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Miami Dolphins rookie CBs to the rescue

Amid all the venom spewed toward Ted Ginn Jr. and Gibril Wilson and the strange play-calling and use of timeouts during the New Orleans loss, it became kind of easy to miss perhaps the most significant fallout from Sunday's 46-34 loss.

The Dolphins are now the only NFL team starting two rookie cornerbacks, according to the depth charts at NFL.com.

Fact is, only the Rams and Jaguars have even one rookie cornerback starting for them and that's Bradley Fletcher, who has started three of seven games for St. Louis, and Derek Cox, who has started all six games for the Jags.

So Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, Miami's starting corners Sunday against the New York Jets, are pretty special.

But beyond beyond special, it says something about these young men that no one is having a major anxiety attack that the Dolphins are starting the two rookies the remainder of the season. Some folks, in fact, are even eager to see it because that's what was likely going to be happen next year and beyond anyway.

That the time table has been accelarated by Will Allen's blown out knee is a shame because Allen is a good player.

But it's not a disaster.

Smith has started every game this season for Miami. He's given up some plays and does not have an interception. But he is coming off perhaps his best game of his still-young NFL career.

"Sean Smith’s byline [Sunday] was 69 plays with only three minuses," coach Tony Sparano said. "Three minuses in the game. These guys are playing at pretty good levels."

Indeed, Davis has been sharing time with Smith, playing about 40 percent of the plays to Smith's 60 percent. And Davis has also played quite well during that time. He has an interception which he returned for a touchdown against Buffalo. He saved a touchdown on special teams against the Saints.

Davis has so far lived up to his draft status even as Smith has outperformed his draft status.

So what will we see with the rooks the next 10 games?

“I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know the answer to that question," Sparano said. "What I mean by that is, they need to mature really fast. I don’t know, I don’t really know if they’re equipped for 10 games in a row of doing full-time duty without having Will Allen out there with those two guys being able to play 60-40, or whatever it was that we were going with those guys.

"But I would say this: they’re both in good shape, and they’re both smart players, don’t have a lot of mental errors, they both like football, they like to compete ... You're asking me long haul and what I'm saying is sometimes some of these young guys are ready to check out around Thanksgiving. I’m thinking we need to do a great job with these two guys of refocusing and understanding that we do have ten of these left."

I would say that just as fans and media have been critical of some coaching and, yes, personnel decisions of late (see the first paragraph concerning Wilson and the time out situation) one must also be fair. And in all fairness, the personnel department apparently did excellent work with Davis and Smith.

And the coaches did an excellent job in recognizing they needed to develop both rookies and not just the better of the two. The coaches get a kudos for playing Davis even while Smith was starting. The platoon system that caused every second or third series seemed odd for a while.

But it got both players game experience. It got both guys used to the speed of the game.

And now, as a result, the hole the Miami secondary finds itself in after losing Allen for the remainder of the year seems more like a pothole than a grave. 


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Let's not forget vontae's play on special teams against the saints. Great tackling!! We are now all of a sudden a pretty young team. We obviously have the talent but need to learn how to win!

These youngens give me hope for our future it has to be brightest spot on the team very good draft picks...maybe Ted Ginn should back them up?!?

I'm pretty happy Allen got hurt to be honest I said early this year I wouldn't mind seein him benched. He is not a good DB he can't match up well with any big time recievers look how Edwards put on a clinic against him. Smith should cover the number one reciever of every team we face and let Davis take the number two. I'm at a loss for words when I think about that game Sunday. I was literally sick to my stomach after the game, I had to walk out of my house and took a walk to keep from punching a hole in my wall. I've lost all hope for ginn, he is nothing more than a kick/punt returner. I do think there is a slight, very slight chance to make a run for the playoffs. This might sound crazy but i think we can sweep the bills and jets and we at least need one win against the pats and I think we could even steal two. Then we could afford one loss maybe two to have any chance at the playoffs. We have a good team we just need to get that playmaker at WR, a cover safety, and a TE. The fins will be ready for a superbowl in 2 years.

