Randy Starks a DE

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by ckparrothead, May 21, 2008.

  1. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    http://www.miamiherald.com/616/story/540757.html

    This may not completely settle this debate but it's pretty clear where they've been working the man and this comes from his own mouth.

    This is what I've been trying to say. At first I was thinking that drafting Phil Merling rectifies the mistake Mueller made in letting David Bowens walk without replacing him with a DL specialist that could rush the passer with his hand on the ground, and that drafting Kendall Langford was rectifying a mistake made in allowing Kevin Carter to walk and the inadequate Matt Roth to try and replace him.

    But then I thought about it a little more and it's probably more like Randy Starks was signed here as direct replacement for Kevin Carter, who was never adequately replaced by Matt Roth...and Kendall Langford is here for the future, for when they eventually give Vonnie Holliday the ouster. The timeline fits better when you think of it that way, even though really it's only a subtle difference.

    Nonetheless I think many here were under the mistaken impression that Randy Starks was here in some sort of Nose Tackle capacity. While that *may* happen some time in the future, should he prove inadequate at LDE, and should he eat himself into that hole...for now it's pretty clear he's here to play the LDE spot that Kevin Carter vacated.
     
  2. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I also find it interesting that Miami have refused overtures made by the agents for receivers like Chris Henry, Eric Moulds, Koren Robinson and Tim Dwight.

    It could be more proof that the Dolphins plan to add a receiver or two via the waiver wire. They have #1 waiver claim priority and may have their eyes on a few players that could get cut. In the Dallas thread we had been speculating that the Dolphins could be eyeing guys like Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, Isaiah Stanback or even Terry Glenn of the Cowboys.
     
  3. cafinfan408

    cafinfan408 Punching Bag

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    i think if Randy really wants to he can be a real good player for this team. His structure is perfect for the 3-4 DE.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I think so too. Plus, there have been reports that his coaches in Tennessee really felt he was miscast in their system and that his best position is LDE in a 3-4.
     
  5. Rich

    Rich Seasoned Veteran

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    Dear CK,
    I think you are one of the greatest football analysts in South Florida. I enjoyed last year when each of us gave our comments on players during training camp and pre-season games. 90% of the time we have agreed, and sometimes we have had different opinions on players and there roles. It is always a fun discussion and I have enormous respect for you.

    I agree Starks is a 3-4 DE, and not a nose-tackle. You have more hope than I do that he will be productive here... we will see in a few weeks.
    **********
    The real problem is that Paul Soliai is our backup Nose-Tackle (who was a backup to recently cut Steve Fifita). He will have to improve dramatically this year, or else only play on passing downs.

    A couple of years ago we added Dan Wilkinson pretty late in the game. Perhaps that is the plan. Wait for the June cuts in two weeks, and sign a veteran backup for Ferguson... a Dan Wilkinson-type. I can't imagine us passing on a guy that becomes available to compete with Soliai at the Nose-Tackle position. It's a bit of a gamble to bet on a good Nose-Tackle being cut, and that he would choose to sign with us... I have to think that's the gameplan though.
    **********
    As for Roth vs. Kevin Carter... as a 4-3 DE, I think they were pretty even. As a 3-4 DE, Roth is too small and inadequate. Roth playing DT last year was rediculous. Roth might turn it around in this league; However, if we're moving to a 3-4, the guy better put on some weight and quickly, otherwise he's getting cut.
     
  6. NoblePhin

    NoblePhin Starter Donator

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    yea he fits the DE position more than NT imo. we're going to have some good competition at the DE spot this year with vonnie, randy, roth, wright, and langford. from what i've seen of merling, if he loses weight (which will happen), he is jt's heir. Solai better step up becuase we need him to be a good filler when JF needs a rest.
     
  7. X-Pacolypse

    X-Pacolypse A True Fan

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    Not exactly what you would call "must have" guys. I would much rather wait for a guy like Sam Hurd or Miles Austin to hit the waiver wire.
     
  8. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    Was the body of this message intended to be missing? Or were you just referring to me with tender endearment? LOL.
     
