Allen, Culver paying immediate dividends for Dolphins

By Hugo Guzman  |   Wednesday, November 05, 2008  |  Comments( 3 )

Miami Dolphins
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Jason Allen was a first-round pick gone wrong who had switched from corner to safety and back again and had fallen so far that he couldn’t even make the starting lineup in an already godawful Miami secondary. Tyrone Culver was a late-round pick who was bounced from Green Bay and then released by the Dolphins before they re-signed him for special teams depth.

Both were considered liabilities in coverage, little more than stopgaps until Bill Parcells and company could retool the defensive backfield in the offseason. However, after just two games, in which the beleaguered secondary has done an abrupt about-face, it’s become apparent that Culver and Allen might be a bit more than just a couple of also-rans.

Both players bagged an interception in Miami’s road win over the Denver Broncos last week, but it was their consistent coverage and nose for the football that impressed most -- especially because it was a carryover from their solid performances in the previous week’s victory over Buffalo.

Culver has the type of ball skills that elude Miami’s two most notable defensive backs, Will Allen and Yeremiah Bell. In two games, Culver has come close to making a pair of circus-style interceptions and his pick against the Broncos was a textbook example of how to secure the ball at its highest point and keep your feet inbounds near the sideline.

Allen has a rare combination of size and speed, allowing him to stay close to quick and elusive wide receivers like Lee Evans as well as get physical with behemoths like Brandon Marshall. He flashed ball skills and a knack for big plays in his stint at safety last season, and seems to be picking up where he left off now that he’s been paired alongside a resurgent Andre Goodman and an always steady Will Allen.

Both players will need to continue their steady and consistent play, also sprinkling in a dash of that coveted playmaking ability, in order to secure a spot in Miami's long-term blueprint. Astute observers know that a couple of good games is just that -- a couple of good games -- and isn't a big enough sample size.

Still, it’s great for the Dolphins to see these two young players catching on and making plays, helping turn one of their few true weak spots into a beacon of hope for the future.
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About Hugo Guzman

Trying to bring an objective approach to NFL analysis.
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CommentsComments: 3  |  Sign Up  View all comments
11:51 AM
This is what is so promising/frustrating about Allen. He came on strong last year when he finally made it on the field making a...
01:41 PM
Culver has looked like a playmaker since he first stepped on the field. Don't be surprised to see him starting next year...
02:42 PM
sorry, but I don't buy this one. Culver is mediocre at best...which doesn't say much because he's probably the best they have in...
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