Saturday, November 29, 2008

Soliai suspended again; Al Johnson signed

DT Paul Soliai has been suspended for the second time this season for violating team rules. He did not make the trip with the team to St. Louis.

This is very disappointing and it's probably time to forget about Soliai having a future with the Dolphins. And that pains me to say that since I was so high on him coming out of the draft and thought he'd make a solid nose tackle for this team. Unfortunately, his poor attitude and work ethic once again leaves Miami with no apparent replacement in position to take over for Jason Ferguson in a few years.

To take Greg Camarillo's vacated spot on the roster, the team signed C Al Johnson. Johnson (6'5", 305 lbs.) had tried out for the team on Friday.

Johnson began his career as a second-round draft pick of the Cowboys in 2003. He is 29 years old. In three seasons in Dallas, he played in all 48 games, starting 31 of them.

He signed as a free agent with the Cardinals in 2007, and started 14 games that season. He underwent two knee operations this off-season and was placed on Injured Reserve before the season began. He was then waived by the Cardinals in October.

Johnson has allowed only 2 sacks in 45 starts which is quite amazing.

I looked at the Football Outsiders stats (Adjusted Line Yards) for run-blocking to see how Johnson has fared in that regard. The following stats are for runs up the middle only:
  • 2007 Arizona Cardinals: 4.29 ALY (10th in NFL)
  • 2005 Dallas Cowboys: 4.34 ALY (11th)
  • 2004 Dallas Cowboys: 3.59 ALY (31st)
It seems from those numbers that Johnson really struggled run-blocking his rookie year, but since then he developed into an above-average player in that phase. Of course, having endured 2 knee operations, it will be interesting to see how effective he still can be.

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