When the season ended I looked at Sean Smith, and in my mind I thought we should let him go and draft his replacement. I felt that after four years he has had his chance to prove his worth. This season he had the opportunity to be the alpha cornerback, and it was also his contract year.
His final numbers for 2012 were 59 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 12 passes defensed.
Not overwhelming numbers considering that both interceptions came in week four against Arizona. He also only faced one elite quarterback in Tom Brady and four good quarterbacks in Schaub, Dalton, Bradford, and Luck. I started to wonder if the 6'3" 218 pound athlete was cut out to be a starting cornerback, so I went back and looked at his final two years at Utah:
2007: 4 interceptions
2008: 5 interceptions and a touchdown
I could see why he was drafted in the second round of the 2009 Draft, but after four years as a pro it was time to kick rocks. Then, something occurred to me. PASSES DEFENSED! A stat that earned JJ Watt the nickname JJ Swatt. Passes defensed include batted down passes and balls pushed away from opposing receivers. I looked at Smith's passes defensed for 2012: 12, and in his four year career as a pro he has 40 passes defensed, which is an average of 10 a year.
This season five other defenders had 12 passes defensed, nine had 13, and five had 14.
3 top tier cornerbacks Seattle's Richard Sherman 24 PD, Atlanta's Asante Samuel 19 PD and Chicago's Tim Jennings 21 PD generated nearly double the amount of Sean Smith. Smith is right there with 19 other defenders with similar passes defensed.
A while ago Kenny (13kv) gave the example of how many dropped picks Smith had that could have resulted in more points and better field position had during the 2011 season. As we all know, interceptions are really important. They stop drives, frustrate quarterbacks, and earn the defender a reputation as a ball hawk. The thing is that Smith has a nose for the ball, and this was his first season as the top corner. He needs to bring it all together.
It is this writer's opinion the Dolphins should re-sign Smith to a contract with incentives, because it would be nice to see Smith and Miami safety Reshad Jones continue to grow in the Dolphin's secondary.
Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to your opinion.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.