Miami Dolphins Top Training Camp Battles, No. 7: Starting Right Guard

Chris J. NelsonSenior Writer IJuly 28, 2010

ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 3:  Richie Incognito #62 of the Buffalo Bills lines up in position against the Indianapolis Colts during their NFL game at Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills defeated the Colts 30-7. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

One of the Miami Dolphins' most underrated additions of the 2010 offseason was the signing of guard Richie Incognito.

Though he brings with him a troubled past that includes penalty problems, a reputation as a dirty player, and clashes with coaches, Incognito could end up being a nice find for the Dolphins.

Signed to a very reasonable one-year, $925,000 contract this offseason, Incognito will have a year to prove to the Dolphins that his problems are behind him and that he can be a long-term starter in the NFL.

Projected to start at right guard, Incognito fits the mold of a Bill Parcells lineman as a strong mauler lineman with a mean streak.

Incognito's primary competition will be third-year player Donald Thomas, who hopes to regain the staff's confidence two years after earning the starting job as a sixth-round rookie.

After missing 15 games his rookie season due to injury, Thomas was benched during the 2009 season for lack of productivity.

Now fighting for just a roster spot, Thomas will have to prove to the Dolphins that he is a starting-caliber player and that he, and not Incognito, is the better long-term solution.

My money is on Incognito at this point, as I just feel he has more upside. Of course, Incognito is a bad decision away from being out of the mix entirely, so it would be nice if Thomas could handle the job as well.

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Chris J. Nelson is a journalism major at Georgia State University. He operates his own Miami Dolphins Web site, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight , and can be followed on Twitter here .