OAKLAND — Second-year cornerbacks Sean Smith and Vontae Davis were benched for the opening series Sunday due to an undisclosed violation of team rules.http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miam ... ?track=rss
Rookie Nolan Carroll and Benny Sapp started in their place.
"You definitely want to start all the time, especially a game like this, in a game of this magnitude," Smith said. "It happened. You have to support your teammates as much as you can and whenever you get out there make the most of the opportunity."
Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said he liked the way both Smith and Davis responded to their benching.
Davis finished with five tackles, second on the team, but he also missed a tackle that led to a 29-yard reception for Louis Murphy on Davis' first play on defense.
"We came in and dominated, in my opinion," Smith said. "I feel we came in and did exactly what we needed to do in this game."
Dolphins inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, already bothered in recent weeks by toe and ankle injuries, was limited Sunday by a left wrist issue.
That forced backup Tim Dobbins to take on most of the load in the base defense, with Dansby coming in on obvious passing downs. Dobbins finished with a team-high six tackles, while Dansby had a season-low two tackles, one in the final 56 minutes.
"Really impressed with what Tim did," Sparano said. "That wasn't something we knew really until late, but Tim stepped in there and did a good job.