Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins player prefers to play a different position next season

The Dolphins’ offensive line is expected to have some changes.
The Dolphins’ offensive line is expected to have some changes. AP

Some Dolphins notes on a Thursday:

▪ Ted Larsen finished this season as the Dolphins’ starting left guard. But if he has his way, he will not begin next season with that job.

Larsen told me a couple of weeks ago that he would like to shift to right guard.

“That’s my preference,” he said. “I played there since 2014.”

Larsen is expected back, though the Dolphins could add a guard to challenge him.

“For the most part, I’m pretty pleased,” he said of his performance in his eight games played after missing the first eight with a torn bicep.

Jesse Davis, who finished the season as the starter at right guard, said he’s fine with flip-flopping with Larsen if asked to do so.

Davis played two games at left guard earlier in the season and said he’s comfortable at either spot.

There’s also a possibility the Dolphins could play Davis at right tackle next season if they move on from Ja’Wuan James, who very likely won’t be kept at his $9 million salary, if at all.

The Dolphins did not tell Davis during his exit meeting whether he would play guard or tackle next season.

“Guard is coming along pretty well,” he said. “If they thought I would be better at tackle, they would put me there.”

The Dolphins don’t need to make that decision until sizing up their free agent and draft options at tackle and guard. Davis said he has no preference on whether he plays guard or tackle.

Two offensive linemen are projected for Miami’s NFL Draft range — Texas tackle Connor Williams and Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.

After James and Jermon Bushrod sustained season ending injuries, the Dolphins moved Davis to right guard and had Sam Young play right tackle.

Head Coach Adam Gase, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum and General Manager Chris Grier, left to right, talk to the media during a Miami Dolphins press conference at the Baptist Health South Florida Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University on Wednesday, January 3, 2018.

Young played well enough late in the season that he could generate interest from multiple teams in free agency. Miami likely would have interest in bringing him back as a third tackle.

Larsen — who is due $1.5 million next season with a $1.9 million cap hit — is expected back, though the Dolphins could add a guard to challenge him.

▪ Bushrod is unlikely to return as a player but don’t be surprised if the Dolphins consider another organizational role for him. He is highly respected in the building.

▪ Cornerback Walt Aikens, a valuable special teams player, was used on only 13 defensive snaps all season.

Will he look for a team willing to give him a chance on defense?

“We’ll see,” he said. “Playing defense is what you want to do. You wouldn’t go in and say you just want to be a special teams player your whole career.”

▪ Here are a few Dolphins snap numbers of note from Pro Football Focus.

Among Miami’s rookie draft picks, Cordrea Tankersley had 637 snaps; Davon Godchaux 500; Charles Harris 496 and Vincent Taylor 185. Raekwon McMillan and Isaiah Ford missed the season with injuries, and Isaac Asiata didn’t play a snap.

The Dolphins’ top four snap leaders on offense: Mike Pouncey at 971, Kenny Stills at 939; Laremy Tunsil at 934 and Jarvis Landry at 929.

The Dolphins’ top four snap leaders on defense: Xavien Howard with 1016; Reshad Jones with 1015; Kiko Alonso with 1007; and Ndamukong Suh with 877.

Per the good folks at PFF, Pouncey’s 971 snaps were his most since 2012, and Stills’ 939 were 85 more than his previous career high from 2016.

Here’s my Thursday UM post, including news on Braxton Berrios’ NFL future.

Here’s my Thursday Heat post on Dion Waiters’ future.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments