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Patterson setback pushes Carroll to forefront

With Dimitri Patterson's on-going groin issues -- he hasn't practiced this week -- the Dolphins seem poised to once again rely on Nolan Carroll as a starting cornerback, this time against the pass-happy New Orleans Saints Monday night.

Now, this is not really about Carroll. We'll get to him in a few grafs.

This is mostly about Patterson.

He has suffered a setback of some sort.

I remind you that after injurying his groin against Cleveland in the season-opener, he told The Herald he would be fine and play the following week against Indianapolis.

And although Patterson didn't practice except on a limited basis that week, he did indeed work every day and was active for the game. The reason he didn't play, coach Joe Philbin said, was because coaches decided not to use him.

Then last week Patterson practiced on a limited basis on Tuesday and Wednesday (as he'd done the week before) but then sat out drills altogether on Thursday and Friday and was pronounced out for the Atlanta game two days prior to the game.

That's not improvement.

In fact, I am told the setback came at that Wednesday practice that forced him out the remainder of the week.

And, again, Patterson has not practiced this week. He has not practiced at all since that fateful Wednesday.

And, I remind you, the Dolphins brought in half-a-dozen cornerbacks for workouts on Monday, which obviously speaks to the idea they believe they might need help at that position in the coming weeks.

The picture painted here is that Miami's starting cornerback is dealing with an injury that has already cost him two games, is likely going to cost him Monday night's game, and there is uncertainty beyond that.

That leads to Carroll.

He had a wonderful game against Cleveland. He was less effective against Indianapolis. And he struggled mightily against Atlanta, although against one of the best receivers in the NFL.

I love Carroll as a No. 3 or No. 4 cornerback. I don't love him as a starter. Neither, by the way, do the Dolphins. (There's a reason they drafted two cornerbacks in the draft's early rounds last April).

But as Carroll's the best Miami has right now, the team is definitely supporting Carroll and talking him up.

"I think he’s more consistent," coach Joe Philbin said Wednesday. "Obviously he made that one real, real nice play on the ball in the first game. I think it was the first drive of the first game. He’s a competitive guy. He’s very, very competitive. He comes out and works hard every single day.

"He’s certainly gotten better. His transitions gotten better. His coverage ability has improved I like the way he plays the game. He competes. You can put your head at night into a pillow and know that guy is going to give you everything he’s got."

I get it. Nolan Carroll's a competitive competitor competing in a competition.

But how good is he?

ProFootballFocus.com rates Carroll the 46th best cornerback among the 102 it has graded. (Brent Grimes, by the way, is rated No. 2).

Carroll has allowed 11 receptions in 21 targets this year -- a 52.4 completion percentage. Opposing teams average 13.6 yards per completion against him. He has given up 76 YAC (yards after catch), which is a big deal this week as the Saints lead the NFL in YAC since 2006.

That's not terrible. That's middle of the road.

The interesting thing is that Carroll hasn't been targeted more. The Browns couldn't really go after anyone outside and instead worked the tight ends vs. linebackers and safeties. The Colts didn't go after him, opting instead to go at Grimes with poor results. The Falcons didn't chase Carroll for nearly three quarters until they seemed to discover him in the fourth quarter.

But my experience tells me this train normally gains momentum once it starts rolling. Once a team sort of discovers a perceived weakness in another team, the next team goes after that weakness a bit more, then a bit more, then a lot more unless that weakness is addressed and the tide is turned back.

Obviously the Dolphins don't have a lot of options for turning back the tide as long as Patterson remains injured and rookies Jamar Taylor and Will Davis continue to need more practice and honing.

So perhaps they can hide Carroll a bit by having Grimes shadow the other team's best receiver throughout the game. The Dolphins have considered this in the past and Philbin doesn't dismiss the possibility.

"We’ve done some of that, and we’ll do whatever we think is in the best interest of our defense as a whole to stop the opponent," he said. "We certainly aren’t opposed to doing that stuff."

Comments

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You coming here, Mark?

Wait, did I read that right, Mark in Toronto? Off to Havana for the weekend?

That's nice. Go off to fill the wallet of a communist government that represses people, splits families, imprisons those who want democracy and is a notorious international civil, religious and political rights offender.

