Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
If Cortland Finnegan can’t play on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, second-year cornerback Jamar Taylor will once again be called upon to start opposite Brent Grimes.
Taylor, who started against the Buffalo Bills, allowed 5 receptions on 7 targets and allowed 41 yards for an average of 5.9 yards per reception. The receivers accumulated a total of 30 yards after the catch against him and the longest pass he gave up was 16 yards. Taylor didn't allow a touchdown and came out with a rating of 86, per Pro Football Focus. That’s why Kevin Coyle has confidence in the job Taylor can do if his number is called.
“I thought he played very well. He did a good job overall. He tackled well. He was our leading tackler in the game, but he competed (and) challenged in the pass game. I just thought he showed a maturity that we’ve been looking for in his first real start. I was pleased with that. There are little things he can keep working on that we are going to keep working with him on, but I thought overall he more than held his own in that game. We are going to need him to play well whether or not Cortland is up here down the stretch or not. We are facing teams that are going to present a lot of problems and a lot of three-and-four wide receiver looks that we have to be ready for. We are going to need cornerbacks to step up and he certainly did the other night.”
Like all young players, it’s expected that Taylor will get picked on by Peyton Manning until he can prove that he can handle everything that’s thrown his way. Coyle expects this and will be planning for it whenever Manning has the ball in his hands.
“I think any time from an offensive perspective I would think you would go after someone with less experience. That just kind of makes common sense. Speaking of Brent, I thought he did another fantastic job the other night holding a receiver (Sammy Watkins) that has been explosive here of late to three catches and 30 yards, I believe it was. But there are times by the structure of the offense you are going to call your plays and you aren’t sure whether or not people are matching up or whether it is a pressure coming, so it’s easier said than done in just saying you are going to attack one guy.”
“A guy like Peyton, on the other hand, when he sees the defense and if you allow him to see what you are in, he can certainly try to manipulate things and get matchups he’s looking for, whether it is on a corner or a linebacker. A lot of times, if you’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks, they have their tight ends deployed and they have linebackers walked out covering them. Yesterday (Rams LB Alec) Ogletree was out there a few times. A week before in New England, they had guys walk out in space one-on-one with their tight ends, and he took some shots at those guys too. You got to keep changing it up. Regardless of the fact of who you are playing against, guys have to step up and perform.”
It sounds like the Dolphins will have their hands full and Coyle will be working extra hard this week to make sure he has everything covered heading into Sunday’s game against one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.
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