DAVIE—Picking up the Dolphins’ offensive scheme is the easy part for new offensive guard Ted Larsen, who played in a similar offense for the Bears last year. The challenge is learning to play with left tackle Laremy Tunsil at one position and right tackle Ja’Wuan James at another.
Larsen, who signed a three-year deal in the offseason, is expected to be the starting left guard, but is training at right guard and center as well. Miami is working to create a backup plan for center Mike Pouncey, who still isn’t full-go because of a hip issue, and 11th-year veteran Jermon Bushrod at right guard.
“It’s not super difficult,” Larsen said of shifting around. “The transition’s been pretty easy… Obviously you’re flipping sides, so some of the calls you’re used to hearing on the left side mean something different on the right.
“But probably more than anything, it’s just working with a different guy. Left side, you’re working with Tunsil and right side you’re working with Ja’Wuan, so you’ve just gotta adjust to who you’re working with and how you guys mesh together.”
His early impressions of the offensive line group have been positive. Bushrod, Pouncey, Kraig Urbik and Sam Young have all been in the league seven years or more, and the young players have been impressive.
The bond between Larsen and Tunsil, last year’s first-round pick, will be key for Miami. Tunsil is in his first year at left tackle after playing left guard last year, and if everyone stays healthy, he and Larsen will play side by side all year.
“That relationship, it depends how deep you want to go,” Larsen said. “We work pretty well together. We’ve worked together in Phase 1 and Phase 2 (of the offseason program). I feel pretty comfortable with him and I think he feels the same with me, but there’s always stuff that you’re gonna figure out. You get to a point where you don’t even need to say much and you guys are both on the same page. That’s a work in progress forever.”
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