Friday, March 14, 2014

Finnegan's first task is to earn Dolphins' respect


The Miami Dolphins' front office had enough respect for Cortland Finnegan to sign the veteran cornerback Friday.

Finnegan, however, has yet to make it to the Dolphins' locker room, where he plans to start from scratch in proving himself to his new teammates.

"I think first and foremost I've got to earn the respect of these men, not by what I did in the past but by how I'm working now," Finnegan said Friday, via "It starts in the locker room and in the weight room and on the field.

"I know they have younger talent here and so it's just trying to mentor them and trying to take my experience of film study and things of those nature along with the coaches and trying to intertwine that into making them the best players, because the younger guys are the future of this organization."

Finnegan, who was one of the better corners in the league half a decade ago, has struggled in recent years, albeit while battling the injury bug of late. That "younger talent" Finnegan referenced, in the form of Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, will be battling with Finnegan for playing time this offseason and training camp.

If he ends up starting Week 1, which is the most likely scenario, he'll be working opposite arguably the Dolphins' best defensive player in Brent Grimes.

"I'm also looking forward to learning from Brent because I think Grimes is one of the best in the NFL in my opinion if not the best all around," the 30-year-old Finnegan said. "So I'm excited to play with him and learn from him, so I couldn’t be more excited about this whole opportunity."

Finnegan has amassed 18 interceptions, 77 passes defensed, seven sacks and four forced fumbles in eight seasons -- the first six with the Tennessee Titans and last two with the St. Louis Rams.

As one of the more physical defensive back in the league, he's had his share of on-field disputes in the past, namely his fisticuffs with Andre Johnson in 2010.

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