Dolphins tackle Jake Long has started all 32 games in two seasons since being taken first overall in the 2008 NFL draft. But coach Tony Sparano says Long is capable of being not just a starter but a star.
Discussing how good Long can be, Sparano said, “Pretty scary good.”
Sparano said Long still has to learn some of the nuances of playing left tackle in the NFL. But the Dolphins still think Long has all the tools that made them decide to take him with the first pick in the draft and give him a contract guaranteeing him $30 million (which, given the insane rate of inflation for high NFL draft picks, now doesn’t seem like all that much money).
“Listen, Jake Long is a pretty good player for us,” Sparano said. “This is the offensive line coach in me coming out, but there’s a bunch of things Jake would tell you he needs to do to raise the bar a little bit with his game.”
For his part, Long says he’s going to work at becoming the best left tackle in the league.
“I still have the same goals,” Long said. “We have our team goals, and that’s No. 1 to me. But it’s always in the back of my mind — always to be a Pro Bowler and an all-league guy. I still have a lot to do, and I will get better.”