Jesse Davis starting right guard and why it’s a big deal
By Brian Miller
There is news out of the Miami Dolphins OTA’s this week as Jesse Davis has been named the starting right guard.
The naming of Jesse Davis as the starter in the 2nd OTA session of the year is hardly new breaking. Yet at the same time, it actually is. On Twitter Omar Kelly pointed out that if Davis successfully holds that job he will become the first player since Yeremiah Bell to have made the move from practice squad player to starter.
We get it, it’s OTA’s. It’s not camp, it’s not pre-season, it’s not regular season. Pads are not on, hitting isn’t allowed, contact isn’t allowed, nothing really for an offensive lineman is allowed. Yet here we are talking about it. Why? Because it matters. It matters this early in the off-season and it matter this late in May.
For the last decade maybe, the Dolphins have opted to play merry-go-round with their offensive lineman. They have tried one guy here and the next day moved him over there. A guard was asked to play tackle while a tackle was asked to play center. The revolving door through the off-season and through training camp was so bad that zero continuity was built.
That showed during the seasons.
Remember when Ja’Wuan James was o.k. but the rotating guard spot of Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner did nothing for him? He did get better when Jermon Bushrod spent the off-season taking the first team reps.
Miami’s offensive line may undergo some changes this year but it appears those will be on the depth end. Miami, in May, has a starting offensive line picked out. James, Jesse Davis, Daniel Kilgore, Josh Sitton, and Laremy Tunsil. I’ll say it again and pause for effect.
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This means that come training camp, the Dolphins will line up every day with their starting offensive lineman taking starting reps at the position they play. Players like Ted Larsen will rotate in and out to give breathers and to get the reps in with the first team unit but no more rotations.
Perhaps the best part is the fact that these guys are all pretty good football players. Kilgore doesn’t have to be Pro-Bowl Mike Pouncey he only has to be healthy. Sitton is exceptional and his addition should really help Tunsil bloom into the high-pedigree he is supposed to be.
It’s May and so much is left to do before the season which is around 100 days out but nailing down who is going to be the starter at position that has been in flux for so long, is a good sign that the coaching staff is starting to see the importance of getting the players on the same page and building a unit.