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The safety position has been one of the most discussed positions amongst Dolphin fans this offseason. We've heard all of the arguments as to who should start next to Pro Bowl strong safety who's a fan of our site, by the way). But this post isn't about the battle for the starting job. Instead, it's focusing on which of these guys are at risk of not making the 53 man roster come September.(
Safe: Yeremiah Bell, Chris Clemons,
Bubble: , Jonathon Amaya
Needless to say, Yeremiah Bell is the obvious lock. He's coming off of a Pro Bowl season and is the veteran of the group. He's even a candidate to wear the green dot and be the defensive signal caller. Expect another solid season from the starting strong safety.
Chris Clemons has been working as the starting free safety all offseason. The Dolphins did sniff around some other possible safeties in free agency (Antrel Rolle and Ryan Clark were the two big names). But Rolle wanted too much money and Clark decided to return to Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile Clemons has been drawing positive reviews from this coaching staff as he prepares for his second season in this league. The former fifth round pick has all of the physical tools to be a good free safety in this league. He's got great speed and good hands. He can change direction well and is simply a talented athlete. But he still needs to get a firm grasp of the mental aspects of playing the position at this level. So it'll be interesting to see if the positive momentum he has created in mini-camp and in OTAs will carry over to training camp and the preseason.
Tyrone Culver is entering his fifth season, third in Miami, and is currently working as Bell's backup at strong safety. And if Clemons was to struggle, there's a good chance we could see Culver getting more work as a free safety. As it stands now, though, expect to see Culver play a similar role as last year, where he would see the field in some nickel and dime situations when Bell would move up towards the line of scrimmage.
Like Clemons, Reshad Jones was a fifth round. But the rookie is currently working behind the second year pro at free safety. Jones has good - but not great - speed and might be better suited to play strong safety in this league, though he did play some free safety early on in his college career. Some reports claim Jones has looked unimpressive thus far this offseason. But there's no way he doesn't make the 53 man roster, right?
Enter Jonathon Amaya. The undrafted rookie out of Nevada has reportedly been impressing those who have seen him perform this offseason. He runs a low 4.5 to high 4.4 40 and has a nose for the ball. That's what has impressed most, as Amaya has made plays on the football often during these offseason practices. He's also very versatile, having played both safety positions as well as cornerback in college, something this coaching staff values greatly.
It'll be interesting to see if Amaya can give the drafted rookie a run for his money in training camp.
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