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Add another need for the 2012 Dolphins

We interrupt the celebration following the first victory of the season to bring you a dose of reality:

Yes, the first win was cool. Congratulations again to the embattled players in the locker room and the coaching staff. They deserve much credit for a hard-earned taste of success. Job very well done last week.

But the week that was also aimed the spotlight on a topic that has been lurking on the margins for quite some time: The Dolphins' need at another position not named quarterback.

While many of you have been fixated on Miami's need to upgrade to an elite quarterback -- a need that has not changed, no matter how well Matt Moore played Sunday -- the last week showed Miami's need at the other end of the passing game.

At cornerback.

Simply, the Dolphins are going to need to identify and draft a fine cornerback either next April or the draft after that -- unless they sign one in free agency -- because the talent on the roster apparently isn't the answer.

There were hopes the answer might be lodged in Vontae Davis or Sean Smith but this season has shown that Smith is a solid complementary cornerback, a good off corner, but he is not elite. Davis, meanwhile, the best and brightest hope Miami had for fielding an elite cornerback has been a huge disappointment.

He has suffered durability issues this year. I wouldn't be too worried about those right now because everyone is struggling to maintain their body in a year offseason conditioning was wiped out by a lockout. So that passes, sort of.

But the fact that in the games Davis has played he has given up as many big plays as anyone on the field troubles. The fact he has not stumbled into an interception here or there is troubling. The fact Davis has seemingly regressed from his rookie year, with interceptions going from four in 2009 to one in 2010 to zero this year is seriously frustrating.

Beyond that, Davis has not only struggling to stay healthy and make big plays, he's struggling to make routine plays. He does not have even one pass defensed in his four games this year.

And then there's the elephant in the room -- he's big and smelly and eats a lot and poops a lot.

Davis was suspended from Sunday's game at Kansas City. Everyone by now knows the facts involved and they include tardiness to practice, drinking to the point of being inebriated the night before that practice, and apparently not even recognizing why he was left home, thinking the reason was his near fight with Brandon Marshall rather than the fact he was late and had been drunk.

All those speak to a chronic immaturity that has dogged Davis since his college days at Illinois. Remember immaturity was indeed the reason scouts said Davis was a risk. Well, the Dolphins have witnessed that immaturity several times, as Davis was benched for the start of the Oakland game last year for being late to meetings and fined for conduct detrimental to the team.

I am not saying Davis is a waste or beyond rehabilitation. But the trajectory of his career is not exactly shooting in the right direction. In his third NFL season, Davis is not exactly showing signs he's about to be the next breakout talent at cornerback.

And that's why Miami needs help at the position.

The Dolphins have no playmaker at one of the biggest playmaking positions on defense. They haven't someone they can count on to end a drive or steal a turnover or maybe even turn the tables and score a TD here or there.

That simply hasn't happened for the Dolphins who are among the league's worst defenses forcing turnovers and are on course to break the franchise record for least interceptions in a year.

The other reason cornerback begs more attention?

The NFL is a passing league these days. Teams don't need one good cornerback or even two good cornerbacks. Teams need at least three good cornerbacks because the nickel corner these days is a de facto starter. The third corner plays between 50-70 percent of the down in today's NFL.

And Miami's nickel cornerback now is Will Allen, whom the team cut earlier this year only to bring back when it cut nickel cornerback Benny Sapp. Sapp, you'll remember, made the team then was booted off the team after struggling in the season opener against New England.

We've all seen the Dolphins this year. Nolan Carroll isn't the answer back there. Jimmy Wilson seems more like a safety. Allen is 33 years old. Smith is good but so far not great and not even very good. And Davis?

Not someone a team should trust or count on.

[VIDEO ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm back on Armando and the Amigo today after traveling most of the day yesterday. If you wish to watch the show you simply go here. I'd love to hear from you, putting voices to the comments. Our phone number toll free in the United States is 1-888-640-9385.]

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