LeGere: Can Finnegan, Grimes keep Bears' WRs at bay?

  • Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) is tackled by Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes (21) during the first half Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) is tackled by Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes (21) during the first half Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Associated Press

Updated 10/18/2014 8:21 PM

The Dolphins' starting cornerbacks, Cortland Finnegan and Brent Grimes, are both 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds and seemingly mismatched against the Bears' 6-foot-4, 230-pound Brandon Marshall and 6-foot-3, 216-pound Alshon Jeffery.

"They're undersized guys as would relate to our guys, but they're very skilled," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "They read the quarterback. They're good at what's called 'clueing' the quarterback. They've got their eyes inside."


Like most teams, the Dolphins switch up their defenses but rely on twin pass-rushing threats Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon to force hurried throws.

"There's a lot of zone defense on first and second down, and they do a great job of reading route structure and patterns," Trestman said of the corners, who have 17 years' experience between them. "And then, on third down, they start to play more man-to-man coverage. They're very good at getting their hands on you and using the five yards to disrupt routes. Very skilled in that regard."

The confrontational Finnegan has a history with Marshall and an antagonistic style that often goes beyond feisty.

"You've got to address it because we've got some younger guys that need to know that," Trestman said. "He's an undersized player who's been able to compete for a very long time at a very high level in this league.

"We've got a lot of respect for him, as long as he's playing within the framework of the rules, which he does in most cases. We've got to be able to stand up to the things that he brings. That's part of his game and we'll leave it at that. We've just got to be able to move on to the next play when those things happen."

Minimizing the damage:

Jay Cutler has been sacked seven times in the past two games after getting dropped eight times in the first four games.

With all five offensive line starters expected back Sunday for the first time since opening day, coach Marc Trestman is counting on better protection, even though Cutler doesn't seem to have much of a problem shaking off occasional hits.

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"Certainly they're all tough, but there's not anybody tougher than Jay in terms of being able to take a big hit, get back up and go on to the next play," Trestman said. "We've seen that countless times. We're hoping to minimize those because we don't want to see him get hit."

What a rush:

The Dolphins' tight coverage in the secondary works hand-in-hand with the pass rush of defensive ends Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon, who each have 3½ sacks. Wake has 46 sacks over the previous four seasons and Vernon had 11½ in 2013, his second NFL season.

"On third down they try to hold you up long enough to be able to have the extra click to be able to get to the quarterback," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "And they've done a very good job in every game. They're hitting the quarterback in every game.

"It started with (Tom) Brady in Game 1, it worked through Alex Smith, (Derek) Carr, all of them. And last week as well with Aaron (Rodgers). Aaron did a very good job of running around to try to make plays. There were at least six or seven times during the game that Rodgers moved around either to throw the ball away or run run or to complete a pass."


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