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Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Danny Watkins brings depth, competition

By James Walker


MIAMI -- It is no secret that the offensive line is one of the thinnest areas of the Miami Dolphins entering the 2013 season. The starting lineup is OK, but depth behind the starters is a major issue.

Miami alleviated some of that concern Tuesday by signing former Philadelphia Eagles guard Danny Watkins to a one-year contract. Watkins is a 2011 first-round draft pick who struggled to reach his potential in Philadelphia. But this is a new beginning and another chance for Watkins to prove himself with a different team and a different system

“He has a lot of football left in him,” Watkins’ agent, Joe Panos, said. “The best thing to happen to him is to get out of Philadelphia. He needs a fresh start and the Dolphins realize that.”

To make room for the move, the Dolphins released backup center/guard Josh Samuda.

It remains to be seen if Watkins can turn his career around in Miami. But he immediately brings both depth and competition to Miami’s offensive line.

Earlier this summer, Miami lost starting guard John Jerry to a knee injury and it sent the offensive line scrambling. The team even considered moving stud center Mike Pouncey to guard, which was a bad idea. Bringing Watkins on board means he can be the first guard off the bench in the event that Jerry or 2012 Pro Bowler Richie Incognito get injured. Watkins also has the potential to eventually push Jerry for reps once he learns the Dolphins’ offense. Jerry has had issues with his weight and recently with injuries.

There will not be nearly the same pressure for Watkins in Miami. He starts fresh this week as a backup for the Dolphins. Miami has provided Watkins a solid opportunity to put past struggles behind him. It's up to Watkins to take advantage.

It remains to be seen how much of Watkins' issues had to do with his ability or Philadelphia as a organization. But we are about to find out in Miami.