2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Martin replaces Long for Dolphins at left tackle

By STEVEN WINE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-24 14:27

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - Jonathan Martin weighed more than 300 pounds at the start of the year and decided to do something about it. So he undertook a rigorous workout routine - and gained 15 pounds.

For an NFL offensive tackle, pounds can be a plus, and Martin was pleased to add some heft.

``I think it will help a lot,'' he said, sweating in the sun after a Miami Dolphins training camp practice. ``It'll give me a better anchor and more power in the running game.''

The Dolphins hope Martin will anchor their line for years to come at left tackle, where he's replacing departed Pro Bowler Jake Long. The 6-foot-5 Martin now tips the scale at 320, which means that if he fails at his new position, he'll be a big bust in more ways than one.

Aside from second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Martin might have the most impact of any player on the Dolphins' season. If he does a solid job, their offense could be significantly improved, because they have more big-play potential at the skill positions and a more experienced QB.

But if Martin can't consistently protect Tannehill's blind side, the Dolphins might be destined for a fifth consecutive losing season.

``I played left tackle in college, so I'm really comfortable there,'' said Martin, a second-round draft pick in 2012. ``I'm confident in what I can do. I'll just do the best I can to help this team win.''

Martin, who blocked for Andrew Luck at Stanford, started the first 12 games with the Dolphins last year as a rookie at right tackle, then moved to the left side when a triceps injury ended Long's season. Long, a mainstay in Miami since 2008, became a free agent and signed in March with the St. Louis Rams.

The Dolphins courted veteran Bryant McKinnie as a potential replacement, then decided to go with Martin on the left side. Their new right tackle is 6-foot-6, 330-pound Tyson Clabo, who spent the past seven seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and was a 2010 Pro Bowl selection.

Clabo will wear Long's No. 77.

``He's a very talented player, and from what I understand he was very well liked and a good locker-room guy,'' Clabo said. ``So obviously I'm not trying to replace him. I'm just trying to come in and find my own spot and fill the void that's my job to fill, provide a veteran presence and help this team figure out how to win.''

Better blocking would make the path to the playoffs easier. The Dolphins ranked 27th in the NFL in yards and 26th in offensive points in 2012, when breakdowns up front were a frequent problem.

Long's a former No. 1 overall draft pick, but a series of injuries took a toll on his performance in the past two seasons, and last year he allowed seven sacks in 12 games.

Martin gave up 8 3/4 sacks while allowing 47 quarterback hurries, the most in the league, and seemed mismatched at times at left tackle, where he often faced the opponents' best pass rusher.

``We saw a lot of progress. We saw development there,'' coach Joe Philbin said Wednesday. ``His technique was good. He needs to work on the consistency of his punch, but overall we thought he played well. He had the whole offseason to get comfortable and work on things, so we're expecting him to play better.''

There's no clear backup plan if Martin flops or gets hurt. Four days into camp, the backup left tackle is third-round draft pick Dallas Thomas, and Philbin conceded he's not comfortable with depth in the line.

``I don't know if I'm comfortable with the depth at any position yet,'' he said.

While the Dolphins have made changes at both starting tackle spots, the interior line personnel remains the same, with Mike Pouncey at center, and Richie Incognito and John Jerry at guard.

``It takes all five for us to be good, and we're going to be good,'' Pouncey said. ``We definitely miss Jake, but Jonathan Martin is adjusting to the left side, and we're looking for a big year out of him.''

Miami's season might hinge on it.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group