  9. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    True. But, they didn't even let the agents convince them to bring the guys in for visits or workouts or anything like that. The gist of the note is that the agents called and the Fins said "No, thanks" like right away, right over the phone.
     
  10. DefensiveEnd76

    DefensiveEnd76 Football Guru

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    Randy Starks is a big stout guy at 6'3" 310 and he is also mobile. He could be a great 3-4 DE because he has long arms as well.
     
  11. Dolfan1000

    Dolfan1000 Hall Of Famer

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    It says 'mostly'. I think he will play predominantly at end, but it still would not surprise me to see him spell Ferguson at nose, especially if Soliai fizzles.
     
  12. Dolfan1000

    Dolfan1000 Hall Of Famer

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    PS Whats with having to register to read Herald articles? If this is one of those 'Chatter' columns, could someone post the Fins-related content?
     
  13. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I think the "mostly" implies that he'll play DE in the 3-4 alignments and DT when needed in a 4-man front.
     
  14. MDFinFan06

    MDFinFan06 Fins4life

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    im confused. so starks replaces roth on the left side, holliday is on the right side. and langford is hollidays backup. wheres merling in all this?
     
  15. X-Pacolypse

    X-Pacolypse A True Fan

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    Yeah, you would think the front office would at least let the agents give their pitch and then say "no thanks." Although, I can understand their quick responses when it comes to Chris Henry and Koren Robinson.
     
  16. Dolfan1000

    Dolfan1000 Hall Of Famer

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    Plus, this seems to be assuming Fergie stays healthy for 16 games.

    Things change if/when a need at NT arises.
     
  17. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    Thanks for the kind words.

    It isn't precisely that I am super sure about Randy Starks as it is that I and others could figure out what the front office hopes he can do and that is be the LDE that Kevin Carter was. As has been mentioned, he has a good, big body and long arms, quickness and the Titans coaches thought he'd be a good 3-4 LDE, that was his natural position. Am I sure about him? Not in the least. He's among my four biggest wildcard players whose play on the field will most affect where the Dolphins end up for the year.

    As for Paul Soliai being the backup NT, couldn't agree more. Another huge wildcard. He's not quite in the four biggest wildcards but if I had to label a fifth, Soliai is it. If you read my draft review (understandable if you didn't, it's pretty long), one of the things I consistently criticized was how the front office did seem to ignore the most central positions in the defense, nose tackle and ILB. We have a guy that was only worth a future 6th round pick at NT, and backing him up is a guy that looked pretty bad in his rookie year. Then, at ILB, we have a guy in Channing Crowder that doesn't bang bodies as well as this regime hopes for their ILBs, doesn't make plays...Torbor has been mostly a backup...Ayodele a disappointment moving from 4-3 OLB to 3-4 ILB in Dallas...they cut Zach and never replaced his presence. This 3-4 defense has to be strong from the middle-out, otherwise it's dead in the water IMO...because a 3-4 defense that is weak in the middle can't stop the inside running game and a 3-4 defense that can't stop the inside running game is a pointless defense.

    You could absolutely be right about some kind of late addition for NT, a la Dan Wilkinson. But, if the draft is any indication, they may ACTUALLY want to give Soliai a good long look before they conclude anything on him. Risky...

    Kevin Carter was great for the team because he essentially played 3-4 DE, and when he wasn't playing 3-4 DE, he was mostly shifting inside to DT for pass rush alignments. His versatility in being able to do both of those jobs adequately was very valuable. Holliday was very similar, but I didn't think he was quite as valuable in fact I thought he looked better at times just because he mostly worked on Jason Taylor's side stunting side-by-side with him. At the time I was very vocal in thinking Miami should allow Holliday to walk via free agency on what was likely to be a big contract, and then maintain Kevin Carter's already existing contract. I was not for drawing up a bunch of new money for the 30+ year old Holliday, and then absorbing cap hits on old money previously paid to Carter, for the right to not have him play on the team anymore. I thought that was a backward way of doing things.

    What Miami ended up trying to do with Roth was have him replace Carter's roles directly. He was to be a 3-4 LDE, and then when we went to pass rush alignments, he was to move inside to 4-3 DT. He really wasn't adequate at either role.