But I guess you have to go there because there isn't a good beach to be found anywhere else on Earth. Like Miami, Jamaica, Acapulco, the Bahamas, Fort Lauderdale, Hawaii, San Diego.

Good God, Armando you are Cuban. Ban this turd.

Thanks to Tannehill’s improvement, Miami also is getting more touchdowns than field goals. They are leading the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage and actually scored more points (74) than the high-powered Saints (70) through three games.

- James Walker, ESPN

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | September 26, 2013 at 02:12 PM

I believe it has alot to do with our redzone package so far this Yr. I've been saying it for a few days now. We've gone into a double T.E. set alot in the redzone using Combo's of Clay/Sims or Egnew vice versa. Clay is the X-Factor given the multiple ways you can line him up forcing more man coverage's out of the opposition. It really seemed to catch Indy off guard with Sims cracking back on the DE in the Miller TD run then later lining Clay up at H-Back on his one Yd. plunge in the 4th.

I have wondered when we would see it more in the base O and we saw it on the final drive Vs. Atlanta were we gave them a few looks with a healthy Combo of these 3 forcing the Falcons out of the zones that had been crippling the WR's last Sunday with all 3 playing a significant role on that winning TD drive. I really like what we can do here and suspect it becomes a bigger part of the O as the Season progresses.

People please stop it!!! The man Nolan Carroll needs to be working for UPS or Walgreens or anywhere else but in the NFL as a corner. HORRIBLE!!! Plays 15 yards off the ball, couldn't cover himself at night with a blanket!!! Not taking a shot, as I love the Phins, I would rather let the rooks take their shot when healthy, NO WAY they could do worse, NO WAY!!!!

Mark,

Have a great time, man! I don't see a victory party Tuesday but I'm hoping the team will prove me wrong.

I'm in your fair city on a course frim Monday to Thursday next week. Looks like I'll either be watching the game in some bar or my hotel room Monday night.

..fin4life..I wanted to give you props for your post yesterday recognizing the Phins use of the 2 tight end set this year. Awesome post yesterday. I am glad that you wrote that post. Ironically. I have been saying we should use this more. But I failed to see that we had in that last drive until you mentioned it...

Like I said..I was pacing back and fourth during that last drive. More nervous we would have to kick a field goal...

Anyway..Great Post.

It's pretty well known that Canadian men go to Cuba mostly for the hookers, which the government allows because it feeds tourism and thus dollars for a terrible economy. Shame what Castro has done down there.

holey swiss cheese robin, no1 on the ss staff pix the phinz on mon. nite,homers go over there and pixx and moan + groan.
lol

Posted by: 2 watt

Give us a little background on this character you choose to portray. "Holy Swiss Cheese Robin" Tells us the character is least close to 40. That's a 60's 70's reference.

Which is odd considering the characters writing style is as if he was a 16 year old talking to his friends through text.

Another thing we can deduce is that the character 2Watt is supposed to be really dumb. He can't spell words correctly and uses ebonics regularly. Oh, also this character hates the Dolphins but loves hanging out in a Dolphins blog talking to Dolphins fans.

So fill us in with some more. Did the character come from a broken home? Is he a minority? How old is he supposed to be? Does he have a girlfriend? Wow.

THE TRUTH,

I tend to agree. I'm not a big Nolan Carroll fan. I believe he'll e exposed in this game. Not sure the rooks are ready to start but i'd like to see them getting some meaningful playing time.

Its great to be 3-0 but it hardly makes up for 4 losing years. If and when we ever win a playoff game will I be convinced of any turnaround.

