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Reboot time for the 'best CB tandem' in the NFL

Vontae Davis and Sean Smith obviously had high hopes and expectations for themselves in 2011. Yes, both had yet to make marks as excellent cornerbacks but both were hovering around good in 2010 after being very good by rookie standards in 2009.

Both going into their third seasons with the Dolphins knew that 2011 should be their unveiling as premier players if they were going to get to that height because they're both in their primes, they're both familiar with the system they're playing, and they're both familiar with the opposition.

So I understand why Vontae Davis thought he and Smith together would be "the NFL's best cornerback tandem," as he said prior to the season. It wasn't necessarily true what he said, but it was good he was thinking in that direction and working toward that.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins and the duo, 2011 has been unfulfilling so far. Both suffered cramps and were beaten for plays as a result of that in the season-opener against New England. Davis, who was also beaten on passes before the cramps, wasn't even able to finish the game because of the cramps.

The next week against Houston Davis sustained a hamstring injury and, again, could not finish a game he started, breaking up "the best tanden." And while Smith rebounded against Houston in that he got through the game without injuries, he did yield a couple of plays that cost his team. It was nothing that an average cornerback wouldn't give up, but the point is Smith is supposed to be part of "the best tandem" in the league so it was viewed as a bit of a disappointment.

The hamstring injury Davis had in that Houston game kept him out against Cleveland and then San Diego. Smith played against both teams. He played well against the Browns. He didn't play well against the Chargers.

In the Chargers game, the Dolphins asked Smith to cover outstanding WR Vincent Jackson throughout the game. Smith wasn't up to the task. Jackson had three catches for 108 yards in the first half. Judging from that one half of damage, it was fortunate for Smith that Jackson didn't play in the second half because he re-aggravated a leg injury.

Neither Smith nor Smith have an interception this season.

"Well, I’d like to see him get his hands on more footballs, yeah," Sparano said when asked about Smith. "Sometimes the balls got to come your way to have those opportunities and really prior to last game, I think the San Diego game, is when the most balls went Sean’s way. I think overall right now he’s played three really good games. I think the San Diego game Sean would tell you there is a play or two there he wishes he had back. I don’t think he played a bad game in that game I just think there was a couple plays there he wishes he had back."

I'm thinking coach needs to redefine "really good games" and "bad game."

Smith might be fundamentally sound and be beaten only once or twice, which practically every cornerback does, but that is not a "really good game." That's what the guy is supposed to do. A "really good game" for a cornerback includes an interception. Or it includes erasing an outstanding wide receiver from the other team's arsenal. Or it includes stripping the ball on a corner blitz, picking it up and scoring.

Neither Smith nor Davis have done any of that. Indeed, in the two games both Smith and Davis started, the Dolphins gave up six pass plays of 25 yards or more.

The Dolphins have given up 10 pass plays of 25 yards or more this season -- way, way, waaaay too many for four games. It is partially the reason Miami is 31st in the NFL -- next to last -- in pass defense this season.

Monday night will be a chance for Davis and Smith to put all that behind them. The Dolphins are coming off a bye. Davis, close to 100 percent, will start for the first time in two games, barring a last minute setback to his hamstring.

The night game will offer a new day for Miami's two young corners.

And they should be very well motivated. You'll recall that on Thursday, Rex Ryan took a little jab at the two. He was talking about Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, his two corners, when he mentioned that while they were not the best tandem, he thought them to be pretty good.


Well, going up against an offense that struggles to pass the ball -- the Jets are 21st in the NFL -- and a quarterback that is completing only 56 percent of his passes, Davis and Smith should be able to have a good game if indeed they're going to turn this season around for themselves.

Oh, and, I'm using my definition of good game. I recognize the need to have good technique and them being able to sink their hips and all that. But I more recognize big plays like interceptions and forced fumbles and passes defensed that end drives.

That's what I mean by the Dolphins needing a "really good game" from their cornerback tandem.


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hey, it's the blogs best tandem!

Can you imagine the outrage if Ireland were to announce that he'd traded for Sanchez?

Neither Smith nor Smith have an interception this season.

Neither Smith nor Smith have an interception this season.

Well, if we're going to define a really good coach or a really bad coach, then what category would we put Tony "the toe fetish" Sparano in?

Davis has shown promise last yr but not this yr. neither one can hang on to the ball. 30 dropped ints last yr

These two guys are playing for jobs next year. Smith is the first out the door but Davis isn't far behind him. It's not all on them. The pass rush has been non-existent. I think lack of a pass rush has been the most disappointing this year with secondary play number two. Add rushing linebacker/defensive lineman to our list of needs for next year.

fins must continue to suck....for luck. 0-16 or bust!

