"Fielder A Good Fit For Turner's System"

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Fielder a good fit for Turner's system
May 31, 2002 Print it

Jay Fiedler is adapting nicely to Norv Turner's system.

A veteran of many systems and having bounced around for a few years, Fiedler has had a very good offseason and looked sharp in recent minicamps.

Turner's offense is predicated on quick reads, and that is something Fiedler likes to do. His accuracy is also a plus, but Fiedler can also get the ball down the field better than most people think.

Confident because of the commitment the team made in the offseason to him, Fiedler can finally feel comfortable that it is his job win or lose.

Ray Lucas is the clear No. 2, though he too has performed well. There is still some fine-tuning because most of the top receivers have been limited due to injuries, but Fiedler could be looking at a breakout season. . . .

Third-round pick Seth McKinney might not start this season for the Dolphins at center, his natural position, or guard, but he is proving to be a worthy choice.

It is difficult to gauge how an offensive lineman is working in camps without pads, but McKinney is as athletic as any lineman on the club. He also has a fiery side, which could help bring aggressiveness to the group.

McKinney has some work to do, especially learning two positions, but he has made the coaches take notice early on. . . .

Safety Trent Gamble missed most of last season because of a bothersome shoulder injury, but he could be a valuable asset defensively in addition to his special teams work.

With AFC East teams loaded at tight end, Gamble could be called on more in dime and nickel packages than cornerbacks.

He has a sturdy build and is very athletic. He proved as a rookie he could hang with tight ends like Buffalo's Jay Riemersma, and he could get more chances in his third year.

WORK FORCES

As usual, the Dolphins have had near 100 percent participation in their offseason workout program and minicamps.

While they expect to see stars like Sam Madison, Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor perform well, some players have used the offseason to put their names in play.

Jamie Nails, who was out of football last season, is pushing to be one of the backup guards. He was cut by the Dolphins last training camp but he has since dropped a lot of weight and is moving much better than he did a year ago.

A starter in Buffalo, Nails has the ability and he could be a find for a unit that needs depth.

Injuries have kept Leon Searcy out of action for two years, but he is pushing Todd Perry as the starting right guard.

Searcy has looked good in camp, but how his triceps and quadriceps -- the injuries that knocked him out the last two years -- react to two-a-day practices is not known.

Concerned some about the tight end position entering the offseason, the play of Jed Weaver and Alonzo Mayes has the club re-thinking the spot.

While they might have looked at the June 1 casualties, Weaver and Mayes have caught a ton of passes in the tight-end friendly offense.

Neither player has been a full-timer in their career, so there will be some uneasy moments until they prove themselves.

In the defensive backfield, no player has taken more strides than Ray Green.

Mainly a special teams player a year ago, Green has made a smooth transition to cornerback and is in the dime package. The team was contemplating adding a veteran to that spot, but will wait to see how Green performs during training camp.

Along with Green, Jamar Fletcher, the first-round pick in 2001, has done a nice job.

He has added weight to become stronger at the line of scrimmage in his jams, and he is much more comfortable as the third corner. He still has adjustments to make, but he should solidify the nickel package.

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