Dolphins Sign Lance Louis

Posted Mar 27, 2013

Former Bear bolsters depth on team’s O-line

Coupled with last week’s re-signing of Nate Garner, the Dolphins can feel a little better about the loss of Pro Bowler Jake Long to free agency. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Louis has played both guard and tackle over his career and started 28 of 41 games for Chicago between 2009 and 2012.

“We are happy that Lance has joined our team,” Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland said. “He will be a great addition to the offensive line both on the field and in the meeting room.”

Louis was drafted in the seventh round (246th overall) out of San Diego San Diego State in 2009 and the New Orleans native played in 39 games for the Aztecs with 19 starts. He originally was a tight end and then moved up front as a junior.

The versatile lineman joins a group that includes Pro Bowl left guard Richie Incognito, center Mike Pouncey and guard John Jerry and Garner as starters. He came away from his visit earlier this month with a good feeling after meeting Head Coach Joe Philbin, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and offensive line coach Jim Turner.

“I feel like I had a good vibe with the coaches and I like the offense and how they tried to explain it to me,” Louis said. “I just felt real comfortable in the building. It’s a nice building in a nice city and it’s a great team on the rise. I talked to (former Dolphins receiver) Roberto Wallace who I played with in college and he really liked it down there with the new coach. I just felt like Miami is going to be one of the teams to be reckoned with this year.”

Last season was going very well for Louis in Chicago until he suffered a devastating knee injury against the Minnesota Vikings in late November. It happened on a turnover after Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield picked off a pass from Jay Cutler and Louis was chasing him down when Vikings defensive end Jared Allen left his feet and delivered a blindside block just as Louis planted his left foot. He landed on Injured Reserve and had surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee.

“The knee is good. I’m still working and rehabbing real hard and it’s feeling real good right now,” said Louis, who said he is comfortable at either guard or tackle. “The last time I went to the doctor he told me I was ahead of schedule and to just keep working hard and I’ll be fine. My goal is whenever I’m feeling good I’ll be there, but I definitely want to be there for training camp and get in there and start competing with those guys, sweating and learning the offense.

“I feel like I still have room for improvement. Last year I just felt comfortable with where I was at and I just felt like I was just getting better week after week. I’m still open to learning different techniques to help my game out.”

Louis will get that chance once he is cleared to participate and then compete for a spot on the offensive line.
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