air time or is there indeed truth to the flotation?
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Looking over the pre-season it has been evident that Turner has struggled more often than he hasn’t. Douglas has played well but has he been that shining rookie who has everyone taking notice? Not really. Like the Brandon Fields Matt Darr competition it’s close. The Dolphins have been very high on Turner this past off-season and they expected more than what they got. At one point prior to the 2nd pre-season game it was reported that some of the Dolphins coaches or management team were exactly happy with his performance.
Douglas on the other hand has been consistent to say the least. When both players are put side by side experience doesn’t play a role in the decision. Last season Turner missed the entire year with an injury so in reality he is facing what would essentially be a rookie season, although of course he isn’t a rookie. Douglas is of course, a rookie.
If there is good news out of any of this it’s that Dallas Thomas has performed far better than expected. That enthusiasm can be tempered a little seeing that one, it’s pre-season, and two, expectations by the fan base and media were never all that high to begin with. Regardless Thomas has looked good at the left guard spot. Which coincidentally is where Douglas was originally thought to be a player at.
Douglas may indeed move ahead of Turner for the week one starting job but it may very well be a game to game decision based on each players positive play. This is a camp battle that easily could unfold completely as the season moves forward. The real question is not whether Turner or Douglas start but whether either of them can play at the level that is expected of them by the coaching staff.
Teams are paring down their rosters and this weekend will find 100’s of players out of a job and looking for work. Many of whom will be offensive lineman, many of those guards, and many more of those veterans who will not be looking for a big contract. Yes, it’s very possible that Miami will take a long look at what’s on the unemployment line come four o’clock on the 5th of September.
At least for now there is a two man race for the starting job and this weeks game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be a big factor in who actually starts against Washington. Let’s hope one of them steps up and not only wins the spot but clearly shows they can handle it.