Will Allen has played soft, giving way too much of a cushion to some receivers that don't deserve it, I know Davis is more physical so he should do well as long as he stops biting so hard on play action

The Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain of the next decade. Davis and smith were the 2 big corners i talked about extensively leading up to the draft. I'm excited !

It wouldn't be so bad if we had the safties giving help over the top, Smith and Davis can hold their own no doubt, but they will get beat that's happens. My worry is how bad is gonna be with the play of are safties. I would take Brock Marion at this point!

Rickybrown17, you are glad Allen got hurt? Did you forget that he is a human being? I hope you did not mean it the way you said it. These guys are making a living out there and in one play it could be all over. Wishing Wll a speedy recovery.

There are a ton of bright spots on the Dolphins.
The corners are looking great. The running game is nothing short of fantastic. Our young qb looks good. We scored a over 30 points on Sunday. We haven't done that for a long time.
Sunday's game is over. The jets this week. Enough of the whining. Let's play some football. It doesn't matter who's fault it is. We just improve and go from there

now what about playing clemons instead of wilson, or even culver instead of wilson? either way just get wilson out HE CANT PLAY!!

klndry to add to your comment, we have scored at least 30 pts in our last three games...thats got to be a dolphin record, and we did it with chad henne

Your happy Allen got hurt? Your an idiot! Allen was a big part of this teams sucsess last year. We all now it's are safty play that is killing us, it's no secret.

Another thing about the coaching - the lack of discipline. When the Refs start flagging you for unsportsmanlike conduct, and the players remain in the game, it shows that the coaches have not instilled discipline. YES, YOU, Joey Porter!
Hopefully, they can get it together for 'Hot Dog' Sanchez and the rest of the New Jersey Gliders this week!

Sad that we have to start to Rookies when a veteran CB gets hurts.

That is because our FA picks suck. Aside from Wilson at Safety, we also sign Eric Green at Cornerback who was suppose to take Hills old spot and the two rookies were suppose to learn in their first year without playing much. Well, everyone know how BAD Eric Green was that he did not even make it past training camp....another BUST!

The Trifecta selected Green and Wilson in FA this year as the two starters... They are both a bust...2 for 2 ...

Trifecta SUCKS at FA.

Sad that we have to start two Rookies when a veteran CB gets hurts.

That is because our FA picks suck. Aside from Wilson at Safety, we also signed Eric Green at Cornerback, who was suppose to take Hills old spot and the two rookies were suppose to learn in their first year without playing much. Well, everyone knows how BAD Eric Green turned out that he did not even make it past training camp....another BUST!

The Trifecta selected Green and Wilson in FA this year as the two projected starters... They are both a bust...2 for 2 ...

Trifecta SUCKS at FA.

As well as letting are FA leave, and not signing them

lots of young players are stepping up. smith, davis, wake, hartline, henne, long and thomas.
yes the personal foul penalty was bad but it wasn't anything over the top. besides the porter/taylor combo had a great game.

Off topic but I was just thinking about the "3 year plan". Anyone remember where that got started? Was that Parcells/Sparano or a media thing?

Hey guys! as some said before, before i start talking good vibrations would like to note that the coaching looks to always have once in a while melt down coaching situations...

But besides that lets start looking at next weeks game, saints are over.

About the will allen injury, well at times I did not like him, BUT normally he did not bow big ones and as you all now he mentored the young CB´s. I really do think that these 2 guys will be the tandem for long years to come. I only have one concern, Davis seems to go very hard and commits costly error (that flying sack missed on shockey), coaching must address those errors.

Giving a general review of all the lines:

O-line: running the game, but on pass defense have to give Henne a little more time(could be WR´s fault of not getting open quick enough)

Backfield: Best running game in the NFL, what more could we ask for... Note that Polite is the new Neal(chargers with tomlinson)

WR: our wr corp is just not having enough presence and are irregular. (One thought I have here...why not give up a 1st draft pick and some more for a PROVED go to WR instead of thinking "oh yeah we like having draft picks, that is how you build up" because draft is like a lottery man, and Ginn was not a lottery for us.

