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Dolphins Giving It The Old Colledge Try

Posted Jul 26, 2014

Veteran guard is a proven commodity who has started 124 of his 128 NFL games and has yet to miss a game since being a second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2006.



It’s been less than a month since Daryn Colledge became a member of the Miami Dolphins, so naturally he’s going through an adjustment period in the first days of training camp.

After spending his first eight NFL seasons in Green Bay and in the dry heat of Arizona, Colledge has to get acclimated to the South Florida humidity. He also is facing the task of learning a new offense.

But Colledge is doing all that while lining up at left guard with the first-team offense because, well, that’s what Colledge has done since he first entered the NFL in 2006.

Colledge, put simply, is a proven commodity. He’s an established starter and a durable one at that. He has started 124 of his 128 NFL games and has yet to miss a game since being a second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2006.

Taking it even further, Colledge also didn’t miss a start during his four years at Boise State.

“I think it’s a lot of luck, a lot of hard work, and then you’ve got to be able to play when you’re not 100 percent,” Colledge said after practice Saturday. “There’s a lot of guys that find their way in the training room, find their way off the field. I’ve always been a guy who’s able to not stay in the training room too long. That’s helped me stay on the field. It’s also a lot of pride. I feel like I’m getting paid to be out here. I feel like the players are relying on me, coaches rely on me. I’ve always wanted to be one of those guys where coaches can say, all right, Daryn is there, let’s worry about some other spot.”

There might be some of that going on right now with the Dolphins, who will go into the 2014 season with five different starters on the offensive line from the group that lined up when the 2013 campaign kicked off at Cleveland.

Even though he wasn’t with the team in the spring, Colledge immediately was put on the starting unit at the beginning of training camp.

Then again, Colledge has more career starts than any other offensive lineman on the roster. New left tackle Branden Albert is second, with 83 career starts.

Colledge also has a history with Head Coach Joe Philbin, who was the offensive line coach for the Packers during Colledge’s rookie season and then was the offensive coordinator for Colledge’s last four years in Green Bay.

“He’s a real professional,” Philbin said. “(He’s) very smart. He’s very durable. He was very professional. It was important to him. He came to work every day, showed up, practiced every single day. He did some good things. He contributed an awful lot.”

After he played left tackle at Boise State, Colledge has spent his entire NFL career at left guard, and that led to the Dolphins switching Dallas Thomas to the right side after Thomas had lined up on the left side throughout the spring.

For his part, Colledge says he’d have no problem switching to the right side if that’s what the coaches wanted him to do. And the same goes with coming off the bench, even though he made it clear Friday he came in with the idea he was going to start.

“Any guy expects to come in and be a starter,” he said. “Anytime that you don’t come in and try to be a starter, I think you’re cheating yourself. I’ve got a lot of games as a starting left guard, so I want to come in here and compete as the starting left guard. If Coach decides that somebody is better and I’m the sixth man and that’s the best opportunity for me to be on this roster and that helps them the most, then so be it. But I promise I’m going to fight for that spot until they tell me I don’t got it anymore.”

Colledge became a free agent in the offseason after he was released by Arizona after three seasons, mostly because of salary-cap considerations. Despite suffering a fractured leg during the season, Colledge was able to continue his games played streak, which easily is the longest among current NFL guards — second to Colledge’s 128 games is the 98 consecutive games for Atlanta’s Justin Blalock.

Colledge said he initially was surprised it took until July 1 for him to find a new team, but he’s more than happy about the outcome.

“Everybody wants to be wanted, so you want to be one of the first guys off the first day,” Colledge said. “This league is built on young guys. Teams need to see what they have. You look at a guy like me and some of the older guys available, and you say, all right, we know that guy can play. He’s got game tape. He can go out there and play, so it’s just a matter of getting him into shape. You’re really trying to develop guys that are younger and cheaper. That’s how this league works. Guys like me are going to come in now in camps if guys can’t catch up or guys aren’t ready or if injuries come about.

“I had opportunities to sign earlier than this, but for me, I’ve played eight years before this. I’m in that situation where I’m not necessarily in the twilight of my career, but I’m kind of looking towards the end of it and I wanted to be in the right situation. I wanted to go to a place where I thought I could play, where I thought I could start, where I thought I could compete. And I think this is a team with a great defense and has a chance to compete in this division. That was the opportunity for me. I wanted to put my family and me in the right situation and this was the one that felt the best.”

PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

Linebacker Jason Trusnik and cornerback Brent Grimes recorded interceptions in team drills, both off tipped passes. ... Among the players who dropped back to field kickoffs were Damian Williams, rookie Rantavious Wooten, Grimes and Marcus Thigpen. Fielding punts were Williams, Grimes, Wooten, rookie Jarvis Landry and Thigpen, who handled both punt and kickoff returns for the Dolphins the past two seasons. ... Safety Reshad Jones had a couple of nice pass breakups during team drills. ... Two of the offensive plays that stood out were a Ryan Tannehill completion to Mike Wallace on a deep slant and a long Tannehill completion to Damian Williams down the right sideline.

TOGETHER AGAIN

When the Big South Conference announced its 2013 all-conference team, three of the four first-team selections in the secondary came from Liberty University. Two of them — Walt Aikens and Kevin Fogg — are trying to earn a roster spot this summer with the Dolphins.

Aikens was taken by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, while Fogg was signed as a rookie free agent in June.

“You never really see it,” Fogg said. “You see it with other positions, but you rarely see it from the same position. It’s definitely a blessing to have somebody already here that you know going into the program. It’s a great experience.”

Fogg earned a roster spot after participating in the June minicamp on a tryout basis. One of the first people he contacted after signing with Miami was Aikens.

“He actually hit me up and was like, yo, I’m coming down there,” Aikens said. “At first I’m thinking like, vacation. He was like, nah, I’m on the team. I got invited to camp.

“It’s great, man. I get to watch him grow, we get to push each other, just like we did in college. We stayed on each other, trying to compete and be the best out of the two. So now we get to do on a whole other level.”

CATCHING A BREAK

A different twist at training camp this summer has seen all the players go inside the bubble midway through practice to get a break from the heat.

“It’s a luxury,” cornerback Will Davis said. “It felt so good. It’s like a halftime break, a true one. You can rest, put your feet up, get ready. At the end of the day, you just want to put good things on tape. I know that’s what the coaches want to see. So they figure, with the Miami weather, give us a little rest so we can come out and perform good.”

THIS AND THAT

Among the many Dolphins alumni on hand Saturday were Deon Dyer, A.J. Duhe, Bob Brudzinski, Steve Potter, Chris Conlin, John Bock, Shawn Wooden, Ken Poole, Sean Clancy and Darrell Malone, Charles Bennett and Jeff Cross. ... There was only one musical selection during stretching and it was “Chosen One” by Future featuring Rocko.

LAST WORD

“It’s kind of like you’re baking a cake. You go out there and put all the ingredients together and hope you try to use the best ingredients to make the best product possible. And this year we’re trying changing the ingredients up a little bit and hopefully we come out with a better cake. But you won’t know until you taste it.” — Defensive end Cameron Wake on the team-building process
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