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Will Davis joins list of players performing well...for somebody else

LONDON -- A troubling pattern that has manifested over the past few years added another example Thursday night back in America when former Miami Dolphins cornerback Will Davis had a good game for the Baltimore Ravens.

Davis, a 2013 third-round pick of the Dolphins, was traded to the Ravens last week for a seventh-round pick.

And that ended an unspectacular time in Miami in which Davis was often hurt -- he's still recovering from knee surgery performed late last year -- and never really found a home on the Miami defense.

Well, after one full week in Baltimore, Davis on Thursday night looked better in Baltimore than he ever looked with the Dolphins. The Ravens played him as their slot cornerback, not outside as Miami tried  to do for so long. They put him in the game ahead of Kyle Arrington, who has been with the team longer.

And Davis had a key tackle on Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown on third down in the open field (Dolphins tackling stinks right now) and had another important pass defensed on a third down (the Miami defense has not been good on late downs so far this season).

So feel good for Davis.

And feel pain for the Dolphins because this is what has been happening too often: Players here go elsewhere and perform better than they did here. Players from elsewhere who performed well come here and don't play up to those same standards. In some cases, players come here after playing well elsewhere, don't perform here, and then leave and go on to play well again.

And this is not just my imagination.

This is a thing, folks.

When the trade happened, I tweeted that if recent history proved true, Davis would play better in Baltimore than he did in Miami. Will Davis favorited that tweet. 

And after the game last night he tweeted, "Ozzie Newsome ...I thank you!!!"

Newsome is the Ravens' general manager who brought Davis to Baltimore.

This, of course, is no big thing if Davis playing well for another team in one game were an isolated incident.

But it is not.

Sean Smith left the Dolphins in 2013 after four uninspiring seasons and is Kansas City's best cornerback.

Vontae Davis was traded from the Dolphins in 2012 and last year was one of the NFL's best cornerbacks.

No worries, it's not like the Dolphins are lacking good cornerback play this year, right?

Karlos Dansby played great in Arizona before he came to the Dolphins. He got here in 2010 and was gone by 2013, in part, because his opinions were different from Joe Philbin's opinions. Anyway, Dansby went back to Arizona and played great again.

Phillip Wheeler was good in Oakland before he came to the Dolphins. Then he was bad here.

Ndamukong Suh was a beast with the Detroit Lions for five years. He was arguably one of the NFL's Top 10 players the past two years. He signed a $114 million deal with the Dolphins this offseason. Is he an NFL Top 10 player so far for Miami?

Did you watch Charles Clay for Buffalo last week against Miami? The first drive was practically a scripted statement made by Clay and Rex Ryan and the Bills to the Dolphins. Clay caught a couple of passes thrown off target. He looked fast. He made three defenders miss on his 25-yard touchdown.

It is only one game but, dang, I don't remember that Charles Clay in a Dolphins uniform.

The Dolphins had Dan Carpenter. They cut Carpenter for elf Caleb Sturgis. Carpenter was better than Carpenter after that transaction and continues to be better today after the Dolphins have already jettisoned Sturgis. 

Richie Incognito? Rated among the NFL's best guards with the Bills right now. Never was that with the Dolphins.

Kenny Stills was more than solid with New Orleans the last two seasons. The Dolphins gave up a third-round pick for him. He's not that good so far in Miami.

Mike Wallace was excellent with Pittsburgh. He never reached those heights in Miami despite becoming the team's highest-paid player. More importantly, Mike Wallace was not a problem in the Steelers locker room. They wanted to re-sign him but he turned down their contract offer. And yet in Miami ... problem.

John Jerry was a washout with the Dolphins. His great claim to fame is the Dolphins picked him ahead of tight end Jimmy Graham in the 2010 draft. He was also involved in the harassment scandal. But he's a starter for the New York Giants now and playing better than any Miami guard is right now.

Tony McDaniel left the Dolphins in 2013. He went to two Super Bowls with Seattle and was a starter on a great defense last year.

And, of course, there are instances where washout players here continued to be washout players elsewhere. Clyde Gates, Daniel Thomas come to mind. There are also instances where players who were solid here continue to be solid elsewhere. Reggie Bush, Paul Soliai and others are on that list.

But where is the player who comes to the Dolphins with little or no reputation and simply blossoms? Where's that guy?

It is not Brent Grimes. He was a Pro Bowl player and the Falcons franchise tag player before coming to Miami.

Not Cortland Finnegan, not Samson Satele, not Brandon Gibson, not Louis Delmas, not Earl Mitchell, not Jason Fox, not Daryn Colledge. None of those. They all performed or are performing in Miami how they performed elsewhere first.

So when do the Dolphins turn average into really good and productive?

Fans might settle for that because after watching average Miami players performing really well elsewhere, simply holding serve here seems like an upgrade.