Pouncey practicing at guard for Dolphins
Published: Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 11:31 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 11:31 p.m.
DAVIE — The Miami Dolphins continue to mix and match in the middle of their offensive line.
For the second consecutive day, starting center Mike Pouncey took snaps at right guard with the first-team offense at practice Sunday.
The former Gator started every game at center for Miami the past two seasons after joining the team as a first-round draft pick in 2011.
Second-year player Josh Samuda took Pouncey's place at center during drills when Pouncey was at right guard. Richie Incognito, a Pro Bowl selection as a left guard in 2012, lined up on both sides with the first-team offensive line.
“We're moving guys and trying to get the best mix,” offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said. “The key to that whole position is to stay healthy in my mind and try to play with the same guys from day one to game 16 and beyond. We're trying different combinations. The extra week gives us an opportunity to be a little more creative in that way.”
The Dolphins, who open their five-game preseason schedule next Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, began shuffling their offensive line Friday after 2012 starting right guard John Jerry was sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Jerry sat out practice for a third consecutive day Sunday.
Incognito replaced Jerry at right guard with the first-team offensive line Friday, with rookie third-round pick Dallas Thomas taking Incognito's spot at left guard.
Pouncey was a second-team AP All-America selection at guard as a junior at the University of Florida in 2009 before he moved to center as a senior after his twin brother Maurkice left early for the NFL.
“It felt weird (to practice at guard), but it's whatever the team needs right now because we're short guys and so they want to see guys work out at different spots,” Pouncey said. “Just getting back in that stance and anticipating the snap count was the biggest adjustment because usually I'm the first one off the ball. But I was an All-American at guard, so it'll be easy.”
The only two spots on the first-team offensive line that have remained constant since the start of training camp are left tackle with Jonathan Martin and right tackle with Tyson Clabo.
Martin, a second-year player out of Stanford, is preparing for his first full season at left tackle. He started the first 12 games at right tackle as a rookie in 2012 before moving over to the left side for the last four games in place of the injured Jake Long, who then left in the offseason as a free agent. Clabo was signed in the offseason after being released by Atlanta.
“I think they're doing well,” coach Joe Philbin said. “I think Jonathan's transition is going well. And Tyson Clabo is intelligent, is efficient, he's been in the league long enough he knows what works for him and what doesn't.”
Along with Jerry, two 2013 draft picks continue to sit out practice for the Dolphins. Kicker Caleb Sturgis, a fifth-round choice from Florida, last practiced Wednesday, while cornerback Jamar Taylor, a second-round pick from Boise State, hasn't practiced since Monday.