The Dolphins believe they have clearly upgraded at cornerback, with Grimes and Patterson replacing Sean Smith (now with Kansas City) and Marshall (San Diego) as starters.
“We feel like together, we can go and attack the ball when the ball is in the air,” Patterson said of himself and Grimes. “The ball is ours. That’s what we talk about. What we want to try to show on Sunday is that we’re not just out there trying to cover you. We’re out there to try to take the ball away from you.”
Of the six cornerbacks on the Dolphins’ roster, only Nolan Carroll and deep-on-the-depth-chart R.J. Stanford were with the team at the beginning of last December.
With rookie cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis ruled out of Sunday’s game because of injuries and Patterson limited in practice Friday, only three cornerbacks on the roster are fully healthy.
And Carroll will begin the season as the Dolphins’ No. 3 cornerback, as he did in 2012.
“The guys know each other better this year, and chemistry is better than before,” Carroll said of the defensive backs, which is somewhat surprising because several of the cornerbacks are new.
The Dolphins expect excellence from Grimes, a Pro Bowler in 2010. Patterson hopes his work also merits such praise.
“From the time I came in as a rookie, I looked at the guys around me — Shawn Springs, a couple other guys — and I knew I had what it takes,” Patterson said.
“It’s good to be somewhere where they acknowledge your talents and put you in a position where your talents can be displayed. I just want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity I have.”
Besides Taylor (groin) and Davis (toe), third-string quarterback Pat Devlin (toe) also is out Sunday. No Dolphin is listed as doubtful, and Patterson is questionable. Defensive end Dion Jordan (shoulder), tight end Dion Sims (groin), safety Jimmy Wilson (hamstring), defensive lineman Vaughn Martin (ankle) and linebacker Jonathan Freeny (shoulder) are probable.
For the Browns, linebacker Barkevious Mingo (lung) and guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle) are out.