Miami Dolphins: Mike Nolan explains Sean Smith’s new role
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by: Mike Berardino December 2nd, 2010 | 4:47 PM Since veteran cornerback Al Harris arrived on Nov. 10, the Miami Dolphins have gone to a unique defensive rotation over their past three games.
Sean Smith plays boundary corner on first and second downs, but when the nickel package comes on the field for obvious third-down passing situations, Smith bounces inside to play strong safety.
Yeremiah Bell, the usual strong safety, moves up into the box to replace inside linebacker Channing Crowder, who comes off the field. Karlos Dansby stays at the other inside linebacker spot due to his excellent coverage abilities, while Harris takes Smith’s spot and Benny Sapp plays slot corner.
“That’s a challenge for a player because it’s a different game. Most guys get to sit in the trench and play big guys all day. Their game’s the same all the time. When you play the role he’s got right now, his game changes considerably. So it’s important that he plays well and really studies. If he doesn’t, he’ll do one job well but the other he won’t and then we’re not where we want to be. We’re on the field too much.”
Thanks to this recent improvement, the Dolphins defense has moved up to 15th in the league in third-down conversion rate.