Miami's right offensive tackle, Ron Heller, had arthoscopic
knee surgery Friday on both knees. This means he will definitely miss
Sunday's game against the Bills and possibly the rest of the season
In Heller's absence, first round draft pick Billy Milner will
start at right tackle and will be backed up by veteran Tom McHale.
It won't be known until next week whether or not Heller will
be back this year at all.
Billy Milner was the Dolphins first pick in the draft and
comes from Houston, where former Dolphins assistant coach Kim Helton
is now the head coach. Milner was picked primarily on Helton's
This is a very bad piece of news for the Dolphins, although
there are a few bright spots to be considered.
First of all, because of Heller's deteriorating knee problems
throughout the season, Milner has been getting most of the repetitions
in practice. He's had a lot of time to learn the system and get
acclimated to playing with the offense.
Secondly, Milner's primary strength is in pass protection,
which is, arguably, much more important to the Dolphins than run
Third, Milner will be pumped for his first NFL start, which is
good considering the quality of the opposition he'll be facing.
However, I think you can count on Don Shula to give him plenty of help
in blocking against Bryce Paup and Bruce Smith.
It remains to be seen how serious this loss is for the
Dolphins, but this is the reason that Milner was drafted, so we'll
find out this weekend if the draft was a success or a bust.
Curt "DOLFAN in New England" Fennell
'72 Dolphins - 17-0
Dolphins WWW Page - http://www.***com.net/~cfennell/Dolphins/