Miami head coach Al Golden isn't saying much about absent starting right tackled Seantreal Henderson but what he isn't saying is becoming a bigger story. Reporters took notice of Jon Feliciano practicing during the open 15 minutes that the media is allowed to watch practice. Generally, these are bland moments where the team takes the opportunity to stretch and do ball control drills, but nothing telling about formations or starters except for the color of the jerseys worn.
On Saturday, however, the offensive lined did a drill where they lined up in their starting formations. And in Henderson's absence, Feliciano was spotted in the starting right tackle rotation where he started 8 games in 2011 and not at right guard where he had been moved during the spring. Not to mention that he was listed as a guard, not tackle, on the depth chart given to the media on the opening day of Fall Camp just two days prior.
But at today's practice, Feliciano claimed he was still at guard. Even when asked. During an exchange with a Miami Herald reporter, Feliciano was asked about yesterday's practice and playing at tackle.
Reporter: So you’re back at tackle?
Feliciano: I’m a guard.
Reporter: I saw you at tackle yesterday.
Feliciano: Um, you know, I just like to stay ready for whatever they need me at.
A statement that's hard to believe when a player making a position switch from tackled to guard was injured during the spring and lost valuable reps. Why take away reps, even the few seen by reporters, from a player who needs as much experience as possible in an offense that will rely heavily on the running game.
Golden didn't want to discuss it either. He completely avoided the question of whether Feliciano had been moved to tackled to replace Henderson.
Brian 'Beast' London, CaneInsider: How has Feliciano handled the move inside?
Golden: Number one, [Ereck] Flowers is doing a heck of a job. Jermaine Johnson is playing tackle right now, he can play guard. Feliciano can play out there. He’s marketedly lighter [312 pounds] than he was last year. Wheeler can give us something out there."
What Golden has to be pleased with regardless of what ends up happening with Henderson is that he's got good depth on the offensive line. The emergence of Jeremy Lewis, along with Johnson, neither of whom played much in 2011, probably gives the second year head coach added confidence. Feliciano's flexibility is something coach Golden also enjoys.
"Felic wants to grab you and run you in the ground. He is tough, he’s smart and obviously he a guy that has made a lot of improvement for us."
-The head coach is high on WR Allen Hurns, thinks his strength gains are significant this off season.
-Defensive lineman Olsen Pierre and Luther Robinson are making a lot of improvement
-Wide out Kendall Thompkins was named as a surprise by Golden “a guy who jumps to mind immediately.” He worked really hard, he worked hard in the spring. We started to see the light come on. “What I see right now is Kendall, who is a fast young man, is able to do that for 2.5 hour practice which was never the case a year ago.”
-Today was the first day in shoulder pads, it had been helmets only up to this point. "We’ll see if the young guys bite," Golden said noting that talk is cheap and the real hitters become known now that pads are coming on.