The Miami Dolphins have a second position of need this preseason. After losing their starting quarterback and bringing in recently retired Jay Cutler, the team found itself desperately thin in the linebacker corps. The answers they’ve come up with is to sign 30-year-old Rey Maualuga to a one-year deal, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Dolphins found themselves short at the middle linebacker position after the second round pick and likely starter Raekwon McMillan was lost for the season with a knee injury during the team’s first exhibition game. A third-year undrafted player named Mike Hull started last week against the Baltimore Ravens, but he will be competing against Maualuga for the starting job going forward.
Maualuga played for eight years with the Bengals, which included two years with the Dolphins’ current defensive coordinator Matt Burke. The fact the veteran linebacker could come in and already know the system made him an obvious choice to sign. Maualuga has 584 combined tackles and four sack for his career, 27 of those tackles coming in the 14 games he played in last year. He started six of those. He is more of a run stopper, coming in on the early downs and then leaving when it’s a more obvious passing situation.
Linebacker was already a position of need going into the season, hence the drafting of McMillan, who was taking all the first team snaps before his injury. The Dolphins were 29th in total defense last year and 30th against the run…so there is definitely area to improve there.
Source: Miami Herald
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