The Miami Dolphins have several key decisions to make regarding their own free-agents, and one of the biggest decisions is should they pay the massive price tag that would come with a Jake Long re-up (article on Long’s free-agency is HERE)? Word out of Miami is that Will Yeatman could be a guy that the Dolphins feel can improve and thus take on more responsibility on their offensive line.
Yeatman entered the NFL undrafted in 2011 with New England Patriots, then Miami claimed him off waivers shortly after. He was used as a tight end, but very sparingly. The thought was that his small size (too small for a lineman when he entered the NFL) and pass blocking ability could lead him to be a contributor at the tight end position, but that has not worked out. In two seasons he has been on the field for a total of 46 plays but has never been targeted. He is too stiff to run any legit patterns as a tight end, but word is that Miami has their sights set on turning Yeatman into a full-time offensive lineman (especially if they lose Long and are looking at in-house replacements for him).
Joe Philbin has a ton of experience working with offensive linemen, and he was instrumental in helping former tight ends like Robert Gallery and Eric Steinbach become (excellent) lineman. Word is that Yeatman is also working with offensive line guru Hudson Houck this offseason which is a great idea, and certain sign that he and the team are serious about improving this young man as a lineman.
It is worth noting that Yeatman is up over 300 pounds at this point so he has significantly bulked up lately meaning that size (or lack thereof) will no longer be an issue for Yeatman, and he will be working with some fantastic offensive line minds so if there is a legit offensive tackle in there he will be able to bring it out and perform going forward. It surely remains to be seen if this will work out, but word is that the Dolphins are certainly considering the idea of Yeatman getting playing time on their line in 2013 (especially if they do lose Long).
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