Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Top Training Camp Battles #7: Starting Right Guard

One of the Miami Dolphins' most underrated additions of the 2010 offseason was the signing of guard Richie Incognito.

Though he brings with him a troubled past that includes penalty problems, a reputation as a dirty player, and clashes with coaches, Incognito could end up being a nice find for the Dolphins.

Signed to a very reasonable one-year, $925,000 contract this offseason, Incognito will have a year to prove to the Dolphins that his problems are behind him and that he can be a long-term starter in the NFL.

Projected to start at right guard, Incognito fits the mold of a Bill Parcells lineman as a strong mauler lineman with a mean streak.

Incognito's primary competition will be third-year player Donald Thomas, who hopes to regain the staff's confidence two years after earning the starting job as a sixth-round rookie.

After missing 15 games his rookie season due to injury, Thomas was benched during the 2009 season for lack of productivity.

Now fighting for just a roster spot, Thomas will have to prove to the Dolphins that he is a starting-caliber player and that he, and not Incognito, is the better long-term solution.

My money is on Incognito at this point, as I just feel he has more upside. Of course, Incognito is a bad decision away from being out of the mix entirely, so it would be nice if Thomas could handle the job as well.

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