I like a lot of the moves the Miami Dolphins made this offseason, but the best one could prove to be the signing of cornerback Brent Grimes (formerly of the Atlanta Falcons). The 29 year old is coming off an Achilles issue which is why he was only able to fetch a one-year “prove you are healthy” deal, but his talent is very real and his potential is that of a top corner in the NFL.
This franchise has been awful for ages now when it comes to creating turnovers, and while I don’t think Grimes will be a big interception guy (his skill may mean he gets few interception opportunities) he is someone who will be very effective as a lock-down corner that opposing quarterbacks shy away from on almost every snap. In the AFC East we recently had Revis Island as New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis was simply so good that no QB would dare throw in his direction. That allowed the Jets to pretty much make the opposition’s top wide receiver ineffective which is a massive bonus for any defense. That is what Grimes brings to the table for the 2013 Dolphins – Grimes Island.
Since the days of Pat Surtain and Sam Madison the ‘Phins have had just one player get as many as five interceptions in a season (Andre’ Goodman snatched five interceptions in 2008). Grimes had six interceptions in 2009 and followed that with five more in 2010. In 2011 he managed just one interception, but by that time his play was speaking for itself and opposing QBs were avoiding Grimes at all costs. He is capable of getting interceptions, but when he is on his game we will see even the heavyweights like Tom Brady avoid throwing in his direction. THAT is what a healthy Grimes brings to the table.
The great news out of Dolphins camp so far is that Grimes looks like his Achilles issue is in the past, and there are even rumblings that the Dolphins’ quarterbacks have already begun the habit of knowing where Grimes is and avoiding throwing to his area. Sweet.
The 2013 Dolphins will see stud WRs like Reggie Wayne, Roddy White/Julio Jones, A.J. Green, and Steve Smith to name a few. These gents will surely spend time on Grimes Island.
As far as interceptions go, I do think Grimes can help. He has a skill-set that can nab picks, but I just wonder if he will get many chances to do so as he can be so good that he will not see a lot of balls thrown his way. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle can allow Grimes to go one-on-one without safety support which frees up the safeties to assist other defensive backs across the field. That will go a long way in creating match-ups that are favorable for Miami.
The last time we saw a healthy Grimes his athleticism and skill had opposing quarterbacks losing sleep at night and avoiding him during the game. Here’s hoping that is the Grimes that the Dolphins have inked for this season, and if so for many seasons to follow.