DAMN DIDN'T KNOW THAT STAT BUT IT'S VERY GOOD TO HEAR ! I THINK THE TEAM CAN REALLY HELP CARROLL AND THE DEFENSE MONDAY IF WE CAN ESTABLISH A BALL CONTROLLING RUNNING GAME.. THIS WILL LIMIT BREES ATTEMPT AT THE DEFENSE AND IF THE TREND OF SCORING POINTS IN THE REDZONE CONTINUES THAN THIS WILL PUT THE TEAM AHEAD AND FORCE BREES TO THROW MORE FROM BEHIND WHICH GENERALLY LEADS TO MORE SACKS AND INTS..LAST SUNDAY THE FALCONS HAD SOME VERY LONG DRIVES AND ONLY STARTED TO PANIC AFTER THE FUMBLE PUNT AND SCORE THAT TIED THE GAME..ONCE THE FALCONS GOT BEHIND THEY MADE A MISTAKE AND THREW A INTERCEPTION WHEN WE KNEW THEY HAD TO PASS. THIS IS WHAT I SEE THE FINS DOING TO WIN MN AND I SEE TANNEHILL THROWING 3-4TDS WITH WALLACE CATCHING 1-2 OF THEM.. WALLACE WILL ALSO HAVE OVER 100 YDS RECEIVING. FINS 34-24. 4-0 AND EVERYONE IS TALKING!! HOW ??

FLPD, the only people on here that know the sting and true meaning of what this Mark character is doing are Cubans who have been affected by communism or others who have actually educated themselves on what happens to their money when they visit Cuba.

Something you didn't mention is that tourists who visit Cuba are rarely if ever allowed to engage the general population. They stay at hotels and eat at restaurants where residents are not permitted.

Basically, they are funding apartheid.

Yet they seem not to care about the issue because they're either ignorant to them or only care about having a good, cheap time. It is sad.

..The Truth..I disagree. I'm not saying that Nolan Carroll is an All State first teamer. Hardly. I trust him much more then either of those 2 rookies in this game. 2 rookies who are still waiting for their nuts to drop(in the league)..Are going to come in and make a difference this week?? Carroll was victim to a better player last week. He is far from perfect, far from ideal. But in the situation we are in..A much better option then either of the rookies.

But I remind you the ratings are not gospel. Davis has only given up 7 completions this year and allowed 17 YAC. His completion rate against is only 50 percent.

I would be quite happy having him and Brent Grimes starting for the Dolphins.

Posted by: Armando Salguero |

No way, no how, not on my team.Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I NEVER build a team with people like Vontae. I don't even want ONE Vontae on my team.

He only cares about himself. He showed that in his time here. He will never live up to his potential because he doesn't put the work in. It rubs off on younger teammates, becoming a cancer in the locker room.

I hear these statements all of the time. Always based on stats or ability and completely ignoring the chemistry equation. You need your guys to trust one another in order to build good team chemistry. I don't give a s$#t what his ability can do to shut down a wr when his attitude shuts down the locker room.

Were we stopping more teams with Vontae? Wasn't that Vontae giving up at the end of the season? Wasn't that Vontae showing up late, making excuses, getting toasted late in games because his conditioning was pi#@ poor? Did I dream this?

No way , Carroll will do fine until people heal up.

Mark,

A thought for ya? Don't you find it a little telling that after looking for some stop gap help on Monday the team seems to have tailed off in pursuit? Call me CRAZY but I get a feeling we may finally see action out of Taylor and/or Davis in this game. By the way the Shanghui-Smithfield deal has thrown Pork prices and production in the US into a loop. I'll be loading for S.American clients in Canada this Nov. out of Ottawa any sights you recommend?

Darryl D,

I caught your post and do remember you being a big fan of this formation going back before the draft. I like it alot to and now with a sampling begin to see what it can do given our personnel.

Carrol has definetly gotten better this year. That pi call on him last game was a little questionable too. Im more worried about jimmy Wilson as the nickel. He covers like a safety and gives up big 3rd down completions.

I really didn't see much of Carol in the first couple of games. But the last game it was Carol covering a very good, very big receiver on slants. The receiver also has an amazing verticle.
You can't stop everything. But they held the guy in check. Once the receiver started dropping balls that was it.
So long as nothing goes over Carols head for a td then I am fine with the guy.

I think it's the old story, a good pass rush can make your secondary look a lot better. Subsequently, the lack of a consitent pass rush can make your secondary look but or average. Carroll probably look more exposed in the last game because the pass rush wasn't there. It needs to be there Monday night or Brees will carve the secondary up.

Carroll was terrible here for two years. He embarrassed himself frequently so he brought a lot of the Whipping Boy stuff upon himself.

Having said that, the Kid kept working hard and improved. Then under Coyle, he progress was steady. Not to mention Coyle hasn't been trying to hide him in the system. On the contrary.

