1. One of the Dolphins' surprising battles in August continues to be the center position, where Jake Grove practiced Tuesday as the back-up behind Joe Berger. It's a little late in the training camp/preseason to use this simply as motivation, so you have to conclude Berger is being seriously considered for the job.http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports/ ... _miss.html
There's a difference in the players. Grove is stronger, less mobile (though with a very good first step that's key to gaining leverage). Berger is more moble, less strong. How will all that play out in the AFC East against Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins and the Patriots' Vince Wilfork?
What seems to be underlying issue are (a) reliability and (b) money. Grove was signed to a $30 million contract a year ago ($14.5 million guaranteed), but didn't start the last six games of 2009 with a calf injury. He missed four games the year before with Oakland (where he started 46 of 54 games).
It's hard to think a calf injury is chronic. Or, at 30, Grove is so injury prone as to be considered unreliable. Or is it? He's battling a leg injury in camp. The line is Tony Sparano's background and the coaches obviously see and know things we don't. Maybe they just think Berger is better.Certainly injuries were the reason guard Justin Smiley, another big-money free-agent, was released this off-season.
Either way, if Grove doesn't start, that ranks as a big surprise of this camp.