Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pouncey Injury Thoughts

I have been watching the outpouring of articles covering the Mike Pouncey injury.  Most of these are being written with the tone that the Dolphins are in serious trouble now.  In 2013 New England lost their #1 WR to free agency, lost their best defensive lineman for the year, and they lost their best offensive threat other than Tom Brady when Gronk went down. They went to the AFC championship...  The PERFECT 1972 Dolphins lost their starting Quarterback for the majority of that season. Yes losing Mike Pouncey for the start of year hurts but it is far from being the end of 2014 for the Dolphins.  Players get hurt all the time in the NFL and I am pretty certain it is much easier to adjust for it in June compared to Oct. Of course several people went into arm chair GM mode and starting suggesting who should fill in until Pouncey is back.   When I was looking at the options like a multiple choice test my answer is “All of the above”.  The Dolphins have until August 31st to make that call. That is when they have to decide if they are going to place Mike Pouncey on the PUP list. That choice will directly impact the choice the Dolphins make to fill in for him.  Here is a breakdown of how I see things playing out. Assuming of course there are not any injuries to the people involved with replacing Pouncey.
Sceanario #1 – The Dolphins do not place Pouncey on the PUP. If this happens I think it is much less likely the Dolphins are going to keep a veteran center they sign on the 53 man roster.  At this time the Dolphins are very deep on the D-Line and at WR. Not to mention we have skill players like Marcus Thigpen that we may want to make a spot for in that mix. Keeping a veteran center on opening day along with Mike Pouncey basically means we are going to be short a spot on the roster and have to a cut a solid player providing depth or contributing on special teams. With that being said what events would make Miami lean towards keeping Pouncey off the PUP? The obvious of course is Mike Pouncey being ahead of schedule on rehab and looking like he will be football ready by the 3rd of 4th game. Other factors that might play into this is how the current options look during camp .  If someone like Nate Gardner or Sam Brenner seem to be handling the job ok. Then the Dolphins could just roll the dice leaving Pouncey on the active roster unsure when he will be ready.
Scenario #2 – The Dolphins place Pouncey on the PUP. If this happens the Dolphins are going to have to commit to a player to hold down the center position for at least 6 games. In this case the Dolphins may choose to keep a veteran center on the 53 man roster. Keep in mind that the veteran center is going to need to come in learn the system and beat out the current players trying for the spot by a decent margin. If there is much of possibility that Pouncey will take longer than 3 months to recover then I see the team probably keeping a veteran center on the 53 man roster . Even if one of the current Dolphins players is looking adequate to play the position I think you have to be nervous about another injury. They will want to get a veteran in right now and get them ready even if they are an only an insurance policy for Pouncey’s rehab. One other possibility (or maybe wishful thinking) would be that whoever takes over as center plays very well through the preseason. In that case Miami will probably feel a bit more comfortable to just put Pouncey on the PUP and give him plenty of time to get himself ready even if it were possible he could play. Being able to play and being able to play 100% are two different things. There is a real possibility that Mike Pouncey will not be an upgrade over the replacement center until later into the season.
In any scenario I think the Dolphins have time to make a decision. So I expect them to try different combinations of players on the roster and add maybe 2-3 players to get some healthy competition.  This is not near as bad as losing him on the 1st play of the regular season. The team will be just fine. Fins Up!
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5 comments

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tyler larsen

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They are working out Daryn Colledge and Samson Satele.......

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It would not surprise me if they sign both of them Lawrence. It will probably be an open competition in camp. My personal thought is a veteran like Satele is going to have to be obviously better than the current guys to be on the 53 man roster. You are not going to replace Pouncey's ability for sure but I would like a smart guy that calls the right reads. So my favorite is Nate Gardner. It saves them losing a spot on the 53 man roster and he is one of the smartest players on the team. He also has played in the Dolphins current scheme the longest and played the position for a few games last year. I just cringe at the thought of a guy in there that makes some bad calls and gets Tannehill blown up by a linebacker. I do think Shelly Smith is the closest to Pouncey from a physical standpoint, however, he is just learning the right guard spot on this team and has not played much center. I hate to have to use him to do it.

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Good post gofins4sb!

Luckily we have time to figure this out.

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Please format your articles. Lt justify and paragraphs would be much easier to read.
Thanks,
PB