Saturday, June 15, 2013

Clabo: Just showing up doesn't make me a leader


Miami Dolphins right tackle Tyson Clabo has proven he has what it takes to compete in the NFL for nearly a decade. That hasn't changed his attitude.

Acquired in May to help shore up an offensive line that lost the likes of former first-round left tackle Jake Long, Clabo has shown year in and year out that he can reliable both in the trenches and as a leader. He started every game for the Falcons in his five years there, representing the team in the Pro Bowl in 2010.

Though the 31-year-old is currently one of the most seasoned veterans on the Dolphins' squad, he's not about to just slap a "C" on his jersey without first showing that he's deserving of it.

"I don't believe that I just show up and because I'm old that automatically makes me a leader of this team," Clabo told Erica Hernandez of the Sun Sentinel. "Leadership is something that you earn and so I'm just trying to come to work every day and become a part of the team and earn the trust from the guys around me."

Coach Joe Philbin praised Clabo's resume and work ethic following the wrap-up of mini camp on Thursday, saying the former Wake Forest star possesses the qualities needed to help lead the young squad.

"He is very resourceful; he is very efficient as a football player," Philbin said. "He is instinctive, he is knowledgeable and he knows what works for him. He has been in the league long enough to know what style of play works for him. I think he is an excellent locker room guy, and he likes football.

"I think he is passionate about his teammates and about the game, so I like what I see from him."

Philbin will look to Clabo to provide further stability to a line that's been in transition since Long's departure. He, center Mike Pouncey and left guard Richie Incognito are likely set in their respective roles, while the right guard spot is a bit of a toss-up at the moment. Jonathan Martin, the team's second round pick last year, is set to permanently fill Long's shoes at left tackle after doing so temporarily during Long's absence last season.

Clabo was ranked fifth among right tackles last season, according to Pro Football Focus, allowing only five sacks and taking only three penalties.

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