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Clemons has to be much better than 2009

I know everyone who reads this blog (with the possible exception of the Jets and Pats fans) are hoping the Dolphins become a Super Bowl team.

Those same people -- you -- must also realize many things have to come together perfectly for that to be possible. One of those many things is that free safety Chris Clemons becomes a good player back there in only his second season.

The Dolphins initially tried to hire a proven, veteran free safety in the offseason, offering free agent contracts to both Ryan Clark and Antrel Rolle. Neither signed, obviously. The team also talked to the agent for O.J. Atogwe but didn't dive into the deep end of that possibility.

So Clemons is the player the Dolphins are putting their hopes on to start. The job seems his to lose when camp begins on Friday.

But according to Sam Monson and his staff at ProFootballFocus.com, hoping Clemons can respond may require a good amount of faith based on his rookie season.

Clemons got limited snaps on defense -- 89 of them to be exact -- but to quote Monson, "none make for good reading."

"He made five tackles, but only one of them was counted as a defensive 'stop' in our grades, and he missed 2 along the way," Monson writes. "

"He was thrown at seven times where he was the defender in primary coverage, resulting in 4 catches (57.1%) for 80 yards and a TD, and a QB rating of 136.9 when throwing into his coverage.

It was not, however, all Clemons' fault.

"To be fair to him," Monson added, "more than 50% of his coverage numbers are as the result of a 54-yard TD pass from Big Ben [Roethlisberger] to Mike Wallace in the Week 17 encounter on a play where Sean Smith and Nate Jones both made an instant mess out of their close coverage on Santonio Holmes and Wallace respectively, freezing Clemons out of position deep in the middle of the field trying to cover both receivers on the wrong side of their corners."

The play to which Monson refers is below. 

The Dolphins hope they don't see a repeat of that type of play in 2010.