    As for gaining weight, he's been gaining weight since he got drafted. He was originally 274 pounds. He's climbed to between 290 and 300 pounds, no matter what anyone reads off inaccurate roster weight listings. Fact of the matter is though, players don't often have great success with gaining weight. It takes a while for the body to get use to the new weight enough to gain an 'edge' back in terms of explosion. When players lose weight, they usually get more explosive very quickly, but of course they lose strength and durability. This is one reason I am absolutely NOT all for trying to have Phil Merling gain 20 pounds and play 3-4 DE. I believe this could just be following a repeat mistake as we did with Matt Roth. Roth may have lacked the ability on his feet to move out to linebacker but I believe Merling has it. He is tenacious, quick, good with his hands and good at getting out of trouble ON HIS FEET. But, he's not a plugger, he doesn't have true strength at the point of attack. That's what I saw, even before Tony Sparano basically implied that he saw the same thing on Merling's tapes. I think the guy showed up to his workouts at 290 pounds simply because he'd had hernia surgery and couldn't keep the weight off because he couldn't work out very hard. He played at about 274 pounds at Clemson. I think you have much better luck, again, by having a guy lose a bit of weight, get a bit leaner with less body fat, and then having him be more explosive.

    But he's not going to be that overnight, so in the mean time I see him being the first guy on the field when the Dolphins go into a pass rush alignment...to answer MDFinFan06's question about where Merling fits in. Remember, that is in no way a trivial role. Think of the impact that David Bowens had for us in 2005 & 2006. Think of the impact Trace Armstrong had for us back in the day.
     
  18. SR 7

    SR 7 Banned Hammered

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    also apparently he has a lighting quick first step w/the power he has and coaches and GM said when he wants to play to his fullest he takes over games and has that ability if he constantly goes at 110%.

    he will play LDE but he is also being groomed apparenlty to play NT.

    if the case u have a young core of Merling at RE, Starks at NT, and Langford at LE.

    kinda like a Seymoure type in merling, a carter type or "so" in langford and a NT in the middle.
     
  19. sceeto

    sceeto FinHeaven VIP

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    I think this was a great move from our staff. Lay down the law and set and keep your standards right from the start. It's even a good message for the players we have already...that we're serious about building a strong franchise founded on high character and mainly hard working players whom have their priorities straight. In the end, the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak, but I really like the plan and direction we seem to headed in.:up:
     
  20. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    The problem is I have seen absolutely nothing to suggest he is being groomed to play NT.
     
  21. BobDole

    BobDole Suck it Trebek

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    there was a debate about this? of course he's gonna be a DE. our roster is just lacking in the NT department right now. we'll get more.
     
  22. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    Believe it or not, yeah there was pretty heavy debate about this here on the Main Forum at FH. There hasn't been much debate about it at The Phins but that could be because a few of us identified that he would be playing DE relatively quickly after he was signed, and most everyone agreed with the logic. I think here, many assumed he'd be a backup and play mostly NT as soon as he was signed, and so that came to be almost the prevailing thought...
     
  23. BobDole

    BobDole Suck it Trebek

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    huh. i missed that one. i didn't think that was an issue. i think the issue is more of is he gonna start, having signed that interstingly large contract, if he gets beat out by wright or langford.
     
  24. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I think his biggest competition will be Matt Roth, because for some reason or other folks close to the organization think they actually like him somewhat.

    I think Langford will work behind Holliday. Roth will work behind Starks. Wright will try and figure into the mix any way he can but his notorious work ethic could see him go out of favor. He actually showed enough on tape that he's prime trading material. Miami could pick up a much better draft pick for him than the 7th round pick they originally spent. The same is not true of Matt Roth. There's enough tape of him playing inadequately that they probably couldn't recoup even close to the 2nd round investment they laid on him.

    Merling will be first on the field in pass rush sets. In terms of playing time, that would see him on the field almost as much as Jason Ferguson.
     
