The Miami Dolphins played the Atlanta Falcons last night and performed well in many areas, but still need help at cornerback.
Last nights victory over the Atlanta Falcons was a good morale boost for the Miami Dolphins. Coming off a beating from the Dallas Cowboys, Miami needed to put some things together and show improvement. For the most part, the whole team seemed to look better and have grown from a week of practice. The area that is still of great concern is cornerback.
The Dolphins have put their faith in two young cornerbacks to win the starting job opposite Byron Maxwell and the nickel spot. Maxwell is the leader of the unit and has the job of bringing along youngsters like Tony Lippett and Bobby McCain and help them turn into NFL players. Lippett and McCain have shown flashes of ability during the offseason, but they both struggled last night against Atlanta.
More from Dolphins News
- Tua Tagovailoa practicing with teammates is everything a leader does
- 4 offensive tackles Miami Dolphins could draft at 51
- Miami Dolphins don’t need CB help but these 5 could be available at 51
- 4 players that could replace Wilkins if Miami Dolphins don’t re-sign him
- Miami Dolphins have a starting point with Wilkins after Simmons deal
Tony Lippett has spent most of his time this offseason as a starting cornerback on the outside for Miami. At times he has shown promise, like his three interception practice during mini-camp. Other times he performed so poorly that Miami pulled him out of the starting rotation. Last night Lippett had the opportunity to play for the first half and get a feel for what the regular season would look like.
Lippett had a tough night and it started early. He was beaten early by Julio Jones for a gain of 17 yards. Jones is an established star receiver and Tony Lippett needs to show he can cover whoever is in front of him. Later in the night he was beaten deep against Aldrick Robinson for 36 yard reception.
Bobby McCain has been a bright spot for the most part during the offseason. He has performed well when asked to play the nickel cornerback role. He missed some of the offseason due to injury, but when he has been healthy he has been progressing and continuing to perform better. He had and interception in the first preseason game and played ok against Dallas.
Last night was an off night for McCain as well. When Tony Lippett wasn’t performing, the Dolphins gave McCain an opportunity to play on the outside instead of the nickel spot. McCain was beaten and was called for pass interference costing the Dolphins 44 yards. Although he was playing out of position, McCain needs to show he can play well at any spot.
With Xavien Howard coming back from injury, Lippett and McCain will have to keep an eye on their starting spots. If Howard can come in and play well, despite not having a lot of reps, he could easily take one of the starting spots. Howard has been rehabbing from a knee scope that he had in the offseason, but he should start getting reps this week in practice. He will also have an opportunity next week to get some live reps in the last preseason game.
If Miami wants to be able to compete this season, they will need at least three solid starting cornerbacks. With Maxwell locking down one position, Miami needs two other young players to step up. If not, it will be hard for Miami’s defense to get off the field, especially when going up against great quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Philip Rivers.