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stan marino

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Offense adapting to Norv Turner's new scheme
May 3, 2002 Print it

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The installation of Norv Turner's offense is going along smoothly after eight days of on-field work. Turner has thrown a lot at the offense, trying to give the players as much information as possible before boiling it down during training camp.

The scheme is different than what the players were used to under Chan Gailey. In the previous two years, the offensive line protection schemes were called by numbers; now it is words. And wide receivers now have to know a route tree, as opposed to words. It will take time, but with three more quarterback schools before camp, Turner is confident things will be ready. . . .

Cade McNown's star certainly has fallen since he was a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1999. Acquired last season, McNown spent the year as the No. 3 quarterback, and when camp begins, he will find himself in a battle with college free agents Zak Kustok and Tim Levcik.

Turner had great success with another UCLA quarterback (Troy Aikman) in Dallas, but McNown has to make the most of his chances. It is clear that Jay Fiedler and Ray Lucas are Nos. 1 and 2. McNown has to work on his mechanics. His passes might not always look pretty, especially deep, but his completion percentage during minicamp was high. . . .

The search for a fourth cornerback might be on hold for a little while. Ray Green, who came to the Dolphins as a safety last October, was stellar during minicamps. The coaches feel like they might have found a gem. At 6-3, he certainly has the size to stay with the bigger receivers in the slot, and he also can run. He averaged an interception a day during camp because he has such a long wingspan that he can knock down a lot of passes. . . .

Rookie running back Leonard Henry, a seventh-round pick, could make life difficult for the coaches. While it is too early to predict success in the preseason, Henry showed a great burst and ability to cut at full speed. He averaged more than seven yards per carry as a senior at East Carolina against some very good defenses. If he can pick up the mental part of the game, he could push Robert Edwards for one of the final tailback spots.

DEFENSIVE END ANALYSIS

The unquestioned leader of the group is Jason Taylor. Once known as a speed rusher only, Taylor has come into his own the last two years and has become one of the premier ends in the game.

Still the owner of a very quick first step, Taylor understands how to use his hands to get leverage on a blocker. The knock on him was his size (255 pounds) against the run, but he has proven to be just as good against the run as he is against the pass, though he doesn't seem to get the credit.

The biggest question of the group will be how Daryl Gardener handles the change from tackle. The move was made to alleviate pain in Gardener's aching back that has required two surgeries in two years. He should be impossible for tight ends and tackles to move against the run, which is a good thing considering the ease at which teams attacked the run defense a year ago.

But does Gardener have the quickness to handle the outside, contain and get up the field? The coaches believe he does, and so does Gardener. For a big man, he is surprisingly a very good athlete. He is explosive off the snap, so that should give him an additional edge with his power.

Depth, however, is an issue for a group that boasted Trace Armstrong and Lorenzo Bromell as backups the previous two years. Both have left via free agency, along with regular Kenny Mixon, but there is confidence in David Bowens and Adewale Ogunley.

Bowens is extremely active and quick. He is a high-energy player who could be swallowed up against the run. Ogunley needs to find his niche after spending last year as a spot player. A very good pass rusher in college, Ogunley has natural skills, and he is big enough to handle the run. Al Wallace is another possibility because of his ability to get up field.

How those two fare in the preseason could go a long way in determining whether the team goes after veterans such as Rob Burnett or Michael Sinclair.


i wasnt sure if anyone had seen this or not so i thought i'd post it anyway...i got it from tsn.com, where they have an article every week
 

dolfan87

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Thanks Stan, all news is appreciated, especially if I don't have to go looking for it. :D
 

dolphan39

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thanks stan - sounds like DE is still #1 priority for depth, though all the WRs being out is a bit scary as well.
 
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