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 Salguero: Reasons the Starks move is a gamble 
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Post Salguero: Reasons the Starks move is a gamble
Starks, you see, is coming off a season when he grew into the 3-4 DE position to the point where my friends at ProFootballFocus believe him to be the second-best 3-4 DE in the NFL in 2009. The PFF guys have Starks as the second-best run-defender among 3-4 DEs and the sixth-best pass rusher.

(Quick aside, Kendall Langford is ranked the seventh-best pass rusher and sixth-best run defender. Phillip Merling is rated 15th best overall, with a slightly better showing as a pass-rusher than run-stuffer. Also interesting in the ranking based on film study is that Vonnie Holliday, who the Dolphins cut last offseason, rated higher than either Langford or Merling.)

But I digress. The greater point is Starks offered the Dolphins a pretty good DE option already. Starks was a known quantity at DE.

So what's the gamble?

Obviously the Dolphins must hope Odrick, an unproven quantity, comes in and plays as well or better than Starks at DE while also hoping Starks moves to NT and upgrades that spot. And the team must hope the the combination of both moves upgrades the overall defensive front more than having, say, Starks at end and Paul Soliai or Jason Ferguson or someone else at nose tackle.

It is a calculated move that could eventually adequately fill all the defensive line needs Miami had prior to the draft. But as with everything else that is unproven, it is, well, a gamble the Dolphins have taken.

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Tue May 04, 2010 7:09 am
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Post Re: Salguero: Reasons the startks move is a gamble
I do agree that it is a gamble, and I am also concerned about moving Starks from DE to NT........he was the best DE on the team last season w/o question.......I hope he can make the move to NT and be as effective, but I guess the goal is to have the 3 best DL on the team on the field together as much as possible........otherwise it would be Soliai playing NT with Starks and Langford at DE.

Tue May 04, 2010 7:36 am
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Post Re: Salguero: Reasons the Starks move is a gamble
Last year was last year. It has already been said that we are going to be steering away from the 3-4 defense anyhow.

According to Jeff Darlington the Dolphins are tweaking their traditional 3-4 to fit their personnel. The move has been in the making for weeks and will be a hybrid formation.

Sources say the Dolphins are in the middle of a defensive transformation that will steer them slightly away from the pure 3-4 defense that has been used each of the last two seasons. It is not a knock on the previous system, but an attempt to fit Miami's personnel.
Although complex and still a work in progress at this point, the Dolphins will rely on more penetration from the interior defensive line than previous years. It will allow the team to benefit from the athleticism of its linemen as much as the bulk.
The key phrase in all of this, though, is interior penetration. That's an aberration from the standard responsibilities of a 3-4 nose tackle, which spends its time clogging up the middle to allow for the linebackers to make the plays.
It still isn't a pure 4-3 defense, either, but it is instead simply designed to allow the crop of defensive ends to help make the entire unit better

Tue May 04, 2010 9:14 am
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Post Re: Salguero: Reasons the Starks move is a gamble
Interesting perspectives. I think it is somewhat of a gamble but not something that cannot be recovered from. I think that Solai and McDaniel are solid at NT, and Ferguson will be back for the second half of the season. So really Starks only has to hold down the fort for eight games.

Tue May 04, 2010 3:39 pm
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Post Re: Salguero: Reasons the Starks move is a gamble
The hybrid style of defense is actually been in the works since nolan became the DC. He's always been aggressive in that way. Being more athletic and quicker is what he will rely on. I think we will see more blitzing from all over the field. If you take a look at the guys we drafted they are all hybrid type guys, by that I mean they can do multiple things well.

The move isn't more of a gamble IMHO but a solid read of who we have as DE's. Obviously they like who's left at DE in Langford and Merling. With Starks in the middle that will give Odrick a little better learning curve.

Tue May 04, 2010 6:43 pm
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Post Re: Salguero: Reasons the Starks move is a gamble
Armando is 100% correct. Good read!

Tue May 04, 2010 6:53 pm
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