Ever look at something so long and hard that you eventually start to lose focus on the object you're supposed to be locked in on?
That seems to be what's going on with Vontae Davis' supposed demotion from the Miami Dolphins' starting cornerback spot.
While the Dolphins did indeed list Davis as the second-team cornerback during the team's first depth chart, during Monday's practice Davis was the first-team boundary cornerback, and Richard Marshall manned the nickel spot like normal.
I've watched this supposed competition for a week and I don't see a demotion. I also don't see an issue.
"He's practiced well the past couple days, looked like he made another play again today," Joe Philbin said about Vontae Davis, who was listed with the second team on the team's first depth chart. "He's practicing well, doing well. There is good competition there and that's a good thing right now. It's early. I don't think anybody should be concerned. The whole ball club needs to show a lot of improvement, and he's no different than anybody else."
There hasn't been one practice where Davis, a 2009 first-round pick who has started 36 career games, has worked with the second team defense. That's typically what happens when a player gets demoted. That's what happened to Sean Smith in 2010 when Jason Allen unseated him.
What I have seen is Davis work the nickel spot for the first time in his NFL career, getting cross-trained to play a very difficult position while Marshall works as the cornerback paired with Smith, who is having an amazing camp.
I'm seriously getting TIRED of the Vontae Davis-gate. It is not a demotion considering he's never worked with the second team. John Jerry, who spent OTAs with the first-team and is now working with the third-team, was demoted.
A nickel is a very specific position to play, one that's hard to learn, and the position remains a starter. Miami's nickel cornerbacks started seven games last year, and are on the field at least 60 percent of most snaps.
What's happened is the two cornerbacks have swapped roles, possibly to ensure that someone other than Marshall can play inside just in case an injury takes place.
You do realize it would be ideal for the team to actually have a backup nickel trained in case Marshall tears a knee early in the season? NFL coaches are experts at playing the "what if" game, and preparing for it.
Maybe the Dolphins plan to platoon Marshall on the field as the cornerback who relieves Davis and Smith. Or maybe it is Davis who will relieve Marshall and Smith and play nickel in the base.
I'm not sure what's the gameplan, and I wouldn't rule out the coaches trying to send Davis a message. But this whole Vontae Davis is a disappointment, or Davis is struggling debate is ludicrous.
Davis has been Miami's most consistent cornerback for the past two years, and I haven't seen his play drop one bit. I also don't see Marshall dominating during practice considering Davone Bess is the receiver who nobody has stopped yet.
And who is typically defending Bess? That would be Marshall.
The Dolphins have four exhibition games to play and during that time we should all clearly see which cornerbacks are starter material, and who are not.
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