Coach Jimmy Johnson told the Miami Herald yesterday that he
had moved rookie Shane Burton to the starting right defensive end
slot, ahead of veteran Daniel Stubbs. If Burton continues to
perform, he will start ahead of Stubbs for Sunday's game against the
According to the Herald, JJ was very disappointed with the
play of both veterans, Daniel Stubbs and Trace Armstrong during the
last two games and is trying to find some spark for the defensive
Burton, a 6'5", 300 lb defensive lineman from Tennessee was
drafted in the 5th round by the Dolphins, after RB Jerris McPhail but
before LB Zach Thomas. When he arrived in training camp, he started
on the defensive line, but was moved to the offensive line for a brief
After injuries to Jeff Cross and Steve Emtman and the release
of Chuck Klingbeil, Burton was moved back to the defense to help fill
out a depleted defensive line. However, back on the defense, Burton
impressed coaches enough to stay there and become part of the
defensive line rotation.
In other news, RB Irving Spikes has an infected hand that he
initially injured against the Seahawks, but which has grown worse over
the last few days. He will still see some action against the Bills,
but will probably not play a lot. Bernie Parmalee will be the primary
number 2 man behind Karim Abdul-Jabbar at running back.
And last, but certainly not least, WR Fred Barnett practiced
in shoulder pads and helmet for the first time since injuring his knee
during training camp. He ran routes and caught passes yesterday and
could return to full practice as soon as next week. Both he and Dan
Marino are expected back to start against Dallas.
I don't think it's a mystery that the Dolphins have problems
with the pass rush and JJ is just trying to put a little fire into the
defensive line. Perhaps Burton will be able to supply that fire. As
far as I know, Burton has 9 tackles and a sack so far this year.
However, that's my unofficial count, so I could be wrong.
So what is it about the 5th round of the draft that seems to
yield the best players? Burton, McPhail and Zach Thomas were all 5th
rounders and they'll all contribute this year.
The return of Fred Barnett will likely fill an empty space in
the offense and give the Dolphins a receiving threat who will have to
be taken into account. I just hope he isn't returning too soon.
Miami Herald: Dolphins Notebook
Miami Herald: DE Burton becomes latest Dolphins rookie to start
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