Cornerback Nate Clements missed his first NFL game last week, and hopefully his last. Find out what he had to say about making a return to action against the Miami Dolphins.
I had the pin pulled out of my broken thumb on Wednesday morning. It didn't hurt, but it did feel a little weird. I was able to practice that afternoon and it felt good, so I have no concerns about getting back out there this Sunday. I'm just anxious and excited to go.
When you look at the Dolphins offense, it's pretty obvious that their running game is really what makes them go. Ronnie Brown has proven that he's one of the top running backs in the league and in my opinion, he's their most valuable player. He's capable of pounding it, and he has the speed to get it outside. They've taken it to the next step and they are motioning him out to catch balls and lining him up to play quarterback as well, so he's being utilized to maximize his abilities.
Ricky Williams has stepped up and been consistent and he's another weapon. The reason why the wildcat formation that they use works so well is because they have two really good, explosive running backs. They both do a great job finding an opening, and they try to keep you guessing.
When they first came out with the wildcat, I think it surprised everybody. Now most teams have seen what they like to do, and you prepare for it. But on top of the wildcat, they switch up their personnel groupings rather frequently and usually use a lot of running backs. Sometimes they'll even have four running backs in the game, a tight and no receivers.
I know they lost Justin Smiley, who was here last year, but that offensive line has done a great job in getting their backs a lot of production. They work well as a group and are really getting the job done when it comes to running the ball. It's imperative for our d-line to get after them. Those guys up front have really been attacking the line of scrimmage the last few weeks, so I expect nothing less from them again this week.
In terms of the passing game, the thing that I noticed about quarterback Chad Pennington is that he's done a good job managing the game and managing the offense. They haven't allowed too many turnovers this year, and he's been very efficient spreading the ball around to his playmakers.
His primary guy was Greg Camarillo, but he's done for the year because of injury. Those younger guys in Ted Ginn and Davone Bess have really stepped up. Ginn, a fellow Ohio State guy, is a big play receiver. As far as straight line speed goes, he's one of the fastest guys. He definitely has excellent speed and you can see the improvement from his rookie year on his route running. I haven't seen him drop too many balls either. He's definitely improving and when he gets it all together, he's definitely going to be an explosive receiver, and a dominant guy in this league.
For a rookie, Davone Bess has sure made an impact. He finds ways to get open in the slot. He's very quick and he can catch the ball. He knows how to find holes and he can get open and his production level is pretty good.
Ernest Wilford has also seen some playing time, and he's one of their more physical receivers. He brings a change of pace and some size to that receiving corps.
The tight ends are both heavily involved in the passing game as Pennington looks for them a lot, as well as his backs. Again, he'll spread that ball around so we've got to handle our coverage responsibilities, play sound, play physical, and play fast.
I really think that right now guys on this team are playing with a lot of confidence and we're trying to finish this thing up strong. We might be out of the playoffs, but it still means a lot to us to finish this thing on a good note.