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

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:33a

Buffalo Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis are alternating series with the second unit in team drills Tuesday, July 22.

Tyler BrayJul 22 09:13a

Kansas City Chiefs QBs Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel are likely to compete for one roster spot with QB Aaron Murray likely to make the team behind starting QB Alex Smith.

Navorro BowmanJul 22 12:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Jacques McClendonJul 21 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars OG Jacques McClendon is the frontrunner to start at right guard heading into training camp, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. OG Brandon Linder is the other candidate for the starting job.

Aaron ColvinJul 21 10:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin (knee) will begin training camp and the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate [ More ]

Jeromy MilesJul 21 10:03p

Baltimore Ravens S Jeromy Miles has seen some reps with the first-team defense this offseason and is a dark horse candidate to win the starting free safety job, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

Brandon MosleyJul 21 09:43p

New York Giants OT Brandon Mosley will be given the first chance to start in place of OG Chris Snee when the first-team offensive line takes the field Tuesday, [ More ]

T.J. GrahamJul 21 09:23p

Buffalo Bills WR T.J. Graham had a pass fall through his hands after beating his defender on a deep route in camp Monday, July 21.ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Graham [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsJul 21 09:02p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins made several big plays in practice Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Watkins beat CB Leodis McKelvin deep, hauled in a pass [ More ]

Marvin JonesJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder), WR Marvin Jones (ankle) and CB Onterio McCalebb (knee) have been placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

Devon StillJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Clint Boling (knee), LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring), P Kevin Huber (neck), WR Colin Lockett (hamstring), DT Zach Minter (back), DT Devon Still (back) and WR Ryan [ More ]

Cordy GlennJul 21 06:53p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) does not have a timetable for his return at this point, according to head coach Doug Marrone. 'I don't know that. It's a [ More ]

Mike CaussinJul 21 06:43p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent TE Mike Caussin (Bills). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived LS Kyle Nelson.

Cheta OzougwuJul 21 06:32p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) and DT John Jenkins (pectoral) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Brennan WilliamsJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans OT Brennan Williams (undisclosed) has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Brian CushingJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Eric HaggJul 21 06:13p

Denver Broncos SS Eric Hagg has informed the team that he has decided to retire from professional football.

Dominique EasleyJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots DT Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and OT Chris Martin have been placed on the team's non-football injury list.

Alfonzo DennardJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed), DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) will begin training camp on [ More ]

Leon HallJul 21 05:12p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and CB Leon Hall (Achilles') will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

Jon BeasonJul 21 05:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

John JerryJul 21 05:02p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) will be limited when training camp starts.

Kraig UrbikJul 21 04:33p

Buffalo Bills OT Chris Hairston and OG Kraig Urbik saw first-team repetitions at right guard Monday, July 21.

Dezmon BriscoeJul 21 04:03p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent WR Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins), according to his agent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phillip HuntJul 21 03:12p

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Phillip Hunt (knee) has recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and should begin workouts with teams in the near future.

Chris ConteJul 21 02:12p

Chicago Bears FS Chris Conte said he feels good as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but is unsure of his availability for the start of training camp. He could [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuJul 21 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) are candidates to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

David WilsonJul 21 01:42p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) should be able to help the offense if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, according to former offensive coordinator [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 21 01:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OG Chris Snee has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Garrett CelekJul 21 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers TEs Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek will compete for the No. 3 tight end spot during training camp.

De'Anthony ThomasJul 21 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB De'Anthony Thomas spent most of his time with the running backs during practice Monday, July 21. Thomas run a lot of passing routes out of [ More ]

Christopher OwensJul 21 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee), WR A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, July 21.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group