Dear Mr. Salguero

Coach Tony Sparano is an enabler....now lets all go to Chucky Cheese....Great blog everyone

Soiled :)

Madison & Surtain, they are not...not yet anyway.

This whole Defense sucks. Whos cares about Smith and Davis. Im more concerned about who the new GM will be. I like Mike Mayock. He knows how to evaluate football player a lot better than Idiotland and Spamoron.

One can only hope that our well-rested front seven will take full advantage of the favorable climactic conditions (not too sticky and uncomfortable) to annoy and distract the opposing QB as he endeavors to fling the football in the direction of his team mates. That would be most welcome.

davis is def better than smith, which is not saying much, but in all they both suck, and will never mount to much in the nfl.

I hope our pass rush is on Monday. If they can get to sanchez Smith and davis will probably have good games. Make him throw in a hurry and force it. INTs baby

sorry, amount

This is a statement game....

Comming off the bye.....we will learn if they are gonna suck for luck....


Show some pride and make ONE last ditch effort to clomb back into this thing.....

Last year at this time.....we were average and the Bills sucked......by the end of the season the Bills owned us.....

Maybe we can build for the future....

Good News

Peter King from SI (yes, they're still in business) picks Dolphins to win, and Mr. King knows A LOT.

Las Vegas has the Jets at -7.
I would trust that more that Peter King.

Smith has shown me nothing in all the games he's played. At his size he should be dominating similar to Louis Oliver used to. Davis at least lays some sticks so I'm not giving up on him yet.

What I really want is to go 2-14 with those two wins against the New York Jackasses AND to pick Andrew Luck in the draft.

Bryan Cox is the "pass rush" coach for Miami.

We have no pass rush.

Maybe he was a better player that he is coach.

Just a thought.

NYJ offense - total yards = #28.

Miami defense - total yards = #28.

Dear Mr. Salguero

Reporters : (seeing fans with bruised ego's and bags over there heads)

Why are these Dolphins so bad Coach ?

Coach Sparano : There not bad Dolphins...you don't see them at practice like I do.

Reporters : But look at your record....it looks like your condoneing there bad behavior.

Coach Sparano : Listen, I'm just a line coach doing the best I can....how would you feel if Bill Parcells k-nocked you up and then left town leaving you to raise these little Rotten Bas-t-ards.....I mean kids

Reporters : What about Jeff Ireland ?

Coach Sparano : After Bill Parcells left, Jeff and I became close.

He would buy me LB's and running backs and other little trinkets

I lost some weight, got new sun glass's....it was heaven....for a while anyway

Then the Dolphins became less disciplined, started back talking me, dropping pass's and interceptions....losing games and whatnot.

Then Jeff Ireland eye's started to wander and
He flew off to California in search of some new hot young thing.....so we don't sleep together anymore

Reporters : Are you worried about the fans running away from home because of the abuse's cause by your Miami Dolphins ?

Coach Sparano : I just need a little more time and I know I can fix this family......there good kids...I know it

In a nut-shell

Soiled :)

How it reminds one of the old song about the monkey and the Italian man. Those were the days of Bob Griese, my friend. The golden Orange Bowl orb of magic that surrounded the proud team and her fans always. THAT Miami you must not remember but I do. Of National Airlines "Fly Me, I'm Bob" and Cruise Casuals clothing with Jim Kiick and Manny Fernandez modeling wipe lapel beige suits! Of Eastern Airlines "whisperjets" and Southeast Bank and Skipper Chuck and Chuck Dowdle and the Shula Show on the Tinsley Broadcasting Network and Gordon Solie and Pirates World. Oh, Lord may it come to pass again. let the orb once again envelop our proud team evoke the ghosts of yore!!!

There's something very wrong with this team. And I think we all know what it is.

There are times, yes there are times when I have had the strong image of the Dolphins return. A dream, yes, but with clarity and focus of detail tahter than camera obscura techniques of the famous Italian directors. In the visions I have seen it is soon, perhaps even next year the quarterback is not Andrew Luck as we do not get that pick, I am sorry to report, and yet it is another young quarterback. Is it Landry? And the coach is either Fisher or a young African American man who instills passion and fire in the belly of this team. A RETURN TO GLORY! In the vision a title is reached there are parades in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami amid her many skyscrapers.

It is the vision. I hear the clarion call and the fog of time lifts!

Yes, Cocoa Joe the main problem is the IMPURITY OF VISION. The need is much the same as the DESALINATION PLANTS and their work.

Will Sal Alosi initiate the son of "trip-gate?"

