Sunday, August 26, 2012

Davis trade more proof Dolphins in full rebuild mode


If it wasn't clear before, it should be now that the Miami Dolphins are in full rebuilding mode. 

Since taking the Dolphins' head coaching job, Joe Philbin has strived to establish a new culture for the team. Starting with Brandon Marshall, and then Chad Johnson, Philbin has made it clear that players who don't fall in line won't line up for him this fall.

Cornerback Vontae Davis is the latest victim, if you could call him that. Davis was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a second-round and conditional sixth-round draft pick on Sunday, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

Early episodes of this season of Hard Knocks highlighted Davis' struggles with conditioning and a questionable commitment to his craft. Then, as a clear result of his falling out of favor with the new coaching staff, Davis was demoted to nickel cornerback.

Instead of keeping him on the team, the Dolphins sought to get value for their most talented cover cornerback. He had been a starter at the position since being taken 25th overall in the 2009 draft.

The Dolphins are now weak at a position that was previously a strength. They will be moving forward with Sean Smith and Richard Marshall as their starters, and Nolan Carroll as their nickel cornerback.

Miami's ability to contain passing offenses is greatly impacted by this move, as although Carroll has had an encouraging preseason, he was a liability in coverage last season and is a significant drop-off from Davis.

With the two third-round picks from the Brandon Marshall trade and the new picks for Davis, the Dolphins are looking to reshape the roster with young talent around their promising rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Another thing that should be more clear now is that Miami will not have a good season in 2012. Expect the Dolphins to struggle to avoid a last-place finish in the AFC East.

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