Dolphins secondary aiming to end mistakes Print
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Friday, 12 September 2008 12:05
NFL Headline News

 DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -Miami's secondary was supposed to be a strength for the Dolphins, but played a lot like the mistake-filled unit on last year's 1-15 team in the season opener.
There was the 56-yard touchdown pass.
The 24-yard pass-interference penalty that setup the eventual winning score for the New York Jets. And, of course, the lob Brett Favre threw for a touchdown on fourth-and-13 that no Dolphins player came near.
And this week Miami needs to find a way to stop Arizona's Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.
``We definitely want to put on a better show this weekend and we need to erase us giving up big plays and being on the opposite end of highlights,'' safety Renaldo Hill said. ``We don't want that.''
It won't be easy a week after several broken coverages and penalties against the Jets, not with Boldin and Fitzgerald, one of the NFL's most dangerous receiver tandems.
secondary is going to have their hands full. What we can't do is we can't allow the big play.''
The Dolphins ranked last in the AFC in 2007 in scoring defense, giving up 27.3 points a game. Of the many players gone from last year's unit - including Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas - the secondary stayed mostly intact.
Miami's new regime said all summer that the returning defensive backs are better than it initially thought, a big reason the secondary has more holdovers than any other position. Three of the four starters in the secondary were on Miami's roster last season, with cornerback Chris Crocker the only new face.
``They kept us here, and you want to reward that,'' cornerback Andre Goodman said. ``This is my seventh year, and I haven't proven that I'm a quality NFL starter.''
Goodman took blame for Jerrico Cotchery's 56-yard touchdown reception that put New York ahead 7-0. But cornerback Chris Crocker failed to provide help, leaving Cotchery wide open for the score.
``I don't want to comment on what I was supposed to be doing on that play,'' Crocker said. ``But it's a play that shouldn't have happened.''
Sunday's loss to the Jets was largely self-inflicted and decided by a handful of botched plays, as was often the case in 2007, when Miami lost six times by three points.
em a 20-7 lead. But perhaps the most embarrassing play for the unit came on a fourth-and-13 earlier in the game, when Favre heaved a desperation floater caught by Chansi Stuckey for a 22-yard touchdown.
The Dolphins know stopping Boldin and Fitzgerald - not to mention Edgerrin James out of the backfield - won't be easy. The trio presents all kinds of matchup problems for Miami, which lacks the size and speed of Arizona's receivers.
``They tell you what's coming and still pull it off. That's when you know someone is good,'' cornerback Will Allen said. ``They are physical monsters. We can't let them make big plays. It will be one of our toughest test this season as a defense.''
 

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