So, Armando, it's okay for Davis to claim that he and Smith are the league's best CB tandem because you feel it's "good he's thinking in that direction and working towards that," but yet you find offensive Rex Ryan's Super Bowl predictions? (We all know how his "we're better than you" quote is your personal favorite.) Hypocritical, wouldn't you say?

J-E-T-S JETS!!!! JETS!!!

Year 3. Let's see, no pass rush. Really no pass rush. So guess what, no plays by anyone on the defense.

So how can you really tell, who is doing what? Blame the cbs. Blame the pass rush. Blame who? Coaches. Yep that Sparano guy again. That Ireland guy again.


Just another example in a long line of why Sparano is a better friend/buddy than coach and I touched on this a bit the other day. He seems so satisfied by modest success that he doesn't seem to be able to properly push or evaluate his players. He gets so close to these guys as a friend that they all feel comfortable and have no fear of losing their jobs unless they're at the bottom 3rd of the roster. Saying Sean is playing very good to the media tells the young player that his coach is satisfied and he no longer needs to push himself. At the very least it puts the thought in his mind and hurts his chances at becoming elite IMO.

U Have Been Duped

Home has been telling u since sean smiths rookie camp
sean is a Fraud, a Poser Boy CB

U all said Home was wrong

Home stood alone for 3 yrs now

What have u learned bout the media & the hype on sean smith?

only what Home has been saying for three yrs now, ...


Sparano is absolutely DELUSIONAL about his players and their performance

Time to fire, mr.nice guy

Sean WTF are you talking about? Armando has written maybe two stories in the three years since fat a** Rex Ryan started claiming they're going to the superbowl. ESPN,NFL Network, Sporting News, daily news in NY, the Post, and especially the guys on First Take CONSTANTLY debate Rex's boorish behavior and ridiculous Super Bowl predictions. It barely gets mentioned in here so you're dead wrong and obviously don't read this blog very often.

Just another example in a long line of why Sparano is a better friend/buddy than coach and I touched on this a bit the other day. He seems so satisfied by modest success that he doesn't seem to be able to properly push or evaluate his players. He gets so close to these guys as a friend that they all feel comfortable and have no fear of losing their jobs unless they're at the bottom 3rd of the roster. Saying Sean is playing very good to the media tells the young player that his coach is satisfied and he no longer needs to push himself. At the very least it puts the thought in his mind and hurts his chances at becoming elite IMO.

Posted by: Phins78 | October 15, 2011 at 01:05 PM

He makes poo poo too much.

This teams problems start at the very top. They often do. I wonder how many of the Dolphins staff and players truely fear and respect the team owner? I wonder how many scouts and coaches fear and respect the GM. I wonder how many players fear and respect the coaches. Probably zero. That needs to change. Results should matter and lack there of should be addressed vigorously.

Marshall's comments should produce a benching. They were unprofessional, and he should realize that that talk will have him benched. No one down the chain of command with the Dolphins did anything about it.

There is no respect for anyone in that organization for anyone else. The problem starts at the top.

"What I really want is to go 2-14 with those two wins against the New York Jackasses AND to pick Andrew Luck in the draft."

You must be talking about the Bills because they're the only NFL team that plays in New York.

and for the record Armando,

Vincent Jackson had 108 YDs in Q1

not the 1st half

U Got That Now ?!

108 Yds in the first quarter
and a 55 YD TD pass against sean smith on the very first play

and let's not forget knocking Jimmy Wilson's second easy interception (more than sean has in 3 years) away and knocking Wilson to the ground

of course the ball hit sean in both hands and, ... sean dropped it on the ground


Rocko must LOVE lesbians because he comes in here every day to read all of their posts and then comment on how ridiculous it is to be in here.

Listen, toots.

Posted by: Rocko | October 15, 2011 at 01:23 PM

Classical gay messaging.

Is anyone watching the Texas A&M vs Baylor game? If so, you will see one QB with incredible talent and upside and it's not RGIII. Ryan Tannehill looks unbelievable! 6'4, 225lbs, cannon arm, great mobility, absolutely shredding Baylor's D. Man...this kid has caught my eye. Maybe we can just suck and not suck for Luck (0-16). Maybe I'll root for the fins this Monday!

Here is a secondary u all wanted to laugh at:

but 2 yrs ago Buffalo's CB Byrd had 9 INTs

and now Buffalo leads the NFL in turnovers

example: safety - Wilson - Buffalo Bills

Wilson had another monster game in Sunday's win over the Eagles, with 11 tackles, three passes defensed, and an interception. He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. [-]
Impact: And well he should have. Wilson, who took over the starting strong safety role following the free-agent departure of Donte Whitner, has been all over the field through five games, and especially in his last three. Over those three weeks, he has 34 tackles, five passes defensed, and three picks.

