The Miami Dolphins have a lot of changes on the offensive line and the team has made some moves at linebacker that has shifted players out and one player in, Koa Misi, but lost in all the talk is a secondary unit that has undergone as many changes as any other unit on the team.
Only two starters from last seasons roster are returning to the team. Brent Grimes and Reshad Jones. Stepping in at safety is former Detroit Lions Louis Delmas. Competition has reared it’s favorable head at the corner spot opposite Brent Grimes. Cortland Finnegan is trying to find the player he used to be while battling two sophomores who found little to no success last season, Jamar Taylor and Will Davis. The three way competition is making the team better.
Brent Grimes spoke with the Palm Beach Post and said that the communication in the secondary is going very well.
“Great,” Grimes said after Saturday’s scrimmage in response to a question about the communication. “That’s a key for the secondary. People might not notice, but we talk a lot out there. We know where we’re supposed to be. And for having two guys that weren’t here last year, they’re doing exceptionally well and they’re picking it up fast.”
Communication will be key as will the leadership of Brent Grimes on the field and off the field. The good news is that Grimes has become a leader and he has embraced that role. His play and his attitude were rewarded this off-season with a new contract, a contract that Grimes wanted to sign to remain with the Dolphins.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has always been a good secondary coach. In Cincinnati before joining the Dolphins, the Bengals had a very good secondary unit under the then positions coach Coyle. Last season despite injuries and lack of rookie impact, the Dolphins till got a lot of out former players Chris Clemons and Nolan Carroll, again a lot attribution goes to Coyle. Can his defensive system make Davis and Taylor impact players this year? Can his system take Finnegan back to his prime? We will find out.
It’s been quite awhile since the Dolphins had an opportunity to be great in the secondary. For one season the Dolphins enjoyed Sean Smith and Vontae Davis both playing at high level but that did not last a full season. You really need to go all the way back to the days of Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain for the last time the Dolphins sported two high level consistent corners. Today’s unit has a chance to become something good.
As Grimes pointed out communication is a key to the success of the unit. Being on the same page in different packages whether a zone call or a press coverage, nickel or dime packages, everyone needs to know where everyone else will be and it starts with said communication.
The Dolphins will get their first test come Friday night against Atlanta who finished 2013 disappointing.