Dolphins debate: After QB, what position is smartest?
SEP 05, 2013 9:58a ET
There's a debate on the Dolphins as to what position features the smartest players. Perhaps this needs to be settled by a multiple-choice quiz.
It all started when tight end Charles Clay spoke up for his group. Clay is expected to start in Sunday's opener at Cleveland.
"Just playing tight end you have to know what everybody on the field is doing," Clay said. "I like to say that, outside of quarterback, the tight ends are usually the smartest people on the field."
Told of what Clay said, Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller said "we definitely believe that because we have to know most everything on the passing game and pretty much everything on the run game." Keller recently was lost for the season due to a knee injury, but perhaps Miami could use him as another assistant coach considering the intelligence tight ends allegedly possess.
So who also agrees with what Clay said? Well, not surprisingly, a quarterback, considering Clay at least concedes to that position with his mental boast.
"I would agree with (Clay) that tight ends probably have the next toughest job," said Dolphins signal-caller Matt Moore. "So, yeah, those are the two most difficult positions."
But that's where any agreement in this brain bowl seems to stop. While many Miami players agree quarterbacks are the smartest players, tight ends don't seem to get much love for the silver medal in smartness.
"If they want to come up and make all the IDs (on the offensive line), they're more than welcome," said center Mike Pouncey. "I'll sit back and let them do it. If they're the smartest, let them do it."
Pouncey agrees quarterbacks are No. 1 in the battle of the brains. At No. 2, he has, yes, centers.
But middle linebacker Danell Ellerbee won't concede to anyone.
"I think the middle linebackers are the smartest period," Ellerbe said of all players in football. "We're the quarterback of the defense. It's my opinion. I'm not going to doubt myself."
Ellerbe, though, didn't go far as to call the guy who stands behind the center the middle linebacker of the offense.
Not surprisingly, most Miami players went with their own position at least being in the top two in intelligence. But cornerback Brent Grimes was an exception.
"I would say safeties," said Grimes, putting them only behind quarterbacks. "Safeties got to make the call and they got to set stuff and check at this. So safeties have a lot on their plate."
Dolphins safety Reshad Jones agrees with Grimes. And considering Jones just got a four-year, $29 million contract extension, that certainly helps his boast about being a sharp guy in the secondary.
As for tight ends, that's another story. Jones doesn't even think they rate.
"I never thought the tight end would be up there. I think they're down on the chart," said Jones, who might now want to watch out on the field for any angry tight ends.
There apparently is only one way to settle all of this. Players, take off your helmets and open your exam books.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson
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