As of the time this post was published, the only thing we know about the Miami Dolphins cornerback position heading into Monday night against the New York Jets is that Cortland Finnegan is doubtful for the game.
Besides that, everything else is a mystery as to who will start where and who will play but the other day, Joe Philbin talked about what could happen and dropped some hints along the way.
“It doesn’t matter who lines up. We have to have a player that’s going to execute the defensive call, whether we are going to play man-to-man, whether we are going to play zone, whether we are pressing, whether we are off, whether we are blitzing. It doesn’t matter. When you dress for a game and you are playing defensive back or you are playing offensive tackle, everybody knows exactly what their role is, what their job description is and they have to go execute. It doesn’t really matter who is in the game. We’ll have to see how that unfolds throughout the course of the week.”
Although Philbin said that it doesn’t matter who lines up and plays, he did hint that Walt Aikens could see extended playing time at the corner position on Monday night.
“He’s gotten work at both positions. Part of the thing, when you are a young player and you are not starting, is having some versatility when you dress and you go to the game. Part of the thing, when you are providing a look of the opponent in the coming week, you can fiddle around a little bit and get some guys some reps at different positions even though it’s obviously they are looking at a card, but sometimes man-to-man is man-to-man and cloud coverage is cloud coverage. He’s gotten some work throughout the course of the season. We are just looking to find the right combination, the best combination of guys.”
Another possibility is Jimmy Wilson moving to the outside on the boundary but Philbin seemed to shoot that down, saying he hasn’t had a lot of repetitions there in practice or a game. However, if the Dolphins needed him there, Philbin said he’s confident that he could get the job done.
“He hasn’t taken a ton of reps there, so I think from a familiarity standpoint. The good news with Jimmy is he is experienced. He’s knowledgeable. He’s been exposed to the system now for three years. There are not a lot of things he’s going to be hearing that aren’t familiar to him. Physically, has he done all of those things as much as he’s played deep-half, quarters or as a nickel? Certainly not, but again that’s part of football. As you know, he played outside in the game last year against New England for a certain stretch. It wasn’t a ton.”
Although Don Jones was recently claimed off waivers from the New England Patriots, his first practice with the team was on Saturday so it’s doubtful he gets much playing time, if any at all. Instead, we’ll most likely see Aikens opposite Brent Grimes. It’s time for the rookie to step up and prove that he belongs.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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