Cortland Finnegan: I still have the skills, I just have to prove it

AP

Cornerback Cortland Finnegan’s 2012 move to St. Louis came with much fanfare and a lucrative five-year contract.

His exit early this offseason didn’t elicit much more than a shrug, though. Two years of high salaries, injuries and subpar play made the excitement of Finnegan’s arrival seem like a distant memory and the Rams didn’t think twice about letting him go. The Dolphins are hoping for a revival in Miami this season and Finnegan says that he hasn’t lost the ability that made him a Pro Bowler in Tennessee even if it hasn’t been in evidence of late.

“It’s still there,” Finnegan said, via the Miami Herald. “But until I prove it, we’ll never know.”

One reason Finnegan thinks he’ll be better in 2014 is because he’s not playing for defensive coordinator Tim Walton again. Walton was fired by the Rams after one season running the defense and ran a scheme that Finnegan called “atrocious.”

“From the game plan to technique to fundamentals, they weren’t in line with a defensive coordinator who knew what he was doing. He was a great defensive backs coach, but when you’re in over your head, it’s kind of tough,” Finnegan said. “Here coaches know to play guys to their strengths. I wish I had been here a long time ago. [Coordinator Kevin] Coyle is so good at dissecting offenses.”

If only because there’s pretty much nowhere to go but up after last season, there’s a good chance Finnegan rebounds this season. If he’s healthy and the scheme does prove to be a better fit, that rebound may come without such qualifiers and the Dolphins would have a pair of strong corners to throw against opposing offenses.