No need for overanalysis about the Dolphins' OTAs
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Most of what we see in May and June is long forgotten by the season
Ethan J. Skolnick
In his responses to four questions about the interior offensive line following Tuesday's OTA practice, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano mentioned nearly every guard but John Hannah, Dwyane Wade and those stiffs who protect Buckingham Palace.
Hey, wait, what happened to Shawn Murphy?
You remember Shawn Murphy, right? Son of Dale? Former fourth-round pick? The talk of this sports town just one year ago? The guy who had improved so much, after a lost rookie year, that he was working with the first team? The guy who according to Sparano, was "much stronger now physically, without a doubt and I think in a lot better shape, so I think we are going to see him take some steps forward here?"
That guy never stepped foot on the field for the Dolphins during a regular-season game.
They cut him in October. He has been claimed and cut by two teams since.
And so let's be careful not to make any claims based on what's happening during Organized Team Activities. Let's not make the mistake of assuming that players' apparent roles in May or June will have any bearing on what occurs in the fall and winter.
It's an eternity between now and the opener.
So most of what you hear now is inanity. We're just feeding the beast, but it's not necessarily nourishing.
Let's look back at his news conferences in late May and early June of last year. He was asked a lot about linemen Brandon Frye, Ikechuku Ndukwe, Andy Alleman and Murphy. He was not asked about the forgotten Garner, who would eventually emerge as Thomas' true competition.
In those sessions, he praised Ernest Wilford's conversion to tight end, noted that Eric Green was often around the ball, spoke highly of Matt Roth's upside, called Gibril Wilson "a pretty cool customer back there," and said Ted Ginn Jr. was playing stronger: "I have seen him be, in some situations, pretty dominant."
Some of those players were let go. Others were letdowns.
So was Sparano lying? No. He was observing, projecting, hoping and, through his positive comments, attempting to reassure fans while inspiring the referenced players.
"Right now, reading an awful lot into it is just going to frustrate you guys," Sparano said ...