With Vontae Davis earning league-wide respect for his cover skills, the corner position opposite him in Miami got plenty of attention last season. Jason Allen got that job out of camp despite Sean Smith starting all 16 games in 2009. But Allen was let go midseason, allowing Smith to regain his spot.
Hopes are high among observers in Miami that Smith can be the type of corner you don't want to throw at, giving the Dolphins one of the top corner tandems in the league.
Head coach Tony Sparano was impressed with Smith's resilience after losing his job to Allen. "For a young player, that would've been easy to put his head down and sulk, and for the most part, he didn't do that," Sparano said at the owners' meetings in New Orleans.
Smith's biggest problem last season was missed opportunities to make big plays. According to Football Outsiders, Smith tied for the league-high with five dropped interceptions, and that was in just eight starts. The one interception he held on to clinched a Dolphins win over the Bengals.
Sparano said Smith would have been a Pro Bowler if it weren't for the dropped picks. As a team, the Dolphins led the league with 19 dropped interceptions, and a few of those could have been returned for scores.
Smith still has to win the starting position, but he has shown he has good enough instincts, and the size at 6-3, 214, to be a mainstay at the position. He just needs to catch the ball.
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