D-line:Doing good, consistent on the run and making some plays, although would like to see more Merling, he looks like irregular for the coaches i guess.

Defensive backs:Even more i´m starting to think we need a playmaker at MLB, crowder is a good complement for a better MLB, but ayodele is just so average!
Taylor,porter are doing just fine and wake is AWAKING big so it looks good.

CB,S: What to say, just pumped at the rookies, i hope they dont get to much exposure and get burnt. At the safety spot Bell looked like the last year bell and lets be honest, Wilson did a good job in the first half of the game... but in the second became himself again. Lets just see how the season unfolds and we could see more clemons around the corner.

Well guys, sorry for the long story but I needed to get some stuff out, just considering I dont have anybody in Spain who i can talk about...hehe.

The three year plan is the excuse used by the idiots when the dolphins don't win..... After three years.... All of a sudden, it's "hey guys...this is a five year plan... Dynasties don't happen over night, ya know"...........now back on topic, if our rookie cb's can play WR, then we really got a shot!

Shula's Son:

They suck at FA? You're joking, right?? I'm pretty sure Smiley and Grove would disagree with you big time. . . or DEFINITELY Lousaka "Mr. First-Down" Polite. . . or Jason Taylor with his discount. . . or Cameron Wake. . . or Anderson and Ayodele.

FA is completely hit and miss - you win some and you lose some.

Would you prefer that instead of owning up to their mistakes and cutting the guys (like Green), that we keep them around and start them just so they don't have to admit to a mistake????

I don't know about y guys, but it's still hard for me to look atthis stuff, or hear anything about the dolphins. I didn't think it could get any worse after the colts game, but now we have to deal with what happened Sunday.

These two rooks, especially Sean Smith have been awesome...It definitly hurts to lose Will Allen but we should feel comfortable with those two kids back there for sure

Looks like the three year plan is a failure? It has failed for sure if Ted Ginn Jr. is still starting next year!

Inimounts, I think its only going to get worse.

Victor, it could be a 8 year plan(Ala Obama) and it wont produce squat..

Lerot is right on about Free Agency.It is hit or miss league wide. No one, not one team, hits a home run on all their free agents, Personally, I would rather miss on a couple of mid level to lower level free agent signings than miss on the top, huge money free agents. For example, when the fu^&*ng Jets offer all that money to Calvin Pace, we smartly withdrew rather than over pay. Can anyone here say Pace is worth it? Our O line pushed him and the rest of them all over the field in game 1.

Lets all remember whar we went through with Wannstedt, The Liar, and Cameron, and be greatful for what we have now!

obama produces.....produces debt.

Victor, it could be a 8 year plan(Ala Obama) and it wont produce squat..

Posted by: cuban menace | October 27, 2009 at 08:36 AM

Last night made me sick. I watched the Eagles young, slender wide-outs, Jackson and Maclin, looking great. They are fast and do not run out of bounds when they hit the corner. They block and are not afraid of contact getting YAC. And, they return kicks for touchdowns. I was a Ginn fan and wanted him to succeed. But, then again, I am not a pro scout or pro General Manager. I really would like to know what in the h*ll did CAM and his scouts see in Ginn. Especially, considering the fact that the Ohio State "#2" receiver that year (Gonzales) is a star for the Colts. Just think what things would be like this year if we had Gonzales, Maclin, or Jackson!!

Could playing rookies really hurt the phins? How? Giving up 30 points in the 2nd half from our starting back field is ridicous. Play the rookies, play them now.

Ginn and Porter will be gone next year, maybe even Fasano is he does not play much better the rest of the year.

Now that we are starting the rookies at CB, which I think they will do fine, time to start Clemens at safety. He had a good camp and he cannot do worse than Wilson.