One of Carroll's biggest improvements has been getting his head around in time to make a play. In all actuality, this was his biggest problem all along.

Carroll will be a GOOD back up 4th corner IMO.

But, the proof is in the pudding. This next game will define Carroll's position for the rest of the year. If he comes up big or even just holds his own against Brees, he'll have taken the next step and Kudos to Carroll. If not, well........Back up/4th corner.....etc, etc.

Now, having said that, Taylor and Davis are what we need, This is a long season and we need to be playing great ball later in the season. We spent a 2nd and 3rd on these two. If they're going to contribute at all this year, we need to bring them along and let them start getting some playing time.

Exposing The Fraud @ 12:36 PM: I remember that Ronnie Brown int. in the endzone. I believe that was during the Satan era with Mike Mularkey at OC. Frickin' Mularkey used to drive me bananas with his wacky play-calling at the goal-line. We would run the ball all the way down the field, then when we got to 1st and goal, he would call 3 straight pass plays (of course they would all be incompletions) then a fg. He would leave Mia when Satan disappeared and go to Atl where he did a complete turnaround as OC and had a good offense (having Ryan @ QB didn't hurt). He leaves Atl for Jax HC job and I beleve gets fired after 1 season. Can't decide who was worse as OC for Mia: Mularkey, or Mr. Magoo (Dan Henning)?!

The Truth @ 2:37 PM: As much as I am not a Carroll fan,playing 15 yds. off the WR is called: Zone Defense! Carroll does not call the defense. We don't play a press defense. Have to go back to the JJ days with Madison and Surtain for that. I, for one, hate zone defenses. We could play press with Grimes, but I think Carroll would get burned for big plays if we used him in press.

I really don't care if Nolan Carroll gives up 20 catches for 300yds to a single receiver. Just as long as he's not giving up tds too.

Yes, Julio pretty much owned him Sunday, all except for the category we needed Carroll win most. In this category Carroll pitched a SHUTOUT. Julio Jones had ZERO TDS against Carroll Sunday.

..The Truth..I disagree. I'm not saying that Nolan Carroll is an All State first teamer. Hardly. I trust him much more then either of those 2 rookies in this game. 2 rookies who are still waiting for their nuts to drop(in the league)..Are going to come in and make a difference this week?? Carroll was victim to a better player last week. He is far from perfect, far from ideal. But in the situation we are in..A much better option then either of the rookies.

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | September 26, 2013 at 02:50 PM

Tend to agree but remember we will be in alot of nickle and dime packages this week. The numbers game tells you we will need an additional DB outside of Jimmy Wilson this week. I believe we backed off our pursuit of signing someone off the street because the Coaches feel they have a better solution in house and if not Taylor or Davis then who? Maybe an additional Safety in the game could mean we see McCray (don't discount the possibility) but fully expect to see 6 DB sets on D when the Saints look to spread us out and if our pass rush can hit home maybe some 7 DB sets flooding the lanes on Brees.

Carroll probably look more exposed in the last game because the pass rush wasn't there. It needs to be there Monday night or Brees will carve the secondary up.

Posted by: Craig M | September 26, 2013 at 03:23 PM

Truest statement so far.... Bet Giants fans are still wondering what happened to All Pro CB's Webster and Ross after such high caliber play during SB runs! In retrospect we Fins fans wondered what happened to Safety Gabril Wilson when he came over from 07 Champs as well!

Since when did Dmitri Patterson become irreplaceable? Carroll is just as good.

Wasn't it Carroll the same guy that allowed Brady a 99 yd TD two seasons ago ?

Carroll should be going long time ago. With S.Smith and V. Davis and T.G. Jr.
Hope that J. Taylor could replace him. Otherwise, Brees has an open window for the entire evening.
That is why our pass rushers should be much more effective this match.

I totally with some readers, Carroll has improved a lot. I just criticized him a lot last year, but he has picked up his game this year. The Int vs Cleveland really surprised me. He needs to use his body leverage more vs the receivers and turn around quicker to avoid any penalties, just like he did on one ocasion vs Atlanta. I appreciate his extra effort this year.
I hope Jamar Taylor & Will Davis are able to play some significant time this Monday. Go Fins!!!

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