Reporting Tim Kephart
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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – While the quarterback competition has drawn the most interest at training camp for the Miami Dolphins; a battle at cornerback may become the storyline to follow both on the field and on the HBO series, “Hard Knocks.”
Last year’s starting cornerback Vontae Davis has been demoted to being a backup cornerback by head coach Joe Philbin and defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. The decision wasn’t a surprise to observers at training camp, but the reasons why remained elusive, until Hard Knocks debuted Tuesday night.
It turns out the reason behind Davis’ demotion was that he wasn’t in good enough condition when he arrived at camp and has struggled to keep up with the intensity and pace of practice under Philbin and Coyle. The cameras from Hard Knocks captured an exchange between Davis and safety Reshad Jones.
“I am tired,” Davis said during a practice, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.”Hey, (Reshad) Jones, I ain’t gonna lie. I’m tired right now. I ain’t gonna let coach know. I’m going to do my best to – what do you call it? – I’m gonna act. Act like I’m good. I’m gonna do my best acting thing as possible. I’m gonna take acting lessons right now. I’m gonna act like I’m not tired.”
Still, Davis performed extremely well down the stretch last season and it’s still possible that the former first-round draft pick can emerge as a starting cornerback for the Fins. Last season, he started 12 games and had 39 solo tackles, 9 passes defensed, and four interceptions.
The perception has been that Davis was demoted to light a fire under him. How he responds will go a long way towards his long-term future with the Miami Dolphins. Davis is set to make $2 million this season and he’ll want a long-term extension soon, but that will be dictated by his play this season.