Merling placed on the active/non-football injury list
After some brief speculation into why Merling was still listed on the active camp roster despite having a torn Achilees' tendon, it was confirmed today that the former second-round pick was indeed placed on the active/non-football injury list last Friday. That means the Dolphins can go after some of the $600,000 he is scheduled to make this season because Merling suffered the injury away from the team.
Paul Soliai continues to shine
After two straight days of earning a little praise for the improvements he has apparently made this offseason, Soliai had another outstanding practice today, splitting first-team reps with Randy Starks. At 355 pounds, Soliai is the prototypical nose tackle, not undersized like Starks (305 pounds), who converted inside from defensive end. If Soliai can stay consistent throughout camp, and perform well in the preseason contest, the door could open for Starks to move back to defensive end, where he was arguably Pro Bowl caliber in 09'.
Part of the plan was for Starks to still get snaps at defensive end, but only on limited occasions. In the event Soliai emerges as a starting caliber nose, though, he could fill the void of the retired Jason Ferguson, while Starks switches back to where he is proven. The Dolphins could still use Starks as a hybrid, moving him to the interior or the outside depending on the situation. Whatever the case, only positives can come from Soliai making drastic improvements. And just imagine how potentially loaded Miami would be at defensive end if this scenario were to play out.
Misi back to starting with Wake
A day after losing out on first-team reps to the surprising Alama-Francis, the rookie was back with the starters today. There have been mixed reports about how Misi is performing dating all the way back to rookie minicamp, but the worst I've heard is that he struggled against Jake Long. How insulting right?
Cameron Wake meanwhile, has been the guy at weakside linebacker for three straight days. And with everyone raving about how well he continues to rush the passer-yes even against Long- I'm starting to wonder if he hasn't already won the starting job.
I expected the line to rotate on day two, but John Jerry and Cory Procter stayed put as starting right and left guards. They finally did today, though, as Jerry moved over to starting left guard, where he spent the spring, and Donald Thomas got promoted to starting right guard. Richie Incognito still hasn't cracked the starting lineup in camp, but that could be because the coaches already know what he can bring to the table, and want to experiment with the other guys a bit.
I wouldn't expect the experimenting to drag out all of camp, though, because Sparano wants his starting line to develop chemistry. That's kind of hard to do when there are different starters every other day, and certain players are lining up at multiple positions. With that said, I expect them to continue to play around with the lineup for the first couple weeks, but for them to have their starters in place before the preseason concludes.
At the battle for starting center, Jake Grove and Joe Berger continue to switch every other practice. Berger was the starter today, so Grove will likely start tomorrow's morning session.
Injuries at Receiver?
Fifth receiver/kick-return hopeful Ryan-Grice Mullen missed practice today, and was seen riding the exercise bike. Nothing appears to be serious, however, and he is expected to make a return tomorrow. Brian Hartline spent some time with the trainer, but later returned, as it appeared to only be a cramp.
Sparano raves about Dansby
Ever since Marshall-mania and all the talk surrounding the various position battles, Karlos Dansby has been sort of forgotten. Well that's a bit exaggerated, but he hasn't received the attention you would think, after signing the lucrative deal he did this offseason to come to Miami as a Pro Bowl capable inside linebacker. Sparano reminded everyone of how much improved Dansby likely makes the defense, today. Sparano reportedly labeled Dansby the most "eye-popping" guy he's seen out there, and hinted he reacts to everything so much quicker than everyone else.