As many of you have heard by now The Miami Dolphins have signed ex-Minnesota Vikings Safety Tyrell Johnson and Linebacker Adam Spitler. Not exactly what you call, “eye popping” signings but it’s something, which is better then nothing. Also in an interview with Johnson he led on that he could possibly be playing both Strong and Free Safety. Also that the defense plans on mixing it up with a lot of different fronts, specifically running a Quarter defense. Quarter defenses are designed to help shut down wide spread offenses and cover all receivers on the field, including tight ends, which seem to be prime targets in the NFL these days. Quarter usually has about 3 or 4 down linemen, 6 D-backs, and either 1 or 2 linebackers. This also give hint to Miami’s draft options as well.
Miami currently carries 14 d-backs on their roster. That’s right 14 of them. 4 safeties, 8 corners, and 2 that are simply labeled D-backs with no specific designation. That many secondary players makes you believe that what Johnson let slip is actually true. Another rumor that a quarter defense can settle is the one about Sean Smith moving over to safety. Any time Miami ran a Quarter defense, Smith ran it at safety and it appears he might be getting more playing time there which is not a bad thing. Even though he seems to be a fan favorite, Smith is one of the top ten worst cover corners in the NFL. If I’m not wrong( I can’t seem to find the article now) Smith was ranked a hundred and twenty something out of a hundred and thirty something corners, while Vontae Davis is ranked in the top 25. Coaches, O-coordinators, and QBs are starting to learn who Davis is which means they know who Smith is and that he’s vulnerable. Moving Smith to safety keeps him from being beat in most coverages unless it a cover 4, it also keeps him employed.
Smith’s move to safety leaves an opening at corner for players like Jimmy Wilson to move up and earn a starting job, which he had for 2 games when Davis went down with a hamstring injury, which he did well with except for one play. There is also new addition Richard Marshall and wide receiver turned D-back Quinten Lawrence that will be fighting for starting jobs on this years roster. With 14 backs on the roster it may seem like a stretch to think that Miami might draft another back in the draft but remember that Nolan Caroll and Chris Clemons have not exactly worked out the last few years and are going to be fighting for a roster spot, so Miami might take a shot another versatile back in the draft that can cover both safety and corner positions which would fit in the new defense. Nothing is set yet and the final 53 is a LONG way off but at least on one side of the ball it seems to be coming together little by little. Unfortunately is also hints that the Yeramiah Bell will probably not be rejoining the fins unless he takes a serious pay cut.