Paul Soliai under the microscope in Year Two
But if the team knew then what it learned once he got to Miami, that fourth round pick would have been used on someone else.
For all his potential and upside, Soliai is becoming something of a disappointment. His size and bulk simply didn't translate last year as he started out the season in the defensive line rotation then regressed.
He played in nine games during his rookie year, but had only three tackles. This while he was playing right there in the middle, where every play begins and most of the running is done. Soliai played in six games in which he did not record a tackle.
Do the math: That means the most tackles he had in any one game was ... one.
It did not surprise anyone when he was inactive the final three games of the season even while lesser-known but more effective Steve Fifita got more playing time.
So what was the problem?
Well, part of it was a lack of experience and adjusting to the NFL. A lot of rookies go through that. But more troubling was Soliai's attitude and [lack of] work ethic. As one source put it to me, "He's just a big, lazy baby."
Soliai played poorly and made no substantive effort to get better. He didn't stay after practice. He didn't put more work in with the weights. He didn't do any extra tape work to study opposing linemen. He barely did enough to get by.
So now with the new Dolphins administration -- one that promises to have no tolerance for disinterested players -- Soliai will be under the microscope. His size and draft status have apparently bought him time on the roster, perhaps until July when they put on pads.
But at that time, his laid-back, minimum-effort style better disappear. Either that or Bill Parcells will make him disappear.