The Miami Dolphins‘ 2013 offensive line was going to see changes with the departure of Jake Long, the addition of Tyson Clabo, and the shift from right tackle to left tackle for second-year lineman Jonathan Martin. Further changes may be en route as John Jerry has gone down due to injury, which has allowed second-year undrafted free agent Josh Samuda to get looks at various spots across the o-line.
The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder was going to get a chance to be the backup center behind Mike Pouncey, but training camp has already seen Samuda at several different positions. He is getting plenty of time working with the starting unit, and his arrow appears pointed upwards.
Samuda is a guy who anchors very well, maybe as well as any ‘Phin, and his TC scuffle earlier today with Jared Odrick is a further sign of how far Samuda has come. He is playing well enough to frustrate defensive lineman. This guy has come to camp eager to display his improved game, and he is also eager to play any position asked of him to help the team.
Joe Philbin has a long history of working with and developing offensive lineman, and he and o-line coach Jim Turner very much like the development they have seen from Samuda. One luxury Samuda’s improved play brings is the ‘Phins can try out Pouncey at different spots across the line. Ultimately, I think Pouncey remains at center and Samuda provides depth as a backup in a few different o-line positions, but regardless of how Samuda gets used in 2013, he is establishing himself as a pleasant surprise and one of the more improved players on the team. His hard work is clearly paying off and has ‘Phins phans exited.
Miami has a second-year quarterback and a second-year running back, neither of whom had much success as rookies, so the o-line has a ton of responsibility on their plate this season to protect the franchise (aka Ryan Tannehill) and open holes for Lamar Miller. At $480,000, Samuda looks like a bargain in the making and a legit contributor to the 2013 Dolphins.