  25. BobDole

    BobDole Suck it Trebek

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    i keep hearing the roth thing too. i think it is crazy. he couldn't handle it in his ideal 4-3 defense, let alone taking on even more blockers in the 3-4.

    langford makes sense behind holliday at RE. but i liked the potential i saw in wright last year. and i did not at all like how much we gave starks. hope i am wrong on this one.

    and merling has OLB written all over him. i see him taking over on the right sooner rather than later.
     
  26. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I see him at OLB like you, that's what I'd been saying the moment he was drafted.

    But, realistically, with his body the way it is now because of the hernia...he's a DL specialist in his first year. A guy that can be relied on to put his hand on the ground and rush the passer well, and give great chase to the ball carrier when a team runs on our nickel fronts. That's how I see him in 2008. In 2009 and beyond, I think that is when we start to experiment with him more in space...hopefully his body will be a lot leaner by then.
     
  27. BobDole

    BobDole Suck it Trebek

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    yup. i see him lining up all over the place next year. but after that and about 20 pounds, i see him replacing taylor. i actually wasn't thrilled with this pick at first (because i wanted someone else - but what do i know) but now i see why it was made.
     
  28. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    It is hard to imagine that the loss of David Bowens and Kevin Carter could have actually hurt this defense a lot, but it did. It really hurt. With Bowens and Carter here, Miami was forced into nickel fronts where they got to pair Vonnie with JT on the right side of the DL, and Kevin and David on the left side. They stunted with each other and had great chemistry and the four of those players combined for 60 sacks in 2005 & 2006. They were the strength of the unit, believe it or not. We could be effective on third downs because they were so good at rushing the passer, and we could be effective against the run in part because teams didn't have a whole lot of incentive to run the ball on us from nickel formations, because that four-man line was effective against the run as well as pass...and so they ran on us against more normal formations where we were also well-equipped to stop the run.

    Initially they tried to replace Bowens and Carter with Porter and Roth. Porter had his hand down in those nickel fronts. He'd done it before, in Pitt. But, he'd been less effective at it recently in Pitt. Anyway Porter wasn't even close to as effective as David Bowens from a down position, and Roth was not really close to as effective as Kevin Carter. Instead of sticking with it, and trying to allow the chemistry to build, Miami succumbed to the complaints of the players and abandoned that formation...and started a steady stream of experiments with guys shuffling in like Chase Page, Rodrique Wright, Quentin Moses, even Steven Fifita.

    The kicker is, had they stuck with Porter at LDE and Roth at LDT in those fronts...EVENTUALLY the chemistry might have clicked. The four-man line of Bowens & Carter, Holliday & Taylor was not born overnight. Many forget that for the first 10 games of 2005 they were not very effective at all. Something clicked in time for that 6 game win streak to finish out the year. Those four men only averaged 8.4 solo tackle and 1.2 sacks per game through the first 10 games. They averaged 9.8 solo tackles and 2.8 sacks per game over the final 6 games, all wins. So, even though Porter and Roth weren't cutting it, we might have eventually developed the chemistry we needed if we stuck with it instead of shuffling things around constantly.

    The idea is to take Merling and Starks, and replace Bowens and Carter in those nickel fronts...I think. Then, hopefully that line develops chemistry and becomes a strength again.
     
  29. BobDole

    BobDole Suck it Trebek

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    tell me about it. never understood those moves.

    but i never liked seeing roth line up at DT. he just didn't penetrate - at all. he was easily blocked far too often.

    our D line will be miles better, without question. i don't see many maimi players under performing next year.
     
  30. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Premium Member

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    I'm preparing myself for it to look like a real work in progress for at least the first half of the season. We've got a lot of work to do here.
     
  31. nyfinzfan

    nyfinzfan Seasoned Veteran

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    I was thinking the same thing. I believe there is a need at receiver but by rebuffing overtures from the guys above (off field issues,washed up) I'd have to say they know there will be better guys getting released around the league and theyll be all over it. Besides the Cowboys listed above can anyone think of receivers caught in a numbers game that may be cut? I was thinking of the kid up in New England.. Chad Jackson.:woot:
     

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