Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jake Long, three others named team captains; Dolphins sign two to practice squad

The Miami Dolphins' player voted on their four team captains for the 2010 season, and there were no surprises among the players named.

Named Dolphins' captains for the 2010 season were: safety Yeremiah Bell, running back Patrick Cobbs, linebacker Karlos Dansby, and offensive tackle Jake Long.

The quartet represents four new captains from a year ago, with Chad Pennington the only 2009 team captain still with the team. Jason Taylor (Jets), Joey Porter (Cardinals), and Jason Ferguson (retired) were the team's other captains last season.

Drafted in the sixth round in 2003 and relegated to the practice squad during his first pro season, Bell sure has come a long way. Easily the veteran leader of the secondary, Bell is a hard-hitting safety with above-average coverage skills. He was selected to the AFC Pro Bowl squad as an injury replacement last season.

Cobbs has the least amount of "star power" of these four names, but easy to understand why he was chosen. He's an excellent special teams player and is widely regarded as the hardest worker on the team.

The lone 2010 Dolphins' captain that didn't play for the team last year, Dansby earned the honor with his talent and dedication. Dansby is the complete package at linebacker and is a born leader, which has obviously rubbed off on his teammates despite arriving just six months ago.

The first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Long has started all 32 career games at left tackle and has earned Pro Bowl selections each of his first two seasons in the league. He is one of the most physically gifted linemen in the NFL and is widely regarded as an elite blind-side tackle.

All four of the Dolphins' new captains are logical choices, although I'm a tad bit surprised starting quarterback Chad Henne was not named a captain. I am glad, however, that Pennington was not voted a captain again, as having a backup quarterback behind a young starter named a team captain is a bit of an awkward message.

Hartline, Mastrud signed to practice squad

The Dolphins' eight-man practice squad is finally complete, as the team signed center Andrew Hartline and tight end Jeron Mastrud, while releasing linebacker Chris McCoy.

It's bad news for McCoy, who was a logical practice squad choice as a seventh-round draft pick of the team's in April, but failed to show much of anything in the preseason.

Meanwhile, Hartline returns to the Dolphins' practice squad just four days after being waived during final cuts on Saturday.

Undrafted out of Central Michigan in 2009, Hartline was signed by the Green Bay Packers and was on the team's practice squad until being picked up by the Dolphins. He spent six weeks on the Dolphins' active roster to close out the season, but did not appear in a game.

A college offensive tackle, Hartline projects as more of an interior lineman in the NFL and will likely continue to work at center and left guard for the Dolphins.

Mastrud joins Nathan Overbay as the second new face and second tight end to join the Dolphins' initial practice squad of 2010.

With only two tight ends on the active roster, it's no surprise to see the Dolphins keep two more for practice purposes.

Playing his college ball at Kansas State, the 6-foot-6, 253-pound Mastrud totaled 106 receptions, 1,219 yards and three touchdowns in four seasons for the Wildcats.

In 2010, Mastrud reunited with his former college quarterback, Josh Freeman, as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After being waived by the team during final cuts on Saturday, Mastrud cleared waivers and joined the practice squad of the New England Patriots. However, the Patriots released him from the practice squad yesterday.

Don't expect Mastrud to bring many insights into the Dolphins' rival from his brief time on the roster. The Dolphins need two tight ends on the practice squad, so he was a reasonable choice as a prospect.

It's unknown at this point whether Mastrud or Overbay, if either, would get the call to the active roster if the team needed another tight end due to injury.

As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.

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