The Dolphins enter camp feeling much better about cornerback than they did at the close of last season. Nobody was more impressive this spring than newcomer Brent Grimes, who showed no ill effects from last September’s Achilles injury.
Plus, Richard Marshall has moved past his back issues, Joe Philbin has been effusive about Nolan Carroll's offseason (we reserve judgment on Carroll until the games start) and rookies Jamar Taylor and Will Davis drew praise from coaches before Taylor’s sports hernia surgery in May. (Taylor will be ready for camp.) And Dimitri Patterson will be a factor in this competition.
But Grimes is the real story here. The super-athletic Grimes, 29, has surpassed the Dolphins’ expectations so far, displaying a knack for knocking away passes and not allowing Mike Wallace to dominate when they were matched up in May and June practices. “Very good instincts,” Joe Philbin said of Grimes, who made the Pro Bowl in 2010.
Grimes’ teammates rave about him. No predictions here, but he realistically has a chance to be Miami’s best, most consistent cornerback since Sam Madison or Patrick Surtain a decade ago. (Will Allen, Andre Goodman, Vontae Davis and Sean Smith all had their moments, at times, during the past decade.) If Grimes keeps this up once the games begin, re-signing him will become a top priority for 2014.
Grimes, 5-10, can compensate for his lack of height with impressive jumping ability. “I don’t look at corner as a big position,” he said. “I’m short, but I’m not 5-6!”