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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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Menace, do you think Ginn can play Cuban dominoes?

Realistically, we need to win the next two games, especially since they are within the division... In my opinion if we lose either one or both, than the season is over... We need to sweep the division, just to have an outside chance of making the playoffs

"OVER, WAS IT OVER AFTER THE GERMANS BOMBED PEARL HARBOR??NO.. IT'S NOT OVER TILL WE SAY ITS OVER..) Blutto Blutalaskey (Faber college circa 1962)

Mando.

Good, courageous post game attempt by you to get Coach Sparano to admit Ginns deficiencies and why no actions being taken. Unfortunately Sparano bobbed and weaved with some ridiculous comparison to Chad Henne regarding dropped passes and Chad's sight adjustments. What the hell was that all about!! I thought JT was the dancer??

Personally...I would of pressed him to answer your question instead of his "what I mean by that" tangents,throwing you off course. Don't get me wrong...I like Sparano but I believe he should be critical when necessary, even in a public format. I believe we fans deserve that because we all know the obvious holes on this club. Other wise it looks like their insulting our intelligence.

Over at our blog we're trying to have jokes and we ain't funny. We suck!

But don't be worrying, later today we'll ask for nicknames to the offensive line and the defensive line and lousaka polite and whatever inane crap we can come up without really doing any work.

Deuces!

With the two rookies taking over at CB, it probably means the Dolphins won't bench Wilson any time soon because coaches are afraid too many young guys will get victimized in coverage or with their communication.

Sucks.

Standley, He'd drop the tiles , so no, he'd su@k...

Um Cuban japan bombed pearl harbor not the Germans lol

The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? When was this?

Hey Menace! You need to check your history. The Germans never bombed Pearl Harbor or anything else in America for that matter. It was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor.

PS: Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

I think menace was quoteing some idiot, I pretty sure he knows japan did the bombing

Season over.....you dont wake from next season and think you're a playoff contender...I know we made the playoffs but the only reason was Tom Brady went down...We come out with the same team and look where it got us...2-4 !!Parcells hasnt did anything special here in Miami besides Pennington.We had our chance to get some play makers but we did nothing..sorry guys but its the truth...8-8 isnt good enough !!

They are who we thought they were!

They are who we thought they were and we let them off the hook!

I'm excited. Sean Smith is the best corner from the draft. He was the one player I wanted Miami to draft. He has played very very well so far and will continue to get better. Vontae will be a beast. He just needs more playing time. Did you see him run down the saints kick returner?? He looked like T-1000 from the terminator. Everything will be fine dolphin fans. We have many great young players. We need a true number one reciever and a good safety to pair with Bell. The future looks good. Stick behind your team. Go Phins !!!!

It's a little early to crown these rookies Surtain and Madison....Jeez. I think they both have potential, and Davis tackles extremely well for a corner (minus a couple missed oppurtunities), but, that's the same way Polloy in Pitt throws his body around...One can hope that they can be a tandem like those 2 though...That was a scary backfield with Suratin, Madison, Marion, and Sammy Knight...Then there was Thomas, Seau, JT, Ogunleye, Gardner, and Bowens...Ahhh, memories

Guys the menace is Quoting a great comedy scene starring John Bulushi by the name of "Animal house", is there anyone on here over the age of 35????

And then Arizona went to the Super Bowl the next year after that blow up by Denny Grenn, hmmm

Sorry, 34. I still had your back.

The staff may be horrible at coaching veterans, but they seem to know what they're doing with the young guys.

Pyrex, May i also say the Catholic church has done the same...

Well, I am shocked on how well the fins played in the 1st half; and on how bad they played in the 2nd half.

But I guess we a team are just not ready. And here are the holes:

1. WR-I thought Penne was the problem (and he was) but the WRs are just not good enough. I gave Ginn the benefit bc I thought he had potential with speed-but he can't CATCH or ROUTE RUN.
Demote Ginn to 3rd/4th receiver, let him KR/PR. Promote Hartline and someone else (I think Camarillo). And how bad is PT, that he can't play. At this point, we need to see him and have Henne some help. Hartline is so much better than the others.

2. Wilson is either too small or too weak. He can't seem to tackle anyone over 200 lbs (ie: TE/RB). And it is sad bc I thought he played well in the 1st half (at least on blitzing). Bench him-it can't be worse.

I really would like to see some young guys play and give them opportunities bc we never know how good or bad these guys are until they play. Once they get in they will man up or fold-but you don't know till they played. For instance, I thought Nate Jones did a good job. He went up there and stole the ball from Colston. Let these guys play.

