Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/5/12
Dolphins rookie tackle Jonathan Martin takes a lot of pride in his craft, and wants to be the best. And the best offensive tackles, in his view, all play on the left side. Now with Jake Long lost for the rest of the season with a torn triceps, Martin will switch to left tackle this Sunday against the 49ers after starting the first 12 games of his career on the right side. Utility backup Nate Garner will start at right tackle. "I think anyone who is in the NFL and an offensive tackle wants to play left," Martin said Wednesday. "I'm going to make the most of it, and prove that I belong there." If Martin does prove he belongs at left tackle, it could mean the end of Long in a Dolphins uniform. Long is an impending free agent, and he could fetch a monster contract on the open market even though he has suffered several injuries over the last two years and his performance has dropped. And Martin will be tested right away, as he and the Dolphins will face one of the league's fiercest defenses in San Francisco. The 49ers are No. 1 in the NFL in points allowed (14.2 per game), second in total yards allowed and their coach, Jim Harbaugh, knows Martin intimately from their days together at Stanford. The 49ers also have one of the league's best pass-rushing duos in Justin Smith, who received votes last year for Defensive Player of the Year, and second-year linebacker Aldon Smith, who quietly leads the NFL with 17.5 sacks. "He's a beast," Martin said of Aldon Smith. "That left side of the defense is really talented. It will be a big challenge." Martin is no stranger to left tackle, having started 37 games there in college. He said he feels "pretty darn comfortable" playing there, even after spending the entire season on the right side. "It's different, but luckily the kid has a lot of experience with it," coach Joe Philbin said. "It's still keeping your body in between the defender and the quarterback. That hasn't changed. Slight mechanical things your body has to get used to, but it's not that big of a difference." As for losing Long, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, the players said they will definitely miss his presence over the final four games. "You can't replace a guy like Jake," quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "I think that the guys we bring in will do a good job -- moving Jonathan over and then bringing Nate in on the other side. They'll do a good job for us, but it's tough to replace a player like Jake who's been to four Pro Bowls."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adrian Beltre ejected for bizarre on-deck circle incident

Some coaches expect Tom Brady to 'dramatically age’

Joe Flacco could miss 3-6 weeks with back injury

When will it be OK to worry about Clayton Kershaw?

Boom or bust players for each NFL team in 2017

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lucky Whitehead reportedly claimed by Jets

Reasons for concern with Kyrie Irving's game

Texans have been ‘blown away’ by Deshaun Watson

Floyd Mayweather is recruiting Nate Diaz to be in his fight corner vs Conor McGregor

Ivy League-educated ex-NFLer questions recent CTE study

Timberwolves seriously exploring Kyrie Irving trade

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

Every MLB team's best and worst deadline trade from the last 25 years

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

The most memorable moments from the class of 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

Box Score 7/25: The pressure of the trade deadline is here

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker