Bobby McCain looking to compete for starting nickel spot


The Miami Dolphins secondary unit has improved this off-season and Bobby McCain doesn’t mind the competition to help bring better results.

Bobby McCain started 8 games last season. While on the field, he had one interception and six pass break-ups. According to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins’ secondary ranked 20th last season.  However, Miami’s secondary suffered season-ending injuries from starting safeties, Reshad Jones and Isa Abdul-Quddus, and starting cornerback, Xavien Howard.

As the Dolphins progress through training camp, the picture becomes clearer on who are most likely to become the starters for the secondary unit.

At the safety unit, Reshad Jones is the starting strong-safety. He returned to the practice field today after being activated from the non-football injury list. The quarterback of the defense, Jones will help the Dolphins secondary unit on many levels.

Free-safety is still up for grabs. T.J. McDonald is suspended until week 9. Nate Allen may be the front-runner, while Michael Thomas has got reps in playing the nickel spot. Walt Aikens is still fighting to break into a starting role.

Xavien Howard and Byron Maxwell will be the starters on the boundaries. Tony Lippett started 13 games last year for the injured Howard, contributing with four interceptions.

Drafted in 2015, this is Bobby McCain’s third season. Nickel corner is an extremely difficult and important part of the secondary. He will have to really step his game up a few levels this year to earn the starting nickel spot.

For that reason, McCain will have plenty of competition to outperform this season. Tony Lippett, Michael Thomas, Cordrea Tankersley, Alterraun Verner, Jordan Lucas, LaFayette Pitts and Tory McTyer will all be standing in his way competing for playing time.

Besides that, Bobby McCain spoke with the media today after the Dolphin’s practice. He discussed the depth of the secondary, having Reshad Jones back on the field and more. Below is the full transcript of Bobby McCain’s interview courtesy of

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cornerback Bobby McCain

(Do you look forward to getting through these couple of days and the inter-squad scrimmage and finally the first preseason game?) – “Yes, most definitely. It’s exciting. It’s coming up. Football’s back. We’re not sick of hitting each other, but we’re ready to hit someone else. Yes, we’re excited about the first preseason game – about the game coming up – and the scrimmage. It’s an opportunity for us to go make plays and showcase our abilities.”

(Is this like a necessary evil that you’ve got to get through these days before you can get to that point?) – “Yes, these are the hard ones. The games are fun. Just getting through the training camp days, the long grueling days, at the end of the day, you’re paid to do it and you love to do it. We’ve just got to do our job and get to it.”

(With S Reshad Jones obviously back out there today, we didn’t think we’d see much of him and he’s out there doing team. Did you expect to see him do that much today and how good was it to have him back?) – “Yes, he’s feeling good. He looks good. We’re glad to have him back out there. We love having him out there. He’s a force out there when he’s with our defense. (He’s a) great player. We’re happy to have him back.”

(What’s one way S Reshad Jones makes a tangible difference on this defense?) – “He’s a great tackler. He’s a playmaker. At the end of the day, he’s a ‘see ball, get ball’ guy, and that’s what we pride this defense on. That’s what we want and that’s what the coaches want in this defense. He’s done a great job over the years, over his career, of going to get the football.”

(Did you guys miss S Reshad Jones in the second half of last year when you didn’t have him?) – “Yes, you always miss your guys. You always miss your guys; but the next guy’s up. The next guy’s got to step up and do his job and do what he’s supposed to do, and we did that.”

(There was a moment the other day when we saw you go down. What went through your mind and what did you think had happened?) – “It’s a scary feeling, a scary moment. Unfortunately, it happens. Injuries happen, but I bounced back. You go to treatment, you get rehab. It could have been worse and it’s a blessing that it’s not. ”

(Non-contact right?) – “Yes, no contact.”

(What did you do on your day off yesterday?) – “Just relax. I had a lot of treatment on my knee and just trying to stay healthy, take care of the body.”

(What kind of player do you see in S Nate Allen?) – “He’s a good player, great player. (He’s a) smart guy, older veteran and he knows a lot of football. He makes plays. Even at Oakland, he was a good player, and we’re glad to have him.”

(What’s different about QB Ryan Tannehill this camp?) – “Ryan, he’s a really good player, good quarterback. He’s making the throws as he’s always made. I can’t sit and say I watch the technique of the quarterbacks. I know he’s making the throws that are hard. He’s making the really hard throws. We’re really tight in coverage and he’s making them. That’s a good sight to see.”

(One thing that it seems from afar is that QB Ryan Tannehill is being a little more aggressive this camp and taking chances to see how he can fit throws into tight windows.) – “Yes, he’s definitely aggressive. He’s got a ‘Big 3’ out there that’s like no other in the league. They’re probably the best ‘Big 3’ in the league. They’re going to make plays for him. DeVante (Parker), Kenny (Stills), Jarvis (Landry), Jay (Ajayi), Damien (Williams), you’ve got guys out there that can really play ball – Julius (Thomas) – you’ve got guys that can really play football and with those weapons around him, it should be a great one.”

(Speaking of depth, you guys seem fairly deep in the secondary with S Nate Allen, and S T.J. McDonald, and yourself and CB Alterraun Verner, and adding CB Cordrea Tankersley. Compare this year’s depth to last years, and I know it’s only been six training camp practices.) – “Yes, like I said, it’s only the first couple training camp practices; but depth is good for you. It’s good for the team, it’s good for the room, because at the end of the day, something might happen. You never know what could happen. Somebody may go down and the next guy’s got to step up and be there and be ready to play.”