BTW, I think it is interesting how well Smith has done at CB. I really think that QBs are throwing away from him. Imagine that, QBs throw away from the rookie and were targeting our veteran, Will Allen! I sure hope Davis does as well as Smith.

The brain trust hit's on linemen better than they hit on playmakers.We all know that Bill and CO. love big strong linemen both on O&D it is money well spent but don't skimp on playmakers& safties.We are still a couple player away from Elite. WR SAFTY MLB TE.

Okay... Smith and Davis will start at CB.

How long Hartline and Turner will be the starters at WR ?!?!

Alot of the young corners success will rely heavily on the pass rush. The pass rush in the first half Sunday was awesome. Not so good in the second half. Time to get a better look at Wake. I understand if Clemmons does see any playing time, it would put 3 rookies in the secondary. Has anyone stopped a tight end this season for Miami though?

the secondary sucks... 2 rookies starting...talking like 2-4 is OK !!

Ok, I have no been around much because I am in mourning. This last game crush my soul. This is what I have to say on the topic of rookie cb.

Sean Smith and Vontae Davis are two guys I am not worry about. These guys have proven to be playmakers and I think they will work well togethers. Will Allen has been liability at times this season and it will be hard for pass defense to get any worst. CB is not the position I am worry about, it is the safety. Yeramiah Bell had pretty good game sunday, but the gerbil is just horrible and nothing better than small rodent. Culver had int and look like Ball Hawk in training. Why don't dolphins give him chance?


my feelings exactly on the rat.

play turner now ! real curious to know who is where at WR come the start of wednesdays practice


What a horrible weekend, that had potential to be so good. I just now able to talk about it.

Dont fret carlito,the sun rose today, the birds are chirping and NJ phin fan is out plumbing......

I think Vontae and Sean Smith are stars. Will Allen was no playing so good this year, hopefully these guys will make some plays, they are the future at cb

Can someone please tell me what & means.

Can someone please tell me what & means.

Can someone please tell me what & means.

Amp means nothing it's just an error when someone type the and character. Example Miami and new york. Comes out Miami & new York

From a iPhone

I say if Dolphins beat Jets, season not over.

We'll be luckey to end 8-8

Armando, Excellent points. The platooning of the rookies looks like a brilliant move.

& = and

I'm back.

Look, the Saints game was a tough loss, but lets quick talking playoffs, we did that last year because we beat a bunch of subpar teams and had a great record. In the last 2 seasons the 3 best wins were, 3. Beating The Patsies at their house and the debut of the Wildcat, 2. Beating the Yets at their house and making Farve look bad, and 1. Beating the Jets on Monday night in our Orange Jerseys. So lets focus on knocking off the Jets this week, one of their major weapons is down, yes we have 2 rookie CB's starting. Its time to step up an be the Spoiler. I dont care if we end up 6-10 as long as those 6 wins are all against our Division.

Ginn is too scared too ever be an NFL elite reciever.

Agree with you carlito, but coach suprano must bench(or cut)Ted (tyrannosaurus Rex arms)Ginn and Gibral(i cant tackle) Wilson, then and only then can the healing start.(The demon's have been exorcised)...till then, i cant see winning no more then two maybe three games..

Ted Ginn belong in UFL

If Ginn just becomes a Jet killer and can't show up against any other team while in Miami, I might be able to live with him.

I wonder how #19 jersey sales have been?

Standley, I hear they've Dropped in sales...

I bet they have, it's kinda sad

Sorry Guys this season is most likely over, We pissed away three games this year that were wins. NE is coming on strong.

We need to start getting our younger wr's some experience, start putting someone in the gerbils spot, and let kershaw take over for crowder then evaluate from there. barring an epic collapse by our division rivals we are toast.

Hopefully Will Allen comes back healthy next season, because maybe they can move him to safety? Cut "Gerbil" Wilson in the offseason, move Allen into his spot, allow Vontae and Smith to continue starting and draft a safety early...

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