If Tony Sparano actually think the Dolphins losing there last 7 NFL games in a row with 2 back to back 7-9 LOSING seasons and starting 0-4 this season thinks sean smith w one breadbasket INT after dropping between 9-11 (depending on the stats u like) INts and setting a Miami Dolphin franchise record for the most dropped potential INTs in one year and being the worst starting CB in the NFL at giving up YDs per reception is doing "good" this season, ... Than SPARANO NEEDS HIS HEAD EXAMINED!

sean smith is rated by Pro Football Focus as 57th CB out of 64 starters this season

and that is with crediting smith w only giving up 3 TDs (instead of 4 where it should be)

last year all those dropped INTs by Smith went down as Pass Deflections. Very misleading if u actually dropped 11 INTs and did not try to deflect them

So Smith is rated as an "F" CB in this league and Sparano said Smith is playing good


Tony Sparano GET OUT OF TOWN !!!


Home 4 Gruden 2012

I suck.

Yeah...hee hee....

Took another man's team and rode it in the Super Bowl.

Yeah...hee hee....

Destroyed that same team over a few short years.

Yeah...hee hee....

Players hated my guts and my little Chucky impression.

Yeah...hee hee....

That Chucky look was supposed to make those players scared of me like I could end their careers or something.

Yeah...hee hee....

Soon as I left that same team started winning again with Raheem Morris.

Yeah...hee hee....

I think that I have proven my worthlessness.

RGIII showing very good accuracy on the deep ball. He would be one helluva great 2nd option if we dont win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Luck would still be my unaminous choice with the 1st overall pick. RGIII is very exciting and will sell lots of gameday tickets, but Luck is the best option to win championships.

I see a qb heavy top 10 selection in the 2012 draft. I see at least 3-4 qb's going in the top 10. Just hoping the Dolphins can at least slip into the top 5 overall draft position.

We'll win this game. I gurantee it! Smith with 2 picks.

ROSS will have little difficulty explaining his decision to trade for RYAN MALLET, rather then entering into the ANDREW LUCK sweepstakes.

is miami ready for another rebuilding year? and if miami is unable to draft him are they ready for something worse, considering miami's significantly behind in the afc, can we really afford to part with multiple picks should we need to trade up? is miami prepared to go into another offseason with a question mark at quarterback, are we o.k. with another slow start for 2012 as luck learns the offense and builds chemistry with the recievers?

RYAN MALLET offers a much better scenario:
trading for mallet NOW gives him ample time to obsoarb the offense and build chemistry, it will NOT be a rebuilding year. if there is a developmental problem, miami has afforded itself sufficient time to address those issues. the same people who saw the rare talent in 5th round pick tom brady, also pulled the trigger on mallet. for the past year, ryan mallet has had the best schooling, by the best teacher, bar none! mallet is aiming at a bar set to the highest degree as his mentor/competitor is tom brady, those are very good intangables! in addition miami goes into the offseason without a question mark at QB and even better, it has retained it's FIRST ROUND PICK, giving us the ability to sign the top reciever in the draft, miami now finds itself one freeagent tight-end away from enjoying an offense that features two stud recievers and a big name tight-end. even though tony romo is NOT a great QB, the fans are blinded by the likes of dez bryant, miles austin, and jason whitten. as you can see, this is a no brainer!

Hope I am dead wrong,but I keep seeing Sanchez having a career day throwing the football on Monday.Who's going to cover Keller?


What makes you think Mallett is even available? What makes you think NE would even trade him to us? It's a QB rich draft, why even bother?

No pass rush = no pass coverage. Cowher or Fisher! No to Gruden. I live in TB area and not one former player had a good word to say about him.

"Neither Smith nor Smith have an interception this season".

When I owned this team, the "journalists" in this town did at least somewhat of a decent job reporting on the Dolphins. Now these hacks suck as much as the once beloved team that I built.

Armando, you should not drink alcohol and pretend to work at the same time, it is a brain drain to the one of two readers that actually read your dribble.

Kind regards and go back to school,

Joe Robbie's corpse

P.S. Herald blows

@Phins78, you're crazy if you think Armando doesn't jump at every chance he has to criticize Rex. He took personal joy out of publicizing the middle finger picture and then never even mentioned Jay Glazer's report of the events that led up to it. And how about his, "I'd rather have Tony Sparano than Rex Ryan as my head coach" article? If that's not enough for you, count how many times he plays Rex's "we're better than you" line every day on his radio show.

So if you think this guy plays it down the middle when it comes to his hometown team and the Jets, you're sorely mistaken. Biggest homer journalist known to man.

dying breed

(( BUffet of knowledge ))



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