Dolphins T Greg Little Looking at Big Op
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Greg Little didn't play in the Miami Dolphins preseason opener, but he still might have taken a step toward becoming the team's primary backup offensive tackle this season. The backup tackle spot has been one of the more highly contested battles during Dolphins camp, and Little is listed on the depth chart <a href="https://www.brownsglintshop.com/Ricardo-Louis-Jersey">Ricardo Louis Jersey</a> as the second-team right tackle opposite second-team left tackle Larnel Coleman.Little's name hasn't come up all that often during camp, but he drew praise from head coach Mike McDaniel when he explained his absence from the 26-24 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Hed been really doing well, flashing some stuff and gaining some confidence that he should have and deserves, and we didnt want to compromise that confidence by putting him out there before he was ready, McDaniel said. Hes really day-to-day, and well continue that evaluation so we can get the right Greg Little out there on the field.Along with Little and Coleman, the other tackles on the depth chart are Kion Smith and rookie free agent Kellen Diesch. Little is the only one of the four with any NFL regular season experience.This battle is so important because Miamis prized free agent acquisition, left tackle Terron Armstead, has never played a full season of games. The Dolphins acquired Little, a former second-round pick, in a trade with the Panthers last August. He didnt suit up for Miami <a href="https://www.brownsglintshop.com/Austin-Seibert-Jersey">Austin Seibert Jersey</a> last season after being inactive for 10 games and then being placed on injured reserve in November. With Armstead and Little out, Coleman (42 snaps) and Smith (34) both got extensive action against Tampa Bay on Saturday, and the results were spotty <a href="https://www.brownsglintshop.com/Austin-Corbett-Jersey">Austin Corbett Jersey</a> at best.Scroll to ContinueThe Dolphins produced just 49 rushing yards on 14 carries, and 41 of those yards came on two carries by Skylar Thompson and Myles Gaskin. Smith and Coleman arent the only ones responsible for those poor numbers, but they didnt perform well in this area either. The running game might be one area Little can help the Dolphins if hes forced into action this season. Little earned a PFF run blocking grade of 66.2 in 2020, and his film does show hes capable of creating movement when hes square with his target. Additionally, Littles combine testing points to some potential upside in Miamis new outside zone running scheme. He finished in the 92nd percentile in the broad jump <a href="https://www.brownsglintshop.com/Cleveland-Browns-Jersey">Cleveland Browns Jersey</a> and 50th percentile in the 20-yard shuttle. Those numbers point to solid short-area explosivene s, which is vital for succe s when running the outside zone. Little will have to make major strides in pa s protection during training camp to prove he deserves this role. This was another area where Coleman and Smith had some struggles on Saturday night, with each beaten for a Tampa Bay sack.Coleman received favorable pa s blocking grades, but its clear when watching the film he was having trouble handling speed off the edge for most of the night. Smith was graded poorly, and he too struggled with some of Tampa Bays quicker rushers. In 2020, Little was charged with six quarterback pre sures, five quarterback hurries and had a PFF pa s block grade of 24.4. His film backs up that low grade. He was consistently getting beat by speed and struggled to communicate with his fellow linemen to cover up blitzes, leading to busted plays. On the flip side, Littles natural length his 85-inch wingspan ranked in the 94th percentile at the <a href="https://www.brownsglintshop.com/Myles-Garrett-Jersey">Myles Garrett Jersey</a> combine is clearly an effective tool when he gets his hand placement correct. The bar for a backup tackle (based on the current roster) in Miami isnt high, and Little has the best pedigree of the bunch and the most regular season starts, all of which were at left tackle. Combine that with his raw power in the running game, and McDaniels positive comments about his training camp performance, and Little looks like a real contender for the job, if not the outright front-runner.