Posts Tagged With: Jared Odrick

The Miami Dolphins and a man named Suh.

Tony Gutierrez/AP

Tony Gutierrez/AP

Hunting season is almost here. The NFL Free Agency season opens Tuesday at 4pm.

Like most years there is one marquee player grabbing most of the attention. This year that player is Ndamukong Suh. He is the white whale this offseason. Franchises will put it all on the line to sign him.

Suh is the $100-million dollar man this week. The San Diego Chargers just threw their name in the ring, joining the Oakland Raiders, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chicago Bears, his former team the Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins seem to be the frontrunners. They are going big-game hunting again. This is not the first time they have gone after the biggest name during the offseason. Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Mike Wallace all come to mind.  While they have had some success the Dolphins have also been used to drive up the price on free agents who never intended to sign with the storied franchise.

Suh is absolutely worth the money. He is clearly the second best defensive lineman in the league-sorry but J.J. Watt is still number one. Talent has never been a question. Watching him at Nebraska in college it was clear he was a man among boys. Even his occasional on-field penalties should not give any team pause. Still the price tag is daunting.

$17 million a year. That is what we are talking about on the low-end. That is elite-quarterback money. That is Aaron Rodgers-Tom Brady money. It is scary. For that money you can sign two or three very good players, maybe even pro bowl players. For that kind of money you have to be sure or it can cripple a franchise.

Miami has the money. Question is do they pull the trigger?

This week I considered what to do with the defensive tackle position with or without Suh. I came up with three ideas I like.

Scenario #1:

Sign Ndamukong Suh and Jared Odrick. Bring Odrick home. He has been the best interior defensive lineman for the Dolphins for the last few season. Pairing him with Suh would solidify the middle for years to come.

Scenario #2:

Sign Suh and Dan Williams, the free agent nose tackle from the Arizona Cardinals. At 6’2 and 327 lbs, Williams can eat up space in the middle while Suh, Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon terrorize opposing offenses.

Scenario #3:

Sign Odrick and Williams. Yes they miss out on the shiny signing of Suh. That is ok. The defensive line is still strengthened and you have a chunk of cap space available to address other needs.

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Categories: AFC East, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Free Agency, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Ndamukong Suh, NFL, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Miami Dolphins Training Camp Primer: Defensive Line

cam wake

 

The Miami Dolphins defensive line was a strength of this team last season and it continues to be one this year. Even with the departure of Paul Soliai and the 4-game suspension of last years first round pick Dion Jordan this unit should continue to impress.

It is not simply the talent on the field it is also the depth that promises consistent play no matter who is out there.

I will start with the Defensive Ends.

Cameron Wake: Wake is the star of this unit, maybe of the entire team. After joining the Dolphins in 2009 after a successful run in the CFL, Wake has shown that he is an elite defensive end. Providing 8.5 sacks as well as one of the plays off the year in his walk-off safety against the Cincinnati Bengals 2013 was another excellent season from him. The only question with Wake is how long can he perform at this level. He is 32 and he did miss some time last season to injury. Keeping an eye on his playing time might be a wise move by the Dolphins.

Olivier Vernon: This third year player out of the University of Miami had his coming out party last season. Posting 11.5 sacks opposite of Cameron Wake. At the beginning of last offseason he was not even expected to start, but he held off Dion Jordan to keep the job. Now it is time for Vernon to prove last season was not a fluke. After a full season starting I expect him to be more consistent and effective, elevating the performance of the entire line.

Dion Jordan: The Dolphins 2013 first round pick has an unique combination of size, speed and agility. How unique? Jason Taylor kind of unique. While he saw his playing time limited last season while recovering from injuries, he came into this season in great shape even adding some muscle to help against the run. Recently it was announced that he will serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFLs PED policy. While some make a big deal out of this, I believe everyone is entitled to a mistake. As long as Jordan learns from this and does not become an habitual offender there should be no problem. He will be back by the beginning of October adding another weapon to this defense.

Derrick Shelby: Shelby provides solid depth to this line. Still a young player with room to grow, he should be a regular part of the defensive end rotation this season.

Terrence Fede: The rookie draft pick from Marist contributed over 30 sacks during his college career. Still very raw, he has the kind of athleticism that teams covet at the defensive end position. Fede looked to be an easy choice for the practice squad this season, but with the Jordan suspension he may sneak onto the main roster at the beginning of the season.

The Defensive Tackle position will look a little different this year. Gone is space-eater Paul Soliai replaced by Earl Mitchell. It looks like defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle is looking for versatility at the position.

Randy Starks: Starks signed a two-year $12 million dollar contract to return to the Dolphins this offseason. A two-time pro bowler he is effective working at defensive tackle and also at end. At thirty he is one of the older members of the defense but still can perform as a full-time starter.

Jared Odrick: Like Starks, Odrick has the versatility to play inside or outside. The former first round pick contributed 4.5 sacks last season bringing his career total to 15.5 for the Dolphins. Entering into a contract year, expectations should be high for Odrick this season. I expect to see him excel in his second season as a full-time defensive tackle.

Earl Mitchell: Coming over from the Houston Texans, Mitchell is expected to fill the run stopping role Soliai once manned. If nothing else he should be a solid member of the defensive tackle rotation.

A.J. Francis: Francis impressed in last years preseason. Unfortunately he did not make the final 53 man roster, being picked up by the New England Patriots and spending several weeks on their roster. By the end of the season he was back on Miami’s roster. With a season of experience he has a good chance of making the roster and providing depth in the defensive tackle rotation. He also has a chance to surprise and steal snaps from the starters this year.

Even with a suspension and the ongoing threat of injury that always exists I expect this line should continue to be a strength. It is very simple. Next man up. The depth and talent are there. Each and every man simply needs to step up when his number is called and I expect nothing less.

 

Categories: Football, Miami Dolphins, NFL, NFL draft | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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