The Miami Dolphins lost Dimitri Patterson to the New York Jets in free agency, and the veteran was a surprisingly strong starter opposite of Brent Grimes last season before going down with an injury. Slot guy Nolan Carroll also left, so the Dolphins cornerbacks look different heading into the 2014 season, especially with Cortland Finnegan entering the fray. Once regarded as one of the NFL’s best CBs, Finnegan was beyond awful last season for the St. Louis Rams, and he was an obvious cut for Les Snead due to his salary and sudden, striking decline in performance.
That said, there’s plenty of hope that Finnegan can bounce back, because he is a talented player even as he gets older. Maybe just as importantly, Finnegan is one of the smartest CBs in the game, as he understands the nuances of the position extremely well and can help mentor corners playing on the outside or the inside.
Well, Finnegan is already going above and beyond in his role as the grizzled veteran, as he’s helping two young corners after practice on the first day of OTAs. The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero reports that Finnegan stayed after practice in order to help rookie Steven Clark and second-year pro Jamar Taylor, who looked very good coming out of Boise State but didn’t do anything as a rookie. Taylor has been burned a bit too much in practices in his first two offseasons, while Finnegan picked off the first pass of OTAs this year. There’s plenty of optimism surrounding Taylor due to his ability, so it’s good to see Finnegan working with him. There aren’t many corners who know more about frustrating receivers, as the pesky and physical Finnegan made up for his lack of size by consistently getting under the skin of his receivers through relentless play and craftiness.