In year two, Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle is beginning to shape the secondary nicely. Long gone are the large, physical corners inherited by Coyle and in are the quick, athletic players more adept at playing in coverage. This is a big reason why Vontae Davis was shipped out for a second round pick and Sean Smith was allowed to leave in free agency.
So without further ado, lets take a quick look at Miami's corners who are fighting for those two starting positions.
Grimes may just turn out to be the steal of free agency. Had he not missed most of 2012 with an Achilles tendon injury, he would have received a big payday this offseason. Instead he signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins to prove himself. While Grimes stands at 5'10, he plays bigger than his size. Freakishly athletic, he's the kind of guy quarterbacks don't want to throw the ball to. So far, he's enjoyed a good start to practice. He always seems to be around the ball, and may just turnout to be the playmaker in the secondary that Miami have missed since Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison.
Like Grimes, Marshall also missed most of 2012, but this time with a back injury. One thing that stands out for Marshall is that he's very physical and has the ideal skill-set to fit in with Coyle's system. Dolphins fans haven't seen much of him yet, but he could turn out to be a valuable component of this secondary should he be able to put his injury problems behind him.
This is the player that the Dolphins coaches want to push Marshall for that other starting position opposite Grimes. Taylor remains sidelined due to soreness emanating from sports hernia surgery. Strong, physical, displays good speed, shows fluidity in his hips to turn and run, and makes plays on the football. He's definitely a player that fits in with Coyle's style of defense.
A very raw player who shows a lot of promise, but needs good coaching. The 3rd round pick out of Utah has made some eye catching plays so far in camp, and is someone Dolphins fans should definitely be watching closely. Possesses intriguing natural athleticism for coverage and ball skills, but needs to be more physical to play in the NFL.
A candidate to fill the nickel position, one big thing going against him right now is his $4.5 million salary. But if the Dolphins want to keep him, surely they can work out a more reasonable deal with him? He's already made a good case to stay with the team after having a strong training camp so far, making some good plays.
This is one player that frustrates me. He's very good in practice, but lets all the good work come undone during his performances in the games. Smart, dedicated player that everyone wants to see put it all together. Because of his intangibles, he'll probably stick around the roster this season.
Best of the Rest
Which players will be the starters next season? Please vote in the poll and shares your thoughts below.