Dolphins new head coach Adam Gase is not going to just hand the starting left guard spot to Laremy Tunsil even as the first preseason game Vs the Giants is just days away.
New Dolphins LT/LG Laremy Tunsil has been splitting reps at both tackle and guard spots, what has been more concerning for media and fans alike is that he also has been splitting reps with both the first and second team lines behind Dallas Thomas. Having him split time at the two positions is understandable considering that he will eventually take that spot from Branden Albert after his time is done, also that Branden Albert has been susceptible to injury and he might have to fill in for him should that take place this season.
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So who is Smith Barney and what does this have to do with Tunsil? It was the name of an older wealth management business going back aways that would saturate the TV airwaves with commercials stating they “make money the old-fashioned way they earn it.” as you can see from the link
Ex-Miami Dolphin Keith Sims: I expect Laremy Tunsil to start season as backup
“I would say short of an injury, it’s to be expected,” Sims said of Tunsil being slotted behind incumbent guards Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner.
It is no knock on Tunsil, Sims emphasized. It is a reality check on the big picture for Tunsil, who not only is making the transition from college to pro, but from tackle to guard. But as he does, his lack of activity with the starters in camp is slowly shifting from curiosity to concern, especially after the starting offensive line was manhandled by the defensive line during the first fully padded practice Monday. If Tunsil can’t crack that lineup, the thinking goes, what then?
Here’s what, Sims said: “You’re talking about going on the road, right? To Seattle — one of the most hostile, loud environments that you can face. With a defense that has been one of the tops in the NFC over the last couple of years. You can’t afford to turn those pass rushers loose and get your quarterback hurt or your running back hurt. So if you’re not ready to start, you can’t be on the field like that.”-Hal Habib @gunnerhal-palmbeachpost
Offensive line coach Chris Foerster
“The depth chart hasn’t been set yet. So guys that have been here, guys that are doing better in drill work, guys that understand the offense better. Obviously, there’s a learning curve for everybody. At this point, we are letting Dallas roll, although Tunsil is taking some. A lot of it has to do with how we’re trying to get Laremy reps in other positions. It doesn’t always work out that he can go first, second. If it’s a day we’re trying to get Billy Turner reps at right guard, that affects everybody else in the rotation.
“If it’s a day we’re trying to get Tunsil more at left tackle, that affects everybody in the rotation. So it’s really all about how the rotation is going during the day, not so much, a little bit is, Dallas has been here and understands it a little better. But not that much better.”
So how is Tunsil doing, overall and in his move to guard?
“Every player has something to work on, he’s not alone,” Foerster said. “He’s really doing a great job. Having him in two positions, he’s studying having to learn 2 spots technique wise. He has done a really, really fine job. Couldn’t be happier with his progress.
“Everything happens quicker at guard – the guys are lined up closer to you. You don’t have to deal with space as much. They’re a different type of player. You look at the difference between how Mario Williams looks compared to Suh. Body types inside are usually stockier, shorter, you have to bend and get underneath. It’s a whole different game underneath. Things happen quicker…. Laremy has done a great job. Just the adjustment of space from tackle to guard.”
And what about Thomas, who has been beleaguered for much of his career?
“He needs to work on everything,” Foerster said. “It’s a different style of offense now. He needs to work on being strong and clean in the pocket. That’s a big part of his game. He’s a very athletic guy. He did a really nice job of that all offseason and has done a good job again. Just playing fast. Our offense is about tempo, being on the line of scrimmage, with no hesitated. I’ve started coaching him from scratch.”-Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz-miamiherald
Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen
”We’ll have to make some decisions, but those decisions will come more after Week 1 of the preseason and then we’ll still have two weeks of camp and a fourth preseason game and a game week to have the combination right that we want to go into the season with. But I don’t see that happening until after Week 1 of the preseason. I see us just continuing to cross-train a lot of different people and then make our decision from there.”-Christensen
” I don’t get why it’s necessary to have another prolonged shuffle for weeks and weeks into the preseason, sometimes right up to the start of the regular season. Failed coaches of the past, most recently Joe Philbin, engaged in this sort of overkill on an annual basis, accomplishing little other than sacrificing cohesiveness of the starting unit for extra tape that, in the end, was irrelevant at best.”-Chris Shashaty @phinschris-phins.com
It is easy to side with Shashaty’s point above. Management loves to cross-train but there comes a point were it stops to be beneficial and starts to be a hindrance. What ever line they decide on needs time to gel as a unit to function properly throughout the upcoming season. Cross-training will help to be ready for any unforeseen occurrences on the line (injury/bad performance Etc) however not having a seated unit gel could also lead to those same unforeseen occurrences, it is a fine line to balance.
Going back to the claim of Tunsil to start season as backup there is this point.
“Dolphins OL coach Chris Foerster has amusingly suggested the two could rotate during the regular season”-Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz-miamiherald
This could be a possibility but is highly improbable. It would also be unorthodox, just as much as having one of the past seasons worst rated offense lineman get the majority of the first teams snaps. Promoting putridity is not very advantageous, it may get by in politics but in the world of sports it is a recipe for an perennial losing season.