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."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl


Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker