There is a glaring hole in the Miami Dolphins' defense that is still being looked over by some of the smartest analysts in the game.
Where has the defensive line gone?
But with all of the attention surrounding specialists in Miami, the D-line's lack of depth and overall talent has slipped under the radar.
Here's the motley crew of a front three the 'Fins are bringing to the table in 2009, their experience in parentheses:
DE: Randy Starks(6), Lionel Dotson(2), Rodrique Wright(3), Paul Soliai(3), Kendall Langford(2) and Phillip Merling(2)
DT: Jason Ferguson(13), Tony McDaniel(4), Joe Cohen(2), Louis Ellis(R)
Now if that group doesn't strike fear into you, well then you're like me.
Now don't get me wrong, we have linebackers a plenty and that's a big part of the 3-4, I mean there is more linebackers than lineman in that defense after all. But don't they say the "three" has got to be a solid group of run-stuffing behemoths?
There is Merling and Wright at end that have showed signs of greatness, but behind them things are iffy at best. Langford could be in the rotation and Soliai gained experience at nose tackle, but injuries could deplete this core quick.
Then at tackle, a 13-year veteran in Ferguson is the anchor, really? Ferguson is great but everyone knows 13 years is definitely getting up there in NFL standards.
McDaniel, Cohen or Ellis will really have to show something and be able to play a lot of minutes this year, or this defense will look like a donut — huge hole in the middle surrounded by fatty goodness.