Position Analysis: Safeties

To me, the safety is the last line of defense.  If a running back makes it through the linebackers, that safety is the only one left to take him down.  As I look at these men at the safety positon, I know we can rely on them to be this defenses "last line of defense".

Yeremiah Bell

Bell has been the Dolphins leading tackler for 3 straight years.  He's been a force to be reckoned with and is the leader of the young safety group.  At age 33, there's probably not much left in the tank for this hard hitter.

Bell has gone through alot in his career.  He was drafted in the sixth round, out of Eastern Kentucky and placed on the practice sqaud in 2003.  The following year, he began to show promise untill breaking his leg late in the season.  In 2005 Bell played special teams mostly, but intercepted a Tom Brady pass in a reserve role.

2006 is when Bell earned his starting position.  Jason Taylor said of Bell in 06, "The guy just makes plays, no matter if it's special teams, defense or whatever. He always makes plays for us."  In 2007, Bell suffered a ruptured achilles and entered the free agent market.

Not recieving alot of interest, he returned to the Phins as the starter at strong safety.  He recorded 120 tackles in 08, 114 tackles in 09 (Pro-Bowl appearance), and last year had 101 tackles.

Not many players can break away from Bell when he's wrapping them up for a tackle.  He's great against the run, but adequate against the pass, IMO.  But, Bell is a key cog in this defense and will no doubt be the teams starting strong safety come week 1.


Chris Clemons

When you hear the name Chris Clemons, you probably think of the defensive end.  But, there's also a blossoming safety named Chris Clemons.  Let's take a look at the young FS.

He was drafted in the 5th round of the 09' draft and played at Clemson.  His rookie year he saw little action untill the later weeks of the season.  Gibril Wilson (ugh) was the starting free safety at the time and continued to struggle which led to Clemons playing more.  Clemons looked lost at times during his rookie season.

After the 09' season, Wilson was released and many wondered if the Phins would draft a rookie in the first round.  Names like Earl Thomas and Eric Berry were being thrown around.  However, the Phins didn't draft a safety untill the fifth round, Reshad Jones.  Heading into OTA's and training camp, Sparano named Clemons the starter at free safety.

From there, Clemons never looked back.  He had a great first start against the Bills, his most noteable play, to me, is him dropping Spiller for a loss.  Clemons recorded his first INT against the Raiders, which helped us secure a win.

Clemons is fast and can tackle.  I just have one problem with him...his hands.  He could have hand an INT against the Bengals, but he poped it into T.O's hands for a TD.  I see Clemons as the starting free safety, but expect the next guy to give him some competition. 

Reshad Jones

My favorite pick from the 2010 NFL Draft.  I watched him lay out a few guys in college and I wanted him on this team.  For a reserve rookie, he played great.

Jones was drafted in the 5th round in 2010.  He played at Georgia and was viewed as a hard hitter.  He was inactive his first few games, if I remember correctly but he began to see time on special teams and defense.  His most memorable game had to have been against the Titans.  Jones got his first start against the Chicago Bears, but openly admitted the game was going too fast for him. 

Jones admits he struggled to pick up Miami's defensive system as a rookie.

"At first I struggled a little bit grasping the playbook and on the field," said Jones, "but I picked it up at the end of the season and was grasping the system."

Jones looks to challange, Chris Clemons, for the starting FS spot.  If he does win it I don't see him staying there too long.  I think Jones will see more time at SS, because Bell is reaching the end of his career...maybe.  Jones is my favorite to win the job, and I hope he doesn't disappoint us.

Tyrone Culver

 I don't know much about Culver, so don't expect much.

Culver was drafted in the 6th round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Packers  He lasted one season as a reserve in the Packers defense and came to Miami in 08.

Culver is a role player.  He comes in on dime packages and is rarely out of positon on plays.  He can also play special teams pretty good.

I don't see him pushing for a starting job.  He'll be a reserve if he makes the team this season.  To make matters worse,  I can't find any videos or good pictures of him...

Jimmy Wilson

A young man with a troubled past.  Wilson was accused of murdering his aunts boyfriend.  However, he was later acqutted of the charges.

The Dolphins selected Wilson in this year's draft in the 7th round, he played at Montana.  Before the murder charges,  Wilson was projected as a 2nd round pick.  However, teams stayed away from him due to his rough past.  But the Dolphins organization is willing to take this troubled young man and turn him into a star.

When you have the time, read this article by Omar about Wilson.

I've heard nothing but good things about Wilson in training camp. But, expect him to be a special teamer for awhile.

Rookie seventh-round safety Jimmy Wilson has impressed Sparano after three practices. He’s made two interceptions so far. "The ball finds him," Sparano said.

I'm really excited to see what this guy brings to the team.  He's impressing his teamates easily, and I feel we may have got a steal here.  When you hear a safety's name in practice is usually good or bad.  When a safety is mentioned during practice, they're usually doing good.  But, when you hear their name, they're doing something special.

On the downside though, Wilson is 25.  So his ceiling is low.


Almost forgot to add this guy.  Dolphins signed him this off season.  He played for the Edminton Eskimos in the CFL.

Restelli signed with the Eskimos in 2009 and played LB.

Can he make an impact like Cameron Wake?  I don't think so.  He'll be camp fodder and will play as a reserve.


These guys I just talked about will be a key cog to Nolan's defense.  The depth behind the starters is great and I see no problems with this area of the team.

I'm going to keep a close eye on Wilson and Jones.  Jones is my sleeper to start this year.


I'd like to thank Mosul for the front page yesterday, on my post about the quarterbacks.  I was going to do the offense first, but someone requested the safeties.  Once again, videos are giving me a hard time, so I can't put them in.  Thanks for reading. GO PHINS!!!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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