With Jason Ferguson suspended for the first eight games of the 2010 season, the Dolphins need a contingency plan at nose tackle. That plan includes moving Randy Starks from defensive end.
So far, coach Tony Sparano is pleased with what he has seen in offseason practices that culminated (for now) in a weekend minicamp.
“[H]e’s a hard guy to block and especially when the game is going sideline to sideline a little bit, he’s a tough guy to block, tough for the guards on the back side to get a hold of, those type of people,” Sparano said. “It’s not only his speed but it’s his strength. You know, he can pull through gaps, do those types of things and hold the point. So, I’ve been impressed with what he’s done out here in holding the point of attack with no pads on, so, I’ve already seen this guy when he puts pads on, so, I don’t really worry about that, so, I’ve been impressed that way. The blocking scheme recognition inside is something that is still a little bit of a work in progress, but he’s gotten so much better in the short time that we’ve been out here at feeling those things, it’s starting to become kind of old hat for him to get.”
(In past years, we’d wonder how Sparano can assess that Starks is able to hold the point of attack in workouts that are supposed to entail no contact. But offseason workouts entail contact, the NFLPA apparently doesn’t mind, and we’re numb to it.)
Sparano also said that Starks had no reluctance to move from defensive end to nose tackle, an attitude that the Redskins surely wish their erstwhile defensive lineman named Haynesworth would apply.