I hope the season is not over, but I don't think this our year. So let's play the kids and see:
1. Cameron Wake- we know porter, lets see him
2. Jones- he has to play now
3. Culver,Clemmons- Wilson is so bad, it cant get worse
4. Sheets, Hillard- where was Hillard?
5. Pat White- I really would like to see him play (even though he scares me).

Things I Think I Think about the Orginazation, Coach and the Players on Offense: 1.) Does anyone believe for one minute that the Tuna and co. care about what people outside the loop think when it comes to making decisions, on or off the field? (Yea, this means you too Armando, and any other Sports Writer, Talk Show Host, or Blog. Knowing the Tuna's arrogance, maybe even the owner of the Team.) 2.) All Orginazations, Coaches and Players make mistakes period.(They should be judged by the body of there work not just one play.) 3.) Coach Sparano is a sophmore Head Coach.(Who wears his heart on his sleeve, and sometimes shows loyality to a fault.) 4.) The starting QB has a grand total of three starts.(Thigpen has three year,White 0.) 5.) The RB's are solid group.(Brown and Polite are in there prime, Williams in his twilight and Cobbs not sure @ this point.) 6.) Receivers are very young.(The average NFL experience for the group is less than two years.) 7.)Now this Team is going to start two Rookie Cornerbacks.(No other Team in the NFL has two starting Rookie Corners.) So tell me, how can anybody not be excited about this young physical team? We will know at the end of this year exactly what kind of Team we will have going into next off season and Draft. The Tuna will know what positions to Draft and or trade for. This Team is on the rise and being built with good young talent. When we start to see the Tuna sprinkle in more veteren players from outside the Team into the mix, then I believe we are instore for something real special. STARTING ROKKIES ARE A GOOD THING.

" heavy is the head that wears the crown" William Shakespeare.

C.M,good A.H quote.Cult classic.

Pennington getting hurt was a blessing in disguise and maybe Will Allens injury will be the same. Didn't get to see the game - I'm in Pittsburgh and had to watch the Bengals destroy the Bears - why did the Dolphins stop running the ball in the 2nd half and how many carries did Ricky have in the second half?

AAARRRRRGGGGG NO REPLAYS I CAN'T STAND TO THINK ABOUT IT ANYMORE

Bring on the jests

The question in my mind are these:
1. We will miss Will Allen, but we have the two draftees now starting together. But what about the safeties? Renaldo Hill's great value last year was that he talked and got everybody else in position. We don't have that and my dead grandmother can knock Gibril Wilson over.
2. We have the guys that can carry the ball whether it's Wildcat or conventional. But defenses don't respect our passing game and will dare us to go over the top. Ginn did in that Monday night game but reverted back to being on the "all soft" team and can't run a basic pass route, get open, suffers from the dropsies, and when he catches, he runs out of bounds just short of the first down.
3. Overall our defense is inconsistent. We had one shutdown game against the Bills but in every game, we gave up either big pass plays or big running plays. Channing Crowder, the apparent heir to Zach Thomas, couldn't wear his jockstrap after Zach is 50 years retired.
4. Special team coverage and return game are a disaster. Compare the coaching of Mike Westhoff (formerly with us but now with the Jets) to John Bonamego.

This team will finish under .500 with 5 to 7 wins. There's a youthful foundation with Davis, Smith, and Hartline (who should play more than his OSU teammate Ginn).

The reality check is that this team had a soft schedule and was relatively free of injuries in 2008. Our team in reality is being tested by a far tougher schedule, more injuries, and some of our talent being exposed like our linebacking, receivers, and starting safeties. The rebuilding work has a ways to go.

Jimbo,I will be out there 12/12 for pens vs fla.See ya at the super bowl across from igloo.

I watched them suckout during the 1-15 season (I watched every game, yes i am an idiot).

So this is so much better, but they still have too many holes. But you get the feeling that this team is so much better than the record. But somehow screw it up every week bc of something.

With that being said, I think they will do ok this season and next year will be better with some offseason improvements.

And while I am not gonna blame the refs for this loss, I really think the officiating in just every game has gone against the dolphins to a fault. Some really questionable calls against and none for us. Just saying.

"fat, drunk & stupid is no way to go through life son"

then we were winning 24-3

then, we lost 114-34.......what the hell happened ?


if were lucky we could package pat white ted ginn n wilson in a trade even maybe fasano can go two

They did look pretty good on Sunday....ad as mentioned by someone else....Ginn should go to Defense.....only problem is, do you think he'd actually be willing to hit someone after they caught the ball....lord knows he'll be great at knocking down the passes coming towards him!

if the defensive front seven can put pressure on QB's like they did in the first half against the saints, then the rooks will be okay.....they may even make some plays.....big IF though.

