Dolphins Strengths Shift With Misi Out And Verner In
Has Miami traded pass coverage for run-stop with Verner in and Misi out?
Miami Dolphins fans knew Koa Misi was going to miss time… but most thought he’d at least contribute a few games before the inevitable injury.
Such wasn’t the case.
Misi’s brutal neck injury wasn’t healed enough to make it through the medical. Rumors are he will announce his retirement today–although his agent denies it, so his NFL career might have come to a close.
While the 2010 2nd Round pick was oft injured, Misi gave everything he had. In the end, though disappointing for such a high pick, he wore his aqua honorably. Misi’s 84 games is a respectable career, given all his body endured. Fin Fans should wish only the best for his future.
But here’s what gets me: If Misi’s restructure in the off season wasn’t a wink-wink severance package, then you have to question the wisdom of why it was done. Miami could have parted ways with Misi for 500k prior to the restructure. Now they must shell out 2 million in the confines of a tight cap. I’m sure that 1.5 million difference could have been spent much wiser.
And then there’s the squeeze play at the Linebacker core due his absence, especially at SLB where Misi could have offered meaningful snaps on run downs. Barring an epiphany from the back-end of the squad, Miami is down to four quality LB’s: Neville Hewitt, Kiko Alonso, Lawrence Timmons, and rookie Raekwon McMillan. None of these players are experienced Sam backers. It would seem Timmons will be forced to take ownership of that role. With Misi playing there would have been more flexibility… and that could have helped Burke scheme up some plays.
It really makes you wonder if they should have coughed up the dough for Zach Brown?
While Misi filled a need, so does Verner
But on the positive side of things, with the addition of Alterraun Verner, Miami at least has some much needed help at Nickle Back… and that’s a big relief given Bobby McCain‘s rough history. If you compare their 2016 Seasons, Verner allowed a 67.9 passer rating verses McCain’s 113 rating–that’s a sizable difference.
While Verner played both wide and inside, you know he was brought in as a back-up plan for McCain. And I for one can’t complain about that.
This one-year, prove-it deal is definitely a win-win for Miami.
First, this let’s Howard, Lippett, and Maxwell focus on the boundaries and McCain and Verner battle it out inside. While I’m under no delusion that Verner is a superstar, if he can just duplicate last year’s performance, it sure will feel like he is in comparison to McCain freeway of first downs.
Yeah, maybe Verner won’t play as well as he did in 2016, but his worst season was a passer rating of 111.1, which is still slightly better than McCain last season–so at the very least the best pay per head services are predicting that he will offer depth at a very thin position.
The bottom line is, Verner has more often than not performed well, and the likelihood of him being an upgrade of McCain is pretty good. Then you always have the chance that McCain might step up given the tutelage of Verner and the competition. We can hope? Right?!