Yesterday we looked at the offensive line and while the offensive line does indeed border on exciting given the changes it’s still going to be one of the top ten things to watch during training camp. As I stated yesterday, this series does not go in any particular order. You can read yesterdays piece here.
With nine days to go and the offensive line out of the way, we turn our attention to the Miami Dolphins secondary. Again, no particular order here.
There is little question that cornerback Brent Grimes should easily pick up where he left off from last season. Grimes turned in a spectacular season for the Dolphins. He bet on himself with a one year deal and it paid off this off-season when the Dolphins gave him an extension. The questions surrounding the secondary are not because of Grimes but in regards to the other players around him.
Backing up a bit to the safety position, Reshad Jones was not the player in 2013 that he was in 2012. Will that inconsistency continue or will he rebound? Training camp won’t tell us that as Jones is a gamer and I expect to follow his progress through the season and not through practice. The same can not be said of Louis Delmas.
Delmas came to the Dolphins via free agency this off-season and while he has the potential to be a solid compliment to Jones, there are durability and health concerns. Consider that Delmas spent less time practicing last season with the Detroit Lions that any other active player on the roster. He rested throughout the week due to concerns over his knees. The question is will he make it through training camp and can he become the player the Dolphins expected when they signed him?
Delmas isn’t the only issue, new addition Cortland Finnegan is not exactly a player coming to the team with no concerns. Finnegan needs to return to his pro form of three years ago. In his last season with the Tennessee Titans, Finnegan’s performance waned. He became a free agent and was quickly signed by the St. Louis Rams where he reunited with head coach Jeff Fisher. Finnegan never panned out or reached the production he had while being coached by Fisher with the Titans and this 0ff-season he became a free agent once again. The Dolphins took a risk on Finnegan giving him a one year deal fully guaranteed. He has health concerns but more importantly consistency concerns.
Behind Finnegan and to a degree this is where Brent Grimes comes in, the Dolphins lack proven depth. Jamal Tayler, Don Jones, and Will Davis are the Dolphins top three back-ups and all three of them are not only entering their second season in the NFL, all three saw limited playing time as rookies. That is not to say that any of those three can not rise to the top or become very good corners, on the contrary. Each player has talent and each players has shown signs of that talent and that is why I recommend them as players to watch in training camp.
The Dolphins have questions in the secondary but those questions revolve around consistency, durability, and experience. Training camp should give us a clearer idea as to who will rise and who will fall.