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

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ 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