This Friday, the Miami Dolphins will head into their first preseason game of the 2014-2015 season. As we momentarily turn our focus away from the offensive line and quarterback play, we will concentrate on the defense. One of the position battles that will be monitored by Dolphins coaches and fans, is the current battle for the number 2 cornerback position. After choosing not to resign Dimitri Patterson, the Dolphins decided to pursue former probowl cornerback Cortland Finnegan. Known for his trash talking and physical style of play, Finnegan will be looking to resurrect his career in Miami. Last season, Finnegan was rated the 109th out of 110 cornerbacks, for the St.Louis Rams, according to Pro Football Focus. Finnegan was said to be nursing a number of injuries in 2013, including an orbital bone fracture, which kept him out for the last nine games of the season. However, Finnegan seems poised and healthy and is currently looking to bolster miami's pass defense which rated 16th In the NFL last season. "I feel great," he said. "I feel like a '98 Honda Accord with a 350L block engine."
With 2013 probowl cornerback Brent Grimes locking down one of the spots, Finnegan is battling former second round pick Jamar Taylor in training camp and seems to have the upper hand. During Monday's training camp session, Finnegan jumped in front of a Ryan Tannehill pass and would've returned for a touchdown, had it been a live game situation. On Tuesday, Finnegan continued his high level of play with a 3 interception performance. His confidence and playmaking ability will be a key factor in maintaining his position as a starter. The Dolphins will need Finnegan to return to his probowl form and will be tested early when Tom Brady and the Pats come knocking in the season opener.
The dolphins defense was ranked 12th in the NFL in sacks last year, which will only help the secondary flourish. This season, Miami will play against top quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady twice, the 2013 comeback player of the year Phillip Rivers, and the M.V.P of the 2013 season, Peyton Manning. The play of the secondary will be crucial in determining the outcome of the season. If Finnegan can get back to his 2011 probowl form, it will increase the Dolphins chances of making their first playoff appearance since 2008.