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Dolphins keep Gogan, Donnalley, cut Parmalee
Posted: Sunday September 05, 1999 06:26 PM
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- Unable to choose between veterans Kevin Gogan and Kevin Donnalley, Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson said Sunday that the duo will split time at right guard to begin the season, alternating starts.
"Because they're veterans, we're able to do that. We won't lose any continuity," Johnson said after the Dolphins cut eight players and placed three on injured reserve to reach the NFL's 53-man roster limit.
Running back Bernie Parmalee, who developed into a fan favorite over seven seasons with his special-teams work and timely rushing, was the most notable name among those released.
Lamar Thomas, Miami's third-leading receiver last season, was one of those who will miss the season after going on injured reserve. He will undergo surgery for a dislocated shoulder suffered in training camp.
Gogan and Donnalley have been key pickups the past two offseasons as Johnson remolds his offensive line into a more aggressive unit. Donnalley came to Miami last year as a free agent; Gogan arrived in a March trade with San Francisco.
Plans originally were to keep Donnalley at right guard and insert Gogan on the left, where Mark Dixon was recovering from neck surgery. But Dixon came back strongly to reclaim his position, and Gogan had trouble adjusting to the left side after playing the past five seasons on the right.
"We have three of the top guards in the league," Johnson said. "I think it's in the best interest of the team. And really, because of age and injuries, it's in the best interests of the players."
Gogan, 34, will start when the Dolphins open Sept. 13 in a Monday-night showdown at Denver. Barring injury, Donnalley, 31, will start the home opener Sept. 19 against Arizona.
"On numerous occasions, we've played six or seven offensive linemen, so I'm comfortable doing that," Johnson said. "Last year, our offensive line was devastated by midseason, so it just makes sense."
The announcement came after players had left for the day, so Gogan and Donnalley were unavailable for comment.
Parmalee, despite just 26 career starts, leaves as the Dolphins' 10th all-time rusher with 1,959 yards. His best season came in 1995, when he ran for 878 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 starts.
An undrafted free agent in 1992, Parmalee first made his mark on kick coverage and finished his Dolphins career with 100 special-teams tackles. He spent the past two years as a co-captain on special teams.
"Bernie's such a quality person, he adds a lot to any organization," Johnson said. "He was a very difficult release. The bottom line is we just can't keep seven running backs."
Johnson kept three rookies among his six backs -- runners Cecil Collins and J.J. Johnson and fullback Rob Konrad. Incumbent starters Karim Abdul-Jabbar and Stanley Pritchett were retained along with John Avery, last year's top draft pick.
Joining Thomas on injured reserve were receiver Kio Sanford and defensive tackle Walter Scott, both with knee injuries. The Dolphins waived wideouts Nate Jacquet, Kevin McKenzie and Derrick Steagall, fullback Kantroy Barber, quarterback Dan Gonzalez, linebacker Bryan Jones and safety Brian Walker.
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