Play all the rookies. That means Patrick Turner as well. Ricky Williams was unstoppable on Sunday, and we only gave him the ball 3 times in the 2nd half?? Jimmy Johnson wasted Marino's last years. I hope we don't do that with Ricky. Give him the ball!

I think they should start Culver and start working in Clemons. i mean sure he is a rookie, but if he can tackle, he has corner speed that will help offset some of those early learning deficiencies. The way I see it is after 6 games the safeties are not really any better so the still getting used to each other crap is bogus. By this time last year S. Hill and Bell were coming on strong at safety. I feel there is validity to the earlier point that Miami has two starign strong safeties and no free (cover) safety. At the very least clemons should start playing spot duty in the secondary.

It is SO f***ing over......what's wrong with you people.......the Culture of Losing will never disappear......Fins are doomed......Reynaldo Hill laughing HAO in Denver

Time to see what they got in a full game, and it is time to see what Clemens got as well. I am tired of seeing GWilson miss tackles..... I would rather see a rook make a mistake than a 5 mil dollar man do it over and over again. The play where he does that paddy cake with Shockey while Shockey goes for 60plus yds was the last straw for me. The miss tackle on Bush was to much to bare and he has missed tackles all yr. He has not made a good play all yr either one bad play after another and it has cost us games! I call it like I see it and if you do not like forget you!!!!!

cuban menace is a douche. Obama hasn't been in office for a year and you blame everything on him. So Bush's 8 years of driving the country into the ground doesn't count? Shut the F up about politics on this site. You label yourself as a fool.

i agree with shaggy. The season is done as far as playoffs go. Let's get the young guys 10 games of experience and come back strong next year.

Anybody that says "play all the rookies" or this "season is over" knows NOTHING whatsoever about football or is not a real fan...please go to the "I might be gay" blog where you belong...thk u

the best way to save the season is by playing our young studs .
btw, did any one see the massacre on sunday wher we were up 21 points and our studs lost w/honor my azzzz.

Not ONE single person on this blog sees what happens in the Practice Dome...The Dolphins practices are CLOSED to everyone..If the rookies were ready, they obviously would be playing...I'm sorry, but u don't throw a kid just out of college into a game if they are not ready to play...getting a kid injured or worse yet, destroying his confidence and carreer just to satisfy some NO ONE who posts on a blog isn't the way it works...NO ONE on here including me makes that decision...

Vontae Davis and Sean smith are much more further along in their Development , at this stage in their career , than Madison and surtain were at theirs. JEEZ ! These 2 guys will just as good if not better . JEEZ !

You guys saying the season is over are out of your minds!!I I will admit that I "lost my mind" after the Colts game,but youhave to remember that if we beat the Jets again,we will have a chance to take back the division.The Patriots have to play us,the Colts,Jets and the Saints.These next 4 games will determine if our season is done.Also,the Colts and Saints games are on the road.First priority for the Dolphins........beat the Jets!!!!!

nj has a good point ;geezzzzzz

i believe with sean smith and vontae davis heading up the secondary we have youth with speed and heart and willing not to give up on any play, look for them to press the wr's and to be physical as far as wilson and bell they are still learning how to play together, wilson is still adjusting to playing his spot bell is already prepared for that spot, the loss to the saints wasnt our defense more on the play calling of the offense. miami gave up on run plays and wildcat which would have run time off the clock. ginn did drop key passes but its been established that he can not catch passes in traffic like hartline bess and camarillo. he needs to be put more on douple moves or streak patterns, look for hartline and bess to play more snaps and ginn to come in on deep routes.miamis defense played very well in first half but i think the game plan changed in the second half less blitzs and too much two deep coverages messed us up big time, we smacked up at the line with the blitz but got away from it in the second which im dissapointed about, vincent jackson may be a free agent this offseason good pick up for miami, and also a rb in the draft seeing ricky will be gone and also another free agent olb to compensate for torber's non-athletism would be great

The future is now...first Henne, now Smith and Davis. Next, Clemons for Wllson, and Hartline for Ginn...and we may even get a Patrick Turner sighting before the year is over.

