But the free agent signing that flew under the radar for the most part was that of cornerback Brent Grimes, who was coming off of two injury plagued seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Teams were wary of bringing in the former Pro Bowler because of health concerns, but this year, Grimes has proved the doubters wrong. The pint-sized corner is putting together a dominant 2013 campaign, and has reaffirmed his status as one of the league’s top defensive backs.
In an interview with the Finsiders, Grimes discussed his play this season, and how his role on this team has evolved since being signed this offseason. Grimes has become one of the leaders on this team, but he says its a group effort, especially in the defensive backs room.
“I help out. I feel like in our room, there are a lot of people that can be leaders at whatever time,” said Grimes. “It doesn’t have to be me or Reshad (Jones), or Clem (Chris Clemons) or Jimmy (Wilson). It can be any of us guys. It can anybody, and that’s the good thing about our room is that everybody is willing to just step up and play.”
Being one of elder statesman of the defensive backfield and having experience in games with playoff implications from his time in Atlanta is a great advantage for Grimes, and he’s passed on some advice to the younger players on this team. He says that guys should only focus on what they control, and that they shouldn’t worry about all the other outside noise.
“Just handle what you can handle. We just can worry about winning our game,” said Grimes. “You just worry about the fact that we got the Jets, we gotta beat the Jets. The rest will handle itself.
“If you try to complicate it and worry about all the other things, then you won’t focus on what you have to focus on.”
Experience has obviously not been the only thing that Grimes has brought this team. His play has been stellar not only through the proverbial eye test, but he’s also statistically sound. His four interceptions are tied for 8th in the league, and he has yet to give up touchdown reception this season, a remarkable stat in itself. He’s also become one of the league’s best at baiting quarterbacks, utilizing his unmistakably quick reflexes and incredible closing speed. That recovery speed has jumped off the screen on film, but Grimes says there’s not much to it.
“It’s just how I play. Something I can do is close on the ball well. I just play see ball, get ball, and just break on a guy and make a play.”
Grimes’ play has just been one part of a Miami pass defense that as a whole has been resolute this year. The Dolphins rank second in the league in passing touchdowns given up (with 17), and have allowed an opponent passer rating of 76.5, 5th best in the NFL.
They’ve also snatched 18 interceptions, and grabbed a turnover in every game. That’s been something that the coaching staff has been preaching since day one of OTAs according to Grimes.
“Since I got here from OTAs, there was a big focal point on forcing turnovers and getting the ball, giving our offense more opportunities to score,” said Grimes. “The focus paid off. We put a lot of work on it, and Coach Philbin drilled us from day one, and it’s really paying off.”
The Dolphins hope to continue that turnover streak and get a win against the Jets during the final week of the season, but if past games at Sun Life Stadium this year are any indication, it won’t be easy. Every single home game this year for Miami has been decided by four points or less, and Grimes expects it to come down to the wire again.
“It’s interesting. We definitely know we’re going into a stressful situation. I know some fans have lost hair or gotten grey hairs from our season, as far as (games) coming down to the end. There’s not a lot of comfortable finishes going on but that’s expected in the NFL,” said Grimes.
“I definitely wish we can cruise to a win this week and release the stress a little bit.”
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.