Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Miami Dolphins franchise left tackle Jake Long is ready to take the field for the team in the opener against the New England Patriots after missing all of the preseason.
“I’m the type of guy that always wants to work, so it was hard to miss games,” Long told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “But I’ve been working hard and I’ll be ready to go.”
For Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, the return of Long will finally give at least half of the offensive line some stability. Coach Sparano said he’s not concerned Long missed the preseason.
“I mean the guy has played 5,000 plays in three years,” Sparano said. “I’m pretty confident I know what’s going to happen and I’m pretty confident that I know what it’s going to take him to ready to play.”
Sparano said since Long was activated around the third week of the preseason, he’s been getting plenty of work with his teammates.
“Going into today (Wednesday), he had close to 200 snaps,” Sparano said. “So by the time we play the game he’ll probably have 350 plays which to be quite honest with you is a couple hundred away from where the rest of the guys are.”
The player happiest to see Long back is quarterback Chad Henne. Long protects Henne’s blind side and his ability to stay upright will go a long way to the Dolphins success.
Sparano’s starting offensive line against the Patriots will be: (from left to right) Jake Long, Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey, Vernon Carey, and Marc Colombo.