Miami Dolphins hope camp competition at cornerback will find starter
By Brian Miller
Xavien Howard is the top cornerback for the Miami Dolphins and the only question surrounding him is whether or not he will live up to his new contract.
This year when the Miami Dolphins take the field for training camp, one corner position is filled. Howard holds that down definitively but the other position is up for grabs.
Conflicting opinions on where Minkah Fitzpatrick will play has been a hot topic through the off-season. Will he line up at safety or will he handle the slot corner duties? One thing is certain, in the Brian Flores and Patrick Graham defensive scheme, Fitzpatrick is likely to never leave the field.
In New England, the Patriot’s defense used a lot of six defensive back fronts. That could mean four open spots on the field for cornerbacks. With Howard and Fitzpatrick taking up two roles, who will be the other two?
The Dolphins currently have ten cornerbacks listed on the team roster which means they are serious about fielding a quality competition in this year’s training camp. The biggest question is who will play the opposite of Howard?
Free agent signee Eric Rowe makes a lot of sense. The veteran corner who played under Flores in New England knows the system but early looks through mini-camps and OTAs did not look good for Rowe who consistently got beat. Rowe, however, plays physical and there is no physicality in the off-season practice sessions. We will need to see how he does once the pads are on.
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Rowe’s biggest competition will come from Cordrea Tankersley and Torry McTyer. Both have had good games and both have had bad games. Tankersley took a big dip last year and needs to prove that he was worth the 3rd round pick Miami used on him in the 2017 draft.
Miami has a lot of youth at the position but there isn’t a clear player that will take over on the outside. In other words, it is up for grabs.
Bobby McCain should see a lot of playing time as well but where he will play is something that will need to be viewed in camp. Will the Dolphins play with two slot corners? If so then McCain and Fitzpatrick could be on the field together and playing closer to the line of scrimmage.
Right now it is not clear what defensive schemes Flores will throw out and frankly we may not see it fully until the season starts but one thing is for certain, this year’s training camp is going to be interesting to watch at the corner position.