i believe patrick turner may be a bust like ernest wilford he may be key in red zone plays as a big target to throw to but size isnt always the best thing breaking off your cuts in your pattern is key also and selling the play action blocks and shedding off the defense while making those blocks will be huge

i believe chad henne will be the truth for miami as far as qb he has good passing ability with pressure he has good passing ability and doesnt panic , he needs better wr to pass to and can recognize the blitz and pressure to break off their routes quicker and faster, ronnie brown needs to get a contract extention he is a very good running back he can run the ball catch the ball out of the backfield and can block also, bess needs to be resigned he is a good slot wr,taylor shoul be resigned also he has done a great job this yr in miami bring him back for a situational lb, maybe a key addition to lb core could be a shawne merriman, merriman, porter, taylor , crowder and the prospect camron wake would be a huge linebacker core, also with will allen being hurt it will be tought for him to come back in full form he will not be able to keep up with wr cuts out of their routes so maybe drafting a good corner will be key

miami may not be the best team in the league but they do have the tolls to win football games, they have two pretty good corners which are up and coming, bell and wilson are not the best but they can make plays and have the ability to do that, porter taylor and crowder can make huge plays, the def line is good with langford, starks and ferguson they are big and physical guys, but i must admit we do need a stud a middle linebacker besides crowder in the 3-4 def also an outside linebacker would be great as well, look for vontea and sean smith to be the next sam madison and patrick surtain for miami, youth at safety and lb would be great for future, also look to get one more rb with key playmaking skills cobbs brown and hilliard will be good but need one guy that can pound the rock as well as make some big plays out of the backfield, wr needs to be adressed now (this offseason) we need an established wideout now to make those key plays and stretch the field, the offensive line is not bad but not the best, majority of the ol is young so look for them to be the future with jake long,donald thomas and vernon carey, they are a group that are big and physical, miami needs to stick to what they do best and what parcells loves to do is pound the footbal with the running game, not to mention when you can run the ball it sets up play action which is hard to defend if you can run the ball good.

mondo would you agree with my opinion

MATHEW,
DO DOLPHINS HAVE A DEFENSE ?NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.YOUR POST IS GOOD FOR A PIPE DREAM .

Dudes, the season is not over. Remember, we were 2-4 last year and we won the division. We must win the next two games; after that, we have a chance to be atop the afc east because the patriots will loose two of their next four games. We will win our next four, which will make both of us 6-4, placing the dolphins atop the afc because we defeated the patriots prior to this record. Now, the race for the title begins!

we still have a fighting chance to reclaim the afc east but it will be a tough fight to reclaim we have the pats two more time within the next 4 weeks which could be a possibilty for us to win both games we beat the jets with their heavy blitz packages but the pats have a decent offense, but we can beat them by clock management and pounding the football which is what we are best at, but we also do face the steelers which is going to be a really tough physical football game which i see alot of players getting banged up we can beat the bucs but who doesnt the panthers r horrible that will be who can run the ball the best which more likely miami can texans will be a tough game we lost last yr to them , the bills should be another win ,the jags will be a game where who can pound the football best and hopefully wilford doesnt give secrets and the titans are a high school football team so far this season i see the fins goin with 9 wins this yr the most 12 wins which would make every fins fan happy considering the tough schedule we have had this yr. and to the comment to who said what i said will happen in a pipe dream everybody said that last yr and what happened we won the afc east, afc east is not what it was before its anybodys crown, nobody is superior to any team the pats arent the best and the jets got exposed from saints and fins so its going to come down to the wire

8-8 is more realistic this season. With lots of very good young talent and facing the schedule 2009 presents I would still consider this season a huge success. Here's why:

1. We may have found our qb of the future.
2. We have our #2/3 wr Ted Ginn
3. Very good young d-linemen
4. Have 1 of our future Lb's (Wake)
5. May have all-pro cb tandem. (Smith & Davis)
6. Very good young O-line
7. Ronnie Brown.

Thats an extremely good foundation. All that left is:

1. Legit #1wr
2. Legit tightend
3. Upgrade ILB position+ 1 more young stud OLB.
4. Great cover safety.

Guys this is all thats left to become SB contenders. This is all that stands between winning games like those with Colts and Saints. contrary to popular belief we're not in shambles.

Except for Ginn missing that pass in the Indianapolis game and the two interceptions in the Saints game, we would be 4-2, instead of 2-4. The Dolphins are a better team than 2-4. Give them a break.

I agree that we need a receiver badly. Hartline looks like he has potential and coming on strong. I have given up on Ginn sad to say cause I was hoping he would turn things around but no. Wilson is disappointing to me so safety is a must. Fasano is having a bad year so I agree with getting a TE. 2 to 3 yrs phin fans we should be contenders

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