With the Lockout firmly in place, we are reading pretty much anything we can about the Miami Dolphins right now. We’re STARVED for Football news. A website that is loving every minute of the Lockout, because they focus on analyzing game film, is ProFootballFocus.com. We recommend checking their site out if you have some free time. They study every play of the season and analyze how different players fared in game situations.
Thrown at per Coverage attempt
Most recently, they did a study on how often cornerbacks were thrown at in 2010. Not surprisingly, Nnamdi Asomugha’s receiver was only thrown at 6.58% of the time he was covering them. Somewhat surprisingly, the Dolphins’ Sean Smith ranked in at number 2 on the list (9.82% of the time). The reason for Smith’s high ranking could be because of his size and arm length. Even if there’s separation, he seems to be closer to the receiver than he really is. Now, if only he could catch a few more of those wayward footballs that come his way!
The Dolphins other starting cornerback, Vontae Davis, checks in at number 10 on the list (being thrown at 12.72% of the time). No other team had 2 corners in the top 2, other than the Dolphins. Why is this? It could be that the opposing quarterback chose to check down to running backs, or to find the tight end due to weaker coverage in those areas.
Completion per Coverage attempt
The more telling statistic, ProFootballFocus.com mentions, is the number of completions per coverage attempt. The Dolphins still stack up pretty well with Smith (#4, 5.36% of the time) and Davis (#20, 7.95% of the time). This means that about one out of every 20 plays that Sean Smith was covering a receiver, the receiver caught the ball. Similarly, a receiver caught a ball with Vontae in coverage, once out of every 13 plays. Only one other team had 2 members in the top 20 of this category (Raiders; Asomugha and Routt).
Knowing all of this, the Dolphins have focused on bringing in help at the 3rd and 4th cornerback positions. They have Will Allen (returning from an injury), Benny Sapp (whom they traded for last year), Nolan Carroll (’10 draft pick), and Jimmy Smith (7th rd. draft choice in ’11). Sean Smith and Vontae Davis are about to enter their 3rd season with the Miami Dolphins and expectations will grow with their experience. If both of them can hold onto a few more errant footballs thrown their way, both could be spending some time in Hawaii over the next few years.